If you don't know about the lifelike dolls like the one featured in the 2007 Ryan Gosling movie "Lars and the Real Girl," you'd better sit down. This is a story about men who not only have sex with anatomically correct action figures, they take them to dinner ... and on vacations.
"I get obsessive," he admitted to AOL News.
Now the 57-year-old Nova Scotia-based filmmaker has 12 dolls, including "Bianca," one of four dolls used in "Lars and the Real Girl."
Some of these dolls cost upward of $4,000 so it's good he has something that might help finance the purchase of more: an upcoming new documentary, "All Dolled Up," that he says is the first to explore the adult doll community from the inside.
Hockey started toying around with the idea in the spring of 2007.
"I was doing industrial and educational films when I stumbled onto these," he said. "After a while, I realized that no one had done an in-depth, first-person perspective of the adult doll community.
"I really think the dolls need a new name. They're not sex dolls, not love dolls. Calling them one is like calling a Harley-Davidson a moped."
Hockey says the stereotypical person who buys a life-size doll is a socially awkward male unable to have a real relationship with a woman.
"Actually, it's not like that at all," he said. "My research suggests that about 34 percent of the people who buy them are married. I'd compare buying one of these to buying a car or a boat.
"People say, 'How can you get companionship from something that's not real?' but I say, if you want companionship, a dog is better."
Still, he says that the dolls can fill a void in people's lives.
Hockey says his research, which was compiled by polling people on sites such as The Doll Forum, a message board catering to adult doll aficionados, suggests that only 48 percent use their dolls primarily for sex.
But is that a bad thing?
Not to Hockey, who can see the value of such dolls even in a committed relationship.
"This is the most natural sex toy there is," he said. "It's a full-bodied experience. I can see it as a balancer of libidos, especially in a relationship where the woman isn't as into sex as the man."
Then there are other cases, such as the 19-year-old man who suffers from a degenerative neurological illness and will probably never see 40.
"He may likely lose the mobility he would need to handle a doll within the next five years," Hockey said. "He has interest in buying a doll to address his sexual needs as well as to share the camaraderie of the doll community. His parents will not have it and have indicated if he purchases the doll he will have to leave.
"It is sad that such a simple item that could bring happiness and comfort to one who is suffering so much is not allowed, because his family do not understand dolls nor their son's desire to have one. Why is it society works so hard to compartmentalize people when in fact most of the great advances in society have been made by the exceptions?"
Hockey has a dozen of the dolls, and while he treats them all the same, he can't help but have preferences.
"I tend to prefer dark-haired ladies in general," he said. "Although I do think blondes are pretty, I never got along with them."
In order to make the documentary, Hockey and Bianca went on a road trip all over the U.S., Canada and England, meeting others.
"At one point, in Aspen, Colo., I got out to look over a canyon and left her in the car and a woman thought she was real and that I left her in the car," he said.
Hockey is finishing up the documentary and hoping to sell it to a network.
But no matter what happens, his life has changed.
How so? Well, Hockey bought Bianca to help ease his way into the adult doll community and intended to sell her once filming was completed.
Funny thing happened though. He got attached to her.
"I like having her around," he said. "And I started taking a liking to the community. This has turned out to be much more than just a documentary. It has been a three-year journey of discovery and self-awareness."
In the process, Hockey has seen many examples of kindness and generosity.
"For instance, there is a woman who collects these dolls and gives them away to people who need them," she said. "You don't see that in classic car clubs. Of course, you don't boink your car."
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