Doll fetishism is a sexual fetish in which an individual is attracted to dolls and doll like objects such as figurines. The attraction may include the desire for actual sexual contact with a doll, a fantasy of a sexual encounter with an animate or inanimate doll, encounters between dolls themselves, or sexual pleasure gained from thoughts of being transformed or transforming another into a doll.
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.
Some companies manufacture cloth sex dolls using the same technology that is used to create plush toys. With widespread cultural use of the internet amongst younger generations, numerous forums exist for amateurs who create their own sex dolls from fabric or other materials. There are even mailing lists for discussing techniques and experiences with MLDs (material love 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.