The FDA does not regulate the adult-toy industry the way they do everything else. There are certain materials of which it is illegal to make kids' toys and yet anyone can make a dildo out of whatever! Who cares! They’re being used for dirty deeds anyway, right?
Some plastics and rubbers contain harmful toxins like parabens and phthalates that leach out of the product and into your body. Products made out of porous materials degrade overtime, tear, and harbor bacteria causing irritation or infection. Fortunately, there are more and more companies raising their standards by choosing to manufacture toys using only body-safe materials and lubricants with only body-safe ingredients.
To promote healthy attitudes and behaviors around sex I think we must first encourage positive experiences. Not only within the act itself - solo or partnered - but with one’s own intuitive understanding of their desires and needs. Everyone has their own hang ups and we all have witnessed someone else’s. Be it shame, naivety, or conditioning it’s one thing to explore your own sexuality and quite another to navigate someone else’s
- without adequate resources like sex-education,
- without a platform or space to talk about it, and
- without society’s compassion.
So one way I approach this is to educate, making sure you are made aware of your options and obstacles. Another way is to provide access to those options - in this case the highest quality body-safe products - thus circumventing those potentially harmful obstacles
I find it of utmost importance that everyone is granted access to the experience of pleasure without fear nor shame, and - with the space to make personal choices. After all it’s supposed to be feel good, right?
Without further ado here is the Earthly Delights Body-Safe Materials Breakdown:
Just like your wing nut sister checks the ingredients and materials of her kid’s literal-everything so should you be skeptical of the materials used to make your sex toys! Here are the top 4 materials you should seek:
- Medical Grade Silicone
- ABS Plastic
- Stainless Steel
Medical Grade Silicone is…
- Non-Porous This means that the surface is impermeable! Anything that finds its way onto this material is easily wiped off leaving no trace. This makes it totally body-safe in that it does not, cannot, will not harbor bacteria! It is also easily cleaned with just soap and water or other sterilization methods (below)
- Mainly used for the outer layers of vibrators, kegel balls, and also used to make dildos and plugs alike where the entire body of the product is one material and without a motor
Duly noted: The one and only thing to remember with silicone toys is that they do NOT play well with silicone lube. Hmm why is that you ask? Because the material is non-porous and so strong the like-molecules of the lube and the surface of the toy will bond and cause degradation which will cause those tears that can harbor bacteria and then that kinda defeats the entire purpose of having this body-safe toy in the first place!
Fun Fact: Silicone comes in a range of densities from hard almost plastic-like to super silky soft and squishy. If you’re new to #buttstuff try a soft silicone plug Trust me, it’s way more comfortable than a finger. Which has a bone inside of it. And a fingernail. And a mind of its own.
Toy Care: Soap and water. Seriously, it’s all you need. Antibacterial soap like Dial is totally kosher - figuratively speaking of course, but now i’m wondering if there are any kosher soaps out there... Unless you’re a Virgo or in a spring cleaning, Marie Kondo type mood you can always sterilize a silicone toy with these easy steps:1. If your toy does NOT have a motor, or if the vibration mechanism is removable:
- throw it in the dishwasher
- or boil some water, take it off the heat, plop in your toy. You can also add sterilizing tablets but that’s almost too much.
- simply spritz the thing with a super diluted formula of bleach
- but remember to clean with soap before the next time you use it inside your body.
Remember, because silicone is non-porous the cleaning fluids interacting with the bodily - or other - fluids is all happening on the surface of the toy. Nothing is soaking into the toy. So we’re serious when we say a simple wipe down is all you need.–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
ABS Plastic is…
- Non-porous, non-toxic, and recyclable
- Most commonly used to make computer keyboards, Legos, the bodies of power tools, wall sockets, etc... Because of the chemistry of this material it does not offer the same risks as other plastics when manufactured, utilized, or exposed to environments. As for adult toys ABS is used for more rigid products like the Aneros or the Tango.
- As is the case with the Aneros this material offers a rigid, dense product that provides a comfortable sensation of fullness and pressure for the pleasure anatomy
- As for the Tango, and other vibrating products made with ABS, some experience more buzzy sensations - as opposed to rumbly with silicone - and a more permeable depth of vibration as the hard ABS moves more dramatically with the vibration as opposed to the subtle movements of a softer material.
Toy Care: as non-porous as it gets ABS can be washed with antibacterial soap and water, or any toy cleaner of your choice. I would avoid the dishwasher as ABS has a very low melting point…–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
Stainless Steel and Glass (pyrex technically) are both...
- Non-porous FTW!
- Most products that are made with glass or stainless steel - such as the NJoy line - are designed to provide the sensation of fullness - rather than friction. The weight of the material satisfies the desire for more, more, more! by providing pressure and a density that engages with your pleasure anatomy in a wholly different way than something that vibrates or is squishy.
Fun Fact: Temperature play! With both Stainless Steel and Glass (pyrex) it is quite enjoyable to play with temperature.
1. Heat up by boiling water and taking it off the heat source, submerge the Stainless Steel toy and let it heat up. Why?
- your body is warm and especially when aroused it’s warmer so using a stainless steel toy that’s been out in room temp might be jolting and take you out of the mood.
- It’s the dead of winter and you can’t get warm. Stick a toasty Stainless Steel plug in your bum and tell me that didn’t just solve all your problems
- the clitoris has 8,000 nerve endings alone, sometimes when we’re aroused or have been going at it for awhile you can sort of lose access to some of the nuances of sensation if everything is engorged and warm and slobbery and probably beginning to feel numb. So introduce a chilly tip to the clit and enjoy the torrent of new sensations that could take you to the next level just like that!
- it’s August. Nuff said.
Toy Care: Soap and water, boil, bleach spritz, dishwasher… all of the above!
Thanks for reading!
Join us next time where we give you the Body-Safe Ingredients Breakdown and explain the mysterious world of Lube!