The Strangest Theories About The Invention Of Blow Up Dolls

Sex. Sometimes it's regarded as a dirty word, not to mention a dirty subject, but let's not "blow" things out of proportion. Since the beginning of our time on earth, human beings have enjoyed sex enough to keep doing it, ergo ascertaining our presence here for thousands and thousands of years. It's a fact: humans are sexual beings. However, we're not always in the mood to hop in the sack together, so the modern age has had no choice but to conceive some solutions to periodic bouts of loneliness. Enter blow up dolls.

In 2020, blow up doll sales skyrocketed in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. National purchases went up 25% compared to 2019, and some featured dolls on the market today sport a price tag of up to $2,000 (via New York Post) — that's not even taking into account (*cough cough*) inflation. Whether it's for a raunchy bachelor party or hot date in, people have found reasons to keep the timeless blow up doll in high demand. But who was it that first breathed life into the busty balloon babe?

Sailors, Hitler, and beyond

While there's no definitive answer, theories about who invented the popular sex dummy are — like a blow up doll full of helium — still up in the air. The earliest report on record dates back to the 17th century when Dutch sailors used a doll made of cloth to "relieve sexual tension" during long voyages. One might say the cloth method was something of a prototype for what was to come. Later on, famed psychiatrist Iwan Bloch showcased a blow up doll in his office that he stated was used for sexual purposes in his 1908 book "The Sexual Life of Our Time" (via The U.S. Sun).

Others postulate that none other than Adolf Hitler, contemporary history's most notorious villain, manufactured and provided blow up dolls for German soldiers during World War II. His alleged aim was to combat the spread of syphilis through the Nazi ranks that was gaining momentum in Parisian houses of prostitution. Naturally, a partner that could neither give nor contract a sexually transmitted disease was an ideal one. However, evidence to support this theory proved faulty, and it was dismissed as a hoax in early 2000s (per Snopes).