What is the best material for sex toys?
Ever wondered what material your sex toy is made of? We take a look into the different materials and what you need to look out for when buying your next vibrator.
When it comes to your body, be careful what you put inside it.
This doesn't just extend to fingers, penises, and other body parts - but to the sex toys and sexual aids you use as well. Contrary to what you might expect, there is a significant lack of regulation in the sex toy industry - in most cases, sex toys are considered "novelty items". But in the same way that you're careful about the cosmetics we put on our skin, it's important to extend this to your sex toys too and avoid potentially dangerous compounds. Here's how to know which sex toy materials are a go, and which you should avoid.
1. What materials should I avoid when buying a sex toy?
It's super important before you buy any sex toy that you check what material it is made from. Some toys out there are made from materials that are not considered safe. The chemicals in these materials can cause a whole host of dermatological problems - including itching, burning, rashes, and even tissue damage.
As a rule of thumb, avoid the following materials:
- Rubber: this latex material is often used to make dildos and has a pungent odor. It can cause some an allergic reaction and given it is a porous material, use with a condom is advisable.
- Jellies: often found in lower quality, cheap sex toys which help to make sex toys feel more realistic. Jellies contain phthalates (see below).
- PVC: these are cheap materials that help to make sex toys feel softer. PVC also contains phthalates.
2. Which materials are considered body-safe and good?
There are a whole host of body-safe materials out there - the following materials are considered good when buying a sex toy:
- Silicone: commonly used to make sex toys more realistic and bendable. It is more expensive than materials made with dangerous chemicals because it is more durable.
- Stainless steel: This sexy material is not only nice to look at but easy to clean since it isn't porous. Just stick it in the dishwasher or in boiling water.
- Borosilicate glass: This material is perfect for sex toys because it is neither porous nor toxic, and it doesn't change form in high temperatures. To clean, just stick it in the dishwasher next to your stainless-steel sex toy.
When in doubt, ask. If you're not sure what a product is made from - then ask before you buy. It's also a safer bet to seek out sex toy companies that are wellness-oriented. At Kandid, we pride ourselves on the fact that we only sell rechargeable vibrators that are made from silicone.
3. Does your sex toy contain phthalates?
Low quality, cheap sex toys - like single-use bullet vibrators and cock rings, which are often marketed as "novelty items" - are ones to be careful about. These cheap sex toys often contain a chemical called phthalates, which helps to bind things together and make plastic more flexible. Phthalates have recently become the subject of a major public health concern and have been linked to a whole host of issues including male fertility, type II diabetes, asthma, and more.
It can be difficult to be sure of the exact component materials your sex toy is made up of, but one useful trick for checking unsafe materials is a quick smell test. If a toy has a strong smell, it's more likely than not that cheap, unsafe materials were used to make it.
4. Is your sex toy porous?
This is a super important one to be aware of. Sex toys that are porous allow bacteria to thrive as the toy can't be properly sterilised. Some jelly toys in particular are porous and difficult to sanitise. If you buy a porous toy - make sure you use it with a condom.
On the contrary, non-porous sex toys have a water-resistant surface and are smoother. You can sterilise these toys with a dedicated sex toy cleanser or using soap and water. As a result, these materials do not harbor bacteria if they are sterilised and stored properly.
5. How do I keep my sex toy clean?
How you keep your sex toy clean depends on:
- what the sex toy is made of
- if the sex toy uses batteries and has parts that cannot be washed
Make sure you refer to the original instructions for advice on how to clean and store your sex toy. Reusable sex toys should be washed thoroughly with a dedicated sex toy cleanser or with warm water and soap after each use. You should also wash them between:
- using them on different parts of the body, such as the mouth, vagina, and anus
- 1 person and another
Before each use, you should check your sex toy for any scratches or breaks in the surface material where germs could be present and spread - as this can increase the risk of infection.
Your body is a temple. Remember that.
Got a question on any of the above? We'll happily answer it for you. Just reach out to the Kandid team via the contact us page.