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The Ultimate Guide to Sex Toy Materials

How to Choose the Perfect Sex Toy

Part 1: Materials

Your Questions …

What sex toy materials are safe?

What are phthalates?

Why are silicone toys so popular?

What lube can I use with my toys? 

Answered.

 

 

Both on our site and out in the world there are just so many gorgeous and tempting toys to choose from! The trick is finding the right ones that suit your needs and your preferences.

 

This is going to be a short series on the varying things you should consider before you purchase any kind of toy for your growing collection.

 

Part 1: Sex Toy Materials

Part 2: Sex Toy Functions

Part 3: Choosing a Lubricant 

Part 4: Cleaning & Hygiene 

 

Let’s start with materials! If something is going anywhere near your precious privates, you should know what it’s made of, right? You may be asking yourself: Why would I want a glass dildo? Why is everything made of silicone? Why would I buy a toy that’s $200 when I can find a similar one for $20?

 

In short, you get what you pay for.

 

High quality toys from reputable manufacturers mean lower defective rates and …the magic word… warranties.

 

 

***Pro-tip*** ALL packaging for toys made of silicone or hard plastics should say phthalate free this is critical! Phthalates are an inexpensive group of chemicals that manufacturers add to plastics to soften them and make them more flexible. Studies have shown that they increase your risk for several types of cancers, they cause damage to babies during development, they can interfere with sperm production and so much more! So please, stay safe and stay away from phthalates!

 

Let’s talk about the most common types of sex toy materials and the basics.

 

Word of the Hour: Porosity

 

Basically, this means whether or not the material has tiny, microscopic holes in it that can trap bacteria, dust or even semen. This ultimately tells you how hygienic the toy is.

Non-porous  means that it has an impenetrable surface (like stainless steel) which means most of them can be sterilised by boiling them in water or even throwing them in the dishwasher.

Porous toys are ones with little nooks and crannies for bacteria to hide and thrive in, however a lot of the porous materials out there have many positive properties as well. Let’s go through the most popular materials together so you can decide which ones are right for your needs.

 

100% Silicone

 

This is the most popular material for toys for a variety of reasons. An important note is that the packaging must say “100% silicone” otherwise it could be only 10% silicone and 90% mystery stuff!

 

Silicone Rabbit Vibrator

 

💓 Pure silicone toys are medical-grade polymers (still check the packaging) so it can’t cause allergic reactions

💓 This material retains heat very well which can make it feel more realistic (if you’re into that)

💓 Flexible, silky smooth, durable and does not contain phthalates

💓 It is non-porous, hypoallergenic and can be sterilized (or cleaned with warm water and soap)

💓 Heat and cold resistant so it can be boiled to sanitize 

💓 Can ONLY be used with water-based lubricants

 

***Pro Tip*** If you plan to share your toys with others, please make sure to sterilise them first or make life easier by sliding on a condom!

 

Hard Plastic, Lucite and Acrylic

 

This is a more inexpensive material found in many toys, especially vibrators. There is a large variety of similar materials that also do not contain phthalates and are safe for use!

 

🍌 This material is great for people concerned with material sensitivity issues

🍌 Shiny, hard and works great with vibrating sensations

🍌 It is usually non-porous and easy to clean

🍌 Safe with any lubricant

 

Stainless Steel

 

These toys may look intimidating on the shelf but are some of the easiest to clean and play with! Due to the material, they are definitely built to last!

 

Metal Toy Butt Plug

💓 Made either of chromium and steel or 100% stainless steel so they will not rust

💓 Also used in many medical materials (if it’s surgical grade) 

💓 Can be easily sterilized

💓 Great for temperature play (hot and cold)

💓 Ideal for G-Spot or P-Spot play

💓 Can be used with any type of lubricant

 

Glass

 

These toys are so tempting because they’re so beautiful! Despite what you might think they’re not easy to break and can last a lifetime. Look for “Borosciliate Glass” which is used in laboratory glass wares or “soda-line glass” which is slightly more affordable but not quite the same quality as Borosciliate.

