The Russian “Sex Doll” Race

After a nine-year hiatus, the infamous “Russian Sex Doll Race” has returned! Officially it is known as the “Bubble Baba Challenge.” The world’s most raucous race involves a river race in which participants use a beloved sex doll to ride the rapids.

According to locals, the tradition began “as a joke at a party where the men got drunk, and the women didn’t show up,” said founder Dmitry Bulavinov.

Racers and their inflatable playmates came to compete from 2003 to 2011 on the Losevsky threshold in the Leningrad region, but the event was put on hold in 2012, supposedly for “construction and administrative reasons.” 

But this year, the totally inappropriate – and therefore fun – event returned. Around 500 men and women jumped into the Losevsky Rapids on the Vuoksi River with their blow-up babes over the weekend of June 26. Though technically still banned, the intrepid racers and the rubberized partners ignored the red tape and off-limits signs to hilariously wade through the water on dolls, despite the efforts of authorities to forbid the bawdy event.

Ahead of the contest, there were complaints of traffic problems as cyclists rode to the event carrying the inflatable dolls on their bikes. 

“It’s a highlight of the summer,” said one male swimmer clutching his sex doll.

Baba in Russian can mean “countrywoman,” but is sometimes used in a sexually derogatory way.

The organizers say the event is back for good. Do you think that you might want to participate next year? You can. All you have to be is over 16, able to swim, and sober Alcohol tests are administered before the race, so they actually take that last requirement seriously. And don’t worry if you don’t have your own sex doll, or if you do and care too much about her to use her in this way, event organizers say they buy the blow-up dolls in bulk before the race and rent them out to qualifying participants.

As to why the organizers of Baba Bubble decided to return this year after accepting the ban for so long was because people needed some good old fashioned fun after the long battle with COVID-19, and June 26 marked the 50th anniversary of the Vuskova water festival, which was also revived over the weekend.

While we don’t know who won – or what the prize was, but everyone seemed to have a blast and was happy for this odd tradition to return. The New York Post uploaded some great footage of the event if you would like to see for yourself what all the buzz is about.

As news and images of the bizarre sex doll race “blow up” on social media, it’s probably only a matter of time till we see this activity spreading to the US!

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