How safe is your sex toy?
If you want the short answer…It completely depends on what it’s made of.
By far the biggest “No-No” when it comes to picking our special “friends” are if it contains Phthalates. This is a nasty chemical that makes your toy more flexible and more life-like.
(Well as “life-like” as 8 Inch fluorescent pink dildo can be).
This nasty compound has been linked to fertility issues, breast cancer, obesity and much more we’ll discuss later on.
So, If you have ANY doubts, I’d place your favorite friend back in its draw until you’ve had a little look below.
This is the complete rundown on EVERYTHING to do will vibrator safety so you can concentrate on your mind-blowing orgasm, without worrying if the toy in your “foo-foo” (or up your bum) ‘might’ send you to an early grave.
Taking of early graves...
Out of all the embarrassing ways you could ‘snuff it’, In my research I came across a few classics like...
- Jimi Heselden the owner of Segway, Inc who was killed when he drove his Segway off a cliff and fell 213 feet into a river.
- Gary Hoy, a 38-year-old lawyer, who met his maker after falling 24 floors when he ran into a pane of glass whilst showing ‘how safe the windows were'.
- The man who bet two women $4,300 that he could have sex for 12 hours, only to die almost immediately because he had downed an entire bottle of Viagra beforehand.
(Although to be fair to him, he DID win the bet.)
Now, of course, I’m not laughing at the dead. I’m just pointing out that croaking it from an unsafe sex toy would definitely make this list too.
Just imagine it’s your funeral...
Your family’s all gathered around, and the mood is somber.
Your great Aunt Mille shuffles over and whispers quietly into your mother's ear:“It’s a tragedy.. they were so young… How did they pass?”
Your mom nods her head, slowly turns to her, and through teary eyes whispers back solemnly…“The dildo got her”I know, I know...This whole situation is VERY far fetched and the chances of it happening are pretty slim,
But not impossible.
You see, the sex toy industry is a booming $15 billion dollar market and rising fast. And like with any industry, when the ‘less desirable’ manufacturers jump on the bandwagon to make a quick buck the overall quality of the products takes a nosedive.
In the case of sex toys, this means a tidal wave of dodgy dildos and risky rabbits hitting the market, with these cheap imitations actually being dangerous to your health. Don’t panic though, because SEX TOYS ARE AMAAAAAZING!
They can make a ‘solo’ - or ‘not so solo’ - experience mind-blowing and we at Escape Vanilla fully recommend having at least one in your repertoire.
Bit of a warning though...Yes, the information you’re about to read may sound slightly off-putting, and this is in no way meant to scare you because if you’re sensible, buy quality products, and take good care of your trusted toys everything will be just fine.
Your Pleasure Portals Worst Enemy
I have a question...
If you were offered something to eat and weren't exactly sure what it was, or where it came from, there's a good chance you would question it, right?
I’m only bringing this up because there’s plenty of chemicals out there in labs which can react and cause itching, rashes and tissue damage which applied to our skin.And as the majority of sex toys we use, tend to find a way inside our bodies, we need to be 100% sure they’re safe.
I’ve briefly mentioned it above, but the common chemical found much to regularly in sex toys is phthalates.
This is the stuff that makes your friend that little bit more flexible, comfortable and lifelike, but that's just the half of it.
They also have a dark side...
In the last 20 years, phthalates have also been linked to various nasty conditions such as male fertility issues, breast cancer, obesity, type 2 diabetes, asthma, neurodevelopment issues, behaviour issues, autism spectrum disorders, and even ADHD to name a few.
Not to mention, in 1999 when the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission requested U.S. manufacturers to stop using phthalates in pacifiers (or for the Brits “Dummies”) - and baby products in general.
In my opinion, these findings alone should be a red flag and definitely something not to be taken lightly.
In short...Phthalates are the devil
So, if Phthalates are the devil, who are the demons?Well, other chemicals to avoid are timethytin chloride, phenol, carbon disulfide, toluene, and admium which are known to have harmful effects on the central nervous system may also affect the fetus of a woman who is pregnant or breastfeeding.
