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Sex Toys 101: Knowing the Difference Between Toxic Materials & Healthy Products
Here’s the deal: sex toys are fun. They can be a lot of fun. But it is important to know what you are putting on when you are getting it on.
Did you know some sex toys contain toxic materials?
We want to make sure that you know everything that you need to know about sex toys. Our only mission is to help you find healthy-to-use sex toy products.
Healthy, safe and hypoallergenic sex toys are out there – and we are here to help you find them!
Ready to jump in? Great!
Toxic Materials & How to Find Them
Before knowing what you should buy in the sex toy category, you should know about some of the nasty materials to be on the look out for.
Let’s be honest: the FDA does not do much by way of identifying health risks in sexual products – especially sex toys! This leaves it up to the consumer – that’s you – to find out what is risky when you’re getting frisky.
Take a second look before you lube up! This ingredient is often found in personal lubricants.
Parabens are tied to changed estrogen levels in women, allergic reactions, and a decrease in sperm count. They are also tied to skin cancer. Yikes!
Phthalates are usually found in vibrators and dildos – though you should probably take a look at any sexual products with a fragrance as well.
Don’t let the scientific name fool you – phthalates can mess with everything from blood sugar and metabolism to allergies and asthma.
Triclosan is usually found in sex toy cleaners instead of sex toys themselves – but it is also found in many genital hygiene products.
This toxic ingredient has been linked to everything from allergies to problems with the thyroid. Another fun fact: triclosan can form chloroform when it is combined with chlorine.
PVC – or polyvinyl chloride – is one of the most commonly produced synthetic plastic. While some PVC products claim to be paraben free, most PVC sex toys contain parabens.
PVC is usually combined with other plasticizers in dildos, vibrators, cock rings and anal plugs.
Even when PVC does not contain parabens, it is a porous material. This can make PVC sex toys difficult to clean, making bacterial infection more of an issue.
Myths & Misunderstandings About Sex Toys
Myth #1: All Jelly-Based Sex Toys Are Toxic
Because phthalates are often used to make jelly, most people assume that all jelly-based sex products are toxic.
The truth is many – but not all – jelly sex toys are toxic. Whether or not the sex toy is toxic depends on how the jelly was made.
Myth #2: The ‘New Car’ Smell Test
Many people believe that if a sex toy has a strong plastic scent, it means that it is toxic.
The ‘smell test’ doesn’t always work. Some toxic materials (like phthalates) do not always give off that new car smell.
It also goes the other way: some safe sex toys give off a plastic smell at first, even when they contain no toxic materials. Just because a sex toy does not have this smell does not mean it is hypoallergenic.
Myth #3: The Sex Toy Store Has All the Answers
When it comes to determining the safety of sex toys, many people rely on information from retailers.
But that assumption doesn’t account for the fact that the FDA does not regulate sex toys. There are no required labels outlining potentially unsafe materials – though that is something Beyond Delights is actively working against!
The reality is that most sex toy store may not know when a sex toy has toxic materials. Be sure to do your research or buy from a place that is dedicated to the safety of the consumer and participating in a healthy sex toy market – like Beyond Delights!
The Alternative: Doing Sex Toys Right
Find non-toxic sex toys!
A good rule of thumb is to buy sex products made with medical grade materials. These may be more expensive, but they also ensure a hygienic and safe experience – not to mention a fun one! Medical grade silicone, for example, is nonporous and is the basis for completely hypoallergenic sex toys.
Do your research!
Given the information outlined above, this may be a no-brainer. But how do you find safe sex toys?
A good rule of thumb is to buy sex products made with medical grade materials. These may be more expensive, but they also ensure a hygienic and safe experience – not to mention a fun one!
Or you can depend on Beyond Delights to give you all of the information that you need. We won’t sell anything we personally wouldn’t feel confident to use ourselves.
You can usually read the package of a sex toy to determine the materials inside it. But to do that you have to know which materials are actually toxic.
Use our Learning Center as a quick reference for making the best decision about your sexual health.
Consider completely natural products!
Going all-natural when you are au naturel is the safest bet to stay away from toxic materials. For instance, there are many water-based personal lubricants with completely natural ingredients.
Glass, wood and even metal sex toys are all toxin-free and hypoallergenic – they are a great way to avoid the dangerous chemicals outlined here.