What's your toy made of?
There are so many options in toy land, and choosing the material that best fits your intended purpose can be a headache. Here’s a little guide to help you make a decision confidently.
Body safe materials (materials that are non-porous, non-toxic and sterilizable):
One of the greatest benefits to a sterilizable material is being able to share it between you and your partner or even with multiple partners.
Medical-grade Silicone - Silicone toys are available in a variety of textures and appearances Some have a shinier look and a little more drag, so may need a little extra lubricant. These may also attract things such as dust particles so they need to be stored in a place free of that or washed before use. Silicone can also come in more of a matte finish, which will generally have less of a drag to them. They have a softer, more life-like feel. Beware when choosing your lubricant for silicone material, silicone lubes and silicone toys do not mix well. If you intend to use silicone lubricant with the toy, do a patch test first, as it can cause the material to breakdown and leave it feeling tacky.
Stainless Steel - Stainless steel is a very durable material that, quite frankly, can last forever. These toys typically have more weight to them than other materials and work great with silicone lubricant for a very smooth feel.
Borosilicate Glass - Borosilicate glass is a tempered glass with a very smooth texture to it. Borosilicate glass is a good choice for an anal toy because of the smoothness and the fact that it is compatible with silicone lubricant.
ABS - A hard plastic material that many basic vibrators are made from. This is a good choice for a lower price-point toy that is still a body safe material. While you can’t put a vibrator on the top rack of the dishwasher like a silicone dong, you can use a 10% bleach solution to sterilize it.
Elastomed - A medical grade plastic used in some of Aneros’s popular prostate stimulators. Similar feel to ABS with a hard smooth surface.
Porous non-toxic materials - Materials that are non-toxic and can be disinfected or sanitized.
Disinfecting/sanitizing differs from sterilization in that that only the surface may be cleaned. Bacteria and STI’s can still live within the pores of the toy. These are great for short-term use— maybe you want to try something new but your not sure you will enjoy it, so you go the more affordable route. One way to use silicone lubricants with or safely share a porous toy is by putting a barrier on the toy such as a condom.
Porous toxic materials - Materials that should be avoided.
These can contain harmful chemicals such as phthalates which can seep out and be absorbed by the mucosal membrane (AKA your vagina or anus). Typically these have a plastic, fruity or powdery smell to them which is the phthalates actually off-gassing… Yuck! You should avoid any toy with a smell just to be safe.