Are TPE Sex Dolls Safe?

Posted by Anna Bergeron on

TPE is one of the most common materials used to make sex dolls. The main problem though, is that most of us don’t even really know what it is! When you’re planning to buy something that you’re going to be putting near your private parts, it’s important to know exactly what’s going on.

Even more importantly, you need to know it’s safe! Doing permanent damage to your genitals with something that’s meant to be bringing you pleasure is pretty much a nightmare scenario. So, what exactly is TPE, and is it safe?

What is TPE?

TPE stands for thermoplastic elastomer. Still doesn’t help much does it?

TPE is usually made with a combination of rubber and plastic. It’s designed to be soft to the touch, and completely body safe. The main reason it’s so commonly used in sex dolls is that it gives a very realistic feel when used for skin and in particular genitals. It’s also very cheap to make compared to other materials, so you get a great experience for a fraction of the price.

Making the sex dolls with TPE is also much easier for manufacturers. The material can be injection moulded and is incredibly flexible. This makes it easy to use on larger parts of the doll, while still being able to be shaped and moulded accurately for the smaller and more delicate parts of the dolls.

Is TPE safe?

Safety is one of the biggest concerns with any sex toy. Unfortunately, it’s never a really simple thing for consumers to find out. There are many products that are advertised as “body safe”, but no real definition of what this actually means. Even within TPE products you can probably find a “100% Body Safe TPE Sex Doll” and a “TPE Sex Doll” on the same store. What’s the difference?

The most important part of sex toy safety for most people is how clean you can keep it. Bacteria is obviously going to build up from your body while you enjoy your doll, so if you’re never able to get it clean again then there’s obviously going to be a problem in the future. Porosity is the main factor here. The more porous a material, the more bacteria it will harbour within the surface, not just on top.

TPE is unfortunately a porous material. This means that bacteria will build up over time, and it can never be truly sterilised. Most of the time this won’t be a large problem, as you should be cleaning the doll after every use. It does mean you’ll need to take a little extra care to make sure that you are actually getting everything nice and clean.

Moisture is also a problem with TPE dolls. You have to try and make sure that the doll is thoroughly dried off between uses and kept in a cool, dry place. It doesn’t matter how much you clean your doll, if you let moisture build up (particularly in the vagina or anus), then eventually it will go mouldy.

Another big concern with sex toys is whether or not the material is toxic. This has become more of a hot topic in recent years, as people have begun to discover some of the materials that are actually used in these polymer blends. Luckily, there’s a very easy thing to remember.

NEVER, buy any toys (including sex dolls), with phthalates in them. These materials are often used to soften the plastics, but they make the toys toxic and dangerous for your body. When shopping, always make sure you buy phthalate free sex dolls, and if you aren’t sure then check with the manufacturer.

The final way to stay safe with TPE sex dolls is to buy the right kind of lube. Oil-based lubricant will probably break down the surface of the doll. Silicone lubricants might also cause a problem depending on how the blend of plastics is made. For the safest and most enjoyable experience, always stick to water-based lubrication with a TPE doll. They are much easier to clean up, and let you avoid any potential problems with the materials.

While TPE might not be the safest material on the market, most variants do rank quite highly. As long as you do your research before buying (No Phthalates!), and care for your doll properly, then it generally won’t be less safe than a silicone doll. You also get the bonus of your doll lasting longer with proper care, so it’s a win-win!

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