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The Importance of Choosing Body-Safe Materials

October 09, 2017 9 min read

Hazard sign the skull for toxic material

Explorations will produce more excitement and thrill if you know exactly what you put in your body. Like those complicated ingredients in the packaging labels of your food, you should also wonder about the type of material used to create your sex toys.

Know more about adult toys to avoid health issues and other mishaps while practicing your birthright to take that Delightful ride!

The Dilemma Of First Time Buyers About Body-Safe Materials

Imagine yourself walking in a store that sells sex toys without any idea of what to look for. When the adult store workers give you a list of choices and discuss about its components, you may get the feeling of talking to someone who speaks in a different language. To escape the pressure, you will decide to roam around, take a deep breath, and see the adult items for yourself.

It may seem wise to evade them for a while and check the collection on your own. Unfortunately, this will only add to the confusion.

When you walk through the shelves of an adult store, the wide range of choices will intimidate you. Checking the unfamiliar items feels like visiting a dog shelter where many puppies will try to steal your attention. Some look cute and cuddlesome, while others appear naughty and eccentric. Although the right fit for you sits in that same room, you still need to examine each presence closely for the sake of building a healthy relationship. Remember that the same thing goes when you try to buy something online without enough knowledge of sex toys and body-safe materials.

After checking some items, these questions will run through your mind.

  • Won’t that sex toy made of glass break inside my body?
  • What does it mean when it says, phthalate-free?
  • PVC, ABS, TPE, TPR, food-grade, platinum, medical-grade… What?
  • An item made of 100% silicone and the other one says, “made of Sil-a-gel”. I thought they’re the same?

Can’t find the answer? Did the adult store workers explain everything truthfully? If in doubt, take a pause and consider coming back some other time.

Instead of making a purchase with both of your eyes closed, we recommend for you to postpone your shopping. You will find the answers as you try to learn more about toy materials and their impact to your health.



Safety Regulations For Manufacturing Adult Toys

Before we discuss body-safe materials, you need to know about the current regulations of our government to ensure that manufacturers will only produce and market safe-to-use adult toys.

If you search over the internet, you’ll find out that there’s NONE (except for sale and use).

It may come as a disturbing fact, but it’s true.

As of this writing, no coalitions, organizations, or legal bodies regulate the production of sex toys. This makes a surprising and sad fact in the case of Canada, Japan, European Union, and the United States. Due to this, not all adult toys are manufactured equally. Moreover, the lack of control gives chances to other companies to use banned and risky substances.

Why Not Regulate Sex Toy Production?

The government won’t act on issues people keep for themselves. For the authorities to create an organization that will monitor the sex toy industry, the society must first admit the need for sex toys. However, this appears difficult in the United States as religious and conservative groups oppose it.

What Manufacturers Say About Their Products?

The lack of regulation makes everyone vulnerable to the danger of buying adult toys made of hazardous materials. Some manufacturers will say that their products are made of high quality materials even if they’re not. Also, they will claim that the item is free from potentially harmful substances when in fact, the product is loaded with them.

What Should You Do For Now?

If the people can’t admit the use of, and the need for sex toys in their life, the state won’t be able to protect its citizens from manufacturers who will take advantage of this huge loophole. To change this, you can join and support advocacies that help raise awareness about the benefits of self-exploration and the disadvantages of not talking about this huge health issue.

Apart from campaigning for “sexual positivity”, getting the numbers, and expecting a result, know the right place to buy so you can protect yourself from falling victim to unsafe sex toys.  You should also educate yourself about the right usage and maintenance of your valuable items.

Who To Trust?

Only purchase from trusted sex toy companies or high-end startups who are greatly interested in your health and pleasure. Although their products cost higher than unbranded items, buying adult toys from them makes for a safer choice.

The Importance Of Choosing Body-Safe Materials

A body-safe sex toy does not contain chemicals and other substances that cause harm to your body. It’s  important for consumers to learn about body-safe materials while adult toy manufacturers remain unregulated.

