"It's not a working-class need. It's a male need."

Sex Sells

Police in Shenzhen, China shut the country's first sex doll hotel, one of two establishments where men can pay $28 to spend an hour with inanimate sex dolls, state-run online magazine Sixth Tone reports.

"There was no explanation or legal documentation from the authorities," proprietor Li Bo told the magazine.

The hotel first opened in 2018 in an area known to house major multinational companies including Foxconn, a well-known Apple manufacturer. Last December, Bo opened a second branch in a different area of town.

Li saw a great opportunity for the businesses, with an estimated 120,000 single male factory workers in the area, according to local media.

"It's not a working-class need," Li told Phoenix Television, a Hong Kong outlet, last week. "It's a male need."

Legal Grey Area

Customers at the establishments can choose from a range of different rooms, from simple shower stalls with lower body only sex dolls to fake hospital rooms and even fake classrooms.

But they operate in a grey area legally, Newsweek reports. Sex work is illegal in China and can land you in jail for up to ten years.

And authorities have grown concerned about the new trend. According to the state-run Xinhua News, minors were frequently found visiting the hotels. Concerns were also raised about alleged poor hygiene and sanitation practices.

Bo maintains, though, that his hotels are squeaky clean.

"The legal problems such stores might face could be related to hygiene or unlawful business operations," Shanghai-based lawyer Ding Jinkun told Sixth Tone. "But currently in China, there isn’t a legislative ban on this form of business."

READ MORE: Shenzhen Shutters Sex Doll Hotels Frequented by Migrant Workers [Sixth Tone]

More on sex dolls: Sex Robot Video Shows Unsettling Life-Like Robot

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