Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Materials Guide

     When you're browsing through any adult site or store pay special attention to the materials their products are made of. DO NOT trust any site that does not list the materials for each of their products, it is your right as a consumer to know exactly what is being put in/near your body. Listed below I created a list of some of the most popular materials, categorized by their safety, so you can understand exactly the characteristics of each material. It can be difficult buying online so I want to provide a resource for you to make a more informed decision.

You may hear me mention phthalates below, and rather often in my blog. Phthalates are chemicals added to plastics to soften them. They have been linked to breast cancer and a disruption in the endocrine system. Phthalates have been banned in most children's toys but are still present in many adult products.

Very Safe Materials: Very safe materials are totally non-porous and can be sanitized fully by boiling or wiping down in a 10% bleach solution. It is hypo-allergenic, latex free, and phthalates free. It's also very durable, if cared for properly these toys will last a lifetime.

Borosilicate Glass: This is the same glass that is used in Pyrex cook wear, it is not something that you need to worry about breaking. It does have some weight as it is solid glass and it is very firm so you need to be careful not to bruise yourself internally, it can be clear, colored, or feature beautiful swirls of color inside. The surface is so smooth that one might not even need lube, but if lube or even water is added it can be very slippery, if you do drop it onto a hard surface it might break but if it does it is designed to break into chunks as opposed to shattering. It should also be checked periodically for cracks and imperfections, and if you find one you should discontinue use.

Silicone: Silicone is a man made material, it's the softest and most common of the very safe materials, and it could have a smooth, velvety, or rubbery texture. Some companies have developed a dual density silicone, which has a firm core and a soft outer layer for a more realistic feel. Some toy companies may also make the frame of their toy out of plastic and coat it in silicone, this makes it safer and firmer than a toy that is made only out of silicone. You should not use silicone lubricants with silicone toys as there are specific chemicals in silicone lubricants that keeps the silicone in it's liquid state and when it comes in contact with your silicone toys it may have a chemical reaction causing the surface to become gummy and tacky and therefore unusable. They should also avoid contact with other toys that are not 100% silicone and should be stored in a cloth or pouch.

Stainless Steel: Stainless steel is as hard as glass but much heavier, you need to careful not to bruise yourself while thrusting with a stainless steel toy. It is also just as smooth as glass so one should exercise caution when adding lube or water. Other metals are slightly less safe but comparable.

Mostly Safe Materials: These materials are mostly non-porous but cannot be totally sanitized, they should not be shared without a condom. They are often phthalate-free but they also have a shorter lifespan then the very safe materials.

Elastomer: This material is very similar to a rubber, it begins soft and has chemicals added to make it harder so that it can be used to create a variety of textures. Be sure to check the box to see if they are phthalate-free.

Plastic: This firm material is non-porous and phthalate-free, it is very smooth and quite common in adult toys.

PU Coated Plastic: The PU coat on these plastic toys give them a velvety texture but it also creates microscopic, shallow cavities where fluids and bacteria can build up which makes them slightly less safe than not coated plastics.

Stone: Stone is a semi-porous firm material, it can be sanitized with a 10% bleach solution. Users should exercise great care when using stone toys as they can bruise the user's cervix.

TPR/TPE: This material is very similar to an elastomer, it begins soft and has chemicals added to make it harder.

Wood: Wood dildos are made beautify, they are firm but not quite as firm as metal or glass. Although wood is porous, when used in adult products it is coated with a thick seal to protect it. Do not boil it as the wood will change size with the temperature which would damage the seal. The seal should be inspected before use for any imperfections in the coating, as this would make the toy porous and unfit for use.

Unsafe Materials: These materials are porous and can easily harbor bacteria, they cannot be thoroughly cleaned and should not be used without a condom. They often have a very strong odor of chemicals.

Cyberskin/UR3/Pure Skin/Futurotic/Real Skin: These are the most realistic feeling toys that you can get for as low a price as these and are incredibly soft. They are a chemical mixture of pvc and silicone. They arrive coated in a powder and it is best to coat them in a corn starch after each use, this will help them stay soft, otherwise the surface may become tacky. Store them each in their own bag in a cool dark place where they cannot come into contact with other toys. It is only safe to use water based lubricants with these toys as any other would degrade them.

Jelly/Jel-Lee/AquaGel: Jelly toys are slightly less porous than Cyberskin but should still be covered with a condom. They have a rubbery feel and smell and come in a variety of colors.

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