Again...Not good news.
Which is why it's so important to read all the ingredients listed on the packaging to ensure safety. However, if that's no longer an option, and you’ve already thrown the packaging away, then what do you do?No worries, just refer to our quick guide below:
Best (And Worst) Materials For Use In Your Sex Toy
Time now to name and shame the worst, and award a gold star to the best materials that you should be looking for when picking your next ‘sexual lifestyle product’.
Starting with the ‘baddies’.
Although it may sound like a harmless choice, and only conjure up images of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and kids’ birthday parties, in this case, it couldn't be further from the truth.
This inexpensive material is a favorite for the bulk of cheap (and dangerous) toys that have flooded the market in recent years. Jelly has a flexible quality and although it may feel good, it also contains a high concentration of phthalates.
And as we all now know, this chemical is a ‘public enemy number one’ when it comes to your health.
Rubber and the natural latex sap used to produce these products have been known to cause allergic reactions with symptoms including hives, itching, a stuffy or runny nose which makes it even more surprising that it's such a common material in production.
(Shame on you!)
Also, it’s porous which means if your toy isn’t cleaned properly after you've had your wicked way it can be a breeding ground for bacteria.
(Which I’ll admit isn’t the sexiest thought in the world)
PVC & VinylJust like jelly, the culprits PVC and Vinyl are also guilty of containing phthalates. Because as you’ve just heard, it gives more flexibility and help keeps the cost down.
We've heard about the bad guys, so what materials get a Gold Star in the safety and hygiene department.
For quality manufactures of sex toys, such as Dame Products, Lelo, We Vibe and Unbound this is the popular choice. It’s both realistic and flexible and has that “real-ish” feel.
Although it’s more expensive, silicone does not contain dangerous chemicals, is super safe to put in our bodies and is durable as hell!
So, no matter what you put it through (and I dare you to try) it’ll still be making you cum in years to...er...come.
A metal sex toy is a great option for not only those with a robot fetish but also for people who are extra-conscious about hygiene.Because it’s not porous, cleaning is as easy as washing your dishes. Although, I’d personally not throw it in the sink when cleaning up last night’s dinner plates.
Another bonus with stainless steel dildos, if you did leave it out, and an unexpected visitor turns up, chances are they’ll just think it was a modern piece of art sitting on your coffee table.
But not with the same chemical makeup that you would serve a gin & tonic in.
Borosilicate is highly durable and also non-porous so it’s an extremely hygienic piece of kit. It does not change under shape under high temperatures either, so to clean it, you can even place it in the dishwasher if you so wish.
(Again, I leave this up to you)
Lucite was made popular in the 1940s and 1950s for making costume jewellery for its array of colors and moldability.
Then some smart cookie thought it would be perfect for making sex toys. Lucite has another feature. As it's a pretty firm texture it’s perfect for those of you who want to strengthen their P.C muscles with the odd kegel exercise routine.
7 Best Practices For Sex Toys
#1 Know your toys
The internet is a wealth of information. And for sex toys, it’s no different. If you have a collection already get hold of product descriptions and find out what your toys are made of.
If it contains any of the chemicals found on our ‘shit list’ then you know what to do.
#2 You get what you pay for (Usually)
Listen, lets be honest. If a vibrator costs less than a cup of coffee at Starbucks, it can mean one of two things”
A) Starbucks is massively overpriced
B) It’s made from the cheapest materials available and will probably contain phthalates or some other nasty chemicals.
Seriously though, for your health alone it's worth paying that extra money, not only that but when you pay a little more, nine times out of ten it’ll last longer.Because remember:
A dildo shouldn’t just be for Christmas...It’s for life.
#3 Clean after every use
Seems obvious right?You never know though, as there may come a time when you're in a rush, or have to put it away in a hurry (ahem…) or it all just got a little too much after the dirty deed and you fell straight to sleep.It happens.
