Barcelona has always been a city on the cutting edge. It was at the frontier of Spain’s industrial revolution and the location of its first railway in 1848. In 1992, it played host to one of the most memorable Olympic Games in recent history.


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And in 2017, Barcelona notched up another proud accolade as it welcomed Europe’s first ever sex doll brothel. It’s a brave new world out there. Here’s what you need to know about the LumiDolls enterprise.

LumiDolls opened to punters in February 2017, the brainchild of a team of young entrepreneurs who spotted a gap in the market. ‘Our services are unique in the world and have generated great expectations,’ says Sergi Prieto, co-founder of LumiDolls. The brothel is a place where men, and presumably women, can ‘fulfill [their] fantasies without any limits’. ‘Customers come to seek new sexual experiences and new ways of “living sex”.

Yoko doll


Like us, they believe that this is the beginning of the sex of the future,’ says Sergi. If you take his word for it then ‘sex of the future’ involves money and moulded plastic. The hyper-realistic sex dolls are crafted from thermoplastic elastomer – a polymer known to be especially soft.

Meet the ladies

This Barcelona brothel has replaced women with Barbie-like sex dolls

Sessions start at around £70 for 30 minutes, going up to approximately £158 for a two-hour love-in. Couples’ sessions are available for £140, and if you can’t or don’t want to leave your house then the dolls can come to you: expect to pay £210 for ‘home service’.

You’ll no doubt be relieved to know that hygiene is a top priority: each doll is thoroughly disinfected with ‘special antibacterial soap’ and customers are encouraged to wear condoms. Yet what goes on in the private rooms – that come complete with plasma TV and a selection of adult films – (mercifully) stays there.

Visitors can even specify how they would like their plastic playmate to be positioned and dressed, with three fetish looks to choose from: executive (shirt, skirt, sexy stockings), school girl (don’t make me spell it out) and rather unexpectedly, fitness girl, who comes attired in running leggings and sports bra.

This Barcelona brothel has replaced women with Barbie-like sex dolls

With optional underwear, of course.

LumiDolls offer clients four girls: Katy, Kanda, Lily and Yoko. At first, it was Katy who proved most popular. At 5ft 6in with inflated lips, giant boobs and a long blonde mane, it’s not hard to work out why.

But Katy has competition. Prieto explains: ‘Now we have Yoko, a doll with a heating system and a step above the others in quality. Its price is higher but our customers pay it.’ Yoko has a temperature of 37C throughout her body – perhaps a sign that there really is no substitute for the warmth of another human being after all.

Or maybe the draw is just Yoko’s pants, which have ‘F*** me’ emblazoned across the front.

The dollhouse closes

Sadly, LumiDolls generated a few too many ‘expectations’. Since opening in February, the brothel amassed complaints from just about everyone, including local residents, city officials and even the Association of Sex Professionals (Aprosex) who said: ‘The sex-affection of a person can not be provided by a doll. They are different and compatible services.

‘They do not communicate.

They do not listen to you or caress you, they do not comfort you or look at you. They do not give you their opinion or drink a glass of champagne with you.‘ Police raided LumiDolls’ premises only to find that the company had packed up and moved on.

It has since relocated and reopened in a secret location and the website is still active, although Prieto is a little more cagey when it comes to specifics about the brothel’s clientele.

‘We cannot provide this information,’ he says in answer to my questions, although he does concede that they have visitors every day – many of whom are British. ‘In Barcelona, we serve many UK clients. Many come to Barcelona just for LumiDolls.’

In fact, us Brits are apparently so keen for the LumiDolls experience that the company is looking to set up shop on our doorstep.

‘We are in contact with several UK businessmen,’ Prieto tells me. ‘We are looking for a specific profile with sufficient resources to be able to develop the business in an optimal way.

‘This requires important financial muscle but we believe that success in UK is guaranteed.’ He continued: ‘It has generated a lot of expectation and many customers have expressed their wish to have a LumiDolls UK already.’

Buy before you try

This Barcelona brothel has replaced women with Barbie-like sex dolls

If you can’t wait for LumiDolls to arrive in the UK – and who can? – you can also splash out on a doll of your own. The LumiDolls store has 54 ‘girls’ that cater for every possible taste, with prices starting at just under £1,500. Like ’em blonde and brassy?

Try baseball-cap wearing Janna, pneumatic Chloe or puffy-lipped Mandy. After something a bit more classy? Check out dark and sultry Mara, the lovely Nina, or Esther who has a touch of Audrey Hepburn. And if you simply want a dead-eyed, pliable sex object, take your pick from Molly, Aki, Luna, Vanessa, Rena… I could go on. This is where I struggle with LumiDolls’ service.

On the one hand, I take a live-and-let-live approach: if men want to pay to get their sexual kicks from a plastic doll, so be it – who are they hurting?

Yet for all the claims of ‘hyper-realism’, LumiDolls are not like any woman I have ever seen. They have impossibly tiny waists, comically big breasts and inflated lips – they are life-size Barbie dolls. Their faces are either expressionless (one of the dolls available to buy, Emily, horrifyingly appears to have her eyes permanently closed) or painted with coy little smiles, unable to express displeasure.

Mostly, they just look sad. They have no cellulite, no morning breath, no conversation – no demands. The majority has been designed to look young – and we are talking young young. If these dolls reflect the future of sex, it’s a pretty depressing vision.