Choosing a Sex Toy – Selecting the Right Material

Sex toys can be made from just about anything, but most are composed of one of the following materials:

Silicone

Silicone toys are non-porous and can be disinfected. Even textured toys are easily cleaned. It warms to the body and retains heat. It is also extremely durable. Because silicone can withstand high temperatures, you can boil silicone toys (as long as there is no vibrator unit inside) for 5-10 minutes or put them in your dishwasher to disinfect them. They also clean well with soap and water. You can use soap, rubbing alcohol, or bleach to clean silicone sex toys (if you are using alcohol or bleach, be careful to rinse thoroughly). Just make sure you clean them thoroughly between uses. In addition to being durable, silicone toys are nearly hypo allergenic; very rarely do people experience allergic reactions to them. You can use a silicone sex toy with a water based or oil based personal lubricant but do not use silicone based lubricants (e.g. Eros, Wet Platinum, ID Millennium). Silicone is very durable, but can tear easily. Keep sharp edges away from your silicone toys. No hard edges, no snags or imperfections – if you run your fingers over these toys with your eyes closed, you might think you’re touching skin. 

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Remember: It is possible to transmit infections on sex toys that have not been sterilized even if they have been washed. If you are going to share a sex toy with a partner use a condom on the toy to prevent transmission of bodily fluids, or boil your toy before a new person uses it. Non-lubricated condoms are best for silicone toys.  

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Jelly

Jelly rubber toys are made of soft, porous material that cannot be disinfected. That means these toys aren’t safe to share unless you want to use a condom on them, but they’re so inexpensive, your partner can just go out and buy his or her own! Jelly toys can be quite nice, at nearly half the price of their silicone sisters. While not as smooth or silky as sex toys made from silicone, jelly toys can still bring you a tremendous amount of pleasure. The secret is water-based lubrication – use lots of it. Jelly rubber sex toys are soft, and usually come in translucent colors. They feel a bit more resilient than the older rubber mixes used to make sex toys. Clean them with soap and water, and store in a cool, dry place away from other objects. If your toy is not waterproof, please take care not to get water in its battery pack or cord. Latex is often an ingredient, which some people are allergic to.

Cyberskin

Cyberskin toys are made of porous material that cannot be disinfected. Use with condoms for safety and to aid in cleanup. Toys made from this material become warm with use and are the closest thing to skin-to-skin sensation you’ll find in a sex toy. CyberSkin is also more durable than latex, it can be used in many more and interesting ways, such as cock rings, eggs, and even human-looking robots! The realistic appearance and feel of Cyberskin makes it perfect for a first time toy, or for anyone who wants something more realistic in the bedroom. Great care must be taken if you share a toy made of Cyberskin, the use of a condom is recommended (as with any toy that is shared) to minimize any possible infections being transmitted.

Plastic

Plastic is the big-city cousin of rubber: it’s hard, cold and completely inflexible. There are a variety of plastics used to make sex toys. They are non-porous materials and this means they are easier to keep clean, and people are less likely to react to them. These toys are usually suitable for people concerned with allergic reactions or chemical sensitivities. Plastic is easy to clean using a wet cloth and mild soap or preferably a specially designed sex toy cleaner that also helps kill any bacteria. It is advisable however not to submerge any toy that has a motor in any cleaning agent, or use any agent that can cause skin sensitivity or irritation. Plastic vibes aren’t a top pick for internal use or in-out thrusting, but they make wonderful clitoral teasers. Try a plastic sex toy if you like the sensation of cool metal and a hard, pulsing vibration.

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