All You Need to Know About TPE Sex Dolls
Considering a TPE sex doll, but unsure of exactly what that entails? TPE dolls – often less expensive and a different feel from silicone — can be the perfect choice, but they require a special kind of preparation and care. Uneducated owners often make costly mistakes that lead to the early deterioration of their TPE dolls.
It’s good to have a general knowledge of love dolls before we get into the specifics. See our introduction to sex dolls here.
- What is TPE?
- Caring for a TPE Love Doll
- Showering and Bathing Your Doll
- TPE Sex Doll Skin Treatments
- Cleaning Your TPE Dolls After Sex
- Things to Consider Before Purchasing a TPE Doll
- Preparing For Your TPE Doll
- Choosing a TPE Sex Doll’s Clothes
- Dressing a TPE Sex Doll
- TPE + Silicone = Danger
- TPE Glue
Photos by sexdollandthecity, used with permission. Give her a follow!
Thanks also to The Dolly Dearest Blog for inspiration in writing this guide.
What is TPE?
TPE stands for thermoplastic elastomer. It is essentially a mix of different polymers, so there are many slight variations. TPE is made by mixing these polymers with thermoplastic properties with rubber, giving the mixture the elasticity and bounciness that we love.
TPE has become a very popular material outside of the sex doll world – it’s used for making various everyday items, including handles, cosmetic cases, and shoe soles. One of the reasons for its popularity is that injection molding techniques can be used with TPE, but with a flexible, rubber-like consistency. This manufacturing method is very cost-efficient, allowing for high-quality products at lower prices.
Many people think that TPE dolls are lower in quality just because of the low price. This is simply not true; the drawbacks come with increased maintenance, not the build itself. TPE dolls have a very pleasant feel that can at times be even softer than silicone.
The main characteristics of TPE are:
Caring for a TPE Love Doll
Before you purchase a TPE doll, it’s crucial to understand all the steps that go into proper maintenance and care. For some, the extra time required is a turn-off to owning a TPE model. For others, the bathing and powdering processes only add to the intimacy.
See our thoughts on TPE vs Silicone Dolls here. (coming soon!)
Showering and Bathing Your Doll
Unlike a new car, the “new TPE scent” is not particularly pleasant. When you first receive your doll, you should share a shower or bath once (and then regularly thereafter).
See our complete how-to on cleaning and maintaining sex dolls here. A few specifics for TPE:
- Do not use hot water when bathing a TPE dolls – it will damage the skin and cause the secretion of vital oils
- Water inside a TPE doll means rust, mold, or other damage. Make sure you unscrew the head and cover up the neck before bathing
- Don’t submerge your TPE doll’s head, as doll hair and makeups are not designed to be soaked
- Remember, TPE dolls can be heavy – softer skin + gravity during showering can mean damaged feet. Make sure you’ve set up a towel or other soft surface underneath your doll when bathing
- Wash your doll gently with an unscented and mild antibacterial soap
- Gently dry off your doll with a soft towel. See Drying Your Love Doll
It’s best to shower your doll once or twice each month, even if you are not actively having sex.
TPE Sex Doll Skin Treatments
After you dry your doll well, it’s time to treat her skin. There are only three basic steps, each rather simple:
- Baby oil – TPE dolls need to be regularly massaged and oiled to maintain the integrity and quality of their skin. Otherwise, they will dry out. For TPE dolls, choose an oil contaiing liquid paraffin, sometimes called paraffinum liquidum. See Oiling Your TPE Sex Doll here for full instructions.
- Vaseline – Additionally, stressed areas — like elbows, armpits, inner thighs, around the breasts, and near anal and vaginal cavities – need some extra love. Apply Vaseline liberally and allow it to dry overnight.
- Baby powder or cornstarch – TPE skin is always a bit tacky, so it attracts wig hair and lint. To avoid this, apply baby powder all over her. Just pat and rub it in — the difference will be instantly noticeable. You can also apply it with the makeup brush. Though your doll’s skin will feel great to the touch afterward, this step isn’t just about comfort; it will also make the skin last much longer.
