We always read the materials list when we shop for sex toys, just as we read the ingredients lists on the food we buy. Have you made a habit of this yet? If not, then we strongly recommend that you do! What you put in your body matters.
Sex toy safety is important. Your choice in sex toys can impact your health in the long run just as your choice in food does. By entering your most absorbent and sensitive areas, penetrative sex toys are on a fast track to your bloodstream, opening doors to infection, rashes, and other health concerns.
Of course, safety is not the only reason to read the materials list on the toys you buy. Materials also influence factors such as durability, lifespan, and texture. By understanding sex toy materials, you can become not only a safer shopper, but also more discerning at selecting high-quality sex toys. Read the definitive materials guide by Velvet Co to become a connoisseur of the pleasure products you so love!
There are a few standards that you’d think health-related companies (such as those that sell sex toys) would follow – no carcinogens, minimal bacteria, and basic heat resistance come to mind - but not all companies do. The sex toy industry is a large and unfortunately mostly unregulated one. The sex toy industry still isn’t mainstream, so it hasn’t won the attention of the FDA or any similar organizations yet. How do you tell, then, if a sex toy is made from safe materials?
Good Silicone vs. Bad Silicone
Silicone is one of the most popular materials used in lifelike sex toys, yet it’s also one of those materials that are frequently mislabeled. As a rule, pure silicone (such as medical-grade silicone) is the only silicone that should be used in penetrative sex toys, while silicone blends are far less safe. Silicone blends are porous and may contain phthalates (more on that below) and high metal content. For all the reasons why we settled for nothing less than medical-grade silicone for our Thrusters, read this post.
It’s relatively easy to tell if glass is glass or if wood is wood, but silicone does not have a distinct look. It can be hard to find out if the silicone material in your sex toy is pure. The easiest way to find out is to read reviews from trusted sex toy reviewers, who test silicone with methods such as the flame test.
Porous vs. Non-Porous
Porosity is a factor that should always be in the back of your mind when you shop for penetrative sex toys. It should be in the FRONT of your mind if you plan to share your toys. Porous materials have miniscule pores that catch bacteria, germs and mold, allowing it to multiply over time. What’s more, they can never be fully sanitized. That puts you at risk of infection, STIs and STDs if you share your toys. Penetrative sex toys made from porous materials are not safe to use, but feel free to use well-made porous sex toys for external use (including male masturbation sleeves).
While pure silicone is technically porous, it is also hydrophobic, keeping all liquids at bay. That makes it a safe material for penetrative use or for sharing. Just sanitize properly in between uses!
The Deal With Phthalates
You’ve probably heard about phthalates before, whether in a cautionary context or when a toy has had a “no phthalates” label on its packaging. Phthalates are found in sex toys made from jelly, PVC and some other soft sex toy materials, in which they are used to help create a more squishy feel. They get a lot of attention because they’re one of the most common potential toxins found in sex toys. Phthalates are suspected to be a carcinogen and have been linked to chemical burns, so make sure to steer clear of materials that contain them.
The texture of a sex toy depends on its materials. Silicone feels lifelike, while materials such as glass, wood and stainless steel feel rigid and artificial (but still very pleasurable!). Even within the category of silicone, there are hard toys and there are squishy ones. You really just need to feel a toy to find out for yourself.
Manufacturers are constantly improving upon the realism of their toys. Recent trends have seen an upsurge in dual-density silicone dildos, which encase a rigid silicone interior in a softer, skin-like outer silicone layer to create a truly authentic feel. Keep an eye out for those if you’re a fan of lifelike dildos! Thruster products achieve this through their construction as well.
The more complex a toy is, the more it requires a durable interior to make sure it lasts. No consumer wants to fall in love with a high-tech or premium toy, only to have it break before its time. When designing our Thrusters, we combined our aerospace engineering expertise with our enthusiasm for quality sex toys to ensure that this would not be the case with our toys. Because steel and aluminum make for a more durable interior than plastic, we chose high-quality materials for the interior of The Thruster. We packed all this into the safest realistic sex toy material we knew for a premium product that hits all the bases.
Rechargeable vs. Battery Powered
When designing and choosing materials for our sex toys, we also had to determine if the toys would be battery-powered or rechargeable. Battery-powered toys allow for more spontaneous use (no waiting for your toy to charge), but rechargeable toys are more cost-effective and eco-friendly. By giving our toys a battery life of 8 hours, we believe we’ve combined the benefits of both styles. Just make sure to keep your Thruster charged so it’s always ready for action!
Good Materials vs. Bad Materials: An At-A-Glance List
Safe Sex Toy Materials:
- 100% silicone (AKA medical-grade silicone) or platinum cure silicone;
- ABS Plastic (slightly porous, OK for vibrators or other external toys);
- Borosilicate glass;
- Stainless steel;
- Treated wood (with body-safe coatings);
- Stone (if non-porous);
- Ceramic (vitrified and glazed).
Unsafe Sex Toy Materials
- Jelly (porous and toxic);
- TPE/TPR (porous);
- Silicone blends (porous and potentially toxic);
- PVC (porous and potentially toxic)
- Latex rubber (porous).
Shop Our Body-Safe, High-Tech Thrusters
From our experience designing The Thruster, we learned that creating a safe sex toy takes a commitment not to go the cheap route, and a commitment to the well-being of our customers!
What resulted from our work is a sex toy made using the safest materials, one that meets the highest standards of quality and safety. If you’re a hardcore toy-loving adult who demands both health and pleasure, then you need these toys in your collection! Browse now to discover the equally powerful but fiercely unique Frankie, Jackie, Abbey, and Walter.