How to: Dollification
February 1st, 2023
Veronika Rose shows how dollification can add a level of playfulness and adoration to traditional BDSM activities.
A kink in which one partner is transformed into a living "doll," allowing them to be controlled and played with by their "maker," the options for dollification are endless.
I never played much with dolls growing up. I had a few Barbies, but I didn’t really have the time or the patience for them. As I got older and began exploring BDSM, a new interest in dolls emerged. I still had no real desire to play with a doll. Instead, I wanted to be one.
Dollification refers to a kink in which one partner (usually the submissive) is “transformed” into a living doll. This can happen through elaborate costumes or props, but it can also be as simple as adopting a plastic state of mind. The dominant partner (often referred to as the doll’s “maker” or “owner”) can then play with them, dress (or undress) them, and otherwise control them.
I’ve long been drawn to anything with a power dynamic and an aspect of objectification. This isn’t a novel thought by any means, but when a person has a lot of responsibilities, the idea of having very few is very appealing. There are many fetishes in which a person might identify with an object (such as forniphilia, the human furniture kink). When you’re engaging with that, you don’t have to be a person. You don’t have to have all the complicated emotions, needs, and responsibilities that a human has.
With dollification, you get all of that objectification, but there’s also a built-in level of playfulness, adoration, and sweetness. Even when the maker is playing a game of “I’m going to absolutely destroy my rag doll,” it’s still their rag doll! There’s a built-in relationship there: you’ve chosen it, it’s yours, and that’s valuable.
Doll play 101
If you’re interested in exploring doll play with your partner(s) but aren’t sure where to start, it’s best not to overthink the role play aspect. Start with a simpler dynamic: one partner (the "maker”) is going to make all the decisions for the evening. They can dress their “doll” up by saying, “I’d like you to wear X to dinner this evening.” (A tip: if you’re going to give your partner instructions on how to dress, keep it expansive. A hot pink latex tube top might be tricky for them to find. Something like, “It’s winter, I think it would be great for you to wear a miniskirt. Make sure you’re warm enough because we’ll be walking outside for part of this,” gives the "doll” a realistic challenge of figuring out how to make a miniskirt work.)
The trappings of dollification are there because everyone dresses up their dolls. The maker gets some semblance of control, and the doll can ease their transition into the right headspace.
There are many different kinds of dolls, and as such, dollification lends itself well to different kinks and sexual activities. When getting into the headspace of a “doll” or its “maker,” consider these questions: what material is this doll made out of? How would that impact its movements and range of motion? How would a person play with this doll? What is its corresponding aesthetic? What about its corresponding kinks?
There are no right or wrong answers, and half the fun comes from exploring these questions. Here are a few suggestions to get you going.
Fashion doll: This is one of the most popular and basic choices for dollification. The maker can get really into dressing their doll up, and adding an element of bimbofication; telling their doll, — “You don’t have to worry about being smart, you’re too pretty for that. I’m going to make decisions for you.”
Marionette: This works well with some beginner-level rope play. The maker can (safely) tie loops around the doll’s wrists while holding onto the other ends of the rope, allowing them to physically manipulate their “doll.”
Tin soldier/action figure: This is a cute one for masc- and androgynous- presenting dolls. The maker can use bondage tape on their doll’s joints so they have a more rigid, limited range of motion, and then require them to complete some very precise movements, humiliating them by setting them up for an impossible task that they can’t do.
Rag doll: A great option for rough-and-tumble play that also is suited for a range of gender expressions. The maker isn’t going to dress up their rag doll in fancy little outfits and take them out for cute cocktails while objectifying them in public like they might with a fashion doll; they’re going to straight up wrestle their rag doll. Rag dolls are perfect for cucking scenarios. The maker can drop them in the corner and let them flop there while they get it on with someone else.
Blow-up doll/sex doll: This one is pretty straightforward! Heavy on the objectification; the doll is just there to be used for pleasure.
Porcelain doll: A more sensual, less BDSM option. The maker can paint their porcelain doll using liquid latex or makeup, focusing especially on the adoration aspect of doll play.
Bobblehead: A simpler way to explore consensual non-consent, since a bobblehead can only nod “yes.” (Obviously, the doll will still have their safe words.) I knew a maker who had a little metal disc that had a bow on the outside, so the doll would hold the disc in their mouth while the bow sat on their lips real cute. The doll just had to nod along to everything, which made it easier for their maker to tease them. “You want to be spanked again? You said yes, so ok! You want five more spankings? Well, if that’s what you want!”
Troll doll: Suitable for when the doll also has a brat kink. Trolls are bratty, feral little characters. They’re also naked. Brats can sometimes be quite vain, so the maker can punish their troll doll by not allowing them to wear any of the cute clothes that other dolls get to wear.
Doll army: There are plenty of options to play with dollification in a group setting. The maker can dress up two, three, or more dolls to look the same, maybe ordering them to act the same, maybe have them service the maker at once. The maker can play with their dolls, and make them act out scenes together.
You can mix and match different doll personas and activities, or come up with a different type of doll altogether. How would you play with a paper doll? A rubber doll? A puppet? As with all types of make-believe, the only limits are your imagination.