South Korea’s big move on life-size sex dolls

“Morality” rules which effectively banned the importation of full-body sex dolls have been eased in South Korea this week, ending a years-long debate over how much the government can control its people’s private lives.

In a statement released on Monday, the Korea Customs Service said it would implement a revised policy on life-size adult sex dolls, New York Post reports.

While there are no formal laws banning imported sex dolls, thousands of them were previously seized by customs officers citing a clause forbidding imported products that “harm the country’s beautiful traditions and public morals”.

Importers subsequently took several cases to court, where it was determined that the dolls are used in private spaces and thus do not undermine public dignity.

The Korea Customs Service noted, however, that it would continue to ban the import of sex dolls that resemble children or specific individuals, citing similar policies in the United States, the UK and Australia.

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Although the decision reflects South Korea’s gradual easing of state restrictions on personal autonomy, it will likely face pushback from some women’s groups and conservative organisations.

Lee Sang-jin, the former head of an online outlet for sex doll importer Carenshare Co, called the decision “reasonable” but a “bit late” after the government allegedly wasted taxpayer funds fighting the importers’ lawsuits in court.

“We thought our people’s rights to seek happiness and use [sex dolls] in their private lives have been restricted by the state,” he explained, stating that sex dolls made in South Korea are generally of inferior quality to those manufactured abroad.

“There are various types of people who use [sex dolls], including those who are sexually alienated or those who need them for artistic purposes.”

But while customs officials say they will hang on to more than 1000 sex dolls seized in South Korea since 2018, the government’s decision will allow companies to reclaim the imports seized by the government.

According to Lee, his former company has already taken back over 20 dolls, and has filed separate lawsuits seeking compensation for the models that became unusable after years in government storage.

This story originally appeared on the New York Post and is republished here with permission


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