Phthalates. That’s the evil word you don’t want to hear paired together with the word ‘sex toys.’ Toxic toys contain PVC plastics with phthalates (also known as plasticizers) added to make them softer and more difficult to break. Imagine this: You have a PVC toys, then you add phthalates; these phthalates attach to the PVC at a molecular level and hang on to them. This changes their structure to make them softer and jelly-like. The problem here is that the phthalates aren’t ‘bound’ very strong to the PVC and often seep out over time. If a toxic toy is out for long enough, you’ll see it ‘sweat’ out its plasticizer; this is the stuff you want to avoid in your body.
Why do I want to avoid phthalates?
Well, consider the following. The US government has done research on phthalates in children’s toys. Although the government did not find much on phthalates, they did link them to negative health effects such as irritation, reproduction issues, infantile development problems, and even cancer. With this information, the government decided to ban phthalates in children’s toys in 2009.
Another thing to watch out for in sex toys are pores. Pores are small holes or crevices in which bacteria can hide in. Porous toys can never truly be cleaned or sterilized. Even when porous toys are washed with warm soap and water, bacteria can stay hidden in these pores and multiply. Using them are dangerous since bacteria can be reintroduced into the body. A safe toy has to have the ability of being sterilized.
A label doesn’t make it true
Oh, but if it were only that easy. Just because a toy is labeled as ‘phthalate-free’ does not mean that it is actually free of phthalates. Believe it or not, people (especially manufacturers) lie often. The fact that this industry isn’t regulated makes it much more easier to lie. Without regulation, all manufacturers have to do is label toys as “for novelty use only.” Novelty use means not meant for insertion or bodily use.
Shame is the other factor that will continue the sale of toxic toys. There aren’t many people who will discuss sex toys in public or with their friends. Anyone who tries to author a bill to ban phthalates in toys; well, it’ll be very difficult since many people are scared of discussing this in public. With no government intervention, it seems that manufacturers will continue to sell phthalate-riddled toys.
It doesn’t mean that you have to avoid every sex toy. There are certain ways to tell if it is toxic:
- Smell: It has a smell (kind of like the new car smell) that won’t go away no matter how many times you wash it.
- Jelly: If it says jelly toy or jelly-like. 9 times out of 10, it has phthalates. But of course there are some with a different material which is safer than phthalates but you should still avoid them because they are porous (we’ll get to that).
- Price: I love shopping on eBay from China. It’s like a 99 cents store; they have the most random stuff for cheap. But sex toys isn’t something I want to get from there. Usually if a toy is very cheap, it is toxic. Hint: Not $5 – $10.
- Burning: Some people are more sensitive to toxic toys and will feel a burning sensation from the toy. Tingling is another giveaway that a toy is toxic.
Some of the toys you should get are those that are made from safe materials. Some of the safe materials are:
- 100% Silicone: Stick with trustworthy manufacturers. Not China
- Borosilicate Glass
- Sealed Ceramic
- Sealed Wood
- Sealed Stone
- Medical Stainless Steel or Aluminum
- Hard or ABS Plastic: These are very sturdy and don’t contain phthalates
Here is a list of manufacturers that ONLY make safe sex toys. (If a company makes a safe toy, but also sells an unsafe toy, they are not included)
- Babes n Horny
- Big Teaze Toys
- BS is Nice
- Chavez Dezignz
- Fun Factory
- Happy Valley Silicone
- High Island Health / Aneros
- Vamp Silicone
- Vixen Creations
- Wet For Her
List courtesy of Ruby Ryder of PeggingParadise.com