Play It Safe: A beginner friendly guide to sex toy materials

Play It Safe: A beginner friendly guide to sex toy materials

So you’re curious about the different materials used in sex toys?

Well in this post, I'm going to take you on a journey and introduce you to some of the most popular materials used in the industry! From silky-smooth silicone to the elegant and sturdy glass, I'll give you a breakdown of the unique properties and benefits each material has to offer. I'll also be explaining why it's so crucial to pay attention to the materials when buying sex toys and the importance of body safety to avoid any potential dangers of using toxic materials in sex toys. So get ready to learn, get excited and discover some new favourites!

All about Silicone...

Silicone is the ultimate sex toy material, and for good reason! It's non-porous, hypoallergenic, and super easy to clean, making it a top pick for anyone looking for a body-safe and convenient option. But that's not all, silicone is also incredibly flexible and moldable, meaning it can be shaped into all kinds of fun and exciting forms, making it perfect for experimentation and exploring different sensations. 

Body safe refers to the safety and non-toxicity of the materials used in a toy's construction. These materials are non-porous, hypoallergenic, easy to clean, phthalates-free, and do not pose a risk of harm to the body. 

Phthalates are chemicals that are often used to soften plastics. They are often used in the manufacturing process of sex toys to make them more flexible, but they have been linked to health problems such as cancer, so it's important to avoid toys that contain them. 

There are a few different forms of silicone that can be used in sex toys, including liquid silicone, silexpan, and silicone blends.

Liquid Silicone: This is a liquid form of silicone that is poured into a mould to create the desired shape of the toy. This type of silicone is often used to make toys with a softer and more flexible texture, as it can be easily poured into intricate moulds.

Silexpan: This type of silicone is a mixture of silicone and a special type of clay called silex. This mixture creates a firmer and more solid texture for the toy. Silexpan is often used to create toys with a harder and more rigid surface, such as dildos or plugs.

Silicone blends: These are a mixture of different types of silicone, including liquid silicone and silexpan, or with other materials like TPE, that creates a toy with a unique texture and feel. They can also add different properties to the toy, such as a softer and more flexible exterior with a firmer core.

It's important to consider the type of silicone being used when purchasing a sex toy, as it can have an impact on the feel and overall experience of the toy. For example, a toy made from liquid silicone will have a softer and more flexible texture, while a toy made from silexpan will have a harder and more rigid texture. 

Most importantly, when buying a sex toy made of silicone, check if it is made of 100% pure silicone or blended silicone, as blended can have some other materials that may not be entirely body safe.

All about Glass...

Glass sex toys are a thing of beauty, both inside and out, often coming in a range of eye-catching and exciting designs! Their smooth, hard and non-porous surface makes them easy to clean and perfect for temperature play, adding an extra level of excitement to your solo or couples play. Plus, these toys are highly durable and will last you a long time if you take good care of them. 

One of the most common materials used in glass sex toys is borosilicate glass (also know as Pyrex). This type of glass is highly durable and can withstand extreme temperature changes without breaking or cracking, making it ideal for temperature play. The Icicles brand by Pipedream is one example of borosilicate glass in toys. 

Temperature play refers to the practice of using temperature to enhance sexual pleasure. Glass and metal sex toys are particularly suitable for this type of play as they conduct heat well. With glass and metal toys, you can experiment with different temperatures by warming them up or cooling them down before use.

To warm up a glass or metal toy, you can immerse it in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes, or use a warming lubricant. Conversely, to cool down the toy, you can immerse it in a bowl of cold water for a few minutes, or put it in the refrigerator for a short period of time. It's important to be cautious not to heat the toy too much, or to cool it down too much, as it can be uncomfortable or even dangerous to use!

It's important to note that all glass can break if dropped or hit against a hard surface, so make sure to handle them with care as you would any other glass products, and if you notice any chips or cracks, discard the toy. With proper care though, glass sex toys made from borosilicate glass can last for many years and become a treasured addition to your collection!

All about Metal...

Metal sex toys are utterly luxurious and the price range they fall into often reflects this! They’re smooth, hard and non-porous which makes them feel fantastic, easy to clean and perfect for temperature play! Like glass, metal toys are highly durable and can last for a long time, which makes them a great long-term investment. The weight of metal toys can add an extra dimension to your BDSM or sensation play too!

One of the most common materials used in metal sex toys is stainless steel. Stainless steel is a type of metal that is known for its strength, durability and resistance to corrosion. It's also non-porous and easy to clean, making it a great option for sex toys. Stainless steel toys are also safe to use with lubricants, making them very versatile!

Another common material used in metal sex toys is aluminium. Aluminium is a lightweight metal that is known for its strength and durability. It also conducts heat well, making it a great option for temperature play. The Doxy wand is an example of a luxury sex toy made of cast aluminium. The wand's body is made from cast aluminium, which makes it incredibly durable and gives it a perfect weight for pressing against the body.

Top tip: always make sure that you're using a non-corrosive lubricant to ensure that your metal sex toy stays in great condition!

All about TPE & ABS...

TPE (thermoplastic elastomer) and ABS (acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene) are two synthetic rubber materials that are commonly used in the manufacture of sex toys. Both materials have their own unique properties and benefits.

TPE is a type of thermoplastic elastomer that is known for its softness and flexibility. It is often used to make toys that are designed to feel like silicone. This makes TPE toys a popular choice for those who want the feel of silicone without the higher cost. TPE is also porous and can't be sterilised completely, so it's important to clean them thoroughly and use a condom to avoid bacterial growth.

ABS, on the other hand, is a harder material that is often used in vibrators and other sex toys that need to be stiff. It's a more durable and stiffer material than TPE, so it's ideal for toys that will be used for deep pressure. It's hard surface also makes it easy to clean and it's non-porous so it can be sterilised. ABS is also less expensive than many other materials, making it a budget-friendly choice for those looking for a sturdy and long-lasting toy.

Porous means the toy has small spaces or openings in its surface that can trap bacteria, bodily fluids, and other substances. These spaces can be difficult or impossible to clean and can harbour bacteria, fungus and viruses, posing health risks. Rubber, jelly, or cyberskin are all examples of porous materials and they are not something we usually stock. These materials can also absorb smells and are known to degrade over time with exposure to light, heat and chemicals.

It's important to note that the quality of TPE and ABS can vary depending on the manufacturer, so it's important to buy from a reputable brand, like the ones we stock. TPE and ABS should also not be used with silicone lubricant, as it can damage the toy. Water-based or oil-based lubricants are recommended for use with TPE and ABS toys.

In conclusion...

In conclusion, sex toy materials come with their own unique benefits and potential risks. It's crucial to know about the materials to make an informed choice and invest in a body-safe and quality product. Also, be sure to clean and maintain your toys properly, in order to enjoy them for as long as possible. If you have any questions on any of the above, or about a particular toy we stock, we’re here to help!

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