The « rose » sweeps TikTok, but the viral sex toy is kind of sketchy

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A suction toy is taking over TikTok thanks to a number of user reviews hailing it as the holy grail of sex toys, but its questionable manufacture can make it unsafe to use on sensitive parts of the body.

This rechargeable floret is known as the « rose toy » and has been owned by TikTok users. Viral ratings in the video app can contribute more to product sales than any conventional advertisement. From bum lift leggings to « magical » cleaning products, TikTok has an unparalleled ability to market products based solely on user ratings. Sex toys are no exception.

One reviewer claimed that he broke up with his partner after purchasing the toy. Another joked that she would consult her rose toy before considering another relationship. In a rave review that now has 1.3 million views, TikTok user _queenk_95 said the suction power on the toy was so strong that she reached orgasm before she could find a video to masturbate to.

“This little heifer didn’t even give me a chance to find a video,” she enthused. « Before she hits me with the Spongebob tongue! It took me 30 seconds.  »

TikTok is obsessed with this clit sucker, but is it safe?

Photo credit: tiktok / og_priscilaz

TikTok is obsessed with this toy, but is it safe?

Photo credit: tiktok / _queenk_95

However, not everyone is so blinded by the rose toy. Some users complain that it took too long to ship, that it is too loud or won’t charge, or that it isn’t as accurate or powerful as the reviewers claim. TikTok user Jayy.llinn, who shot a viral video expressing disappointment, said the toy was « just not everything ». Even so, it developed such a cult that others insisted that she was either using it incorrectly or that she was too desensitized to function.

The difficulty of knowing what’s really in your rose toy

The toy is hugely popular – the #rosetoy and #rosetoyreview tags have 45.9 million views and 13.1 million views, respectively – but it’s not made by a single brand or wellness company.

Instead, people buy the toys from dropshippers who wholesale products directly from suppliers and then sell them for profit through online stores like Shopify and Amazon without processing the goods themselves. Dropshipping is often viewed as a get-rich-quick scheme. As soon as the customer buys the item from the seller, a third party sends it directly from the supplier to the buyer. The dropshippers, as Vice explains, are just « middlemen who make the profit » – they don’t care about the overheads of a traditional online store. A brick and mortar store, on the other hand, can only sell what it has in stock.

Dropshipping can be incredibly lucrative and usually poses no risk for the consumer other than long waiting times as suppliers are often based in China and may be wasting money on a cheaply made product. For example, a dropshipper can buy coveted leggings with pockets at wholesale prices of $ 10 each and then sell them on Amazon or Shopify for $ 50.

The prices for the rose toy vary. An Amazon seller lists the toy for $ 18.49 with a nearly one-month delivery window. Another lists it for $ 49.99 with Prime delivery. Boutique sellers promoting their online stores on TikTok also list the toy at various prices: BareVixen sells it for $ 35.99, The Kinky Florist sells it for $ 50, and The LV Rose sells it for $ 56.

These toys are often shipped via dropship.

These toys are often shipped via dropship.
Photo credit: amazon

Wholesale platforms AliExpress and Alibaba now sell the toy between $ 8 and $ 24 each, depending on how many you buy. Alibaba lists the toys for around $ 12 each, with a minimum of five per order.

It is important to stay away from unsafe sex toy materials

Dropshipping itself is not harmful. However, buying sex toys by dropship can be problematic if consumers have no idea what those toys are made of.

The rose toy is the latest dropshipping fad.

The rose toy is the latest dropshipping fad.
Photo credit: aliexpress

Some offers state that the toys are made of « medical silicone ». In the United States, products can only be classified as « medical grade » if they have been tested by the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health. « Medical grade silicone » products include menstrual cups and breast implants. But this claim is arbitrary for sex toys because the FDA does not oversee them.

The sex toy industry as a whole is largely unregulated in the United States, which is alarming given the potential side effects of exposing your most sensitive parts to toxic materials. At best, this means that consumers will be ripped off. At worst, the toys they put on or put in their bodies can suck out chemicals. While plastic water bottles are now BPA-free and the beauty industry is pushing against parabens, the sex toy market remains full of questionable manufacturing practices.

Some high-end brands like Dame get around this by sourcing silicone directly from medical suppliers who have passed FDA tests, while international brands like Lelo and We-Vibe both comply with the EU Directive on Hazardous Substances (RoHS ) boast.

A safe toy has two properties: it is non-porous, so it can be thoroughly cleaned and does not contain bacteria, viruses or fungi, and it is inert, which means that it is chemically non-reactive and does not change over time. For example, an unstable silicone toy can cause irritation and infection if it reacts to skin or mucosal tissues. As the sex and wellness brand Dame noted in a blog post on safer sex toys, nothing is really inert other than certain gases, but the « medical grade » sets a standard for inertia that ensures safer use.

Toy users should also stay away from « jelly » products that use cheap rubber to achieve a soft, rubbery texture, as they are usually porous and chemically unstable. PVC is also a questionable toy material as manufacturers have to add a plasticizer, a compound that makes an otherwise hard material more malleable.

Until recently, most PVC toys were plasticized with phthalates, now known as endocrine disruptors. Studies have linked phthalates to irregular fetal development, early onset puberty, lower sperm count, and impaired liver function. Amanda Morgan, a professor at the University of Nevada School of Public Health, wrote her master’s thesis on toxic sex toys. She told Glamor that phthalates « can really mess you up because they pretend to be your hormones, so exposure to these things unbalances your body’s hormonal cycle. »

Unfortunately, buying sex toys isn’t as straightforward as avoiding one material and advocating another.

Unfortunately, buying sex toys isn’t as straightforward as avoiding one material and advocating another. Even silicone toys can be unsafe. The material is expensive, so some manufacturers can mix it with additives. Pure silicone toys should feel silky – which is why it’s such a popular alternative to body-safe ABS plastic – but as the sex toy blog Dangerous Lily wrote in 2013, manufacturers don’t disclose whether their products are actually a silicone blend.

On the one hand, the open discussion and advocacy of the rose toy on such a large platform is a real step forward in destigmatizing sex toys and pleasure for people with clitoris. On the flip side, it maintains an unbridled and unsafe industry by directly assisting it.

All is not lost, however. Buying toys from reputable brands takes the guesswork out of determining safety. Traditional manufacturers rely on selling safe and effective products that keep customers happy, but dropshippers don’t. Dropshipping is a chore, but it’s not as familiar as it is with traditional brands. In 2015, Mashable wrote that dropshipping « pretty much goes by itself ».

If you really want to try a good clitoral sucker, there are many well-known brands on the market. The Womanizer Liberty is known for its waterproof properties, which make it a pleasure to shower or bathe. Dame’s Aer makes finding the right « seal » less cumbersome thanks to its shape. And the Satisfyer Pro 2 is a cult favorite for those trying to orgasm on a budget, selling for just $ 50.

Buying sex toys from international dropshippers may seem tempting because of their low cost, but there are still a number of high quality, affordable toys out there for climax hopes. It’s not worth risking the negative side effects of toxic materials just for an orgasm when other toys will get you there just as effectively and safely. Plus, you don’t have to wait more than a month for delivery.

Related Video: 5 Ways To Safely Clean Your Sex Toys

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