- Be patient and gentle. It doesn’t matter if the clothes are a bit tight or complicated – TPE dolls have delicate skin that can be easily damaged.
- Powder your doll before dressing her. Clothes go on easier and scratching is minimized.
- When putting on shirts and sweaters, don’t raise the arms straight above the head. You’ll eventually wear out the armpit skin and cause tears.
- When putting on sleeves, be gentle with her fingers. TPE dolls generally have wire “bones” in their fingertips — if you’re rough, they can break.
- TPE toes are floppy, so take care when you put on socks.
Unlike bathing your doll, oiling your doll shouldn’t be done more than once a month. Powdering can be done as often as an owner wants.
Cleaning Your TPE Doll After Sex
After you’ve had sex with your doll, you need to clean out the cavity you used. Don’t forget to soap, rinse, and dry the anal and vaginal cavities. There are many ways to do it, all covered in detail in our instructions on cleaning the orifices.
Things to Consider Before Purchasing a TPE Doll
TPE Doll Prices
Before you order your TPE doll, consider the price. If you’re not exactly flush with cash, and you’re not sure that these dolls are a good fit for you, you’ll likely have to go with the cheapest one. Note that a TPE doll can last for years, so it’s best to wait to afford the model you really want. Better understand sex doll pricing here.
Before you purchase your doll, check that the weight is manageable. Lifting a human being that weighs 50 or 60 kg (~130 lbs) might be easy, but lifting a doll that weighs 30 kg (~70 lbs) can be much more difficult. This is because lifting live weight is very different from lifting dead weight. When you’re holding a human being, he or she will automatically help you out by shifting around their body to being carried. A doll can’t do that.
It will take some time for you to get used to lifting and carrying your TPE doll. With practice, you’ll find a technique that suits you — but at first, you’ll likely be stunned by the sheer weight of the doll. A lot of people who buy sex dolls for the first time report that the dead weight is one of the least welcome surprises.
Before you order a TPE doll, check how heavy it on the manufacturer’s website and try lifting something of a similar weight. You’ll need to get an idea of how dead weight feels and whether you’ll be able to comfortably move it around.
Most TPE dolls have a “standing foot” option during the selection process, which is effectively modifications to the sole of your doll’s feet that allows him or her to stand up unassisted. This add-on can be incredibly handy (and a must for many doll owners). Generally, the only reason not to go with standing feet is if you have a foot fetish and don’t want to see bolts.
When dolls can stand up, they can be dressed, showered, posed, and stored much easier. If you’re short on space, the standing option is a great way to keep a doll in a closet without hooks.
When your doll arrives, you need to be home to sign for the package. Dolls generally arrive in a large box or crate. Some potential owners choose to call the shipping company and ask them to hold the package so that it can be picked up at their leisure – an easy way to avoid nosey neighbors.
If you go this route, be sure you’ve asked your doll vendor for the precise measurements of the box in which the doll is shipped. Then, measure the back seat or the trunk of your car. These packages can be rather cumbersome and tough to carry on your own, so it’s best to prepare yourself – this is a box you don’t want to drop.
One of the most frequent issues when buying a sex doll or robot online are scams. See our vendors list here! (coming soon)
To make sure your TPE doll is absolutely perfect, you should choose a vendor that will go the extra mile. Most vendors won’t show you all the available options since there are so many. These options can be granular, like beauty marks or added color to the vagina or nipples. Before you order your TPE doll, consider all the options and additional features and contact your vendor directly with questions.
Buying from scam sites usually means disappointed owners. You’ll end up with cheap knockoff dolls that will quickly fall to pieces, a different type of doll all-together, or the worst: nothing at all. You have been warned!
Preparing for Your TPE Doll
Buying a TPE doll is exciting, but the wait can be agonizing. Generally it takes a few weeks to a few months for a sex doll or robot to arrive, depending on where the customer is located and how that country’s customs reacts to sex toys. There are some things you can buy while you wait to prepare:
Regular oiling is a staple in TPE sex doll maintenance. The best type of baby oil for doll maintenance includes liquid paraffin, sometimes called paraffinum liquidum. It is a highly refined mineral oil used in cosmetics and for medical purposes.