Let’s review the common materials and identify the safer options for that purely safe and non-toxic climax.

Porous vs. Non-porous materials

Sex toys fall into two major classifications: porous and non-porous. Knowing about these major categories will help you eliminate a few items from your list of choices. Let’s find out why.

Porous Sex Toy Materials

Most porous adult toys are soft. Others come with parts of hard plastic. But for as long as it does not say anywhere about having ABS hard plastic, it still falls under the porous category.

The porous sex toy type makes a great dirt and bacteria magnet. If you use them without a condom, the microbes will get stuck and there’s no way you can remove them. Due to this, you may infect yourself with a yeast or bacterial infection. Also, it may cause an outbreak of a pre-existing STD. Possible infections or diseases one may have may also be transferred to a partner with use of a porous material without additional protection.

The only way to keep a porous dildo or other sex toy clean for longer periods is by using a condom every time you use it. However, no household method can fully sterilize these products.

Phthalates, a family of dangerous chemicals used to soften PVC and as solvent for other consumers, functions as another health hazard in using porous adult toys. Although not all adult toys under the porous category contain phthalates, there’s a huge chance that they do especially if it’s a cheap PVC item. People exposed to this chemical will experience allergic reactions. More serious health issues related to phthalates include damage to the liver, lungs, kidney, digestive tract, and the reproductive system.

Porous materials include the following:

  • PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride)
  • Latex
  • Thermoplastics
  • TPE (Thermoplastic Elastomer)
  • TPR (Thermoplastic Rubber)
  • Silicone blends
  • Jelly
  • Rubber
  • Cyberskin, ultra realistic materials

Take note that Silicone blends, TPE and TPR do not leech chemicals into the body and may work safely at first usage. However, they still belong to the porous category, which means that you can’t fully disinfect them.

Why Can’t You Disinfect A Porous Toy?

Tried and tested. Many horror stories came out because of using different methods in disinfecting a porous sex toy:

  • You can’t throw them in boiling water because of their low melting points. They will become a pudding of dildo goo in just a few moments. You’ll just end up making a huge mess in your deluxe kitchen.
  • You can’t dip them in alcohol and bleach. These cleaning agents contain substances that will break down the material making them even more dangerous.
  • You can use soap, but it will cause zero effect. In fact, you will just expose yourself to something more horrible. The pores of the sex toy will trap soap inside even if you rinse it. The soap will eventually dry out. When you use it again and it meets your body tissues, this will result to a nasty reaction.
  • You should not use porous sex toys while taking a bath even if the manufacturer says it is water resistant. Molds develop in porous toys and they look gross.
  • You can’t remove the bacteria by using a sex toy cleaner. That swipe and wipe technique won’t do enough.

If you did not use condoms to preserve its cleanliness, dildos and other sex toys under the porous category are just as good as disposable napkins. These items possess huge pores that traps human sweat, bacteria, yeast, fungi, mold and other horrific things. If you use them again without protection, you are exposing yourself to what’s already inside these sex toys.

Now that you know about porous materials, you may want to leave the item alone if you see one or more of the above materials on its label.

Non Porous Sex Toy Materials

On the other hand, you can consider non porous sex toys as higher quality safe items. Because they don’t have pores, non porous items don’t trap bacteria unlike porous products. Also, you can sterilize or disinfect them easily.

Non porous materials are generally hard. To check whether the adult store item belongs to the non porous category, check its label for contents.

Non-porous materials include:

  • Metal
  • Borosilicate glass
  • ABS Hard Plastic
  • Specially Treated Wood
  • Pure Silicone
  • Ceramic
  • Wood
  • Stone

Now that you know about non porous materials, you may want to focus your attention in these items.

Getting To Know More About The Body-Safe Materials

After considering non porous adult toys over its counterpart, let’s talk about each body-safe material in this category.


