The Dresden Dolls
Photo by Ron Nordin

Coin-operated boy

sitting on the shelf, he is just a toy

but I turn him on and he comes to life

automatic joy

that is why I want a coin-operated boy......

Coin-Operated Boy The Dresden Dolls -


A friend of mine sent me the song with a message attached saying something along the lines of “you’ll like this song, it’s about dildoes lol” Naturally intrigued, I listened. I giggled at the obvious sex toy connotations and tapped my foot along to the rhythm. It wasn’t until I had listened to it a few times that I realized what it was actually about: loneliness, heartbreak, frustration at being lonely, with undertones of self-loathing. That was something I could connect to.
The double entendre, and double meanings within Amanda Palmer’s writing style are why I fell in love with her music. She draws you in with amusement and a catchy tune and rips your heart out with raw human emotion.
I realized very early on that she was someone I was going to devote my musical heart to. Although this is a Dresden Dolls song, I was too late for them, my fanship developed around the time Amanda was launching her first solo album and Brian was in another band. But I bought everything they had ever produced and listened to it for hours on end. Then Who Killed Amanda Palmer? was released and she was due to play in Edinburgh. My first Amanda Palmer show.
Myself and a friend headed down to Cabaret Voltaire, and waited first in line; we were at the front of the stage. The stage was only a foot or two off the ground, we were at eye level, we were at reach out and touch level. Amanda had had her foot run over a few days before this show, she still played an amazing set with all the frills. I was amazed, most “rockstars” would probably cancel a show with a squished foot, but she played as if nothing was wrong. Glorious show. My friend asked if I wanted to meet her; yeah, she hangs out and hugs people after her shows. I watched her moving around the crowded room, hobbling from person to person, smiling genuinely, answering questions, signing cd’s, hugging and just being with people. It came to our turn, she signed my friend’s poster, I think I gave her some form of art (a drawing from my journal if I remember right). She hugged me for it, I don’t think I said anything intelligent back. It wasn’t until she was inches away from my face, arms around my neck I noticed her wince, I felt her put her full weight on me; her foot hurt, but she still worked a room of fans. Someone like this earned my music heart within seconds of a hug. 

Amanda Palmer I love you.

The Coin-Operated Boy vibrator container is what you see before you.
It is formed from my hand, and electroplated in smooth shining silver, tactile and glorious to touch and fondle. When I feel alone or sad, I touch things, anything, I run my fingers over things.
This piece sits inside its plush little box, a box for a bedside table. When you feel lonely you can take it out and hold in in your hand, run your fingers over its indents, or you can you use its contents.

This work is available for commission. Prices start from £500. Please email me at for more details.