Sex Toys and What They are Made of
You know what they say – variety is the spice of life! This is true of sex toys as well! There are a lot of great toys on the market these days and are made of a myriad of different materials. While this should be fun and exciting, we know that it can actually get a bit overwhelming.
Here at Big Teaze Toys, we don’t just buy from an unknown factory and slap our name on the package, we actually design and manufacture our own products. We have over 20 years of design and manufacturing experience so we are very familiar with different materials and processes. So, we thought we’d offer up a little information about what sex toys are made of, what makes a good sex toy and what it all means to you and your body.
Silicone is being used more every day in sex toys. Silicone is a good material for sex toys because it is able to resist extreme temperatures and oxidation. Recent advances in silicone use in sex toys have even led to the ability to mimic the feel of human skin! Silicone is hypoallergenic, hygienic, boilable, bleachable, and even dishwasher safe so it’s not just fun, it’s practical!
Now, you might hear now and again about people talking about medical grade silicone. Well this can be a little misleading. Yes, there is medical grade silicone, but for it to be any better than food grade silicone it has to be made in a special factory that is approved to make medical grade products. This is not the case for adult toy pleasure products.
This is a whole family of synthetic, rubber-like materials that can made anywhere from super soft to hard. When they are hard they are non-porous and easy to clean. When they are soft it can be used to make products that are very squishy and pliable... remember wacky wall walkers? When they are super soft the material can be really porous and hard to keep clean. When they are made just a bit more firm a lot of the negatives disappear – they are then non-porous and no longer sticky. They are also quite easy to clean and much more durable. It is these qualities that lead us to choosing this material on some of our products.
Materials known as PVC, ABS, Polycarbonate, - are just a few of the variety of hard plastics commonly used to make sex toys. ABS is a standard and very common plastic in many consumer products, not just adult toys. PVC (unplasticised PVC) is the 3rd most common plastic made. It’s in everything from water supply and drain lines to water bottles and food packaging. Polycarbonate is a very strong plastic; it’s used for bullet proof windows for example.
Hard plastic sex toys are great because they are usually less expensive, easy to clean, non-porous and they are lube-friendly. Another nice quality of hard plastic sex toys is that they can offer stronger vibrations than soft skinned toys… yeah baby!!
You probably remember the name Pyrex from your mom’s kitchen, right? It was the miracle glass capable of withstanding extremely high temperatures so you could watch the cheese bubble in your lasagna as it cooked. What you may NOT know about it is that it can be shaped into all sorts of other interesting things - like sex toys, for example!
Glass toys are probably some of the most costly sex toys, but they never wear out, are beautiful to look at and hold, and can provide some of the best play of any toys. During use, glass toys can be warmed (dip them into warm water) or chilled for different sensations. They ARE tough, but breakable however (they are glass after all), so be aware that dropping them may chip or break them. Not all glass toys are made of the same material. To be really safe, you should check to make sure your glass toy is made of borosilicate glass. It’s the Pyrex kind and much safer than standard hand blown glass.
Another great thing about glass sex toys is that they are non-porous, meaning they can be completely sterilized for safety and peace of mind. In fact, we put ours into the dishwasher when we're feeling lazy. You can also use ANY kind of lubrication with them without fear of harming the piece. After cleaning, store in a padded pouch or towel. Maybe even display one or two on your night stand or coffee table - They make a great conversation piece!
Like their glass cousins, sex toys made of metal alloys or stainless steel can be pricey, but they offer some of the most delicious and sensual play imaginable. You can use any kind of lubricant that you choose with them and they easily warm to the varying temperatures of the body. Great for thermal play you can also warm them in water or cool them in the fridge.
No special precautions are needed for these gems and they can last almost indefinitely if cared for. They are easy to sanitize too, just boil or soak stainless steel sex toys in bleach and water solution, or even throw them in the dishwasher!
Aluminum toys are great because the never rust and they’re low density which makes them very light compared to steel. You can use any kind of lubricant with them and they are also great for thermal play and easily warm up to the body's temperature. Aluminum toys are non-porous so they can be easily cleaned and they don’t contain chemicals like latex or phthalates. It is suggested that after each use you clean your toy, hand-washing it with warm water and hand soap, then promptly dry it off with the satin cloth or a fine cotton cloth to keep them pretty and ready for next time.
Using hard woods such as cherry and oak, spectacularly designed toys are turned and shaped, then sanded and polished with multiple coats of food-grade finish. The results are one-of-a-kind sex toys that will last a lifetime with the proper care. They are easily cleaned with mild anti-bacterial cleaners like liquid soap. You don’t ever want to use strong solvents like bleach or alcohol because they will eventually strip the varnish off of your toy. After cleaning you also want to make sure you allow it to fully air dry. Not doing so will promote bacterial growth.
CyberSkin, SoftSkin, UR3 and other skin-like materials
CyberSkin, Ultraskin, Eroskin, Softskin, Futurotic are all brand-names for a similar type of toy material made of TPR and or a combination of elastic materials. This material can create a very soft material that feels like close to real if you close your eyes. This material can be used in many interesting ways to make a variety of adult toys (including Japanese sex robots!).
If you buy a CyberSkin™ (or similar) toy, it is important that you take proper care of it to prolong its life. These products are VERY porous and tend to discolor and tear easily. After use make sure you thoroughly was your toy with a mild soap and, as with latex, don’t use any strong alcohol-based, oil based or household cleaners. Once it’s nice and clean let your toy dry and then apply a light coating of either cornstarch or fine talcum powder all over it, it is non-toxic and will prevent the sticky feeling these toys can get and help protect your toy when not in use.
IMPORTANT: Only use water-based lubricants with CyberSkin (or similar) sex toys! Silicone or any petroleum or oil-based lubricant will destroy them and no one wants that to happen!
NOTE: It’s a good idea to keep these type of toys separated from your other playtime items, like in a plastic bag. Some of these very soft materials can transfer oil stains to latex painted walls, clothing, wood surfaces and other toys.
Silicone blends, jelly rubber and latex = phthalates
Jelly type sex toys are usually made from soft PVC or a mixture of PVC and other rubbery plastic which gives them their jelly-like feel. Because of the materials used to make them, they are usually less expensive. They are very porous and can also smell pretty strongly of… well… rubber. Think new car smell.
One of main things you should be aware of with soft Jelly type sex toys is that they are often made using chemicals called phthalates (pronounced ""thal-eights") which make the PVC soft. There have been several studies on the health effects of phthalates in other items like children’s toys and household items and there are efforts to ban the use of phthalates. If you are unsure if a toy contains these chemicals, check your package label or manufacturers website. If you’re still concerned, you can always use a condom on the jelly sex toy in question for added protection. Unlike some other adult toy products on the market all Big Teaze Toys have always been phthalate-free.
To clean jelly toys use a mild soap and warm water, taking care to dry the object and store it in a cool, dry place away from other objects - especially other jelly toys so that they don’t stain or “melt” each other. Also, because of their porous and chemical nature, only use water-based lubricants when playing with jelly toys.
If you are concerned about phthalates in your home, check out this link for more information about them and items that contain them: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phthalate