 

Glass Dildo

 

🍌 Hypoallergenic and non-porous so they’re easy to clean

🍌 Maintain temperature well so great for hot or cold play

🍌 Ideal for G-Spot or P-Spot play

🍌 Make sure they are properly made and sealed by a quality manufacturer, so           they’re properly made and sealed

🍌 Can be used with any type of lubricant

 

Organic Wood

 

Like your glass toys, these are gorgeous toys that are often elaborately carved from exotic woods. They are made to be splinter-free (when properly finished) and are great for people who have reactions to other toy materials or are sensitive to smells. 

 

💓 Waterproof and hypoallergenic

💓 Super smooth finish when a medical grade sealant is added

💓 Every toy is 100% unique

💓 Can be used with any type of lubricant 

 

Natural Stone 

Another beautiful material that is ideal for temperature play and many consider them to have healing properties when made out of materials like rose quartz. 

Chakrub-Natural-Crystal-Dildo

 

🍌 Completely smooth and unique

🍌 Somewhat porous so use a condom if sharing

🍌 Easy to clean

🍌 Can be used with any type of lubricant

 

Elastomers

While this material is phthalate-free, it is still soft and flexible like many of the rubber toys you may be looking for. 

 

Tenga - Flip 0 (Zero) 

 

💓 Very durable and hypoallergenic

💓 Great for people who are concerned with chemical sensitivities or allergic reactions

💓 Very porous so use a condom when sharing

💓 Safe for water-based lubricants only

 

TPR (thermoplastic rubber) and TPE (Thermoplastic Elastomer)

 

These are fairly inexpensive and often phthalate-free but not always so proceed with caution!

 

Tenga Spinner Tetra

 

🍌 Moulded with heat, these can resemble jelly, plastic or silicone

🍌 Porous so use a condom if sharing!

🍌 Bendy, elastic but very durable

🍌 Safe with water based-lubricants only

 

Jelly

 

This is a popular material used in inexpensive toys made out of Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC). This is well known for having a plasticky smell and containing phthalates so steer clear! 

 

 Jelly non-body safe sex toy material

💓 These toys are inexpensive, flexible and soft

💓 Very porous so it retains smells, bacteria, and other harmful things easily (not safe to share without a condom)

💓 Not easy to clean due to porous nature

💓 Only safe with water-based lubricants

 

***Pro-Tip*** Buyer beware, there are some phthalate alternatives out there that are cleverly disguised as things like: Hexamoll DINCH, Esteer, 2,2,4-trimethyl 1,3-pentanediol diisobutyrate (TXIB) among many others.

 

If you enjoyed this article, please share it with your friends on social media and tag us @myamorashop

 

Get out there, get in there and get off there!

Elaine S. Turner

Sex Coach, Clinical Sexologist and Sexuality Educator

Sydney, Australia

August 2020

Please remember everyone while we are Sexperts, we are not medical professionals. This site does not provide medical advice. Nothing can replace that specific medical knowledge so if you want more information, ask a doctor or other medical professional. This is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Do not ignore advice from a medical professional. Information here is gathered from reputable sources, however this should not be considered a tool for self-treatment or diagnosis. If you have an emergency, please contact local emergency assistance immediately.

 

Works Cited

Dally, L., & -. (2008, March 12). The Bottom Line. Retrieved August 05, 2020, from https://thebottomline.as.ucsb.edu/2008/03/phthalates-the-toxic-chemicals-that-might-be-in-your-sex-toy-by-lynnea-dally

Melancon, S., Ph.D. (2019, February 10). Dangerous Sex Toy Materials 101. Retrieved August 05, 2020, from https://sextoycollective.com/blog/unsafe-sex-toys/

Staff, K. (2018, September 05). Sex Toy Safety: A Guide to Materials. Retrieved August 05, 2020, from https://www.kinkly.com/2/920/passion-play/sex-toys/sex-toy-safety-a-guide-to-materials

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