I think I’ve finally found the female answer to pr0n. No, it’s not “Playgirl.”

I bet you can’t guess.

Go on. Think.

What need (stronger for some than for others, sure) is going largely unmet for many Western women?

It isn’t sex but it is biological.

We’ve got food and advice (sometimes conflicting) on nutrition coming out our ears. It’s not that.

Air pollution is something of an issue, but while breathing may be an issue for asthma sufferers and others, it affects men and women at pretty much the same rate.

It’s something that while people are willing to spend inordinate amounts of time and money on it, they may not necessarily want their neighbors to know. Not that it’s shameful; it’s just a bit odd, that’s all.

It’s babies. More specifically, baby dolls. We’re not talking Cabbage Patch Kids or Raggedy Anne here. We’re talking hand-painted skin tones. Individually rooted eye-lashes and wigs. Teeny little fingernails. Binkies held in place by magnets so strong that the dolls come with warnings to keep them away from pacemakers. Specially sewn and weighted bodies, designed to mimic a real baby. Some are even made that “breathe.”

I first learned of these dolls through a news clip. I can’t find it now, but this one is fairly close. (Sorry for the poor video quality. To see the dolls up close, go to Ebay and search “Reborn” in “Dolls and Bears.” Or be lazy/efficient and follow my link.) It was from a BBC program, if I remember correctly. It showcased not only the single mother supporting herself and her two children (rather nicely, if one can go by what we saw of her house) by making these dolls, but a woman who goes beyond collecting them (she had about half a dozen) — she takes them with her when she goes out. In the video, she and her husband talked about why they’d chosen not to have real kids and why they were happy with that decision. The camera followed them on a trip to the aquarium, where they took one of her dolls in a (real) stroller and even posed all together for one of those cheesy tourist photos.

It strikes me as ironic, amusing and kind of a sign of the handbasket with the unpleasant destination that I think we, as a society, are in. On the one hand, we have “Lars and the Real Girl” and on the other, what? “Lisa and the Real Baby?” On another hand, we have one group of people being told that their biological urge is so important and so powerful that human history and religious tradition should be upended to accommodate them. On the hand opposite to that, we have another group of people being told to ignore their biological urge for their own good — despite the logical consequences for humanity.

I do love mine, though.