Not every toy is created equally. There are a variety of different materials that sex toys are made from, not all of them body friendly. There are some chemicals inside the materials of sex toys that can enter the body! This is particularly important for those who may be pregnant or breastfeeding, as the chemicals can actually harm the baby.
Note, one of the best ways to determine if a sex toy is “good or bad” is by taking a good ol’ sniff. Generally, if they have a strong chemical smell or smell like a shower curtain, they are constructed with unsafe chemicals.
These are some of the highlights to know, especially for folks who are health conscious.
This is a very common material used for sex toys because it’s incredibly versatile. It can be hard, soft, any color, any shape! It can also feel quite realistic to human anatomy. High quality silicone is also non-porus and latex-free. Non-porus is very important, as materials that are porus will harbor harmful bacteria, fungus, and/or pathogens.
- Some toys will say they are silicone when they are not. This is when the “sniff test” mentioned previously comes in handy. Silicone is also a cloudy material. Toys that are labeled as silicone but are clear are NOT silicone.
- Silicone toys are not usually compatible with silicone lube. A small test on a corner of the toy with the lube in question can help determine this.
- Placing silicone toys next to other silicone toys can have the same effect as silicone lube on silicone toys. They can fuse and melt together! Yuck! And what a waste of money! It’s best to not let toys play with each other in a toy box.
This is a hard plastic material. It’s actually what LEGO uses! They are non-porus plastics and are generally used as the harder components on toys.
Glass is non-porus and body safe! A fun feature of glass toys is that they are typically dishwasher safe! Glass toys are quite beautiful and they are particularly useful for folks who enjoy playing with different temperatures.
EARTH MATERIALS: Wood, stone, metal
These are all body friendly! Of note, wood may be porus. It’s important that toys of these materials are high quality, polished, and properly coated to ensure that they are waterproof and non-porus.
Stones and crystals are porus. They cannot be fully polished, so it’s important to emphasize cleaning these toys or using a condom over them.
Metal should be made from medical-grade metals. This avoids the possibility of harmful metals and/or metal allergies. Typically, stainless steel and aluminum are best for metal toys.
Materials To Be Aware Of
Phthalates are plasticizers. They are used to enhance the texture of the materials, since they are often a lot softer. Phthalates are actually outlawed for use in children’s toys! They do not chemically bond to the materials of the plastic. This means, they not only enter the body, but the material will degrade over time.
Even if a product says that it’s “phthalate-free” it’s important to check the toys materials anyway. Generally, the more a toy smells like a shower curtain, themore phthalates are in the material.
JELLY, RUBBER, or PVC
These materials are typically jelly-like, both in appearance and touch. They are generally used for asthetics of the toy, but they’re also incredibly cheap. These materials are porus and often contain phthalates.