Sex Toy Materials 101
Silicone–specifically medical grade silicone–is one of the most popular materials for sex toys. Unlike other options, silicone is flexible which can be more comfortable, especially for those new to sex toys. Silicone is widely used in the medical industry and is considered a body safe option for several types of medical devices as well as sex toys.
Though, one caveat is that you cannot use silicone based lubes with silicone toys. Only use water-based lubricants for your silicone toys. However, this is made up for with the ease of cleaning and disinfecting silicone toys. They can even be boiled to disinfect them without damage.
TPR, also known as Thermoplastic Rubber or Cyberskin, is a material that has both the characteristics of rubber and plastic. A combination of silicone and PVC. It offers a very realistic texture but is quite porous. An unlubed condom will keep cyberskin toys clean, and dusting the toy with cornstarch after washing will keep it feeling silky. Cyberskin toys should not be used with oil- or silicone-based lubes, but work well with anything water-based.
Stainless steel and other surgical-grade metals are safe. Many vibrators are made of metal and this is generally easy to clean and does not contain harmful additives. It is not as flexible as silicone, but can also be easily disinfected in boiling water. You can also use any lubricant you like with metal toys without fear of ruining them.
Lucite is a type of acrylic plastic that often is translucent or near translucent. It is found in medical devices as well as several objects you probably already have at home such as camera lenses, jewelry, and candles among others. These may occasionally have a hint of color. It is a less common material and not as popular as other body safe options.
ABS stands for “acrylonitrile butadiene styrene” and is a hard type of plastic often found in vibrators. It is stabler than other forms of plastic so it is unlikely to leach chemicals at any point. ABS plastic is easy to clean and nonporous. You will often find ABS plastic used alongside silicone in vibrators because the hard plastic carries vibrations particularly well.
These two materials are combined because they may not be your first thought of body safe sex toy materials. However, as long as they are made correctly, they absolutely can be. Wood is a completely natural material that as long as you do not have any allergies to the specific type, should not cause any major issues. Obviously, the wood needs to be sanded down to optimal smoothness and treated so that it is nonporous with a body safe sealant.
Thankfully, manufacturers of wooden sex toys are quite transparent with the ingredients of their sealants and anything used to treat the wood. This can help you make a more informed decision.
The type of glass used for sex toys is generally Borosilicate glass. Borosilicate glass is very durable and can withstand greater temperature extremes than other types of glass without cracking or breaking. Like metal, it is inflexible but easy to clean and does not generally contain any extra ingredients that could harm your body. Some toys are even dishwasher safe!
|PLA stands for Polylactic acid or polylactide is a polyester made from renewable biomass, typically from fermented plant starch like corn, cassava, sugarcane or sugar beet pulp.