Blush: Toys

Blush: Toys

I have to say, I’m thrilled that people are using our anonymous question box! Keep the questions coming!

Question

I was cleaning out my room the other day, and found a dildo in the back of my drawer under a pile of papers. It was sticky! I’m sure I washed it properly before I put it away, bc I always do that, but it was so long ago I don’t actually remember. What happened, and can I expect my others to do the same?

Answer

There is no indication of the material of the sex toy, but I can guess that it was either jelly rubber or plastic. Those are the cheapest materials used to make toys, and although the question doesn’t indicate the cost of the toy, the cheaper ones degrade over time, no matter how carefully you take care of them.

Image from howtocleanstuff.net

An example of cheap plastic:
When we bought our house four years ago (four? already?) my mother gave me several boxes of my old toys, including my Barbies. Several of these Barbies had to be thrown out due to discolouration or sticky plastic. I was really upset, but didn’t know what had happened until I started researching for this question.

Some Barbies (including one or two of mine, apparently) used to be made with cheap plastic. This plastic has now been banned for use in household items and children’s toys, but not in adult novelty items like sex toys.

How do sex toys slip through a ban like that?

Legal jargon.

Because they are not specifically mentioned, and are considered “novelty items”, there is a legal loophole. So consumers have to be careful when buying products. They should double check the materials and be sure to buy from reputable companies.

There are two criteria that must be carefully considered when buying a sex toy: the chemical composition and porosity of the material.

Lots of plastics are made with phthalates, and these are what has been banned in children’s toys. But phthalates interact very poorly (or well, depending on how you look at it) with mucous membranes, such as the one in a vagina, and can cause itchiness and chemical burns. Yikes!

Porosity is the measure of void spaces in a material. The more porous something is, the more likely the material is to harbour bacteria. Even if you wash a toy with soap and water, a very porous material will never be completely free of bacteria. If you own a porous toy, I recommend using a condom over the toy to prevent any problems. If you’re considering buying a porous toy, don’t.

The recommended material for sex toys is silicone (and you can use water or oil based lube with silicone toys), because it can come in a variety of densities (flexibility), is not made with phthalates and is completely non-porous. A good company to buy from is Bad Dragon. (Caution, do not click this link if you are not prepared to see dildos of many shapes and sizes)

So to get back to your question, what probably happened was degradation of a phthalate-ridden porous material. It will happen to your other toys of similar quality and make. When it comes to sex toys, quality is definitely better than quantity, and you definitely get what you pay for.


References

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/removingthefigleaf/2016/03/toxic-toys-and-an-unregulated-industry/

https://www.lovehoney.co.uk/sex-toys/buyers-guide/sex-toy-materials-phthalates-rubber-silicone/


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