If you’re buying your first sex toy, you have to know that not all of them are healthy for your body. Let’s take a deeper look into the sex toy industry, see what sex toys people should avoid using, and show you the safest sex toy materials!
Store Reputation and Product Reviews
One of the worst mistakes people make while buying sex toys is not to look into the store or the manufacturer. In the worst case, you could run into online scams. However, you could also pay for a product that doesn’t match the description or get a toy that uses unsafe materials.
If you want to stay safe, you should always inspect the store’s reputation. The best way to do that is to read reviews. Ideally, you should get your toy from a reputable and popular store that has plenty of satisfied customers. So try to find out what other people thought of the quality of the store’s sex toys.
What’s more, reading product reviews is one of the only ways to get a closer look at your toy. If you read other users’ opinions and reviews, you’ll be able to see whether they enjoyed the toy or not. You could also look up a list of sex toys to avoid in order to save time.
Differences in Materials
Not all sex toy materials are safe. If a sex toy uses cheaper synthetic materials, it’s likely to cause skin irritations. What’s more, unsafe toys can absorb bacteria. They can even break down over time. Here’s a list of safe and unsafe materials:
- Silicone — Medical-grade silicone is the safest sex toy material. Plenty of companies use it to make their toys feel realistic. It doesn’t absorb bacteria or contain toxic chemicals. Also, it’s incredibly easy to clean and use with water-based lubricants.
- Stainless steel — Besides looking kinky, metal sex toys are body-safe, non-porous, and they’ll last a lifetime. Plus, you can fully sterilize them by boiling them or even washing them with bleach.
- Borosilicate glass — While you may think they’re quite fragile, glass sex toys are actually one of the healthiest and most durable choices out there. They are 100% body-safe and non-toxic. Plus, they’re resistant to high temperatures.
- Rubber and latex toys — Rubber is commonly used on dildos and butt plugs. You’ll recognize it by a pungent smell. This material is also porous, and it absorbs bacteria. It’s not a good choice for beginners, but you’ll still be able to stay safe if you use condoms.
- Jelly, vinyl, and PVC — These materials are commonly for cheaper dildos, vibrators, etc. They are extremely unsafe. They contain toxic substances known as phthalates. Those chemicals are unsuitable for the skin. They’re even considered a probable carcinogen.
- TPE — TPE is a softer substitute for silicone. It’s a somewhat porous material. But, it’s relatively safe to use if you’re careful and know how to clean it properly.
- ABS plastic — This material is found on certain parts of sex toys (e.g., vibrator controls), but some toys are made entirely out of it. It’s body-friendly and non-porous.
Some manufacturers could use various chemicals in addition to their primary materials. The most common substances you’ll encounter are phthalates. They are binding agents that are almost always used in toys made of toxic materials like PVC or jelly.
While manufacturers use phthalates to make the primary materials softer and bendier, those chemicals can seriously harm your skin. Numerous studies have found that phthalates can cause rashes, burning, and itching. In the worst case, they can cause tissue damage. Studies have linked those chemicals to fertility issues, diabetes, obesity, asthma, and more.
Fortunately, some sex toy retailers make it a priority to avoid selling materials with phthalate. However, that doesn’t always guarantee you’ll find a 100% safe toy. If you inspect the product details, you should look out for the following ingredients:
- Carbon disulfide
- Timethytin chloride
Some of those chemicals can affect the nervous system or pose serious health risks during pregnancy.
Hygiene and Cleanliness
As mentioned, you can still use non-porous sex toys even if they’re not the safest material. Lots of people prefer materials like TPE or TPR because it has a softer feel compared to silicone sex toys.
Additionally, some brands use proprietary materials by blending rubber polymers with mineral oils and other substances. These materials, along with TPE, are likely to be somewhat porous. If you get a porous toy, note that the material will still be safe to use. Yet, you won’t be able to clean it fully. Some manufacturers could advise you to use soap and water while other toys might require a special cleaning solution. Plus, you’ll likely need to replace your porous toy after three to six months of regular use.
A sex toy shouldn’t cause you any discomfort unless it’s your intention to hurt yourself. Most sex toys should feel pleasant and comfortable from the get-go. However, there’s always a chance you could feel some discomfort. In most cases, sex toys can cause discomfort if you use them incorrectly or if you’re simply not ready for them.
Even a fully safe material like phthalate-free silicone could hurt you if you don’t know what you’re doing. Still, if you experience any pain, you should slow down or stop altogether. If you feel discomfort in your muscles or if there’s simply too much pressure against your genitals, it’s likely that you just weren’t ready for your sex toy. However, if you feel any itching or burning sensations on your skin, it’s possible that the material doesn’t agree with you or that you’ve gotten an unsafe toy by mistake. If that’s the case, you should think twice about using it again.
Why Should You Care?
Even if you get a high-quality silicone, glass, or metal toy, you’ll still need to take care of it and use it correctly. If you misuse your toy or if you don’t clean it after each naughty act, your toy will quickly become unusable.
Your goal should be to keep you and your partner safe. The only way to do that is to pick a toy with the safest material. Then, you’ll need to know how to use or clean it correctly. If you use non-porous, body-safe, and hypoallergenic toys, you and your partner will not have to worry about infections, irritations, or other serious health risks.
Nevertheless, you will have to clean your toy with water or fully sterilize it by boiling it. This won’t take up too much of your time. But, it will keep your sex toy safe. Plus, it will extend its lifespan while making you feel safe in the bedroom.