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A 300 year old sex doll, DIY dildo drill and a handjob machine: An interview with The Sex Collector.

Updated: Apr 11, 2023


András Bagoly has been collecting artifacts and sex paraphernalia since age twelve and has since acquired over 10,000 items. His passion for erotica stems from both his need to protect and preserve sexual history and the joy each object gives him. He displays his collection in the spare bedroom of his home in Vancouver, highlighting a select few items that tell the history of a particular sex toy. Currently on display is András’ collection of vintage and historically-reproduced sex dolls.


This interview was conducted by Please Knock founder and erotic art collector Danna Wexler and tattoo artist and erotic art enthusiast Sweet Sue. This is the first of a series of interviews of sex and smut collectors done by Please Knock. Edited by Alex Barton.


The Sex Collector in his Erotic Curiosa Museum © Richard Paris

Sweet Sue: Can you please introduce yourself?


András Bagoly: My name is András, both of my parents are Hungarian. I grew up in Canada.I'm a prop master by day, since 1995. I live in Vancouver, British Columbia. "Hollywood North," as they call it. The last 7 years I've been working for Warner Brothers on the TV series Riverdale, you know, Archie Comics. I work nine to ten months a year, Monday through Friday, thirteen to fourteen hour days. I have a crew. It's hard to find time to fulfill my actual dream, erotic collecting.


SS: Do your coworkers know about your collection?


AB: Absolutely. They have all seen my Instagram, and I'm very open about it. I don’t put it in anyone's face. I've worked hard for the past thirty years of my career. As you know, in today's culture, everything gets taken down. You can't even show a nipple.

Somedays I even question whether or not I should keep doing this. Will they label me? Will they come after me? Just because I have this strange, yet (I think), fascinating and exciting hobby. But it's really important. Because sexual history is important.



Erotic Folk Art Pop Up Coffins c.1850’s - 1950's

“Latex Rubber Hot Water Bottle” created by an artist named Steph (last name unknown). Cuddle up and let her keep you warm


Homemade Dildo Drill c.1980’s.

Basketball Player Dildo c.1970’s

Danna Wexler: Do you remember the very first item that kick-started this whole collection?


AB: The very first thing I collected, I was twelve years old. I went into my father's bedside table, and I found a little plastic peepshow with a naked lady in it. And I kept that and would constantly look at it.

So I stole my very first item, and by the time I was fifteen, I had acquired so many dirty magazines that my bed was falling over and my closet was bursting. I kept buying these things. I had a small trunk of naughty erotic fun things by the time I was a teenager.

Then, in 1995, I began to work in film. You are always looking for things, for props. You need to do a lot of shopping: thrift shops, antique stores, garage sales. If there was something erotic, I bought it. I kept collecting.

My wife said, "What are you doing?" I said, "I don't know, but I think these are important."

So I kept collecting. And collecting.

And here I am, fifty-five, and I have easily 10,000-20,000 items.


SS: At what point did you decide to turn your collection into a museum?


AB: In 2007, my wife and I went to the Museum of Sex in New York City.

And I cried. I cried the whole time. I was so fascinated.

We were there for nine hours. I didn't want to leave. I just kept going back and forth looking at all the items.

I knew at that moment I wanted to start collecting targeted items; to organize and categorize what I owned to emulate that model.


SS: Do you collect anything else besides erotic objects?


AB: Nothing. N O T H I N G. I have nothing.


DW: Can you describe to us how the museum is set up?


AB: When you walk up to my house, it's just a little frame house on a nice street in Vancouver. You go into the living room and make a right; it was a bedroom, and I've turned it into my museum. The blinds are always down. You have no idea what's going on in there from the outside.


DW: You have such a large collection, thousands of items. How do you present them all in such a small space?


AB: At the beginning, I had hundreds of items crammed into this tiny room.

It would get hot in the summer, everything was falling down, and I could only take three or four people max in there.

It was so mind boggling. People didn't know where to look. I am trying to explain, I am jumping from item to item. I would lose my voice by the end of the night. There is so much information for each item.


So I decided to pack up everything and store it. I curated my favorite things.

Right now I have the history of the sex doll, I am showing some of my top sex objects, and I am paying a tribute to the Movieland arcade, the last film peep show booth in Vancouver. I built all the displays and based the layout on the sex museum . I wanted it to be interactive, because some of the pieces need it, the fuck box for instance, so I ended up putting in a lot of video screens.


After renovation. “Sex Objects” The Erotic Curiosa Museum

Love in a Box-The History of the sex Doll. A small collection but a great start to a fabulous story of how sex dolls came to be

Above: First edition of Playboy with Marilyn Monroe. Below: Hot water bottle sex toy / art c.2018

The electric vibrator was invented in the late 19th century as a medical instrument for the treatment of various ailments such as hysteria. Doctors used hand crank variations. Vibrators began to be marketed for home use in magazines for their supposed health and beauty benefits. These advertisements disappeared in the 1920s, possibly because of their appearance in pornography, and because growing understanding of female sexual function made it no longer tenable for mainstream society to avoid the sexual connotations of the devices.


