Middle-aged women are a growing market for sex dolls.
Phil Bass - managing director of The-Doll-House, one of the UK's most popular sex doll retailers - says there is a ''new wave'' of women buying the dolls.
He said: ''There was a flourish when I started the business but then there was a lull after around one year or so.
''Then it became popular again and now what I have come across is a lot of female interest, especially in the past year.
''It is not the stereotypical lonely old man anymore as such. They only make around 10% of my customers. Now, I would say around a quarter of my customers are women who want a female doll.''
Bass insisted that both heterosexual and homosexual women want to buy female dolls.
He added: ''The female demographic is interesting. The ages of these women range. I have some middle-aged women, many in their 50s, and others in their 20s.
''These women, though, largely want female dolls. There is a sexual element for some of these women. The last female customer was a single, lesbian woman.''