At Velvet Thruster, we believe that any serious modern sex toy company has a responsibility to create safe products. The point of sex toys is not just sexual pleasure, after all, but also sexual wellness. Bacterial hubs and cancer risks are not anyone’s idea of wellness. To minimize risks like these in our Thrusters, we chose medical-grade silicone for its velvety soft “skin.”
It’s hard to shop for good sex toys. While many mainstream sex toy companies are very health and safety-conscious, the sex toy industry is quite unregulated overall. That leaves the responsibility of selecting safe sex toys in your hands. If sex toys are a part of your bedroom lifestyle, then we recommend you follow the sex toy safety tips we’ve compiled here. Read on for shopping tips, sanitization methods, and more!
How To Buy Safe Toys
Because the sex toy industry is so poorly regulated, choosing the right toy is half the battle. With all the poorly made, cheap, and novelty toys (short answer: avoid those) out there, it can be really hard to find items worthy of joining your bedroom arsenal. When shopping for toys, look for answers to some of these basic safety questions.
What Is The Toy Made Of?
The safety of a penetrative sex toy has a lot to do with the material it’s made from. Look for body-safe materials. These toys, if well-made, are easy to clean and pose minimal risk.0.
- Silicone (medical-grade or food-grade is preferable)
- Stainless steel (medical-grade)
- Wood (with body-safe coatings ONLY)
- Borosilicate glass (unpainted)
- Glazed ceramic
- Natural stone
Now, these are the toys to AVOID:
- Standard rubber
- Jelly rubber (very porous)
- Vinyl rubber (odorous and frequently contains phthalates),
- Non-medical grade silicone (breaks down with lube)
- Silicone blends (often quite porous)
Porous sex toys can become safety and health hazards – they trap harmful dirt and bacteria, and should not be used without a condom rolled on over top.
Is The Retailer Reputable?
Thanks to the Internet and a steadily increasing general demand for sex toys, there are a MASSIVE number of sex toy retailers out there. It can be hard to find adult stores that are entirely trustworthy. Look for shops that have a significant following, a good reputation, and a declared dedication to safety and wellness. Always stay cautious when shopping - even large, trusted retailers such as Amazon are sometimes home to untrustworthy toys!
Is The Cost Too Good To Be True?
Although there are lots of great budget products out there, many low-cost sex toys were not designed for safety. When shopping, always look for respected, safe products (read reviews or ask a storekeeper for recommendations) rather than cheap ones. Get to know what price range to look for in a premium product. A good g-spot vibrator, for instance, will set you back a hundred or more.
When it comes to intimate personal items like sex toys, skimping is not an option. Premium sex toys will stay functional longer, pose minimal to no safety hazards, and provide a more satisfying experience. Playtime is most fun with reliable, high-quality toys involved!
How To Use Toys Safely
Even with a sex toy designed for safety, there are certain additional precautions that you should take as a user. It’s ok to be hardcore and it’s ok to be spontaneous, but always keep these questions in the back of your mind.
Am I Sharing Safely?
For a lot of people, sharing is a big part of the fun of sex toys. If you’re a sharer, then you’ve got a whole realm of additional sex toy safety precautions to make. Do you know your partner/playmate’s STD status? Do you know yours? Have both of you been tested recently? Are you using a non-porous sex toy? If the answer to any of these questions is no, then you and your partner may both want to use fresh condoms when playing with the toy. Alternatively, you can clean your toy between use: read this post for more on how to clean silicone toys (such as The Thruster) before sharing.
Am I Using My Toys For Their Intended Purposes?
By “intended purpose,” we mean body part. Sex toys designed for vaginal play may not be suitable for anal play, and vice versa. In addition, it’s a good safety practice to avoid using the same sex toy for both anal and vaginal play unless you clean thoroughly in between uses.
Speaking of “intended purposes,” using household items as sex toys is also generally a bad idea. Save those DIY urges for home improvement, art projects, and hair-dos!
Am I Storing My Toys Safely?
Store your toys in a clean, dry spot out of the sun. A drawer or closet is perfect. Ideally, store each toy in its own pouch so your toys can stay dust and bacteria-free. We particularly recommend doing so with our Thrusters, as they contain lots of folds and complex parts that might collect dust.
What Lube is Best for Sex Toy Safety?
Even though there are tons of different options on the market, the lube question is easier to answer than it may seem. There are three main types of lubes. Use silicone lube for glass, wood, steel and most other materials, but avoid it on silicone toys unless they are explicitly advertised as medical-grade silicone, like our Thruster. A really good reason to avoid cheap silicone toys altogether.
Water-based lubes, on the other hand, are safe to use with all sex toys. For a silky smooth massage experience, choose oil-based lube - but keep in mind that it will be hard to clean up and that it can’t be used with a latex condom! Choose lubes made from non-toxic, natural materials to go easy on your skin.
Have you tried using lube with toys yet? If not, we recommend you do! It makes movement easier and makes sensations more pleasurable.
Do My Toys Look or Smell Funny?
Part of sex toy safety is just practicing common sense. In general, body-safe sex toy materials don’t smell or melt, even after long periods of use. If you notice melting, odd smells, discoloration or any other weirdness on your sex toy, then discontinue use immediately. Even if you love the toy, it’s just not worth the risk! Replace the faulty toy with a safer version.
How To Clean Sex Toys
As a commitment to your own personal health, you should always pay special attention to keeping your sex toys clean. Whether they are penetrative or non-penetrative, shared or for personal use, your sex toys need to be cleaned often for your safety and health. Cleaning may not be the sexiest thing to do, but it definitely ensures peace of mind – as much peace of mind as you can have in a sex dungeon, that is!
To clean your sex toy, simply follow the cleaning instructions included in the package. And if you’ve lost that manual or never had one to begin with, have no fear! We’ve got some safe, fast, and efficient methods for you.
How Do I Clean My…?
- Non-battery-powered silicone, wood, stainless steel or glass toy: Wash with soap and water, the same way you’d wash your hands. Then, air dry. If you want maximum sex toy safety - such as if you’re sharing toys - then try boiling for 3-5 minutes.
- Battery-powered toy: Wipe the toy down with a wet cloth and soap. If you want to wash, remove the battery-powered component first.
- Cyberskin toy: Wash with water and only a little bit of soap, as Cyberskin is quite sensitive.
- Non-penetrative toys such as whips, clothing, and furniture: Wipe down materials such as vinyl and leather with a slightly damp, warm cloth. If you’ve got a serious mess on your hands, then a trip to a professional cleaner’s might be in order.
How Often Should I Clean My Toy?
Clean penetrative toys after every use, and clean non-penetrative toys anytime things aren’t looking spick n’ span. Following a cleaning regimen takes discipline, but it’s a necessary part of sex toy safety.
Are There Any Alternative Ways to Keep My Sex Toys Clean?
Of course! For most toys, a thorough wipe-down with a hot towel is sufficient for cleaning. If you want a more thorough clean, then look for specialized cleansers: sex toy manufacturers have come up with all sorts of products to make regular toy cleaning more doable for the busy, modern day user. Search your local sex toy shop for a non-toxic cleanser or wipes. Or, for fun, you can look up a DIY recipe online!
Safety Comes First – Even For Adults
Whether you’re a sex toy beginner or a hardcore toy user, it’s good practice to brush up on your sex toy safety once in a while. Got any more questions about sex toy safety? Email us through the contact button in the upper-right and let’s get a conversation started.