The label should say 100% silicone for it to become a body-safe material. Some manufactures create silicone blends. Although these materials don’t leak chemicals while inside your body, silicone blends fall under the porous category. You cannot disinfect them and it may be unsafe to use them.

Apart from blends, sil-a-gel makes another set of products you need to watch out for. It may sound like sil-a-gel is made of pure silicone because of its name but it is absolutely not. Thanks to the unregulated sex toy industry, manufacturers can use proprietary material names to lure the consumers.

Sex toys made of 100% silicone are the most widely known of all body-safe adult toys. Other great qualities of pure silicone sex toys include:

  • Non-reactive
  • Easy to clean and disinfect
  • Heats up to body temperature
  • Not prone to microbial buildup

You may encounter two grades of pure silicone sex toys: the food-grade and the medical-grade. While both produce safe items, their difference which happens while curing may pique your interest.

Adult toy makers cure food-grade silicone with tin while medical-grade uses platinum. The medical-grade, platinum-cured sex toy resist more base chemicals meaning you won’t ruin the item if you used a wrong lube on it. So if you want to worry less about lubricants, go for the medical-grade silicone toys.

ABS Plastic

This non-porous, body-safe material is used by many moderate and high-end sex toy manufacturers. Like silicone, you can easily clean sex toys made of ABS hard plastic. These toys feel generally smooth and reassuring all the way through.

Borosilicate Glass

Also known as pyrex, borosilicate glass makes a beautiful toy perfect for a cozy setting. As it is a type of tempered glass, a sex toy made of this possess high durability that can withstand extreme temperature. Reputable sex toy manufacturers will run a drop test to show everyone their seriousness in marketing these items as one of the best.

The firmness and rigidness of glass made these sex toys smaller than those made from silicone. But even so, this does not compromise the pleasure it brings as its unyielding structure will help caress the G spot or prostate.

So to answer the earlier question, these glass sex toys won’t break inside your body for as long as they’re made of borosilicate glass.


Metal or stainless steel sex toys will hit the spot like those made of borosilicate glass. Although some of these toys possess a smaller girth, the added weight compensates as it could provide additional pleasure. Njoy products possess awesome girth and they got a new item expected to be the girthiest. Moreover, toys made of this body-safe material works great with any lubes.

Wood, Stone And Ceramic

This group makes up for the less common non-porous sex toy. Adult toys made of wood serve as body-safe materials but only if they went through the medical-grade finish. Go for lab-tested items.

Natural stones are safe. But like wooden adult toys, buy those that undergo a lab test to verify the porosity level. On the other hand, glazed and kiln fire ceramics are non-porous and incredibly easy to disinfect.

How To Avoid Porous Materials

Skepticism does not make for a bad thing. This works great when it comes to sex toys. As some manufacturers take advantage of the unregulated sex toy production, it will be hard for consumers to tell what’s safe from what’s not. To help you verify whether an item is porous and not body-safe, below includes the list of things you can do.

  • Do thorough research about the manufacturer. A trustworthy brand or seller will provide complete information about the product in the packaging label or on their website.
  • When in an adult store, ask the staff to take the product out of the box for you to run a quick inspection. If they refused, their items are not worth buying. A reputable company will gladly take the product out of its box so a potential buyer can check it out. If they agreed to unbox the item, hold it carefully and look for greasy residue. If there’s a greasy residue it must contain phthalate so put it back on the shelf.
  • Go to dildology.org. This website conducts tests on various adult toys. They provide information regarding the materials used in the sex toy and whether it’s body-safe or not. Dildology.org will also reveal the purity of a silicone item.

Wrapping It Up

With an unregulated sex toy industry, the safety of consumers heavily depends on their own knowledge about body-safe materials. While speaking up for your right to safe and delightful escapades with adult goods, practice what you learned in this article to protect yourself from dishonest manufacturers. Lastly, only purchase sex toys from stores committed to ensure consumer well-being and non-toxic fun!