Swedish Safety Standards Group Attempts to Tackle Retained Sex Toys

Swedish Safety Standards Group Attempts to Tackle Retained Sex Toys

STOCKHOLM — A Swedish nonprofit organization is looking into introducing new safety standards for sex toys after a study revealed a growing number of individuals seeking medical attention after items got stuck in their rectums.

The Swedish Standards Institute (SIS) plans on launching a plan for introducing safety standards across the pleasure products industry, with input from manufacturers and consumers.

SIS was prompted to come up with new standards after a study was published in July in the International Journal of Colorectal Disease outlining problems with retained sex toys.

Dildos and butt plugs, accounting for more than 40 percent of cases in sexual-pleasure accidents, were the most commonly lodged objects found in a study that sifted through seven years of records involving 73 patients at a Stockholm hospital.

Those who sought treatments for lodged objects were mostly male, with a median age of 41. The total age range spanned from 15 to 92.

The study's six authors noted that the true numbers of retained sex toys were likely even higher than the study suggests "given reluctance to seek care for a potentially embarrassing condition.

A "safety string or adequate-sized stopper" could have prevented many of the affected patients from retaining the sex toys, the authors said.

SIS plans on coming up with a proposal for sex toy standards and submitting to the International Organization for Standardization, which could lead to other countries adopting its proposals.

SIS researcher Anna Sjögren told The Local Sweden that "currently there are no international or Swedish standards for these types of products.”

“Each manufacturer and retailer have their own test methods based on standards and rules from documents with similar material or safety perspective," Sjögren said. "This works in many cases, but guidelines in the form of a standard can contribute to the quality ensures of the products in general, with requirements on safety, consumer information and risk analysis not only stopping injuries but can lead to a reduced number on incidents."