Many people find walking in an adult store, at least the first time, to be an overwhelming experience. There are all sorts of toys and products on the walls, shelves, from cut adorable toys, to more hardcore whip, etc. Each toy or product usually has a description stating a little information about it, and it is common for them to talk about how fun and ‘safe’ they are to use.
However, companies will do their best to make their products sound good to increase sales, and likely will not say, ‘hey, this material may not be good for you’. In fact, some companies may even hide things and not really state all the materials in a toy, even to the point of telling lies…
Below are a few things to keep an eye out for so that you will know what is safe, and what may not be as safe as the product description says.
Porous or Non-Porous
There are two main categories that sex toys will fall into; they are either porous or non-porous materials.
Porous: Usually, a product made from porous materials are going to be soft, but can include some hard plastics. If a toy is not made using ABS hard plastic, it is safe to assume that it is porous. The issue with a porous toy, they are able to trap in bacteria and dirt, and you cannot remove it once it’s embedded in the toy. If used without a condom, these type of toys can lead to yeast infection or other bacterial infection, even lead to STI outbreaks or spreading between partners!
Any products which include phthalates are in this category, but not all porous toys contain phthalates.
Non-Porous: Toys in this category are usually higher quality and more expensive, but do not collect bacteria and dirt, and can be fully sterilized. They are generally harder, such as metal, treated wood or glass. Silicone is also non-porous, but stays soft, making it a popular choice.
Below is a short description of common sex toy materials to give you a heads up.
Non-porous and easily sterilized, ranges from soft to firm based on design. Good for keeping body temperature and vibration transfer. Very popular material, look for 100% silicone or assume it’s not (meaning, less safe).
ABS Hard Plastic
This is another non-porous material and it’s common on high-end and middle ground companies. Easily cleaned, usually smooth, but not as good at transferring vibration as silicone.
This is a smooth, heavy and hard material that is becoming more popular. Good for temperature play, and often created from Pyrex or Soda Lime.
Another smooth and hard material that is easily cleaned, and provides a decent weight. Also good for temperature play, and often made with aluminum or stainless steel. Gold and Silver are less common, but exist!
Stone and Wood
Although uncommon materials, there are non-porous toys made from specially treated stone or wood.