Sex Doll Manufacturer Brings Back Importation on South Korea Despite Petition to Ban

Sex Doll Manufacturer Brings Back Importation on South Korea Despite Petition to Ban

The South Korean government once banned the importation of penis and vagina-shaped sex toys. However, the ban was lifted according to a representative from a sex doll import company.

While sex dolls are not considered illegal in South Korea, a blockage of import was done by government customs agencies under the law that restricts materials the corrupt public morals. However, the ban was soon lifted as sex dolls were deemed as something for personal use and cannot be considered as pornography. 

The petition demanding to ban the import of life-sized sex dolls on South Korea has already garnered more than230,000 signatures. This caused the founder of the company that helped to lift the ban to defend his stance regarding the issue. Notably, the ban on the importation of sex dolls was lifted after the country’s customs agencies were sued. 

Lee John, the founder of the sex doll importer, noted that as South Korea becomes a more developed country, the collective loneliness of the citizens further increases. He added that although he does not think that everyone has to use sex dolls, it is one way that a person could deal with loneliness. He also said that sex dolls could also be a useful tool or a friend for people. Lee John also added that using a sex doll is a personal choice and not a public matter. 

Similarly, Lee Sang-jin,’s CEO said that they have been getting a lot of inquiries from individuals who want to have their own sex dolls ever since the ban was lifted. The CEO also recalled that the importation of sex toys in the shape of a penis was illegal in South Korea until 2008 and vagina-shaped sex toys were illegal until 2010. Yet, the ban on both sex toys was lifted as the importers fought the government and won legally. 

What Human Rights Advocates Say

However, South Korea Times reported that feminist groups constantly oppose the importation of sex dolls. An activist at the Korea Sexual Violence Relief Center named Park Ah-reum even opposed the way that sex dolls are marketed, saying that the promotional slogans used in marketing sex dolls commodify women and violate human rights. 

Sex Doll Manufacturer Brings Back Importation on South Korea Despite Petition to Ban

According to an official at the Korean Women’s Association United, sex dolls are directly connected to misogyny as it objectifies women. 

Another thing worth noting is that there isn’t any law that covers the customization of sex dolls. Meaning, a man can have his sex doll customized to look like his female friend. 

Despite the backlash against the lifting of the import ban, the Seoul High Court said that sex dolls were for personal use, thus it must be treated differently than how people see pornography. 

Furthermore, the ban was lifted by the supreme court in June 2019. 

The decision caused backlash from people who are against the use of sex dolls, especially feminists. One petition was even filed at the presidential Blue House gathering, which had over 230,000 signatures from people who want to reinstate the ban. The author of the petition, who remained anonymous noted that the increase of imported sex dolls could potentially lead to more sex crimes.  

The Petition to Ban Sex Dolls in South Korea 

The petition, which was entitled, “Ban imports and sales of RealDolls” said that sex dolls harm the dignity of humans, and claimed that people are more likely to commit criminal acts if they are unsatisfied with having sex with a sex doll.

Due to the high numbers of individuals who signed the petition, the President’s office is now required to give its response. 

Sex Doll Manufacturer Brings Back Importation on South Korea Despite Petition to Ban

The said petition also emphasized that there are individuals who use a photo of a female’s face, edit it on a sex doll’s face, and spread it on the internet. The petition questioned who will be responsible for such an act, emphasizing the idea that no one will be responsible for the damage if the victim finds out that her face was customized to be a sex doll.

Moreover, an Incheon Main Customs spokesperson noted that they were allowed to accept imports from Japan, however, they are still reviewing if they will allow imported sex dolls from China.

According to, they still could not provide the exact figures for how many sex dolls are imported into South Korea. Still, Sang-jin emphasized that a lot of people have been traveling abroad just to buy a sex doll and bring it back to South Korea when the import was banned.

Sex Doll Manufacturer Brings Back Importation on South Korea Despite Petition to Ban

A single life-sized sex doll can cost between 1 million won or $840 to 20 million won or $16,750. The price depends on the options a customer can have such as the eye color, silicon skin, and body heating system that makes the doll feel more human. 

However, the author of the aforementioned petition argued that allowing individuals to customize sex dolls could lead to creating silicone copies of real humans, an idea that Sang-jin dismissed.

The Rise of Sex Dolls in the Other Areas of the World

Similarly, petitions to ban the production, importation, and use of sex dolls were also filed at other regions where sex dolls are starting to become mainstream. Despite this fact, there are individuals who put up sex doll brothels for men who want to experience using sex dolls but do not have the means to buy their own. In Hong Kong, for instance, a veteran businesswoman and hotel owner turned her hotel into a sex doll brothel in order to survive the COVID-19 pandemic. Notably, Hong Kong’s economy was greatly affected by the pandemic, causing more than 200 hotels to close as the said crisis caused by the absence of tourists to rent the hotels. On the other hand, Paris also now has its own sex doll brothel where customers are offered a try before you buy service, so they could find out what using a sex doll feels like. In Italy, however, the very first sex doll brothel was forced to seize its operation by the authorities not more than two weeks after it opened, saying that the establishment owner infringed the property law.

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