Germany's Green Party has a penetrating concern: Toxic substances in sex toys.

Vibrators and other plastic entertainments can contain high levels of plastic softeners like pthalates, which can cause a host of ills such as hormone imbalances, Green Party members of parliament wrote in their report "Sexual Health as a Consumer Protection Issue." Pthalates and other plasticizers are highly regulated in children's toys, but adult toys — which are, after all, designed to get all up in your mucus membranes — can have all the plasticizers they want. The Greens want to know what the government is proposing to do about this. If it's anything like the American government, probably institute abstinence-only education.

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Actually, the center-right government did offer a notably prudish response, given that we're talking about a country where 59 percent of 35- to 44-year-olds use sex toys. The government feels that regulation of, ahem, "erotic items" is not really a priority — it's not a problem specific to Germany, and imports are hard to regulate, especially if you're not willing to say the word "dildo."

But the Greens aren't going down easy (if you will). Green MP Volker Beck points out that Denmark put out a warning last year that "urges users of vibrators, artificial vaginas and other such items to first cover them with condoms and to avoid models made of PVC" — Germany could do the same. To be fair, though, Denmark already basically looks like a dildo with a condom on it. Perhaps the issue is near to their hearts. Or near to something, anyway.

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