Some S'pore men pay up to $16K for live-sized adult dolls
Terry is a single, middle-aged Singaporean who holds a white-collar job.
He has tried dating a few times, but is admittedly not too charming with the ladies.
But Terry, who is in a senior management position in a company he does not wish to name, is not worried about finding love.
Every evening, he comes home from work, plops himself on his living room sofa and turns on the television.
Beside him sits a buxom lady who has been waiting for him the entire day.
Her name is Babe and she is in her "early twenties".
Babe remains motionless as Terry caresses her hands while talking about his day and how it went.
She does not reply. She cannot.
This is because Babe is made by Hitdoll, a Chinese company which manufactures anatomically correct, life-sized dolls.
"Babe is very real for me," Terry tells The New Paper on Sunday.
"I can feel that she is mine and for me only. The touch and feel is very much different from other women outside."
Babe is made of silicone and has a metal skeleton with movable joints.
Her body is modelled after real actresses and she comes with custom-made silicone inserts for her, well, lady bits.
She is made to the specifications Terry picked out from an online catalogue. Babe is 1.68m tall and sports a D-cup bra.
He bought her from Toy Orgasmic, the only Singaporean reseller to import and distribute these adult dolls here.
Its owner, Mr Jay Ng, says that he is "shocked" by the number of enquiries he received when he first imported them last October. He now has around 20 customers, some of whom are regulars.
Not all customers form relationships with their dolls but all of them are forking out big time - the dolls cost from $3,000 to nearly $20,000.
Take 32-year-old Jeremy for instance. He bought a doll made by US-based company RealDoll, for $16,000.
The bigger price tag gets him a doll with better quality silicone and more customisation options.
They are virtually indistinguishable from actual people.
"The texture and touch are very real, almost as real as a human except slightly colder. Relatively heavy too," says Jeremy, who works in the service and maintenance industry.
In Terry's case, Babe cost him $6,500.
"(She's) definitely worth it," he says.
He first heard about these dolls years ago and had harboured a desire to own one.
So when he found out that there was a seller here, he leapt at the opportunity.
Terry explains: "I always wanted to try it out, but nobody was bringing it into Singapore then.
"I'm single and quite bad in relationships with real women. So Babe came at the right time for me."
If he wants something different, no problem. He simply pulls Babe's head off the socket and puts in the other head that he bought.
Her name is Baby.
Says Terry: "Babe and Baby. There's no need for special names when it's just the three of us."
Terry does not want to tell us his real name as he fears mockery and embarrassment.
No one else knows about Babe and Baby.
Terry lives alone, so he has no qualms leaving her on the sofa when he leaves for work.
He confesses to having developed feelings for them: "It's definitely possible to fall in love and marry a doll. I have a spiritual connection with her.
"A doll won't cheat or betray you. You can be the true you in front of her and she will accept you for who you are."
TNP PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR
He has been asked to make dolls modelled after Lady Gaga and local actress Fiona Xie.
One female customer even asked for a replica of Mr Bean, a comedic character played by Sir Rowan Atkinson.
Says Mr Jay Ng, 28, the sole purveyor of the life-size dolls here: "The type of requests I get are truly bizarre. But it can be done.
"You just need to provide photographs of the person. Doll companies in China claim they can make a lifelike doll of 80 per cent accuracy."
But do not expect to find any Fiona Xie dolls here as no customers have followed through on such orders because of their exorbitant cost.
"It's another $6,000 on top of the base cost of more than $10,000," Mr Ng says.
He started his online adult toy shop, Toy Orgasmic, in June last year.
He got the idea to import the dolls when customers began asking about them.
"I have no idea why no other adult stores have done it before. The demand is very great," he says.
Ever since he started offering them on his website last October, he gets 10 e-mails asking about the dolls daily.
He carries three brands of dolls: RealDoll, Doll Sweet and Hitdoll.
They differ in the type of silicone used, the customisation options and, of course, the price.
"RealDoll is the most lifelike but also the most expensive. Some Hitdoll models also come with in-built heaters so that the doll has the right body temperature."
"There are also those with smaller bodies that look like anime characters."
Buyers can mix-and-match a large variety of body types to heads.
His most popular combination is a Doll Sweet model paired with a head named Jiaxin.
He carries male dolls too, but they are not popular as there are few variations to choose from.
It is legal to import these dolls as they are not listed under the list of controlled and prohibited goods.
Each doll is delivered by Mr Ng to make sure that no one, other than him, knows who the customer is.
He reveals that his clientele are mostly single, in their late 20s to 40s, and "come from all walks of life".
He also knows of customers who are married with children, but he refrains from asking them more details as it can get awkward.
"Some just want to use them for photography purposes. Some people want to fulfil their fantasies.
"There are some who also need the companionship.
"It's normal and it's not my place to judge."
Dolls in real & reel lives
Lars and the Real Girl (above).
In a photography series titled Men and Dolls, Copenhagen-based Benita Marcussen photographed men in long-term relationships with their dolls in a series of intimate photographs.
One of the men depicted lost his wife to cancer and could not find another woman who would be interested in him. He ended up buying a doll who looked similar to his late wife.
Dating couple Dave Hockey and Shawna Bigelow spoke about their intimate relationship with five dolls on UK television channel ITV.
They spent more than £20,000 ($41,200) on the dolls in their one year of courtship and regularly "invite" them into their bedroom.
A movie, Lars and the Real Girl, depicted the romantic relationship between a reclusive man and his silicone doll "Bianca".
Staring Ryan Gosling as the psychologically scarred Lars, the film shows his family and his small-town community treating Bianca as if she is real on the advice of his psychiatrist.