How to make sure your sex toys are safe

These days it seems like everything will give us cancer. A new report comes out each week saying that sunscreen, potato chips, styrofoam or your cell phone is slowly killing you. At this point, we might as well live in a bubble.
While we can’t avoid everything that may or may not be bad for us, we can certainly steer clear of the products we know for a fact are harmful–especially products we use in our most intimate areas, like sex toys.

Unfortunately, the FDA does not regulate sex toy production, meaning that while many are safe for us, others have some less than appealing chemical make ups. Without regulation and education, many men and women are getting theirs and possibly getting something else and as sexy as chemical induced sexy time is… it isn’t.

Use this guide to make sure you know your sex toy materials, what is and isn’t safe and what you should look for.
Sex toys come to us a in a variety of materials like silicone, metal, plastic, jelly and glass. Many can look the same at first glance, but we’re told a different story under the microscope.

Silicone–This is one of the most popular materials used in sex toys and for good reason. It’s non-porous, hypoallergenic, hygienic, and pliable. These are all great things to find in a sex toy. Silicone, especially medical-grade, is a great and healthy choice.

Metal–Typically made of stainless steel, these super safe toys are a wonderful non-porous, durable option. These toys pair well with lubes and will last you a lifetime if taken care of properly. Kick your safety up even higher by looking for medical grade stainless steel.

Hard Plastic–Plastic toys can be confusing. Make sure yours is in fact hard plastic to ensure that it doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals. Hard plastic is an okay option for sex toys. It’s completely safe, non-porous and durable, but it doesn’t have much bend and can be very uncomfortable.

Jelly–These toys are made from a mix of PVC and rubber and should be completely avoided. You will commonly find cheaper toys made out of this material. Jelly not only contains phthalates (more on that later), but it’s also porous meaning it will collect (and grow!) bacteria. You will find that no amont of cleaning will truly remove all of the bacteria and your toy will eventually begin to smell.

Glass–Glass toys are typically made out of medical-grade borosilicate glass (think Pyrex) and are another great sex toy option. Glass toys are non-porous, durable, beautiful, and very hygienic due to the fact that you can disinfect it by dropping it into boiling water. Fun fact: glass retains temperature, so you can heat or cool these toys down. You can find beautiful glass options and other sex toys at Adam and Eve.

You should also avoid any toy made with PVC, rubber, soft plastic, or worse, any toy that does not list it’s ingredients. All of these products are likely to contain phthalates. And unlike potato chip, phthalates are actually proven to harm your body.

Phthalates are chemical softeners used to soften plastic. The chemical itself is unsafe for intimate contact, but it also has the tendency to breakdown over time and can begin outgassing through the seams of a toy.

Look for toys that specifically state they are phthalate-free or are made from glass, medical grade silicone, metal or hard plastic.

Buying a body safe toy doesn’t necessarily mean you’re safe though. Keeping your toy clean and stored properly are important components to you and your toy’s health.

Uncleaned toys can allow bacteria to build up over time, bacteria that can ultimately cause infections and/or spread disease. Be sure to clean your toy after every use. Use this toy cleaning guide to know how to properly clean each kind of toy material.

When it comes to storing, make sure you keep your toys separated. When mixed with others, certain toys can cause the material to break down or even break other toys. Wrap them individually in small cloth bags and keep them out of reach of children and animals. Take the batteries out in between use to ensure you get the longest battery life possible and avoid any battery leakage.

Now that you know, be proactive! Have any toys you aren’t 100% sure about? Don’t risk it. Throw them away and get toys you can be confident in. Plus, it was probably time to change them out anyway!

Top Fantasies

1. A threesome with two guys and myself. I’ve wanted to try this for years, but just haven’t found the right men to make it happen. I don’t understand why some guys have issues about close proximity to another cock, but eh. *shrugs* A girl can dream, damnit!

2. Watching a cute boy give me head while I’m wearing a strap-on. I may not get the sensations a male may get from it, but damn…it’s still sexy as hell. Or fucking someone with a strap-on. There are definitely days I wish I had been born with a cock.

3. Co-topping a cute girl with either my Sir or the ex-military boy (his tag is Mein Hund, and I’m probably going to just refer to him as Hund that from now on). I love the dynamic that having a partner in evil brings to a scene, and I know both Master and my Hund well enough that I know what they’re going to do and where they’re going to take the scene. Yummy.

4. Having one of my lovers watch me playing, be it with toys, another person, or just being able to have them in the same room as a scene I’m in. It makes my inner exhibitionist all happy.

5. Medical play scenes. Hey, I know my kinks, and this is one that always gets me gushy. The whole Doctor/patient thing does nothing for me, but if you stick needles into me and do a blood draw or let me be a distant and medical professional at you…woof. I’m a happy happy girl.

Anal Sex

So, August is apparently Anal Sex Month! Had I realized this earlier, there would have been much more anal play in the last few weeks. (Do I get half points for having bought a new butt plug last month?)

So, here’s some basic info for safe anal play from Pixel!

Clean up first! Go to the bathroom before you play, clean with soap and water (I’ve always found that dragging a partner into the shower with me worked well.), a cleaning wipe, or, if you feel like it’s needed, use an enema.

Foreplay! It’s your friend. The more relaxed you are, the less tense your muscles will be. A massage is great for this, and some oral and/or heavy petting are usually part of my pre-anal foreplay.

Use lube. It seems like a blindingly obvious statement, but lube (how much, and what kind you use) is really the best thing to make your butt sex feel good. I love Sliquid. Their Sassy formula is a thicker gel and great for use with toys, and their Silver (silicone based, because the extra slickness makes friction no longer an issue) is my ‘go to’ lube for fucking. Just remember, silicone toys+silicone lube=a bad idea, and possibly a ruined toy.

