Sex toys have finally moved out of taboo territory and they’ve become quote mainstream. This is one of the main reasons why the global sex toy market is projected to grow from 28.64 billion dollars in 2019 to 52.7 billion dollars in 2026.
It’s even more interesting to point out that 65 percent of women in the US own some type of sex toy. Hence, pleasure – whether you’re enjoying it alone or sharing it with a partner – is more normalized than ever before.
The massive size of the market means there are dozens of choices to pick among. Sex toys, however, aren’t created equal. If you want your pleasurable activities to also be safe, you’ll have to select sex toys crafted out of the best materials out there.
High quality materials are comfortable, the enhance the pleasure and even more importantly – they don’t harbor bacteria. Paying attention to safety is an ultimate goal that may sometimes go to the backburner since people are way too enthusiastic choosing cool features and sex toy functionalities.
Innovation is great but you’ll still have to pay attention to the basics. Sex toy materials differ in several important ways and here are some of the biggest essentials to understand.
What Does Body-Safe Stand for?
Body-safe is a pretty general term that can refer to several things.
Let’s start with the basics – this is a label used by sex toy manufacturers to suggest that the materials used are non-toxic. The term is usually interchangeable with skin-safe.
Toxicity in the realm of sex toys can stem from several sources. Phthalates are one example of something harmful that could be present in the material a toy is crafted from. Luckily, recent lab tests reveal that the use of phthalate-containing materials is continuously going down.
Heavy metals like cadmium have also been found in some low quality sex toys. Obviously, this isn’t something you’d want to have coming near your genitals or any other parts of your body. Toxicity can also result from the presence of various chemicals and irritants in the material.
Toxicity, however, isn’t the only thing to consider when buying sex toys.
Porous materials, for example, are not considered body-safe. The reason for that is simple – they harbor bacteria. Having bacteria colonizing a sex toy can easily contribute to yeast infections and various other problems.
Very often, body-safe is a label used to also indicate that a sex toy is hypoallergenic, latex-free and waterproof (simplifying the cleaning and sanitization process).
Common Types of Body-Safe Materials
So, what are the safest and best sex toy materials out there?
Medical-grade silicone, stainless steel, glass, ABS hard plastic, specially-treated wood, stone and ceramics rank among the most commonly used non-porous materials. These are truly body-safe, giving you confidence in the quality of the item.
The porous alternatives include PVC, latex, thermoplastics, TPE, silicone blends, jelly and cyberskin among others.
Some of the non-porous materials aren’t just safe, they also add to the experience that the sex toy can deliver.
Glass is one such material.
Glass is the perfect sex toy material if you are into temperature play, according to HotCherry. Apart from being safe, very long-lived and easy to clean, glass dildos or stimulators can be cooled down or heated before sexual play. The atypical temperature adds another level of sensation, making the experience a highly arousing one.
You should be thinking about your safety and the ways you’d like to use your sex toy. The smoothness and heaviness of stainless steel, for example, make the experience quite different to using a silicone sex toy.
Safety Regulations and Certification
You may be thinking about regulatory authorities and certification but try doing a bit of research on the topic.
You’ll find out there’s basically no enforcement when it comes to the materials that sex toys are crafted from. Hence, some really cheap and even dangerous products are legally available on the market. It’s up to you as a consumer to protect yourself.
There are no regulatory bodies in the US, Canada, the EU and other parts of the world that focus specifically on the safety and the testing of sex toys.
This means that every manufacturer can come up with unjustified claims about their product. Labels like certified don’t really mean anything in the absence of a centralized authority responsible for such certification.
As consumers become more savvy, such attempts to mislead buyers have started going down. Still, it’s important to do your research and dedicate enough time to finding the sex toy that’s just right for you.
Body-Safe Is Also about Ongoing Maintenance and Care!
Buying a body-safe sex toy doesn’t mean you’re out of the loop. You’re off to a great start but the way you use and clean your toy is going to be even more important.
Even body-safe sex toys can become dangerous when they’re not maintained adequately.
Your sex toy should be cleaned and sanitized before and after every use.
The way you should sanitize your toy depends on the specific material it’s made of. Do go through the manufacturer’s instructions once you buy the respective item. Usually, you can go for antibacterial soap and water (as long as your sex toy is waterproof). There are also specialized sex toy cleaning products and wipes, giving you a bit of added simplicity.
Materials like silicone can be boiled, if you want to go for complete sterilization. Another thing that’s good to know is that nearly all body-safe sex toy materials can be soaked in a 10 percent bleach solution or they can wiped clean with rubbing alcohol.
If harsh chemicals aren’t your thing, you can sanitize your body-safe sex toys in the dishwasher. Again – read the manufacturer instructions to refrain from ruining an expensive item just because you couldn’t be bothered to acquaint yourself with the essentials.
To be extra safe, get separate sex toys for vaginal and anal use. Store them separately, sanitize as instructed, get the right kind of lube and have fun. By doing these simple things, you will have a good time without worrying about your health.