A 1982 attempt to import a consignment of sex dolls into Britain had the unintended consequence of ending the law against importing "obscene or indecent" items that were not illegal to sell within the UK. Having had the dolls seized by Her Majesty's Customs and Excise officers, David Sullivan's Conegate Ltd. took the case all the way to the European Court of Justice, and won in 1987. Britain was forced to lift its stringent import prohibitions dating from 1876, because for imports from within the European Community they constituted a barrier to free trade under the terms of the Treaty of Rome.
Shin Takagi, founder of the company Trottla, manufactures lifelike child sex dolls in the belief that doing so provides a safe and legal outlet for men expressing pedophilic desires. This has been disputed by paraphilia researcher Dr. Peter J. Fagan, who argues that contact with the products would likely have a reinforcing effect, increasing the risk of pedophilic action being taken. Since 2013, Australian officials have confiscated imported shipments of juvenile sex dolls legally classified as child exploitation material.
The most premium sex dolls are usually made from silicone or thermoplastic elastomer known as TPE. Dolls made of either material can be very lifelike, with faces and bodies modeled on real people in some instances, with realistic skin material (similar to that used for movie special effects), and with realistic (or even real) hair. These dolls usually have an articulated PVC or metal skeleton with flexible joints that allows them to be positioned in a variety of positions for display and for sexual acts. Silicone or TPE dolls are much heavier than vinyl or latex inflatable ones (which consist mostly of air), but are roughly half the weight of a real human being of comparable size.
Another thing to also watch out for is that this type of material is more sensitive, not just to the oils from our skin, but also the fabrics, not just from our clothes but also from doll clothing as well. Because it is sensitive, it often leads the doll to have stains left from clothing, and it is definitely sensitive to certain fabric types as well. This is important to remember, because some of us do like to dress our dolls up, and if you’re wondering if a doll can wear that, then you should check. TPE is porous, and typically if the stain gets on there, it can sometimes have trouble getting out.
Now, TPE stands for thermoplastic elastomer, which is essentially a mixture of polyvinyl chloride and silicone. This is a type of skin that is very soft, and it mimics the feeling of human skin. TPE is way more realistic in feeling and it definitely mimics the feeling of human skin. It also is much cheaper than silicone alternatives, sometimes even hundreds of dollars cheaper. TPE also allows you to move the doll around in various ways, since it has more flexibility. TPE dolls don’t really need to be bathed, but you can, just be mindful of the water. It also is hypoallergenic as well.