Just like those scientifically named ingredients in your food sources, the sometimes very-confusing labels on sex toys (and lubricants) might leave you asking if your health is being compromised. Let’s understand more about TPE, TPR, PVC, ABS, and others, too. Now we’re going to look at the different materials sex toys are made of, and then ascertain which ones are the best choices to keep your body completely safe, and why it’s important to know exactly what each compound really is.
Not all sex toys are created equally
The first rule of thumb when making an informed decision about anything regarding toys, is to remember that not all sex toys are created equally. Some manufacturers still use materials that are banned when making their products. Unfortunately, in Japan, United States, Canada, and the European Union (to name a few), there are no organizations, boards or coalitions that regulate the safety of sex toys.
In fact, in order to regulate sex toy production, we might first have to admit that people are utilizing them, something American society is clearly not quite ready to do. The sale of sex toys is still illegal in some places and is seen as being “vulgar” or “inappropriate,” in some localities.
Why should safe sex toys be important?
The making of sex toys is still unregulated, and it’s up to the users of them to make sure that they’re well informed about how to find a body safe sex toy. Body safe means: the toy does not contain any chemicals or harmful materials which are unsafe to use inside the body. In truth, a body safe toy will be nonporous and can be sterilized without degradation occurring.
Even some of the more popular toys aren’t body safe, and so it’s certainly very important to buy from a reputable company who’ll put your safety at the forefront. We pride ourselves in doing this for all our customers.
Sex toys are sometimes made from jelly-like latex, which is made of polyvinyl chloride or PVC and uses plastic softeners. Included here are phthalates, which have a carcinogenic (cancer-causing) compound added to hard plastics, thus making them more flexible.
PVC is a type of plastic that is known to leak out toxins after around 6 months. So, when the material becomes overused or heated. These toxins might attach to fat and stay there to cause cancer, or even begin damaging the reproductive organs. Clearly, this material is very unsuitable for making a product that will be going inside one’s body and exposed to heat and friction. Unfortunately, because PVC is cheap and easy to buy, many companies still use it in their manufacture.
Sex Toy Terms & Definitions
Here, let’s define some of the guidelines that are generally used when determining the safety of a sex toy, so you might stay well-informed.
When speaking about cleaning, sex toys can be washed, disinfected and sterilized too. Washing a toy should occur before and after each use, and this pretty much serves to disinfect the toy, as well as removing any hair, dust, lint, and pet fur from the toy before placing it on (or inside) the body. Disinfecting a sex toy means that you clean all surface level contaminants, including bodily fluids, microbes, germs, and bacteria.
To sterilize a sex toy, the toy must go in the dishwasher or be well boiled. Boiling can only occur if a toy doesn’t have an internal motor. As an option other than boiling, the toy can be soaked in a 10% bleach solution and then washed to make sure all the contaminants have been removed thoroughly.
A porous toy cannot be sterilized and may spread bacteria and infections to partners through shared use. This is not recommended unless a barrier (like a condom) is utilized. There is the possibility for STIs and STDs (sexually transmitted infections and sexually transmitted diseases) to be passed on. It’s best to have your own, personal toys.
Many toy cleaners on the market are a good short-term solution for cleaning a toy and might function like antibacterial hand gel. Warm water (while washing) does the same trick and doesn’t leave chemicals on your toys.
Body Safe Materials
There are a few different materials that companies use when they’re making sex toys that are safe for your body, including: silicone, elastomer, ABS plastic, stainless steel, or borosilicate glass, as examples. And here, elastomer (or TPE) and phthalate-free (or TPR) are deemed as “body safe” because they do not leak out chemicals into the body, although they are porous and unable to be sterilized.
Silicone sex toys are the most widely available of all body-safe sex toys. This material is exceptionally popular because it can come in many different feels or textures, and it’s relatively easy to clean, not reactive, and not prone to microbial or yeast growth. It also heats well, being close to body temperature. You may also come across food and medical-grade silicone sex toys. The food grade part is cured in tin, while medical grade uses the material known as platinum. On a base level, medical-grade, platinum-cured silicone is the most stable, meaning lubricants won’t affect them as much, especially in the case of silicone-based lubes.
A great body safe material used to make sex toys is known as borosilicate glass, which may also be referred to as “Pyrex.” Borosilicate glass is tempered glass, and this kind of glass is very durable and can withstand greater temperatures than other types of glass. It can do so without cracking or breaking. Many sex toy manufactures put their sex toys through a serious drop test, so you can be sure each borosilicate glass sex toy will remain intact.
Additionally, stainless steel toys are very firm in nature, which can intensify even the smallest actioning. And so, these toys also tend to be made slim line, which is due to their hardness or rigidity. However, what they lack for in width, they make up for in weight. Some users love the added weight because it can mean added pleasure. Additionally, stainless-steel sex toys work well with any type of lubricant too, and they are dishwasher safe and can be easily disinfected in a pot of boiling water or dipped in a 10% bleach solution (for toys with motors). Also, stainless steel is a great conductor of temperature, and can (therefore) be easily warmed or cooled.
Stainless steel and glass toys (especially when compared to silicone) may tend to be made in smaller sizes. This is due to their rigidity and their inability to flex or bend, as mentioned previously. However, the firmness can be especially stimulating for the G-spot, A-spot or prostate (in males). Additionally, glass sex toys and stainless-steel sex toys are also great for temperature play as they can be easily heated or cooled.
ABS-plastic sex toys easily combine some of the features of both stainless steel and borosilicate glass. They’re usually at a great rice point, too.
So, the real take-home advice here is that: silicone, ABS plastic, borosilicate glass, and stainless steel are great choices, overall. They’re body safe, higher in quality and your body will be pleasured in complete and utter safety as long as their cleanliness is maintained well.