Many people buy inflatable dolls as novelty gifts, but their origins are as fully functional sex dolls. Blow-up dolls are the price-friendly alternative to otherwise more expensive silicone or TPE love dolls.
For those easing their way into doll ownership, inflatable models can be a great way to get your feet wet. In this guide, we’ll cover all you need to know about inflatable dolls.
WHY CHOOSE AN INFLATABLE DOLL?
It is first worth noting that blow-up dolls are sometimes purchased as gag gifts. They are generally the most mainstream depiction of sex dolls and are not expensive, and as such can be found as a risque gaff at many edgier retailers.
But, are these dolls for you? Can they be used for legitimate intimate purposes?
Let’s glance at the most common reasons to purchase blow-up dolls.
AN INEXPENSIVE CHOICE
Inflatable dolls are much cheaper than TPE or silicone alternatives. If you choose to get a blow-up doll, it will cost you between $20 and $250+. On the flip side, a silicone or TPE doll will likely run you between $2,000 to $3,000 — and exclusive, customized models can reach well over $5,000! See how much sex dolls usually cost here.
LIGHT AND TRANSPORTABLE
Inflatable dolls are light enough for anyone to handle. This also means that these models are a lot easier to manage and move around during sex. When dealing with a silicone doll, an owner needs to muster a certain amount of strength, as they can way 50+ lbs.
EASY TO STORE
The fact that you can inflate and deflate your doll whenever you’d like means that you can easily and privately store your doll wherever you want. It won’t take dedicated storage space like its silicone counterparts, and it is easy to hide away in the event of guests that would not understand your hobbies and passions.
LOTS OF OPTIONS
Manufacturing inflatable dolls is not as complicated as is producing silicone or TPE dolls. Thanks to that fact, there are a wide array of different varieties of blow-ups. Some manufacturers even produce dolls that look similar to famous actors, singers, and other celebrities (though this may cause issues if the model person has not given permission to the the manufacturer in question).
The main customization option you have when purchasing an inflatable doll is its number of orifices. Most blow-up sex dolls come with only one orifice in the place of the vagina. Some manufacturers offer 2 orifices — a mouth and a vagina — while others offer dolls with heads made out of a different material so that the doll looks more realistic.
LATEX OR VINYL?
LATEX BLOW-UP DOLLS
When it comes to latex sex dolls, they can be made of synthetic or natural latex. Latex is safe for prolonged human touch in much the same way that balloons and medical gloves are not dangerous. It generally will not puncture unless met with a sharp object or handled roughly — that said, when stressed or flexed too hard, latex can tear more easily than its vinyl counterpart.
Be sure that you are not allergic to latex if you choose this material.
VINYL BLOW-UP DOLLS
Relative to latex, vinyl a strong and durable plastic material. Its strength lies in the fact that it is one of the cheapest materials available for love dolls. It comes in a wide variety of colors, and it is humidity and moisture-resistant.
Compared to latex, vinyl is more durable — but it can crease and take away from the aesthetic of your doll even when fully inflated. Both latex and vinyl cost cost very similar amounts.
SEX WITH A BLOW-UP DOLL
Sex with an inflatable doll, like any other love doll, is an intimate act. Since these dolls are rather light, it means you have a lot of freedom in motion when playing with them. But, if you’re a beginner sex doll owner, there are some difficulties you may run into.
INFLATING A BLOW-UP DOLL
Inflating an inflatable doll is rather straightforward — just follow the instructions the doll comes with, and bear in mind that you shouldn’t over-inflate. When you over-inflate, the seams on your doll (or any incisions you’ve made via modifications) will become strained first. If you like to squeeze your doll a lot, you should probably leave her a bit under-inflated on purpose.
LUBRICATING AN INFLATABLE DOLL
It doesn’t matter how well your inflatable doll is made; you should always use lube. Both vinyl and latex can cause irritation or friction burns on your genitals.
Use any water-based lubricant you’d like and be sure to clean liberally after use.
In order for your love doll to last long, you absolutely must keep it clean and sterilized. We recommend you clean it after every time you are intimate with your blow-up. If you leave lubricants or bodily fluids inside the doll or its detachable, they can over time cause damage, deterioration, or even infections. See how to completely clean sex dolls here.
DISADVANTAGES OF BLOW-UP DOLLS
There are several reasons why one may not choose to buy an inflatable doll as well.
After they’ve been assembled and washed once, silicone and TPE sex dolls don’t require any setup for use, which is important for people who want to be able to share intimacy with their doll as soon as they’re in the mood. Inflatable dolls on the other hand need to be inflated deflated every time.
Silicone and TPE doll technologies are becoming increasingly lifelike. With some dolls, it’s hard to tell at a first glance if it is a real person or a doll.
Blow-up dolls, on the other hand, do not generally champion realism as a selling point.
Inflatable dolls made with latex generally have a balloon-like texture, which can take away from the moment for many doll owners. Silicone and TPE dolls have a skin-like texture that is generally more pleasurable for most people.
PERSONALIZATIONS AND EXTRA FEATURES
Probably the biggest drawback to blow-up dolls vs. silicone or TPE dolls is their lack of extra features or unique personalizations. Makeup, hair, nails – for more expensive dolls, you can choose it all… but for inflatable dolls, not so much.
INFLATABLE DOLL MODIFICATIONS
STUFFING YOUR BLOW-UP DOLL
If you don’t like inflating your doll, you can choose to stuff it instead. If you decide to do this, bear in mind that your blow-up doll will actually feel more like a plush doll (you may just want to purchase a plush doll instead. Learn all about plush dolls here).
Stuffing your doll will make it more sturdy, and certainly a lot more huggable. How you might go about stuffing can differ depending on the make and model of your doll, but some general steps that should work for most owners:
- Locate your doll’s air fill hole, and cut a 3-inch hole around it. Start inserting filling into your doll. You can use poly-pellets, cotton polyester, fiber fill or anything else that is fluffy and huggable for filling.
- Reach inside of the doll to fill the legs and the entire body, until it feels full.
- Breasts are usually separately inflated, so you may need to cut a small slit in the side of each breast, and stuff them with your fingers until it feels right.
- Arms are usually inflated separately as well. Cut a small slit in the upper-back sides of your doll’s arms and fill them up.
- Use a clear and discrete tape to gently tape together all the slits you made. Hot glue or stitching (particularly for vinyl dolls) is also an option. After your doll is sealed up again, you’re done!
A few warnings:
- Stuffing a doll takes a lot of time and patience. Don’t cut him or her anywhere unnecessarily — for every new cut, your dolls is more prone to tearing.
- Don’t make incisions in areas that will move often, like near the hips or armpits. As these parts are regularly under stress via motion, they’ll be more prone to ripping.
ADDING AN INSERT
You don’t have to use the orifices that your doll comes with; you can also add an insert. By inserting a fleshlight into your doll, and you will avoid the potential discomfort or burns that may result from the roughness of latex or vinyl.
BUYING A BLOW-UP SEX DOLL
When purchasing an inflatable doll, there isn’t a wealth of reputable, well-reviewed manufacturers like with their silicone or TPE counterparts. This stems from the fact that blow-up materials and production methodology doesn’t differ that much from one manufacturer to the next.
When you’re buying any sex doll online, we’d advise to ensure that you are ordering from a reputable seller. This way, you can be certain that your product will arrive safely and that you’re actually paying for what you see in the product listing. There have been many cases where cheaper inflatable dolls arrived looking very different from what a buyer saw online during purchase.
See our complete sex doll buyer’s guide (including inflatable dolls!) here.