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Guide to Sex Toy Materials

03 Jan 2017 - sex toys,thermoplastic elastomer
This material is commonly referred to as ‘flesh-like’ in both appearance and texture. You will find TPE in sex toys produced by Fleshlight, TENGA, Doc Johnson and Pipedream Toys to name a few.

Thermoplastic Elastomers (TPE) are, in basic terms, a mix of plastic and rubber. The difference here, is that generally they contain no PVC, Latex or Phthalates. You will recognize a product made from TPE by it’s soft, squishy texture that is often silky to the touch. This is because during production, the moulds used to create the toys are dusted with a ‘renewal’ powder (typically cornstarch) to stop them from sticking to the mould.

sex toysProducts made from this are usually a little bit more expensive than typical rubber toys. This also means they require a little bit more maintenance. Like Rubber, TPE toys are also porous – so again, you will want to ensure after each use, you thoroughly clean it with anti-bacterial toy cleaner and be sure it’s kept separate from other toys. It’s also advisable to not share this material with a partner unless you are fluid bonded with them. Using a condom could potentially reduce any risk and may increase the longevity of your toy. It’s not an exact science, unfortunately.

Things like TPR/TPE can be quite tricky. Technically speaking, it’s not toxic – but due to is porous nature, I would never use an insertable product made from TPE/TPR. For things like masturbators, it’s a little bit more lenient – but a TPE/TPR dildo or butt plug will retain odour no matter how much you clean it. So for anal use, I would personally steer clear.

To clean a toy made from TPE, this is best down with water and toy cleaner, and then patted dry with a lint free towel. You can also leave it to air dry. It’s best to ensure (especially with a toy like a stroker/masturbator) that the internal canal is totally clean and dry before storage otherwise this will cause irreparable damage to your toy. When the toy is dried, you can lightly dust the toy with cornstarch (or official ‘renewer’ powder) and this will return the toy back to it’s soft velvet appearance.

When using a toy made from TPE – you should only use a water-based lubricant. Silicone/Oil-based lubricants can cause the material to deteriorate.


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