Some have tan lines, others stand in ballet poses. One has a twin, another a younger sister. Some appear to be 6 years old or younger, others show budding breasts. All are anatomically correct girls. A company headed by a self-confessed pedophile is selling realistic child sex dolls through the Internet to customers around the world.

The company's website reads: “Trottla’s doll is real Artist Doll. We cannot discount price.”

“I often receive letters from buyers,” said Shin Takagi, Trottla's owner, in a recent interview with The Atlantic. “The letters say, ‘Thanks to your dolls, I can keep from committing a crime.’ I hear statements like that from doctors, prep school teachers — even celebrities.”

As Takagi sees it he is helping people like himself to express their desires, which he believes to be a sexual fetish, “legally and ethically.” Because there is no way to change someone’s proclivities, he says, his products are saving children from harm.

“It’s not worth living if you have to live with repressed desire," Takagi told The Atlantic.

Search “Trottla” on social media and you will see mostly opposite opinions from Takagi’s own. The overwhelming majority of posts express anger and outrage. One English post promotes a campaign to ban the dolls in the United Kingdom, while a German post refers to the manufacture and sale of such dolls as “unfassbar” — incomprehensible.

Comments responding to an article appearing in The Daily Mirror range from “These dolls will only interest [pedophiles] for so long then they will want something else” to "I'm sorry but since when was being a child abuser a sexual orientation!?” Among the rare posts that are somewhat forgiving is this one: “We should encourage legal outlets for certain individuals, much as we are happy to prescribe methadone for certain individual[s].”

In terms of the medical perspective, there's no consensus on either the origins of, or possible cures, for pedophilia mostly because no comprehensive studies have been done. According to one recent review of the available scientific literature on the matter, some studies confirm therapy reduces sexual thoughts and fantasies, while others say even chemical castration does not modify the pedophile's personality.

Speaking with The Atlantic, Takagi says most of his clients are “men living alone,” yet some are women who buy the dolls to remind them of their past or to “reimagine an unfortunate childhood.” Many of these women think of the dolls as their daughters so he never allows himself to be photographed.

“I want to prevent them from seeing me as the father of the dolls," he said.

In Japan, dolls are seen as mirrors, Takagi explains, and so they reveal their owner’s true self. His doll’s eyeballs are movable, while their joints are capable of “almost humanlike movement.” The Trottla website further explains how each doll is manufactured using two-component thermal plastic elastomer for a more realistic skin. That said, they must be treated with care. Owners need to avoid using electric blankets, extremely hot water, and harsh solvents on them, every rule spelled out in the online FAQs.

The Trottla factory is located about an hour north of Tokyo, according to The Atlantic, and stands alone in the wilderness where no one will be bothered by the sound of loud machinery. Those who make the dolls must wear special protective masks and disposal involves a complex process performed by a special company, Takagi explains.

“They’re toxic,” he said.

Source: Silvani M, Mondaini N, Zucchi A. Androgen deprivation therapy (castration therapy) and pedophilia: What's new. Arch Ital Urol Androl. 2015.