Sex toys are wonderful, it’s why I’m here writing this blog and presumably its why you’re visiting it. We are all aware that they come in many shapes and sizes and for the most part we understand that they also come in different materials too.
Unfortunately for most people, myself included, that first foray into the world of sex toys is likely to introduce us to materials that vary from unhygienic to down-right-toxic.
You might be thinking, “Well actually, my rabbit is made of ‘skin safe rubber’ so it’s totally safe to put inside me” or perhaps “I bought my jelly dildo from a well-known sex toy company, they wouldn’t sell an unsafe product”. These are thoughts most people have at some point (my first rabbit was of the ‘skin safe’ rubber persuasion) but they are also completely untrue.
Sex toy making is UN-REGULATED, manufacturers can write on the packaging that the item is one material when it is actually another. They can put as many nasty chemical’s as they like into your toy and stick a big old ‘Skin-Safe’ sticker on it. And companies will SELL those toys to you.
Fortunately there are materials out there that are completely safe to use, and manufacturers moral enough to make sex toys with them.
Medical grade silicone – This would be my material of choice, however it is expensive and not readily available to small companies or Etsy sellers.
Platinum Silicone – This is food and body safe silicone, to be food grade the amount of leaching has to be below a set standard, this silicone gained the name Platinum in the sex toy world because of the platinum curing process used to create the silicone (Two components mixed together, curing at room temperature).
Glass – Most glass will be borosilicate glass although some manufactures use soda glass. Glass is my second favorite choice of safe sex toy material, it’s non-porous and super easy to clean.
Stainless steel or Aluminium – (Note not JUST metal) Both are very safe non-porous materials although if you want to be 100% sure it is stainless steel Njoy is probably the maker you need. (Pstt People rave about their pure wand.)
ABS Plastic – Simply put, its non porous but not very sexy.
*Note* Wood and stone can be safe depending on type, finish, porosity, but since I have no personal experience with either material in sex toy form I can’t suggest it. Especially as there are many non-safe wooden sex toys… I’m looking at you Etsy.
The majority of ‘real feel’ and ‘jelly’ toys are toxic, they contain phthalates and many other nasty chemicals. These toys have ‘softeners’ added to achieve their jelly appearance and texture, these make the material unstable causing it to leach gas, oil and other chemicals. They are literally degrading. These toys regularly melt and warp when in contact with one another because they are so chemically unstable.
Phthalates have been linked to cases of low sperm count, Cancer and even birth defects in children of women exposed to them.
People have experienced mild chemical burns, allergic reactions, headaches, chemical poisoning and even breathing difficulties due to toxic toys.
So if the manufacturers can lie how do you spot a toxic toy in your collection? The best way is to use your nose, if it smells like car tires, cleaning fluid, or just plain old reeks, bin it. Those smells are fumes, your sex toy is leaking gases and you do not want that inside of you!
Here’s a list of things to absolutely NOT put inside of you;
PVC/Latex – These toys can be up to 70% Phthalates. (Just to reiterate Phthalates are bad). Also many people have Latex allergies or even develop them through exposure of mucus membranes to latex (Read VAGINA!).
Jelly – PVC and rubber blends that are often used for cheaper end toys, AVOID them it’s often Phthalates and other softeners/plasticizers that give them their squishy translucent look. Plus they are very porous.
Silica/Gel – The name silica reminds of those little packets you get in shoe boxes that say do not consume! Just avoid it.
Rubber – Porous and often containing chemical ‘softeners’.
Just because a toy doesn’t have Phthalates in it doesn’t mean it is safe or even free from other harmful chemicals. Although toxic and porous toys are often synonymous what I want to point at here specifically is the porosity of some materials because whilst some toys aren’t full of nasty chemicals waiting to leach into your body, they can still be hazardous due to their porosity.
A toy made of a porous material will have little pores (Sorry to state the obvious), so using your toy causes it to absorb your juices, be that vaginal or anal, and because they get inside the toy, no amount of washing will ever truly make them clean. Bacteria can then hide in your toy growing and spreading. This is what happened to my first sex toy, after four months it developed white mould INSIDE of it, despite me cleaning it thoroughly after each use.
Another list of things you probably shouldn’t put inside you, because porosity!
Skin safe Rubber – By ‘skin safe’ they mean free from phthalates and latex but the manufactures can and will lie about this. It’s also a super porous material.
TPE/TPR – This material is supposed to be Hypoallergenic, free from Phthalates and non-toxic, but sex toys made of this are still very much porous bacteria traps.
Real feel flesh – This includes Cyberskin, fanta flesh, UR3 basically all the real feel skin looking stuff that’s not silicone. Its usually used for male masturbators. Its super porous but probably less of an issue since they are often used externally.
Wood – Whilst wood can be made into a safe sex toy using a medical grade varnish, there are an unfortunate amount of unsafe wooden sex toys out there especially on ETSY, un-finished they will be porous, coated with the wrong thing they could be toxic, and then there’s the whole splinters thing. I mean OUCH, who wants that!?
If you still adamantly want to keep your ‘chemical free’ porous toys, at least ensure you throw them away after the first couple of uses or after a few months (even the retailers sometimes admit this should be done!) and please do not use porous toys if you are going to wear it for a long time (think Kegel balls) or use it anally, or worse wear it for a long time anally (Butt plugs).
There’s a lot of advice to put condoms over unseemly toys to save throwing them away, IGNORE IT! The lubricant in most condoms will react with many of the materials in sex toys, causing the condom to break and even the toy to flake/disintegrate.
At this point I’m hoping that you are either breathing a sigh of relief because you’ve been lucky enough to avoid toxic and porous toys or you’re side eyeing your collection suspiciously and about to bring out the bin bag! So like I did when I first starting using sex toys you may find yourself back to square one (an empty toybox, CRIES) not a problem, things are already looking up. Check out the following Manafacturers to find super safe sex toys; Tanuts, njoy, Fucking Sculptures,Godemiche.
Just to add, if you are thinking about using something from around the house as a sex toy. Just please, don’t do it. That cucumber may look inviting, that banana may look like its got a g-spot curve, the tv remote buttons might look like a texture lovers bliss but ultimately when there are SAFE and well-designed options out there (think flared bases, think silicone, just plain old THINK) you’d be crazy to risk your health, and your dignity. Don’t be just another funny x-ray of someone with a foreign object up there ass.