🎓 Welcome to our very first Question of the Month post! Here I will answer a frequently asked question every month in hopes to provide better understanding.
⚠ Disclaimer: I will mostly be talking about insertable toys, as the effects of external toys tend to be less severe. Although I would highly encourage you to only use toys of any kind made of the recommended materials below.
The question this month: Are some materials better than others?
The sex toy industry is not regulated by the FDA, so people can basically put whatever they want into a toy without telling you what it’s made of. The only way you can be somewhat certain that the toy you are buying is what the manufacturer says it is, is to buy from reputable brands. We only carry brands that we are familiar with, so we are sure that what they say is what you get. Here’s a more detailed article about sex toy regulation: LINK
With that being said, not all materials are treated equally. Some materials are simply bad for you and your body. There are certain materials and fillers that have been known to cause bacterial infections and chemical burns at best, and birth defects and cancer at worst.
What you should avoid:
All soft plastic toys. These include TPE, TPR, PVC, vinyl, jelly toys, and “realistic” skin materials.
🚫 PVC and vinyl will usually include phthalates even if the manufacturer says that they do not. Phthalates are a chemical filler that softens plastic. In some studies, they have been proven to be a carcinogen. I would advise you to stay far, far away from any toys made from PVC or vinyl. Jelly toys are usually made from these materials.
🚫 “Realistic” skin materials can sometimes include chemical fillers that are harmful. There have been reports of burns after using the toys, as well as bacterial infections
**I think it’s important to point out that external toys (especially strokers and c-rings) made of some of these materials are very popular, and it is sometimes hard to find alternatives. We do offer some of these, but it is expressly stated in the description what the toys are made of.
⚠ TPE and TPR are generally seen as non-toxic, but they are still porous. They are pretty safe to use as long as they are cared for correctly. But even when cared for correctly, they should be replaced 6-8 months after purchase, or when they start to degrade.
What you should look for instead:
If you are looking for a soft toy (one that is not hard and rigid), silicone is your best bet. Make sure it is 100% or platinum cured silicone, and not a “silicone blend,” which usually contains harmful fillers. Silicone is naturally hydrophobic which means that although it is porous, it repels water. This means that mold and bacteria will not be able to grow on your toy. Just make sure to wash it thoroughly before and after every use.
Glass toys are body safe since they are not porous. But not all glass is created equal. Make sure that the toys you buy are annealed. Annealing glass is a process that hardens the glass even more so that it lasts you a lot longer without breaking or chipping. Cheaper toys sometimes skip this step, and while it isn’t dangerous, they will not last as long, and will most likely break or chip much faster. All of the glass products we offer are annealed.
Stainless steel and aluminum are also non-porous, and therefore safe (most aluminum toys are powder-coated with a body safe coloring). As an added bonus, metal is a great conductor of heat and cold, so you can have some fun temperature play with your toy. Just make sure not to burn yourself.
ABS hard plastic toys are considered safe as well. They may however be a bit porous, so make sure to keep them clean and dry.