Those Poor Dolls
by E.J. Schwartz
Last Thursday, I was online looking for vibrators, a longtime suggestion from my college roommates who know I’m career-driven and refuse to date any of the guys at our school, any guys period, really, and I finally relented because I started getting charley horses in my right forearm and aching cramps in my fingers.
Simply Pleasure seemed good enough, and it was there that I stumbled upon the synthetic dolls section for men. The advertisements claimed it was a “dreamy 3D face,” like you could even call that thing a face, and I sat transfixed by the dolls for hours. You can buy them in all kinds of positions. Sitting, kneeling for prayer, legs in a 180 split. Some run thousands of dollars, which is really unbelievable, but probably worth it to men who won’t have to hear women talk or complain, or spend money liquoring them up first. It’s an SAT math question: If a man spends seven dollars per drink at a bar, and he buys a girl five drinks per night, how many nights will he have to pay before he hits the flat amount of the synthetic sex toy?
My suitemate, Mandy, says she can’t imagine how great sex feels for guys, how they have something so sensitive and then they get to stick it in our slippery warm abysses. She has sex with guys regularly; even when they talk shit about her afterwards and she swears them off, they always come back. I hear two of them come in at 3 a.m. because my bed is next to Mandy’s, just with a thin sheetrock wall between us. I hear them moaning and talking and laughing and talking. Talking way too much for it to really be good sex.
I order two vibrators. A silent one just for the clitoris that looks like a computer mouse and a butterfly thing that works in and out.
On Twitter, there’s an article about one of those sex dolls killing a guy in Germany. One of my few male friends, Jack, retweets it, freaking out like he has a doll of his own and is going to spontaneously combust any second. I quote tweet, “You think THAT’S bad. Imagine what REAL men do to women.”
He blocks me.
Weeks later, I lie in bed with my toys. I like to be alone. The toys do more for me than boys ever have or ever will. I tell this to myself like a mantra. I train myself. I will master this art of independence that will not end with me in the bottom of a well or a lake somewhere being reported on channel nine.
But even with the lights off and the vibrator on high, there’s something missing. So I wait for Mandy to stumble in, for her bed to creak, for their laugher to start, for my aloneness to extend to those in the next room and those in the next building and those on the next campus, and it finally begins to work.
E.J. Schwartz is a writer from Scotch Plains, New Jersey. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Essay Magazine, RiverCraft, and Necessary Fiction. You can find her on twitter @byEJSchwartz.