With more and more people concerned about plastics, chemicals, and their overall health and wellness, it comes as no surprise that we're concerned about what's in our toys too!
Most of the original vibrators were made from hard plastic. Hard plastic vibes are lubricant friendly, and can be used with water-based, or silicone lubes. The inexpensive material is widely used, and transfers vibrations well. This material is safe, and does not contain the controversial phthalates we have heard so much about. Hard plastic can be cleaned with soap and water, toy cleaner, or rubbing alcohol.
Later, softer materials for toys were introduced. Jelly toys come from a porous rubber material with chemical phthalates added. While there have been no conclusive studies on phthalates in sex toys, the use of these materials in our children's toys has been banned. These toys generally have a strong smell when you open the package, and can feel sticky or tacky. You can use a condom on your jelly toy if you are concerned about exposure to phthalates. Only water-based lubricant is recommended for jelly toys. Clean your jelly toys with mild soap and water, or toy cleaner, and store in a cool, dry place, rather than an airtight container.
Silicone was introduced to sex toys in the 1980's, and is widely used and popular today. While it is the most popular materials for toys, not all silicones are created equal. Medical grade silicone is hypoallergenic, hygienic, boilable, bleachable, and even dishwasher safe. Some resources suggest that silicone lubricants may not be used on silicone toys, but they can. We recommend doing a patch test if you are not sure of the grade of silicone.
Elastomer is a compound that does not contain phthalates. It starts out soft and has products added to make it harder (unlike PVC that has chemicals added to make it softer). There are no solvents or latex in Elastomer. Water based and silicone lubricants can be used with these toys. Keep it clean with soap and water.Latex is made from rubber. These toys wear out faster, and can be harmful to people with latex allergies. This material is very porous; therefore, toys made of latex should not be shared unless used with condoms. Mild soap and water, or toy cleaner can be used to clean latex toys, but using condoms makes it easy and fast!
Glass is gaining popularity, and is one of my favorite materials for toys. While some women consider this firm material scary, we have grown up with it. We use it in our kitchens on a daily basis, and know it's safety and durability. It also requires little lubrication, making it ideal for all kinds of intimate play. Even though it is difficult to break, be sure to inspect glass toys before each use. You can clean glass with soap and water, rubbing alcohol, bleach, in boiling water, or the dishwasher!
The bottom line is: whatever you use on or in your body, be sure to choose, clean and store them carefully. Your toys will give you many moments of pleasure, so like your human lover, choose well and play responsibly!