Would you pay to share a love doll with strangers?

These days, you can rent just about anything: whether you need a bicycle for a couple of hours to run errands or a middle-aged man to hang out with for the day, there’s a service out there to help satisfy your needs. Except, it seems, if it involves sex dolls.

While it might seem like common sense to not want to share what is essentially a sex toy with a whole heap of strangers, for Chinese company Taqu (or “Touch” in English), this was simply a niche in the market that hadn’t yet been catered for. After launching their “Shared Girlfriend” app online, which allowed users to rent a silicone sex doll for a daily fee of 298 yuan (US$45.15) or 1,298 yuan per week, news of the service quickly went viral, eventually attracting the attention of the Chinese government.

▼ The style of dolls available
ranged from students to nurses, and even Wonder Woman.

Two days after its 14 September launch in Beijing, the authorities shut the service down after it drew controversy in the media. According to Touch, the company was simply trying to make an expensive service more affordable for users by offering a shared sex-doll system, in order to help the country’s 50 million single young men currently searching for a female partner. They say that the higher ratio of men to women in China makes it difficult for men to find love, and this service was a way to help them achieve happiness.

The authorities saw the matter differently, with a police investigation deeming it to be a “vulgar act that disrupts social order“, slamming them with a fine and putting an end to their rent-a-sex-doll activities. In response, Touch ceased the service, making the official comment that they “deeply apologise for the adverse effects it had on society“.

Though the shared sex doll service has ceased, the company still offers a range of other sex toys which can be purchased and not leased. According to Touch, “Sex itself is in no way vulgar. We will still strive to make more Chinese people experience the pleasure of sex.”

Sources: YouTube/從台灣看見世界的故事新浪新聞, Sina Weibo/@他趣AppleDaily台湾
Top image: YouTube/從台灣看見世界的故事

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