A Guide to Body Safe Sex Toys

While researching last week’s product review of Pipedream’s bondage tape, I found a darker side to the sex toy industry full of lies, dangerous practices, and questionable morals. I was surprised to find out that companies are allowed to sell us products that are not only deceiving but dangerous. (If you want to know more about these companies, read last week’s post Who to Avoid? The Disgusting world of sex toys.) With all that out of the way, I took it into my hands to put together a quick guide on buying body-safe sex toys to help you make an informed and safe toy purchase! 

Body-Safe Materials

Body-safe sex toy materials must be non-porous, not contain any harmful toxins, and must be able to be sterilized. 

100% Silicone/Medical grade Silicone

100%/Medical Grade Silicone is non-porous, doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals and if it’s not electric, you can boil it/put it through the dishwasher for a deep clean.

BEWARE: Some companies will just write silicone or silicone blends with no other details; usually, these are porous and trap bacteria; therefore, they are not body-safe. 

Glass

Glass, if made well, is non-porous and non-toxic (don’t buy painted glass). It can also withstand heat, meaning you can boil it to sterilize it. 

Treated Wood

Wood, when made correctly, is non-porous, and you can sterilize it. Make sure you buy from a reputable source that uses a body-safe varnish.

BEWARE: Products that say “natural finish” for they cannot be sterilized and will become porous over time. 

Stainless Steel

Stainless Steel is non-porous, doesn’t rust, phthalate-free, and you can sterilize it! You can boil, or just use rubbing alcohol to get all the bacteria. 

Proceed With Caution

These are sex toys that should not be shared unless a condom is used first. There is a small chance that the materials in this category can harbor bacteria. If you notice any issues with your genitals, such as rashes or yeast infections, after prolong use of a toy containing these ingredients, it might be time to find a replacement.

ABS Plastic

Hard Plastic. ABS Plastic has no known carcinogens (cancer-causing substances) and is phthalate-free!

TPR, TPE plastic

These plastics are porous, which allows it to harbor bacteria even after being cleaned. This material is not body safe because you can not properly sterilize it. 

Not Body-Safe

Sex Toys are unsafe when they contain toxic chemicals or are porous, making them hard to sterilize.

Phthalates

Phthalates are chemicals they add to plastic to make it more flexible. Pretty harmless, right? No, in fact, you can no longer put these chemicals in kids’ toys. Why? Because when tested on rats, phthalates damaged their reproductive system and may have even given them cancer. Not enough to scare you? It can cause skin irritation, nausea, and dizziness in humans. Yikes! Best to stay clear of it. Unless they say Phthalate-free stay clear of: 

  • Jelly Toys (sticky to touch? it may contain phthalates.)
  • Rubber
  • PVC (also very porous.) 

I hope that this quick guide helps you responsibly buy your next sex toy! If you have any of the unsafe materials, or if you are unsure of what your toy’s material, is it’s best to get a new one. Treat yourself, and have some safe and sexy fun!

Want to learn more? Here are some other articles on the topic! 

Wood Sex Toys: An Introduction

Dangerous Sex Toy Materials

Body-Safe Sex Toy Materials Guide

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