The middle market and high-end market emerged in the USA around 1992. The market has grown for two main reasons. Firstly, the last twenty years have seen huge improvements over earlier types of sex dolls, and customers come to realize this through using the web. Secondly, the method of retail purchase has also improved, now showing customers what the actual doll, seams, hair, and even orifices look like.
In Japan, sex dolls are known as "Dutch wives" (ダッチワイフ datchi waifu), which now refers to relatively inexpensive dolls. Their name originates from the term, possibly English, for the thick rattan or bamboo bolster, used to aid sleep in humid countries by keeping one's limbs lifted above sweaty sheets. Orient Industry is considered to be the leading manufacturer of high-end silicone dolls in Japan, which started using another term "love dolls" (ラブドール rabu dōru) around 1998 to distinguish their dolls from the image of inflatable dolls associated with the term "Dutch wife". The term has stuck and is now used generally to refer to any high-end product. There is a business, Doru no Mori (Doll Forest) in Tokyo, that rents love dolls and rooms to male customers. In March 2007 the Japanese daily Mainichi Shimbun newspaper reported that there are also rental businesses that bring the dolls to the customer's home, and that the specialist love-doll magazine i-doloid has a print-run of 10,000 copies per issue.
Also, some argue that while it is more realistic to the touch, it might not be to the feel. Because of the fact that the TPE skin is much softer, sometimes the heads feel a little bit different. It might feel softer to the touch, and you might almost feel a bit weird since you can sometimes press the head in. This might be something to consider if you’re worried about potentially ruining the reality of the situation because of the way the doll feels.
Some of the first sex dolls were invented by Dutch sailors in the seventeenth century who would be isolated at sea during long voyages. These masturbatory dolls, referred to by the French as dame de voyage and by the Spanish as dama de viaje, were made of sewn cloth or old clothes and were a direct predecessor to today's sex dolls. The Dutch sold some of these dolls to Japanese people during the Rangaku period, and the term "Dutch wives" is still sometimes used in Japan to refer to sex dolls.
Now, TPE stands for thermoplastic elastomer, which is essentially a mixture of polyvinyl chloride and silicone. This is a type of skin that is very soft, and it mimics the feeling of human skin. TPE is way more realistic in feeling and it definitely mimics the feeling of human skin. It also is much cheaper than silicone alternatives, sometimes even hundreds of dollars cheaper. TPE also allows you to move the doll around in various ways, since it has more flexibility. TPE dolls don’t really need to be bathed, but you can, just be mindful of the water. It also is hypoallergenic as well.