One of the most visible trends at this year’s VENUS Berlin was the increase in the number of exhibitors from the sex doll segment. Compared to the previous year, the presence of sex dolls mostly made of silicone or TPE has grown massively. Although most manufacturers are still a long way from using robotics and AI as standard, the increasingly natural reproduction of human faces and the pleasant feel of the dolls amaze numerous visitors year after year.
At the booths of manufacturers and dealers of sex dolls, VENUS Berlin regularly attracts large numbers of visitors. Again and again, camera teams and representatives of the press can be found talking to the representatives of the respective exhibitors and curious streams of visitors, sometimes amused, sometimes bashful, are checking out the often high-priced dolls and finally touching them in a courageous move after all. Most of them are astonished how pleasant the materials of the dolls feel.
Silicone is becoming more and more popular, but the cheaper TPE is still preferred by many manufacturers. After all, prices between 800 and 1000 Euros are already a high expense for consumers. With the really interesting dolls, however, it’s actually only the entry-level price. And even the cheaper TPE variants in this price category include a lot of attention to detail and manual work and correspondingly long production times. Nevertheless the prices have tumbled and the demand is increasing.
At the booth of SASCN, a Chinese manufacturer of sex dolls, who is exhibiting at the VENUS Berlin for the first time, we could learn a little more.
VENUS: SASCN is an emerging newcomer in the growing Sexdoll market. Your company is currently forcefully entering the German market. What are your first steps?
SASCN: That’s right, we come from China and produce our dolls there like all other manufacturers in the industry. We have established a subsidiary in the Netherlands and are now working on entering the German-speaking market.
In the previous two years, we have started our business in the US market and have already been able to gain first experiences on how an expansion into western markets can work.
VENUS: How big is SASCN? How many employees work for your company?
SASCN: About 200 people work for us. We manufacture in-house and have decided to sell our products under our own brand. There is an in-house chief designer for the dolls, but most of the designs are done by freelancers. At the moment we are working on two tracks. On the one hand, we are still working traditionally with designs by hand drawing and on the other hand with 3D scans of real people. The resemblance to the templates and the natural effect is of course a big issue. We would estimate that about 80% similarity is achieved at the moment. So there is still a lot to do.
VENUS: What material does your company use?
SASCN: For our dolls, we are currently completely opting for TPE. Besides paraffin, of course, and stainless steel for the skeleton structure. This year we have received the certificate for the conformity of our products with EU standards.
VENUS: Currently, many companies are also emerging in the sex doll market. How long has SASCN been active?
SASCN: We were founded four years ago and started when we realized that we could offer a more attractive price than was customary at the time. Sex dolls like the one at our booth cost five to six thousand euros back then. In the meantime, you can get this quality already around and starting from 1000 euro. In general, we already have entry-level models available for around 600 euros. And we are noticing that demand is rising sharply. But though is the competition.
VENUS: We also see this in the increased number of exhibitors at this year’s VENUS Berlin.
SASCN: Some of the other manufacturers are much younger than we are. A colleague from a neighboring booth has just told me that they only started this year.
VENUS: One of the big topics for the future in this market, which is always making headlines, is of course robotics. From sci-fi scenarios like those in Westworld to fundamental ethical and philosophical questions, the imagination of the press and observers seems to know no limits. How does SASCN look at robotics in the sex doll market?
SASCN: From our point of view this is still a long way to go. The costs alone are a big question. We are not working on it ourselves at the moment and are observing the market. The experimental manufacturers that are always written about in the media have not convinced us so far. We have only seen videos and are still skeptical. You read a lot, but there’s a lot of imagination and speculation involved, you can see that.
VENUS: What do you expect from your appearance here at VENUS, how has the public reacted to your products so far?
SASCN: As a new market participant, we are, of course, primarily looking for business partners, which is why we went to the B2B area of the Venus fair. Nevertheless, many private customers are coming to our booth, which we are not yet able to serve very well, as our sales structures are still being set up. We need even more trade contacts and that is the primary goal of our work in the coming months. But it is of course nice to see that visitors to the fair are already so interested in our dolls.
VENUS: Thank you for the interview!