From 19th century India, this sculpture is either antique erotic folk art or a mechanical teaching aid for sexual intercourse. It depicts a married couple in traditional Indian costume.


Pornographic films from the Golden Age of Porn (1970s)


Above: Appropriately referred to as "The Fuck Box", is an exquisite example of intricate, erotic folk art. The coffin-like novelty, made of wood and brass, contains articulated ivory carved nude male and female figures. Their pelvises cleverly gyrate with aid of an external leaver. Painstakingly hand made by an unknown artisan, prisoner, or a crafty jokester in the early 20th century, this box is simple, yet theatrically effective mechanical ingenuity. Below: Australian born convict, multi-instrumentalist, instrument builder, and solo member of Anklepants, Reecard Farché is considered to be one of the strangest musicians, his sound different from most styles. Currently based in Berlin, Reecard builds his musical instruments and the prosthetic masks he wears during his performances. Featured here is a hyper realistic latex Vagina mask.

Stereoscope, Penis Pumps and the Dildo Drill

DW: We've seen some sneak peeks of your exhibitions on Instagram and in this interview, and we know that you have replicated a sex doll that resembles those used in the 1700s. How did you approach achieving historical authenticity when making her?


AB: The idea originated from looking at a nineteenth century image at the Institute of Sexology in Berlin, featuring three dolls produced in the eighteenth and nineteenth century.


DW: Can you walk us through how you crafted the doll and what materials you selected to ensure historical authenticity?


AB: I asked a woman on Etsy if she could recreate the doll if given a photo. She makes life dolls for people with relatives that have passed on or cuddle dolls for therapy purposes. So I emailed her, sent her pictures, and told her what I was trying to do. I wanted an artist's model doll rather than just a rag doll.

This was more commonly how sex dolls were made for the rich In the late 1790s and early 1800s. The development of artist dolls, or mannequins, provided a more flexible and convenient alternative to working with live models. They would take the artist's dolls made from leather, and create an orifice for a vagina which was made out of silk, then make the orifice big enough that you could take this silk vagina in and out. That concept is no different than today’s Fleshlight or rubber vagina.

I personally wasn't going to make one out of leather, because that would have been costly, so we just used canvas and plaster. I received the soft doll from this woman in Serbia. Then I reached out to my prop builder and a good friend of mine, Jessica Yandel Hindle. She's the one who sculpted the head. She did a lot of sculpt builds and prop builds for us on Riverdale. She's amazing and loves building weird props. She was very excited to help me with this project.

For the head and the neck, we started from scratch, and we took the soft doll that was made by the woman from Serbia, pulled canvas over it, and formed her. Then our other friend, a seamstress gal, Tanis Hegan, sewed the body to the waist and the arms on. She created an Azumagata, basically an artificial vagina, out of black, orange and silk. The idea was to have a removable vagina for this doll so that you could wash after use. After that, we aged her and made her look antique.


A reproduction of a 1700’s sex doll, also known as a Dames De Voyage, created by The Sex Collector

SS: She truly looks like a real antique, what were the methods you used?


AB: With paint and nicotine spray and good engaging powders that we use in the film industry. I also bought some vintage nineteenth century bloomers off Etsy that she's wearing and then we added the hands.


SS: So I wanted to know a little more about the history of sex dolls. When did they become popular, and were they always exclusively for the rich?


AB: The whole idea of sex dolls originally came from sailors, not the rich. I had intended to make a Dame de Voyage with my doll, “a woman for the voyage.” Women were not allowed on ships back before the 1800s because they were considered bad luck. That's what men thought. But men also are always looking for something to fuck. So if the sailors weren’t willing to do each other, they wanted to have a partner. And If you're not rich enough to have an artist's doll, how do you make your own sex doll?

Well, they took women's clothes, sewed them together, stuffed them, and just made their own stuffed stuffy. So now they had these stuffed raggedy dolls that they would fuck. I don't know how many were on each ship, but they shared these dolls. That's why every guy on a pirate ship has venereal disease. And then they would show up in the New World and pass it on to the natives and the locals.


SS: The type of doll you created, the Dame de Voyage, would not be a sailor's doll?


AB: I think that type of doll would be out of their means and also a little bit hard to hide. Because the rag dolls could be folded up and put away. Maybe a captain of the ship would potentially have something of higher quality. I'm going to call mine more of a higher end, or a mid-to-high end, Dames de Voyage. You’ve got to remember that the Europeans created these stuffed dolls on the ships. Once they got to Japan and Asia, people there thought oh my god, this is such a great idea. So they ended up creating sacks, also known as vagina pillows or half wives. In the late fifteenth and early sixteenth century, the Japanese started making and reselling them to the sailors. Because they learned this technique from the Dutch, Portuguese, and French sailors, they ended up calling them Dutch Wives.


A silk removable vagina pillow known as a half wife.



SS: It seems like you have a little bit of everything, and what you don't have, you create! Is there anything you wanted, a distinctive original item, that you regret not buying?


AB: The thing I let go was a rocking machine, the one you see in the movie A Clockwork Orange. Made by the original Japanese company, it was quite expensive.

It's all about money. If I didn't have a mortgage, I would spoil myself. But I still think about it.


