and is it safe?
We hop online and start to browse, we come across the most intriguing sex toy we’ve ever seen and we just have to buy it. But.. What is it made from and is it safe for my body?
Just in advance I want to say this is a relatively educational article, also pretty long. Sorry not sorry.
During my research for this article I came across a very informative bit of information but somewhat concerning (yeah this is why research is good) With further research I’ve found it to be something that is pretty uncommon when buying from reputable companies so I’m not majorly worrying at this point. But what I read (sorry for the length) was this:
“The sex toy industry is largely unregulated. They sell sex toys as novelty items so they do not need to adhere to certain regulations. Unfortunately, most North Americans who purchase sex toys are not aware of the health risks associated with certain toys. Further, North American and European health regulatory bodies have not put much effort into studying the safety of sex toys.
Besides the obvious adverse affects of poorly made sex toys such as sharp seams, allergies, decomposition, and bacteria infections due to porous toys, the most concerning issue is with off-gasing phthalates. Phthalates are a family of very common chemicals used in a variety of products, from polyvinyl chloride (PVC), children’s toys, and sex toys made from jelly. They are also used in the production of paint, adhesives, insect repellents, and rocket fuel.
Phthalates are added to plastic (usually PVC) to increase their flexibility. Unfortunately, over time, the phthalates added slowly ‘leak’ out in a process called off-gasing. They generally release lead and cadmium, which can be absorbed into the body.”
So.. scary right? Yes, it is if you aren’t careful in your search. From my understanding most companies don’t use phthalates in north America. However, this is not the case overseas and further south. For example; the 2$ toy you got from somewhere in asia vs the 12$ exact same toy made in north America. The price might seem intriguing but is the possible risk?
Now this of-gassing doesn’t happen right away, it usually will take more than a year to begin that process so if you want to get the 2$ toy and toss it after a few tries, I would say that should be okay… IF you can find the manufacture date on the packaging to be sure it isn’t already over a year old.
Either way lets get into the materials that make out toys so fun !
Silicone! (pretty much the most popular IMO) and is great for many many reasons.
- Its non porous so easy to clean and keep clean! (and also doesn’t absorb therefore you’ll be sure it wont become very gross over time)
- Super easy to clean (see #1) also if no electronic components are involved you can actually boil it to clean it!
- They’re not cold. Now when I say this I mean its not like a piece of plastic or metal or glass, its naturally going to be warmer and warm up faster and stay warm longer.
- Its softer and more malleable than plastic yet firmer than jelly types so gives a more realistic feel
- Vibrations usually seem quiet in these types of toys
- Pro – they are cheaper and fairly common as simple toys
- Pro- they are non porous and therefore easy to clean
- Con- Unless you warm it up first it’s kind of cold but will slowly warm up with your body. Also will cool off faster
- Con- Depending where you’ve made your purchase and how the toy was made, its possible plastic may have some molding remnants left over and have some sharp or uncomfortable edges or seams.
- Con- they are usually LOUD! Plastic doesn’t have a way to muffle the little motor inside so it’s probably one of the loudest toys around
- Pro – super easy to clean
- Con- Once again like plastic can be cold and will stay cold the longest in your body
- Pro- (to some this may be a con) they are hard therefor you will feel each and every ridge on your toy.
- Con- THESE ARE MADE WITH PHTHALATES
- Pro- semi-realistic texture
- Con- Every bit of lint or dust will stick to it
- Con- porous therefore shorter lifespan and harder to clean
- Pro- they look cool I guess
- Con- they tend to melt if they touch another jelly toy (more on this in a later article)
- Con- Porous so take special care when cleaning
- Pro- (or con to some) these are harder than silicone but softer than plastic. Once again you will feel every ridge used. Non life-like
- Usually used for Dildos and toys with non electrical components
- Pro- Relatively low price
- Con- if you are allergic to latex even mildly you may have a reaction
- Almost exactly like Jelly but made with no phthalates (reverse process where they harden a substance instead of softening it with phthalates)
- Con- Porous so not as easy to clean
- Pro- semi-realistic texture
- Con- all lint or dust or stray hairs will stick to it
- Pro- they do look pretty cool though
Cyberskin (Similar materials are on the market under other names, such as Ultraskin, Eroskin, Softskin, SoftTouch, Cyber Jel-lee, New supersoft, Futurotic and UR3)
- Pro- is very close to feeling like real skin including temperature being very easy to warm up quickly with your body
- Con- ONLY USE WATERBASED LUBES, other lubes WILL ruin it!
- Pro- The type of texture allows you to give it a dusting of cornstarch if it ever looses its smoothness and becomes a touch tacky.
- Con- Cold and will take a minute or two to adjust to body temperature
- Pro- smooth
- Pro- ((may be con to others)) Hard so you’ll feel every ridge
- Con- If not manufactured properly may have hard or jagged seams
- Pro- super easy to clean
There are other types of materials out there as well howver most aren’t commonly used so I’m not going to touch on them today. Keep in mind whenever you buy a toy what type of after care your looking for. Do you want to clean it easy? Do you want to keep it stored in its box? Do you want to toss it under your bed or keep it in your sock drawer? My preference is always going to be silicone but plastic is always a great alternative for those starting out their collection since it is fairly affordable and allows you to see what type of toy you have intrest in before spending a lot more on a much nicer feeling toy
I hope this was informative for you, it definitely had some eye opening information for me!
Now time to go shopping