Another item important for treating your TPE doll’s dry skin.
If you want to make your doll’s skin smooth and non-tacky, you should apply baby powder (talcum powder) regularly. Cornstarch will do the trick as well, but baby powder smells much better.
When you’re making love to your doll, lube is a necessity. See our thoughts on sex doll lubricants here. (coming soon)
The biggest turn-off is a beautiful doll that smells like rubber. Pick up a perfume with a scent that you love, but be careful! Don’t put perfume directly on a sex doll’s skin, as the alcohol might harm or corrode it. Apply perfume to a doll’s wig instead.
If you don’t already own one and you plan to dress your doll, you should make sure to buy a measuring tape. Often manufacturers do not include all the tailoring measurements that an owner might need, like leg length or bra size. See our advice on measuring a sex doll here (coming soon!).
Hair & Accessories
Get your doll a hairbrush and an assortment of wigs to change up his or her look regularly! When you eventually develop a surplus of wigs, a wig stand will likely serve better than the bottom of a drawer. Additionally, hair ties and hairpins can make styling your doll’s hair veratile.
Makeup & Accessories
Powder-based makeup is entirely safe for TPE dolls. Choose any assortment of basic powder makeups and a makeup brush. Note: dolls generally come with “factory makeup” already applied. Assuming they don’t submerge your doll’s head and wash this off, many owners choose to only change up their doll’s lipstick or lip gloss.
The only jewelry you should hold off until the doll arrives is buying rings as you’ll need to measure the circumference of the fingers first.
Clothes are the trickiest part of outfitting a new doll. Make sure you buy the right sizes since you can’t bring your doll along with you while shopping. Most of the measurements of your doll will be available on the manufacturers webpage or shipped with the delivery crate. If you’re uncertain of sizings, wait for your doll to arrive before you buy clothing.
Assuming you don’t want your TPE doll to be barefoot all the time, you can buy an assortment of shoes beforehand. The length of the feet of the doll you chose should be available the manufacturers website. If you’re unsure about the shoe size, ask the vendor.
Choosing a TPE Sex Doll’s Clothes
Choosing clothing is a part of doll ownership that many love! If your doll has a lighter skin tone, make sure to avoid darker pigments when purchasing your first articles of clothing as they can stain. Thoroughly wash newly-bought clothes, and avoid leather and dyed hide-based materials, as they can stain as well. Don’t dress your doll in very tight clothes for longer periods of time – this can leave creases in the skin. In time, many creases will go away… but bad ones can stick around forever.
Some owners who would really prefer darker clothes on their lighter-skin dolls opt to use a skin-colored or white stockings underneath and then clothes over them. This can create a nice barrier between the clothes and your doll’s ski, but bear in mind that cheaper clothing can leave stains even through stockings.
If you want to buy an entire wardrobe for your doll, you should first invest in a “TPE test piece.” You can get this from most TPE doll vendors. This test piece will test the staining potential of the clothes you bought for your doll. It is usually just a simple, flat square of TPE material.
To test with a TPE test piece, cover it with clothes and leave them pair be for about 12 hours. Thereafter, take everything off the piece and check for stains. If you find stains, consider washing the clothes a couple times and testing again. If they no longer leave stains, they’re probably now safe for use on your doll.
Dressing a TPE Sex Doll
TPE + Silicone = DANGER
If you already own one or more silicone material sex dolls, sex toys, or other silicone items, and you are looking to try a TPE doll, make sure that you store them seperatley! Silicone and TPE react violently with one another when they come into contact (TPE will “eat away” at silicone).
Also bear this in mind when you’re buying accessories for your TPE doll; silicone is not a safe option.
If you tear your TPE doll’s skin a bit, you can order TPE glue from most legitimate vendors that sell TPE dolls. However, be very careful – TPE glue actually corrodes TPE skin in order to fuse it together. Used incorrectly, TPE glue can be more destructive than it is helpful.