Nevertheless, try your best to clean it after every use because unfortunately our bodily fluids are the perfect place for bacteria to grow and nothing kills the mood faster than a mouldy vibrator.
Best way to clean them...
Silicone & Pyrex: Wash with antibacterial soap and warm water or dishwasher
Glass: Antibacterial soap and warm water
Stainless Steel: Boiled for 10 minutes to kill bacteria.
Plastic & Rubber: Hand-wash them with warm water and antibacterial soap
NOTE: Battery-operated toys are not submarines. Do NOT submerge.
#4 Anal for anal
Although ‘bum fun’ is thoroughly enjoyable, it’s sensible to keep your anal toy JUST for anal.
Of course, cross-contamination may happen in the throngs of passion but just make sure you give your toy a good scrub afterward just to be sure.
Another feature of quality anal toys is a flared base or stopper. This is because your bum has a tendency to suck up objects up (go figure). The last thing you want is a trip to the emergency room for a game of “hide and seek”.
#5 Store in a safe place
Don't worry, by “a safe place” you don’t go out and buy an actual safe to lock them away. Just use your common sense. Simply make sure you put them in a place where they’re out of reach.
As no one wants to come in and find their kids, mid-battle, swinging around your favorite dildos like a couple of Lightsabers, or the dog claiming it as their new preferred chew toy do they.
#6 Strong smellsUrgh...I agree, it’s an awful way to describe it, but it's not what you think.
Well, kinda. What I mean is that rubber and jelly materials have a distinctive and ‘plasticy’ odor to them whereas silicone and safe materials simply...don’t.
And if you do the sniff test one your existing toys, and the results are less than pleasant. Maybe its time for them to go into permanent retirement.
#7 Know your lube
Lube is a great addition when using sex toys as it allows things to go more smoothly, especially if things are a little tight.
(Never a bad thing in my experience).There are cases however when two silicones don't always make a right.What I mean is if you have a silicone toy do not use silicone or oil-based lube as well.
This is because it will actually cause the material to break down the material. Meaning the only place that sex toy will be inserted next is the trash.
What Has A Lava Lamp, A Whoopee Cushion & Your Sex Toy Got In Common?
Well, this might surprise you but they all fall under the category of “novelty items” which means that tests of these products are crappy at best.
To date, one of the only agencies that keeps an eye on the industry is the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and although they oversee the sales of toys, actually testing them is not so high on their priority.
Which when you think about it is crazy as these objects often find themselves inside the body and really should be under the same stringent regulations as medical products.
What’s being done about it?
The honest answer - not a lot.There’s no registration currently in place, and last time I checked, there wasn’t one on the horizon either which means at the moment it's down to us to do our due diligence.
And lastly, the subject everyone avoids…
I’ll be straight with you, this is not the only article you’ll be able to find on sex toy safety, but here at Escape Vanilla, we reckon we’re different because we’re not afraid to cover all aspect.
The main one being them being Sex toys and STIshepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV can also be passed on.
But remember, if you follow these three simple steps STIs won’t ever be a problem:
Clean thoroughly after each use (See above)
Have a different set of sex toys for each partner
Avoid using toys when there are any cuts and sores present.
And if the thought of bacteria or STI’s really are still a worry, then there is a solution.
Stick A Condom On It!
One fail-safe way to protect yourself from any harm is just put a condom on it. And after your done, throw it away. Simple.Oh yeah…(Just make sure you’re not allergic to latex condoms in the first place)
Phew, that was all rather heavy, wasn't it…?
So To Sum Up...
This information was in no way meant to scare you into only ever masturbating again whilst wearing a bio-suit.
Instead it's just so you're aware of what COULD happen.
Because as my granny always said, “best to know what you’re getting yourself into!”
Obviously don't think she was referring directly to vibrators, but you get my gist.
So please keep on using toys on your own, with partners or whoever else you choose to.
Just Be Safe