What Your Sex Toys Are Made With:
Sex Toys Are Made With. After a recent visit from one of our wholesalers, I was asked to have a quick glance at an article in said wholesalers catalog; it was a material guide. I find myself to be quite conscious of the things I’m eating and drinking but don’t usually think about the materials of the things I’m eating or drinking off of; plastics, water bottles, wrappers, etc.
Adult products are no different, they go on and in your body and should be made out of body-safe materials.
The article was very informative and quite concerning. Much of the information I knew from general product knowledge but never the less I thought it would make for a good read for our customers…
Did you know that some adult toys are made out of chemicals and materials that might not be that good for your skin/health?
We’ve all heard of Phthalates and we know that they are bad for us, but why? Phthalates are Chemicals; plasticizers that are used to increase the softness of a plastic, it makes them more flexible and less likely to break or tear. They have been known to cause neurological and reproductive issues and some areas in the world are looking into banning them all together! Most of the time you can tell when a product made from plastic or rubber has been made cheaply, this is normally due to a strong odor coming from the plastic/rubber. These products will be high in Phthalates and generally marketed “for novelty use only!” in other words look but don’t touch, especially with your respective genitals!
Click here for more info on Phthalates, not only are these products not good for you, they will not last anywhere near as long as more “well made” products.
This refers to how absorbent or porous a product/surface is, it should be obvious to most of us that for cleanliness and hygiene reasons the less porous an adult product is, the better! If you have bought a Vibe, Plug, Ring, or masturbator from us in the past, you would have heard us go on about cleaning products such as JO Refresh and PJUR Med. Well, we don’t just sell these to increase profits! We sell them to you because hygiene is a really important part of safe sex! It is very important to wash your products before and after use, and even medical-grade cleaners can’t clean overly porous surfaces. Most of the time there is an electric component to your toy that stops you from being able to boil it or submerge it in water, even using detergents is a very bad idea when it comes to female and male pleasure items.
Materials to focus on for low porous/good quality are stainless steel, borosilicate’s, and medical-grade silicone. Most of your medium to high-grade products will have these materials as standard!
However it is important to be thorough, a lot of companies will say things like “Contains 100% Medical grade silicone”, which you already know is not true due to the fact that the product also contains dies and colours. But this phrase can mean a few different things eg; there is 100% medical grade silicone in the toy, but it constitutes a small percentage of what the product is actually made form. It could also mean that just one part of the product is made from silicone, or it could mean that the company just didn’t care enough to actually make their product out of quality material and just lied to you! Mostly dies and colours are fine! but it just goes to show how easy it is for companies to lie to you! This is still currently a widely unregulated industry so its essential to you trust your local Adult Store or invest some time in a little research. Ok ill take off my tin foil hat now and get back to the topic at hand.
Different Rubbers and Plastics:
TPE: (Thermoplastic Elastomer) aka (Thermoplastic Rubber)
As used in the sleeve on rabbit vibrators like the Shane’s World Jack Rabbit<< the controller base, however, is ABS
TPE is a class of copolymers or a physical mix of polymers (plastic and rubber normally) which consist of thermoplastics (plastics that become pliable with heat and harden in the cold.) Its a great material for cock rings as it stretches easily and can return to its almost original shape, meaning it will last longer and has less chance of snapping. TPE is hypoallergenic and phthalate-free, it contains no solvents or latex meaning its great for people that have sensitivities to plastics and latex. It’s easy to clean it is recommended not to use Soaps and detergents as they are hard to clean off of porous surfaces use of a body-safe toy cleaner is always recommended with porous or semi-porous products.
TPR: (Thermoplastic Rubber)
TPR is a polymer blend that has a thermoplastic character, meaning it becomes pliable or mouldable above a certain temperature. It is hypoallergenic, non-toxic and phthalate-free. As with TPE, It’s also less porous then CyberSkin but more porous than silicone. In other words, it’s very safe as long as it’s cleaned properly before and after use! If you are sharing a sex toy that is made of TPR it is suggested to use a fresh condom between partners and wash thoroughly with a toy cleaner after and before use! You can, however, use Water-based or silicone-based lubricants with TPR because it is not chemically reactive only to temperature.
ABS: (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene)
As used on the We-Vibe Tango<<
Is another common thermoplastic that is hypoallergenic and phthalate-free. It is often a hard plastic and can be used with any type of lubricant you desire, you often find this plastic on remotes for your toys or at the base of your vibrators. It is often used in the design of high-frequency bullets because it transfers “buzzy” vibrations really well. This plastic is 100% not recyclable and take s a very long time to decompose in a temperature-stable environment (under 400°C). the most common use of ABS plastic is in Lego blocks.
PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride, aka Food grade Vinyl)
As seen in the d perfect d vibrating dildo>>
There are supposedly two qualities of PVC High Quality (food grade) which is phthalate-free and Low Quality which is not phthalate-free. Both of these products have a distinct smell to them so its hard to know which is which when it comes to sex toys. more importantly, they are both rather porous so be extra vigilant when cleaning these products and as usual with porous materials, soaps and detergents will leave a residue that can cause “reactive dermatitis” which is a nasty skin reaction to soap scum and other harsh chemical residues. You can use either water or silicone-based lubricants with PVC but water-based will wash off easier. In general, it is recommended to avoid PVC especially when it’s manufactured in cheap or unrepeatable brands. Pipedreams King Cock range is a High-quality PVC that is latex-free and meant to be Phthalate free as well. PVC can not be recycled.
Silicone and Medical Grade Silicone:
As seen in the FunFactory magnum>>
100% silicone is phthalate-free, body-safe, non-toxic (to anything!), non-porous, heat resistant and really easy to clean, it is by far the best material you can use for a sex toy apart from stainless steel and glass, It’s also dishwasher safe! The only downside to silicone sex toys is that it’s recommended NOT to use Silicone Lubricant on them. Apart from that it feels good and is good for you! It is not biodegradable, but it can be recycled. The downside is that some manufacturers aren’t super honest about whether or not their silicone is 100% pure or not. It’s best to look for products that are Medical grade silicone because that is a standard that is governed by organizations like the FDA and TGA, products like Fun Factory, We-Vibe, Most NS Novelties products, and Tantus are all 100% medical grade silicone.
UR3 (Ultra Realistic 3.0)
As seen in the Optimale and Doc johnson masturbators and strokers
Is a trademarked name for a soft TPE silicone mixture, it has all the benefits of TPE, ie; phthalate-free and hypoallergenic but is extremely porous and cannot be sterilized. It is recommended to clean these toys thoroughly! And even to use a condom when using products made from UR3, Doc Johnson’s high-end strokers and sleeves are normally UR3 and they are normally advertised on the front of the box. TPE and UR3 are recyclable and are a much more eco-friendly product then latex and rubber.
Cyberskin is another trademarked name for TPE and has more or less the same properties and warnings as UR3 above.
As seen in the Screaming O Charged Big O >>
Elastomer is a phthalate-free none toxic hypoallergenic material that will not alter or cause a reaction to your body’s chemistry. It’s a super stretchy and pliable material normally used to make “jelly” dildos and super stretchy cockring. Mostly Elastomer products a silicone friendly so you can normally use either water or silicone-based lubricants on them. Recommended cleaning with a mild soap or toy cleaner.
Metal depending on quality is Hypoallergenic and phthalate-free, it is none porous and can be sterilized in boiling water, as long as there are no electronic parts. Metal can also be heated and cooled depending on desire. You can also use any lubricant you want with metal and it can be easily recycled
Stainless Steel: (medical grade stainless steel)
As seen in the Rose Bud Stainless Steel Collection<<
Is a recommended alloy to use in sex toys, it is also hypoallergenic, none porous and nontoxic, medical-grade stainless steel doesn’t rust, doesn’t absorb bacteria and is chemically stable and non-reactive. It is unable to transmit disease or infection. Stainless steel can be cleaned with soap detergent, alcohol, toy cleaner or boiling. It retains temperature very well so great for temperature play. You can use any lubricant you like with stainless steel and it can also be recycled!
Pyrex Glass: (Borosilicate Glass)
As used in the Glas Dildo rang<<
Pyrex glass is hypoallergenic and phthalate-free and is less dense than normal glass making it much more resistant to breaking. It’s incredibly smooth and can be cleaned with soap detergent, alcohol, toy cleaner or by putting it in the dishwasher. It can be slightly heated or cooled and you can use water or silicone-based lubricants with it. It can also be recycled.
So that’s the basics!
The one thing that is worth pointing out is that it’s not easy to tell just by looking at a product what its made from. For example, a lot of people refer to the soft clear products as “Jelly” this Jelly effect can be replicated with PVC, TPE, and Elastomer Plastics, they all look very similar but have very different chemical compositions and some of them are extremely unstable if not made with care. If they come in contact with other chemicals and or high temperatures. It is always recommended to purchase silicone and preferably Pure and/or Medical silicone products. Its the best option above all other materials!