Everything We Know About Toronto’s New Sex Doll Brothel

The dolls are designed to provide “intense sensation.”
August 27, 2018, 5:10pm
Image via CP. 

This article originally appeared on VICE Canada.

A new business advertising itself as North America’s first sex doll brothel—where customers can pay to have sex with high tech, silicone models—is slated to open early next month, in a low-key strip mall plaza in Toronto’s north end.

On September 8, Aura Dolls, which will be open 24 hours a day and seven days a week, will make its grand début at a small shopping center near Yonge Street and Shepherd Avenue, taking over an old tanning spot next to a massage parlor, dry cleaner, and nail salon.

Here’s what we know about the brothel:

It’s advertized as the first sex doll brothel in North America

The Aura Dolls website is purporting to be “North America’s first known ‘brothel’ that offers sexual services with the world’s most beautiful silicone ladies,” a claim rival businesses, like Toronto’s lesser-known KinkySdollS, have refuted on social media. Its vision is to offer “an exciting new way to achieve your needs without the many restrictions and limitations that a real partner may come with.” Comparable brothels have already opened in other parts of the world, like in Europe, where some people have raised concerns over the role these brothels might play in the dehumanization and objectification of women. The owners of Aura Dolls, who’ve chosen to remain anonymous, initially got their idea after a visit to Japan (according to Clare Lee, their marketing director). These types of shops are becoming increasingly popular across Japan.

The dolls are intended to fulfill male fantasies, even violent ones

Lee also told CityNews she is aware of the concerns in other parts of the world where sex doll brothels have already opened up. “At the end, it’s just a doll. I see it more as a way for men to fulfill their fantasies,” she says. “We try to focus on the fact that since we have this service for men who have these dark, violent fantasies, instead of putting out the urge to act aggressively, they can do something like this which is safe for everyone.” Premium Porn is hooked up to TVs so customers can choose what they want to watch while inside. A spokesperson for Aura Dolls told VICE that cities can benefit from doll brothels, as the company believes they "help lower crime rates related to sex, improve sex life in marriages, and most importantly, give men and women a way to explore their sexual desires in a safe nonjudgmental way."

There are six dolls to choose from

The Aura Dolls website has a selection of six lifelike, humanoid dolls, each equipped with its own online profile complete with a name, photo, and description on the company’s website. Among them is the dark-haired Anna, who is advertised as being “busty, romantic, and spontaneous,” and Scarlett, a blond, who is simply “The Absolute American Dream.” Aura Dolls refers to its workers (???) as being “Classy, sophisticated, and adventurous ladies” who are “curated for the discerning gentlemen.” The company says their dolls last about six months, and customers are permitted to do whatever they want to the dolls within reason—so long as it isn’t violent or disturbing. (Aura Dolls has also had requests from women for male dolls and is looking to add them to their roster.)

The dolls are designed to provide “intense sensation”

The available sex dolls are made from a high tech TPE silicone (a.k.a. thermoplastic rubber), a material that, allegedly, is the closest simulation of real human skin (aside from a real human being). The Aura Dolls website also notes: “Our dolls can be used for safe vaginal, anal, oral and breast sex. Each hole features different, yet unique textures, ridges, and tightness to give you intense sensations that are impossible to achieve even through real penetration.”

What is the cost?

Rates for personal time with the dolls are available on the company’s website, and range from $80 for 30 minutes with one doll to $960 for four hours with two. For its grand opening, Aura Dolls is offering 25 percent off all listed prices, and will soon be offering monthly packages (Bronze, Gold, and Platinum packages are all listed as “coming soon” under the website’s “rates” tab).

Is this legal?

Aura Dolls representatives have said the only legal restrictions around the business of sex doll brothels is that they don’t have dolls that appear to be underage, and that they must not be under a specific height limit. City officials also told CityNews that adult entertainment businesses—like body rub parlors and adult entertainment clubs—are licensed businesses, but not sex work or brothels. “If a new business sets up shop in Toronto and there is an identified need for municipal regulation, then we will respond as appropriate,” Tracey Cook, executive director of Municipal Licensing and Standards, told CityNews. A trial in St. Johns, where a man was charged with allegedly importing a child sex doll from Japan, is currently underway.

What is the cleaning process?

The dolls are cleaned using our three step cleaning process. Disinfectant soap is used first to clean surface residue, then a specialized formula made exclusively for TPE silicon is applied to sterilize and deep clean. Lastly a UVC light to used inside the canals and all over to kill 99.9% of germs and bacteria. According to the internet, there are myriad ways dolls can be cleaned, from vaginal irrigators and squirt water bottles to handheld shower heads and loofahs on a stick. Aura Dolls still encourages customers to use of lubricant, as well as condoms, as there is still a chance the user can contract an STD from intercourse with the doll.

There will be no staff interactions, in order to promote a private environment

For optimal privacy, the Aura Dolls location will have no staff interactions—just a camera. Cash payment for the dolls will be left on a desk at the beginning, and the user will be led into a room, where their doll will be waiting for them. Customers even have the ability to call ahead of time and request how the dolls should be dressed or displayed. “We operate similar to a brothel where guests come in, and they have their own room. We have a TV monitor that plays adult entertainment and a doll will be ready and waiting for you in your room,” Lee told CityNews. The brothel will also have a private entrance at the back and a buzzer system to exit through another door, so that people won’t have to worry about bumping into one another on their way in and out. “They’ll probably not bump into a single person,” said Lee. After customers leave, a staff member comes out to count and collect the cash and clean the dolls.

How will it affect sex workers?

Sex workers and sex work advocates have said businesses like Aura Dolls have the potential of completely changing the landscape of the sex work industry, possibly igniting more nuanced conversations about laws that make sex work dangerous for those engaging in it. “I think it’ll open up a bigger conversation hopefully around the decriminalization of sex work and the importance around how decriminalization will allow sex workers to work in safety, to have rights, and to validate that it’s a form of work,” advocate Monica Forrester told CityNews. “With the brothel thing, I think it’ll open up more dialogue hopefully, and have sex workers included in that in how they can be a part of changing some of that stigma.”

There’s free parking

Oh, and free parking.

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