Sex Toy Safety

Sex toys are a great option for those wanting to participate in self exploration. They can help us to know what stimulations and sensations we like and which we don't like. Whether using them alone or with others, sex toys can be a great way to enhance sexual experiences.

 

There are many types of sex toys available to everyone, depending on what is desired. Some common sex toys include:

 

  • Dildos- usually a  penis-shaped toy used for vaginal or anal (bum) play
  • Vibrator- any sex toy that vibrates. They come in different shapes and sizes depending on where it will be used (usually used in bums, vaginas, or on the clitoris – a spot on female bodies near the top of the genital area)
  • Masturbation Sleeves- A toy that you can put a penis into
  • Anal Plugs- a short bulb-shaped toy used for inside bums (anal stimulation). All anal toys need a flared base to make sure it doesn’t get stuck or sucked into the anus (bum hole) during use
  • Anal Beads- a line of connected balls which can be put in and taken out of the bum hole
  • Erection Rings- a ring put on an erect (hard & aroused) penis to slow the outflow of blood. This can lead to a harder, longer-lasting erection.

 

Things to Consider When Purchasing

  • Vibration— if your toy is supposed to vibrate, you can try out the toy in the store by touching it to the end of your nose. Some toys have different speeds and different types of vibrations.
  • Design—pick a toy that is safe for whatever use you want - for example, if the toy is to be used in the bum hole, make sure the base is flared or it has a ring for easy removal.
  • Quality— avoid anything that could break or fragment off, and also avoid anything that has ridges which may be hard to clean (if you use a condom on the toy this will not be an issue).
  • Noise—if you are worried about noise, make sure the toy is not too loud when you turn it on
  • Store— buy from a reputable store. Employees should be able to answer all of your questions during and after purchasing with no shame or judgment. This also helps if there is a flaw with the toy.
  • Materials— what type of feel and experience are you looking for? Different materials (silicone, glass, plastic, cyberskin, jelly, etc) offer different sensations and ease of cleaning. Always avoid toys with phthalates, which are found in some plastic toys
  • Cost— different materials, quality, and complexity of the toy can affect price. Talk with a retailer you trust to ensure you're getting the best toy for what you're paying.

 

Safer Sex Toy Use

 

While sex toys are a great way to share an experience, it's important to take precautions to ensure the encounter is positive for everyone.

·         Using a condom on toys ensures that it is clean

·         If sharing a toy with someone elser, put a new condom on every time it is used

·         Be sure to change the condom each time you switch to a new area of the body (vagina to bum or bum to vagina)

·         Use a water-based lubricant with the condom for a smoother and more enjoyable experience. Silicone-based lubricants are good, too, as long as they are not put on a silicone sex toy!

·         Do NOT use oil-based lubricants (like petroleum jelly) as they can cause the condom to break, damage your latex toys and they take longer to leave your body

·         Check for any scratches, chips or ridges before use. These can trap bacteria or cause irritation or pain

 

Toy Care

 

  • Wash your toy before you use it for the first time, and immediately after each use
  • Use either toy cleaner (specialized for cleaning toys) or a gentle liquid soap (fragrance and dye free) for cleaning
  • Do not use an anti-bacterial soap
  • Do not get water in the electrical parts (if any)
  • Leave toy to air dry for an hour or so before putting it away ( if you use a towel, lint may stick to the toy which could get inside you)
  • You can put toys made of glass or 100% silicone in the dishwasher, or you can boil them for 5 minutes to sterilize. If  your toy  is latex or another material, just use soap and water
  • Do not use bleach on your toy- it will wreck it
  • Try not to scratch your toy with fingernails or jewelry- even a tiny scratch can be a breeding ground for bacteria

 

Did you know?

 

You can get a sexually transmitted infection (STI) from sharing an unprotected sex toy

 

Sex toys may be an option for both single and partnered people to enhance their sex lives

 

Be careful! People have ended up in emergency rooms for using “homemade” sex toys—like carrots, celery stalks, bottles, light bulbs, toy cars and drumsticks.