Try some clit stimulation. Seriously. The Mimi is the toy I generally I grab, as it’s small enough to not get in my way during sex, and the vibration levels aren’t overwhelming. For me, lower levels of vibration are what my body needs to relax before penetration, and once I’m comfortable with penetration, I turn it up! The Tango also rocks for this.

Try switching up positions. Missionary not working out for you? Try doggy, or spooning, or cowboy. The angle just may be wrong for you and your body!

Don’t use numbing sprays or lubes. If things are hurting during anal sex, you need to know about it!

Watch for lubes that have parabens-some people are allergic to these chemicals, and experience a burning sensation when they come in contact with them.

Take your time. This isn’t a race, and if it takes you a half hour or more of teasing and being fingered before you’re ready to be fucked, then that’s how long it takes.

Above all, communicate with your partner. If something doesn’t feel right, if you need more lube, or just aren’t up for anal play today, tell them! Otherwise, how are they going to be able to make the experience better for you?

How to Bring Sex Toys into a New Relationship

Dating brings with it all sorts of tiny milestones, from sharing that first kiss to meeting each other’s friends for the first time. You may store your toothbrush at your partner’s house, but are you ready to bring your sex toys into the bedroom yet? This implies that you have reached a certain level of comfort and trust. If you already have a great love life but want to spice it up a bit with erotic toys, the first step is to find out if your partner agrees.

Communication is always a good idea when you’re up for trying anything new in bed. This is one case when the element of surprise may work against you and leave your partner feeling unsure of how to react. It’s natural to feel a bit awkward bringing up your sexual proclivities with someone you have only known for a short time, but you can look at having a real down-to-earth sex talk as an important part of getting to know each other.

Be sure to bring up the subject when you’re in a safe, comfortable, and private environment. Although you may feel thrilled about the idea of trying something new, it’s possible that your partner will feel threatened or inadequate. Reassure him or her that this is not the case, but that you feel that bringing a sex toy into the bedroom might be something that you feel would be an exciting journey to take together. It’s helpful if you have some idea in mind of the type of toy you’d like to try, so that you can answer any questions your partner might have. Remain open-minded to your partner’s fears and requests to find a solution you both can enjoy.

You both may be open to bringing sex toys into the relationship, but if you’re new to this type of activity as a couple it can be intimidating at first. A good way to ease into getting more adventurous between the sheets is by playing sex games, which tend to be light-hearted and playful. Games can range from the slightly silly to the completely naughty depending on your preference. Sexy dice or card games can be a good way to start exploring new territory and make for excellent foreplay. Roleplaying can also be a fun way to experiment before you bring in a physical toy.

Shopping for sex toys together can help build excitement and will help ensure that you’re on the same page when it comes to kinks. You may be all about full-on bondage gear, but your partner may have a more traditional Rabbit vibrator in mind to start with. If you’re feeling shy about visiting an adult store in person, you can find no shortage of toys online. Read reviews of these products carefully and do your research to find something that will suit you both.

Ultimately, deciding whether or not to introduce toys into a new relationship is something that each couple will have to evaluate on an individual basis. Communication, research, and a willingness to get a bit outside of your comfort zone in the pursuit of pleasure can help bring your relationship to a whole new level.

How to clean your sex toys

With all the different types of sex toy materials out there, there’s also a variety of ways to clean them! Here’s a list of some of the most common toy materials and how to get them clean.

Jelly (also know as Jel-Lee or jellie): Jelly is a porous material, so there is no way to completely clean it. (Also, it usually contains phthalates, which can cause a variety of health issues from a burning sensation, irritation, chemical burns, and some studies have linked them to cancer.) If you absolutely want to use a jelly toy, use a condom! To attempt to clean it…use a toy cleaner. Also, do not let it touch other toys during storage-it may melt them! Store jelly items in their original packaging or in a ziplock bag of some sort.

PVC, SIL-a-gel, Rubber, and Latex: these are all porous, so again, no way to totally clean them. They also may contain phthalates. Use condoms with them during use to be careful and if you’re sharing them between partners. You can’t sterilize these, but can clean them with soap and water or toy cleaner. Again, you may want to keep these from touching other toys, as they may cause them to melt.

TPE/TPR, and TPR Silicone: These are all rubber blends, so again, semi porous. (Don’t be fooled by the name ‘TPR Silicone’! You only need to have 10% silicone in a sex toy product to be able to slap the word silicone on the label!) Condoms for use/sharing are a good idea, and you can clean these toys with soap and water or toy cleaner. These are another toy you should be careful about storing.

Hard Plastic:
Depending on the make, they can be non porous, but should be used with a condom if you plan on sharing them. These should be cleaned with toy wipes, soap and water, or a 10% bleach solution. Don’t boil them! You could end up melting your toy!

Glass, Metal, and Silicone: These are all non porous, and are good material for sharing with your partner(s), provided they get sterilized in between partners. You can completely sterilize them by boiling it for 5 minutes, wiping it down with a 10% bleach solution, or by putting it through the dishwasher. (Put your toy on the top rack and don’t add dishwashing liquid for this cycle!) Store glass in padded bags or packaging, and always check it for chips/cracks before use! Pure silicone toys can be stored touching other silicone toys without any damage to your toys.

When I’m cleaning my toys, I usually clean my dildos and vibrators before use because a. my storage chest isn’t air tight and b. I own a cat. So it doesn’t matter how clean the toy was before I put it in the box, there’s always a wee bit of dust, etc on it. I tend to pick a day at the end of the month and clean all of my dildos, and as I only have ones that are non-porous, they all get tossed into my giant stock pot and boiled together. I dump them into a colander to drain off the water, and they’re allowed to air dry before I put them away.