“You get what you pay for,” is an adage that I have heard since I was old enough to have memories. Most often I heard it when I attempted to get something cheap that broke when I should’ve gotten something more expensive that would’ve lasted as long as I needed it. If you’ve ever met me in person, then you know I often get wound up about people buying toxic sex toys just because they’re cheap. But since you probably haven’t met me, I’ll go ahead and tell you that nothing upsets me quite as much as any sex toy made of materials that are unsafe. Unsafe materials include (but aren’t limited to):
- “Skin Safe” rubber
- Latex (fine for condoms, they’re one use)
- Cyberskin/Fantaflesh/Other proprietary TPE/TPR blends
- TPE and TPR.
What makes these unsafe or toxic toy materials? Well the first thing to note is that all these materials are porous, meaning that they’re all going to hold onto bacteria from use and can harbor viruses, mold and fungi. This happens due to the fact that after you use your toy, you can’t clean the microscopic pores of the toy where bacteria have made a home. No anti bacterial toy cleaner will help, as this will still only clean the surface of your toy and not penetrate the pores. Since you can’t clean it, bacteria, mold and other nasties will have free reign to grow in your toy while you store it. This means when you go to use your toy again, you risk giving yourself an illness or infection from the bacteria you reintroduce into your body. This can lead to chronic yeast infections, UTIs and potentially STIs if shared with someone who was positive for an STI.
In addition to this porous nature, these materials are also subject to a host of other problems: unstable material, potential for having pthalates in the material, and toxicity of the material. Unstable materials are bad for a variety of a reasons. These toys will “sweat” meaning they might leach oil or melt under certain conditions. Two toys in an unstable material will react with each other and might melt into each other. If they’re reacting to each other this way and degrading day by day simply by existing, what these toys are doing in the human body is a horrible thing to consider. In both the anus and the vagina, there are mucus membranes and susceptible ecosystems. Subjecting either to the toxic toys and you could very easily upset this delicate ecosystems. Further more, these unstable materials have the potential to have a nasty chemical reaction inside your body. With this in mind, these toys are best avoided.
What are some safe materials then? Well, there are plenty! They include:
- Glass (borosilicate or soda lime)
- Wood (properly sealed)
- Stone (properly sealed)
- Ceramic (with the correct glaze)
- ABS Plastic
- Stainless Steel
All of these materials are non-porous and non-toxic. They can be sanitized by boiling (if not a vibrator) or being spritzed with a ten percent bleach solution and then rinsed thoroughly. These materials will not degrade over time, are not able to hold onto bacteria, are sterilizable, waterproof and overall the most hygienic and body-safe options for toy materials.
These body-safe toys range in price, and so almost anyone can find a toy at a price point they can afford. SheVibe possesses a range of stock where you can find inexpensive toy options by searching from low to high pricing. Also, both Funkit Toys and Uberrime have put out new lines of affordable body-safe dildos which look great for people looking for their first dildo.
If you’re curious about sex toy material and safety, I’ve provided a little extra reading here below:
Dangerous Lilly’s Platinum Silicone Myths
Dangerous Lilly’s Toxic Toy Guide
Epiphora – Your Genitals Deserve Better
Now armed with some basic knowledge of what to watch out for, you’ll have a much better time in purchasing and using sex toys. So go forth and buy toys!