A Clockwork Orange, featuring Rocking Machine sculpture (1969) by Herman Makkink

SS: Do you sometimes worry about what will happen to your collection when you are gone?


AB: I don’t think about that very often, but it could be a problem.

My wife supports me in every aspect of my life: who I am, what I do, working on our marriage, and how we raise our sons.

But when it comes to the museum, I am worried.

She doesn’t partake in any aspect of this. It is my hobby and my passion, and I am alone with it.

She has asked me numerous times to catalog it in case she has to sell it one day. I can’t put a value on certain items: the folk art, for instance.

So if I fell off the face of the earth tomorrow or ended up in front of a bus, she would be stuck with this MASSIVE collection.

My dream is that the collection would be curated, stored, and accounted for in an actual space, a safe place, where it could be viewed and appreciated.


DW: We noticed that you replicated the exact setup from the Museum Of Sex. You're so innovative, why not create your own original display?


AB: Before I took everything down, it was absolute chaos in there. You have seen the photos of shelves and shelves, everything falling down. All the objects were all competing and fighting and crammed in there.

I wanted to be able to tell a story; to have one or two important items be the focus, and to be able to rotate them. I thought the Museum Of Sex Object XXX room was so perfect, slick and beautiful. I couldn’t think of a more stunning visual display. I had to pay homage to it.

It was the opposite of my chaos.


"It was the opposite of my chaos". The Museum Of Sex OBJECT XXX, New York.


DW: As an erotic art collector as well, I'm noticing in myself that the more I collect, the more it changes me. I was curious, how did your collection change you?


AB: Interesting question. It opened my eyes to how varied we all are in our tastes. I appreciate erotic folk art now. I now see the love and the thought that goes into it, that it has been made carefully by someone's hands.

However, something happened that I didn’t expect. I would have these gatherings, and people would be looking around at my collection, asking a lot of questions. Of course, there's alcohol, we are having cocktails.

And the next thing you know, people are sharing with me, they forget who they are talking to. I'm just a collector; I'm not a doctor, I'm not a psychologist. I'm just a film guy who collects things, and now lots of people are sharing really intimate things! They are telling me about the things they do with their toys!

Sometimes when they share their stories, and I can see what limited knowledge they have about sex; some of the items are shocking or even traumatic for them. I have to recognize that not everyone visiting will be as open minded and curious as I am. At this point, not much fazes me, and I am still so curious.


DW: Finally, we would like to know, do you get "high on your own

supply?”


AB: Do I get high on my own supply… YES!


DW: You don’t have to say what it is, but for me, it's Tom Of Finland.


AB: I'm trying to think of my favorite thing, but there are so many. That is the problem, there are so many.


DW: So you're saying, you’re high all the time, I get it.


AB: Right now, I'm going to say it's sex dolls.

I can’t find them easily, but I'm adamant about finding the latex sex dolls. I've found plastic and silicone, but the guys who have the latex ones, they just won't give them up. I'm determined to get one and add it to my collection.



Among András’ collection, he particularly enjoys these items:


Vintage Rubber Dildos c.1960's-1970’s

The Sex Collector presenting the Vibra finger c.1950’s

An actual working “Physician’s Vibragenitant” vibrator. This device made by the Samuel J Gorman Manufacturing company in 1914, was considered one of the professional devices made specifically for doctors to use on patients suffering from Hysteria


Erotic Folk Art Kinetic Novelties c 1900 - 1950s


The 19th century witnessed an elevation in concern about the dangers of spermatic “loss”. Semen, considered to be a “vital fluid”, was not seen as an infinite resource and its excessive ejaculation could result in enervation, disease and even early death. Marriage manuals instructed women on how to detect the signs of masturbatory indulgence when searching for a mate. Such men were to be avoided at all costs, unless a woman wanted to face the likelihood of childlessness and early widowhood. To protect males, especially adolescents, from nocturnal emission (aka: “wet dreams”) and masturbation, various devices appeared in the medical marketplace, most notably the spermatorrhea ring. The first patent for spiked ring to prevent nocturnal emissions was issued to L.D. Sibleyin 1856. it was placed at the base of the penis, where it would stand guard against tumescence: should an erection begin to occur the sharp spikes would penetrate the flesh and quickly put pain to it. Ouch!

Antique Japanese Sex Toys c.1850’s

Vintage artificial vagina pictured in the book “The illustrated manual of sexual aids” by Evelyn Rainbird. Published by Minotaur Press 1973.



Key to the Sex Question booklet (1930’s):

Key to the Sex Question booklet (1930’s)

"Sexual Everything"

Left: For Him; Right: For Her


Appendix to the moral history of Vice:

The cover of Appendix to the moral history of Vice

The study of fetishes and vice (German)

Self fuck machine and a home made pussy pillow

Shunga sex toy box

Documented police flasher photograph

Three Dames de Voyage dolls illustrated book plate 1780’s



Handjob Machine:



Mr Jack:



Erotic Pop Up Surprise Folk Art Little Dude:




If you wish to visit the Erotic Curiosa Museum in Vancouver, you are welcome to reach out to The Sex Collector @the_sex_collector via Instagram DM.







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