By Gareth Shoulder @garethshoulder
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Videographer / director: Marcus Cooper
Producer: Gareth Shoulder, Ruby Coote
Editor: Sonia Estal
Dean Bevan, 59, from Ipswich UK, shares his home with a harem of 12 plastic women and interchangeable heads, regularly mixing-up their look by applying their makeup and dressing his dolls in a collection of outfits.
The fascination with his synthetic subjects began after watching the Channel 4 sci-fi drama Humans. Unable to shake the allure, Dean promptly purchased Sarah a voluptuous blonde who boasts a 30DD bust.
The former mental health nurse acknowledges he doesn’t have a physical relationship with all of his dolls, although he confesses, he is very fond of Sarah, sometimes sharing a bed with her.
Dean told Barcroft TV: “I became intrigued what it would be like to have something that looked real and human in the house; and whether that would give me some sense that I had some company here.
“When I ordered Sarah, I wasn’t really sure what I had in mind, it was just one of those things - like an itch I watched to scratch.
“Within hours I stopped seeing her as a thing and more as something else.
“I haven’t gone down the rabbit hole where I speak to my dolls, I do speak to some of them sometimes, but I don’t expect them to answer back.”
These days the walls of Dean’s home are proudly adorned with the lovingly captured images of his plastic companions - but this wasn’t always the case.
Initially the father-of-two decided to protect his children from his private pastime fearing it would cause them discomfort.
He said: “I had this thing that I didn’t want to cause them any embarrassment.
“But when they started spending longer away from home that’s when I got Sarah.
“I thought I was being clever, and they didn’t know about it but I had started being careless and leaving clues around the house.”
His daughter Rhiannon, 19, eventually stumbled upon a framed photograph of one of her father’s “love dolls” – it began a frank conversation about how he had been feeling since retirement.
Dean said: “I hadn’t admitted to the kids how lonely I was feeling at times because I didn’t want to burden them with it.
“After 34 years of working with lots of people - it was just quite a change of not having somebody around.
“Eventually it came out and I was really relieved to be able to talk about it to them and very pleased they supported me in what I was doing.
“My kids are wonderful, they’re very open-minded and I’m very proud of them.”
Although now fully accepting of her father’s unusual interest, Rhiannon admits it took time for her to warm to the doll photography.
She said: “I probably knew for a few months before we had the conversation, I was quite upset and hurt because I thought you had done this thing that was embarrassing.
“I can remember just turning 17 and seeing a picture of Sarah on the mantlepiece, I remember spotting it and thinking, oh wow my dad owns a sex doll.
“I thought if that’s a thing that makes you happy then why would I stand in the way of it? I didn’t have to like it, but I don’t have to be horrible about it.
“And gradually just accepted it and kind of liked it, I thought it was actually kind of cool.”
Dean prefers the term love doll for his female companions – claiming the term sex doll is too limiting.
The 59-year-old hopes his photography will change perceptions and open people’s minds to the endless possibilities of the plastic people.