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Sex Toy Safety: How to Buy Body-Safe Sex Toys

Considering where we put them (and what we put in them), knowing that the sex toys we use are safe and fit for use should be a top priority. But the truth is that most shoppers are unaware that they need to check, assuming that if someone is selling it then it must have been tested and declared safe. Right? Wrong.

THERE IS LITTLE REGULATION AND SOME SEX TOYS HAVE BEEN FOUND TO CONTAIN MATERIALS WHICH WOULD BE BANNED IN OTHER PRODUCTS (SUCH AS CHILDREN'S TOYS).

While most big, reputable companies will have tested their products rigorously before releasing them on the market, nothing can be guaranteed. There is little regulation and some sex toys have been found to contain materials which would be banned in other products (such as children’s toys). Some users have reported reactions such as tingling, stinging or soreness after using cheap, toxic sex toys and, perhaps more worrying, some believe that the long terms effects of certain materials can cause reproductive problems, or even cancers.

Sex Toy Safety: How to Buy Body-Safe Sex Toys

Be safe - know the basics of sex toy safety.

It’s always best to do your own research before investing money, especially if you are buying online.

The good news is that, with a little common sense and some basic knowledge, you will be able to judge yourself whether the sex toy you are considering is likely to be safe to use. Read on to find out how.

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How to tell if Your Sex Toys are Safe

Check the Quality

Sex toys are often bought online, a fact which opens up all sorts of risks for the unwary shopper. Without handling the toy yourself, it is impossible to check the quality of the toy. Cheaply made toys might have rough edges which can cause irritation or injury to your delicate skin. In addition, they might be made from materials that degrade, break or foster nasty bacteria in their porous surfaces.

Avoid porous sex toys if possible, and replace soft toys once splits or cracks start to appear, as thorough cleaning becomes impractical and bacteria can soon start to build up.

Check the Label

Many poorly made sex toys are marketed as ‘for novelty use only’ and seeing this phrase on the packet should be a massive red flag for buyers. It means that the toy has not been produced (or tested) for use as a sex aid and might contain unsafe materials. The manufacturer knows this and has taken steps to limit their liability if it is used for sexual purposes.

Check the Materials

Unsafe Sex Toy Materials: Phthalates

Phthalates are sometimes used in sex toys to make the plastic softer and more flexible. They are generally regarded as unsafe and have been linked to reproductive problems. Phthalates have been banned from use in children’s toys in many areas, but can still be used in adult ‘novelty’ products.

Rubber Sex Toy

Rubber or jelly sex toys often contain phthalates.

Still want to introduce that cheap sex toy to your delicate sex organ? Didn’t think so. Look out for cheap, ‘jelly’ toys and be wary if the material used to make them is not clear to you.

The PVC used in many soft or flexible sex toys could have been softened with phthalates but many reputable companies have begun to use other materials, in response to their customers concerns. Many sex toys will actually be advertised as phthalate-free – it might not be required but it is a good marketing move. Look out for this while shopping and check the FAQ section of the sellers’ or manufacturers’ website if you are not sure.

Body-Safe Sex Toy Materials

Silicone, glass, hard plastic, stainless steel, and TPE (with reservations) are all safe materials for sex toys, and are easily available.

Less common material is wood (yes, really, and no, you won’t get splinters!): a good choice for a natural, safe and non-toxic material. See NobEssence for beautiful wooden sex toys.

NobEssence Wenge Wooden Prostate Massager

NobEssence Wenge Wooden Prostate Massager

Silicone sex toys are often the best choice as silicone is safe, hypoallergenic, long lasting and easy to clean. Check that the product is actually silicone, though; many labeled as such are not actually pure silicone.

Glass sex toys are also becoming more popular (don’t worry; they’re tough and not about to break inside you). They are safe and easy to clean. See glass prostate massagers and dildos here.

Hard plastic is often used for inexpensive vibrators and dildos. Metal is another good choice, though less common; many sex shops stock stainless steel sex toys. Both materials are non-porous and easy to clean so you can buy them without worry. However, if you are looking for a soft sex toy, such as a masturbation sleeve, then you need to be a little more careful.

Once a week I comb through two dozen sex toy companies and sex shops to find the best deals on male sex toys.

TPE (Thermoplastic Elastomers) Sex Toys

Many male masturbators are made with thermoplastic elastomers or TPE. You don't typically see TPE listed in the product information but instead, sex toy manufacturers' have their own patented material names like ​VixSkin, Cyberskin, Superskin, etc.

TPE feels similar to silicon and gives sex toys the flesh-like feel. But unlike silicon TPE is porous, providing a good breeding ground for bacteria. TPE sex toys are safe to use, but you need to pay special attention to cleaning and drying your toys. Check out the article about how to clean a Fleshlight.

kayden kross fleshlight sleeve

Fleshlight Kayden Kross Bookworm

When manufacturers' use their own marketing names for materials, you might not be able to get specific information about the material but they will usually have information about the use of phthalates, latex, or any other materials which buyers might have concerns about. Check the FAQ section and don’t be afraid to ask if you are still not sure.

If you already own a good collection of sex toys and are now afraid to use them then don’t panic! You don’t need to throw them all away and start again. If you are worried and remember where you bought them then a little internet research or a quick email to the shop or manufacturer should answer any questions you have. Phthalate toys are generally considered ok to use with condoms, even by the most health conscious users.

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How to Choose Safe, Non-Toxic Sex Toys

If your head is spinning after reading the above, don’t worry! Sex toy safety is as simple as using your common sense.

  • Avoid cheap sex toys, or any that do not have good product information available.
  • If the label says ‘novelty use only’ then consider it a gag gift, not a sex aid.
  • Choose reputable manufacturers who are not afraid to share their product information.
  • If you are unsure about anything, ask! A trustworthy seller will not be afraid to answer your questions.

If male masturbator interest you, this article will help you to choose the best one for your needs. If you'd like to know more about how to buy a Fleshlight, read the thorough buying instructions here.

​For great sex toy buying inspirations, see the Best Sex Toys for Men article.

Trusted Male Sex Toy Brands

Following brands are known to produce and sell body-safe sex toys. There are so many sex toys brands around that the list can never be complete. Please let me know of any major omissions.

Regardless of the manufacturer, always check the product information when buying sex toys.

For further reading, head out to this wonderful Reddit resource by Dangerous Lilly.



Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase. If you click an affiliate link and make a purchase, you help support this website. Please note that: 1) I do not and will not recommend a product just because I’m an affiliate. 2) I do not recommend products just for the sake of making money. 3) I recommend products because I think they are valuable to my readers. 4) I respect and value my readers too much to write anything other than my own genuine and objective opinions and advice.

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