When choosing a sex toy, the material is almost assuredly the most important factor to consider. Simply because it has the most direct effect on your overall health. You see, many sex toys out on the market are able to sell cheaper sex toys. But they do so at the expense of quality. Here we’ll discuss all of the various sex toy materials you may come across. Along with which materials you should be looking for when buying sex toys for yourself.
Phthalates – The Toxic Material to Avoid
To put it simply, phthalates are a group of chemicals that help to soften and increase flexibility in sex toys. In fact, they are used in numerous consumer products. Things like shower curtains or wallpaper all have some phthalates in them. Anything made of plastic that has some level of flexibility most likely has phthalates as well. And in reality, despite the widespread use of phthalates, they are in fact toxic!
They pose significant environmental and health concerns on a global scale. Not only are they considered to be carcinogens (i.e. something that causes cancer), but they also can affect your human reproduction system. Definitely not something a woman (especially one who aspires to have kids) should deal with. However, for most products the risk is relatively low, since the phthalates come in lower concentrations. And they do not make much contact with your body.
Sex toys on the other hand are a different story.
For one, sex toys that utilise phthalates use them in very high quantity.This makes sense simply because sex toys are much thicker than other more common consumer products that contain phthalates. It requires a lot more phthalates to get a thick dildo to be bendy and flexible compared to a thin shower curtain.
The other reason phthalates are particularly dangerous is because they come into direct and prolonged contact with your body. And not just any region of your body, but one that is highly sensitive and fragile.
Sex toys don’t just come into contact with your skin, but inside your vagina, your anus, and even possibly your mouth. None of which should be coming into direct contact with toxic phthalates. To put this in perspective, note that in the past, baby pacifiers and other baby products commonly used phthalates. Until 1999 when the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission requested U.S. manufacturers to stop using it.
It is definitely not something to be taken lightly.
So when purchasing sex toys, absolutely do not purchase anything that explicitly mentions using phthalates. In fact, you should be double checking with any seller whether or not they have phthalates. Because they may have phthalates, but simply avoid mentioning it on the box or online.
If it isn’t clear whether their products contain phthalates, and you can’t get hold of them, don’t buy from them. Period.
Jelly Sex Toys
Jelly material is just about the cheapest material when it comes to sex toys. And as you may have guessed, it almost always comes with tons of phthalates.
The material uses rubber as a baseline, and adds phthalates to make it flexible. As a result, jelly sex toys can easily be made into any shape (and colour). While still remaining smooth and bendable. And while not all jelly sex toys contain phthalates, in our experience, nearly 99% of them do.
So if you really find a sex toy that appeals to you and it is listed as using a jelly material, check with the seller on if it contains phthalates. Otherwise, in general don’t even bother with jelly sex toys. Especially considering that jelly sex toys also typically have a very pronounced rubber odour. Along with a slight chemical taste.
Another problem with jelly material is the fact that they can have small pores. These pores trap bacteria, even if you clean it. So all in all, even if the jelly material doesn’t have phthalates in them, it still isn’t nearly worth it. (But keep reading below for much better sex toy materials!)
Plastic Sex Toys
While still being relatively cheap, plastic is much safer from a health perspective than jelly. To start off – most plastic material does not use phthalates (but still check if you aren’t sure). Which makes perfect sense considering phthalates are meant to make materials more flexible, while plastic is meant to remain hard and rigid. However, plastic has a lot more benefits than just that.
Because they are hard yet smooth, the material is very easy to clean. Just clean it with warm water and soap like you would with any other plastic material. In addition, from a performance standpoint, plastic is a great material for vibrators in particular. This is because vibrations transfer extremely well through the rigid material that is plastic.
So if you want a particularly strong vibration simulation, look for plastic.
The only real downside to this material is that the look and feel of it does not give off a sense of luxury. If you really want something luxurious, then you need something a bit more sensual…
Silicone Sex Toys
This is the quintessential material used in designer sex toys. If a sex toy uses silicone, you can rest assured knowing you are getting a high-quality product. Unlike plastic, it has a softer feel to it, which is very pleasing to the touch. But despite the soft material, it does not have any pores in the material, unlike jelly. This means that it is impossible for any bacteria to build up on the toy, assuming you clean it well. And as you may expect, they are also odourless, and tasteless as well. And perhaps the best part about sex toys that use silicone material is that they last a long time.
So long in fact that you never really need to replace them, as long as you properly maintain it. As a result, you will find that silicone sex toys are typically more expensive than other sex toys out there. But since they can (and should) last a lifetime, it is well worth the price!
If you plan to use lube with your silicone sex toy, make sure that it is water-based only. But otherwise, these are the perfect sex toy for the everyday woman looking for a high-quality, long-lasting toy. If you have more refined tastes though, there are other, more scintillating options…
Glass Sex Toys
But glass dildos also have an added nuance in terms of performance as well. They can be used for what is known as temperature play.
While most sex toys are inserted at typical room temperature, glass dildos can be heated or cooled to create a different pleasure sensation. Instead of inserting a room temperature sex toy into your body, you can insert something much warmer, or colder. It is truly a unique sensation, although typically reserved for advanced sex toy users.
Unlike silicone sex toys, glass sex toys can use any sort of lubricant, without causing any long-term damage to your sex toy. And as you probably already know, glass material is odourless, tasteless, and also easy to clean. For those of you who may be concerned about the durability of glass sex toys, don’t be. Most glass sex toys are made of a special material that is highly durable. Meaning they won’t shatter when dropped.
Overall, sex toys used with glass material are a solid option. Especially for those who either want an elegant, sophisticated object, or for advanced users who utilise temperature play.
Metal Sex Toys
The last sex toy on our list, metal is another fantastic material for sex toys. They are very similar to glass material in that they are rigid and conveys a similar sense of elegance and sophistication through its shiny, metallic surface. And metal toys even can be used for temperature play, just like glass dildos. However, in ambient conditions, metal toys will typically be colder to start with. So without necessarily incorporating temperature play, you will achieve a colder sensation compared to any other sex toy. This can be a great sensation for women. But it just as likely could be undesirable.
So be sure to think about this aspect before purchasing a sex toy made of metal. Another different aspect of metal that needs to be considered is the overall weight of it. With most metal sex toys building built of solid metal, they tend to be very heavy. This means added pressure when using the sex toy.
The effects are particularly strongest when using objects that are meant to sit inside of you, like butt plugs. And while the added weight and pressure can boost the pleasurable sensations in some women, it can just as easily be too much for others. So definitely something to consider as well.