The sex toy industry is for the most part unregulated. Sex toys are sold as novelty items, so they do not need to adhere to certain regulations. “Novelty use” means that the item in essence has no use and therefore is not regulated (No use? Wow, could we teach them a thing or two!). We are indeed using these toys, we are inserting them in places with mucous membranes and delicate tissues. Unfortunately, most consumers are not aware of the health risks associated with certain toys. Read on for a bit of Sex Toy Ed 101.
The Bad Guys
Besides the obvious unpleasant outcomes of poorly made sex toys such as sharp seams, allergies, decomposition, and bacterial infections due to toys being porous, the greatest concern is with phthalates. Phthalates are a family of very common chemicals used in a variety of products, from polyvinyl chloride (PVC), children’s toys, and sex toys made from jelly. They are also used in the production of paint, adhesives, insect repellents, and rocket fuel. Phthalates are added to plastic to increase their flexibility. Unfortunately, the phthalates added slowly leak out in a process called off-gasing – they usually release lead and cadmium, which can be absorbed into the body.
Clues For Recognizing Phthalate Toys
The Smell – toxic toys have a strong chemical smell, which never goes away completely, even with repeated washings. See-Through Dildos – Not all see-through dildos are toxic, but most are. If it’s transparent, flexible and soft, it’s probably toxic. A few see-through dildos are made with a substance called elastomers. Those are safer in terms of not containing phthalates but are still porous and unsterilisable – they should be used with a condom and ideally not anally. See-through hard plastic is safe, too, but a much less desirable texture for a toy.
Price – The cheaper the toy, the more of a guarantee it is toxic. You may be tempted to buy the cheaper option, but you’ll get what you pay for. Though those brilliantly coloured crystal jelly dildos are cheap – they are toxic! In fact the word “jelly” is pretty much synonymous with toxic in the sex toy world. Be aware that many toys, especially the jelly toys, are porous and can’t be sterilised.
The Good Guys
100% Silicone – Silicone is always opaque; never see-through. Best to stick with manufacturers you know and trust.
Silicone sex toys are preferable because they are: Hypoallergenic / Non-porous / Not absorbent / Odourless / Easy to clean (the only common sex toy material that can be disinfected by boiling) / Non-toxic (100% phthalate-free) / Durable (won’t leave fragments of material in the body like other toys) / Unique (they come in a number of shapes, sizes, and vivid colours) / Long lasting / Pliable / Smooth (no sharp seams) / Life-like to touch / Great conductors of heat (they quickly warm to the body and retain the heat) / Great for carrying vibrations
Glass – Gorgeous glass toys are available in an amazing variety of colours and shapes. Phthalate-free and non-porous.
Stainless Steel – The weight and heat-conducting ability of metal is excellent and hyped by many. Hard Plastics – Hard plastic is non-porous and has no phthalates.
At Allure Emporium, we stand behind what we sell and want to provide customers with toys that are well made, safe, long-lasting and do what they say they will do. We sell only body-safe toys to our customers!