What Are Phthalates?
You may have heard of phthalates – these are dangerous chemicals that can be found in some rubbers and plastics that have been shown to be carcinogenic (cancer causing). Some sex toys also have phthalates in them, namely products that are made of jelly rubber. If you’ve ever opened a brand new product and it smelled of chemicals or had a strong plastic smell, you were probably smelling the phthalates in the rubber.
Does My Sex Toy Have Phthalates?
Most hard plastic vibrators and the like do not contain phthalates, and some jelly feeling products are made from silicone, so the only way to know for sure is to read the packaging and manual that came with your product and find out what it is made of. Some sex toys that do have phthalates aren’t going to necessarily advertise that they do, so if you suspect that your product does contain these chemicals and there’s no information in the packaging to suggest otherwise, you’ll want to assume that it does and take measures to stay safe.
If you’re purchasing a new sex toy or selecting your first one, finding one that is made without phthalates is actually very easy. Glass sex toys, hard plastic vibrators, wood, ceramic, metal and silicone sex toys are all phthalate free. A simple Internet search will reveal tons of phthalate free products for you to choose from.
Using A Condom With Your Vibrator
It’s a huge bummer to find out that your favorite sex toy is made with phthalates. It’s given you orgasm after orgasm and it works like a charm – but should you throw it out? Perhaps, but you don’t necessarily have to. Most people don’t think to use condoms during masturbation – since you’re not really risking getting pregnant or contracting STD’s – but condoms can actually help protect you from dangerous chemicals found in some sex toys.
The next time you’re getting ready to use your vibrator or dildo, slip a condom over it before inserting it into your vagina. This will help protect the delicate tissues inside the vagina from the chemicals. However, using a condom won’t protect you from any phthalates that are on the outside of the toy. For example, if you own a rabbit style vibrator, you can slip a condom over the dildo part of the toy, but you will still remain unprotected from the jelly covering on the vibrating clitoris attachment. All in all though, using a condom with sex toys that you suspect may contain dangerous phthalates significantly reduces your risk.
Using The Right Kind Of Lube
Not all lubricants are compatible with all sex toys. If you’re using the wrong lubricant with your products, you’re going to find that they degrade faster or become sticky, tacky or unusable in just a short amount of time. Finding the right lube to use with your product is essential if you want it to last longer.
Silicone: Silicone sex toys cannot be used with silicone lube. This will cause the material to degrade.
Hard Plastic: Can be used with any type of lube.
Wood: Can be used with any type of lube.
Latex: Cannot be used with oil based lube. Similarly, condoms cannot be used with oil based lube either.
Ceramic & Glass: Can be used with any type of lube.
Jelly Rubber: Best with water based lube, since jelly rubber can contain elements of latex and silicone.
In truth, water based lubricant is probably your best bet for any kind of sex toys. You don’t have to worry about buying different types of lube that are compatible with all your different kinds of products if you’re using a good water based lube. Water based lube is also a breeze to rinse off, unlike silicone or oil based lubricants.
Cleanup & Storage
When you’re using a condom with your sex toys, you can pretty much slip the condom off and store it right then and there. You might have to wipe it down some if things got really wild, but using a condom during masturbation actually helps make clean up faster.
If you’re not using a condom with your product, read the instructions to find out the manufacturer’s suggested cleaning methods. Most hard plastic toys can be wiped down with a damp cloth, while jelly rubber or latex products probably need a good soap and water bath to feel really clean.
You’ll always want to clean your products immediately after use. Sure, you may be spent after an incredible orgasm, however, you definitely don’t want to leave your toy sitting there for any length of time. This will cause it to grow bacteria and many sex toys are porous – meaning that the bacteria will actually absorb into the material of the product. This means your toys will retain odor and may never feel really “clean” again. Be safe and clean your products as soon as you’re done.