but baby is that really what you want

And one more to round out the week! (Plus Tenga eggs are super cute and I have no use for them, BUT I WANT THEM ALL.) Tenga eggs, like many other of the most body-friendly toys on the market, are made from food grade silicone, which is the subject of today’s post.

A few weeks ago I posted a bit about cleaning different types of material toys. Today I’m going to post a little bit more about the different types of materials themselves, to better explain why I (and many others) choose more expensive silicone toys over jelly toys. Again, I’m sure many of you have this information, but the more this information is spread around, the better.

The biggest reason to stick to materials like silicone, glass, ceramic, or TPR are because of phthalates, or chemicals that are added to plastic. This is how “soft plastic” is soft – phthalates make them stretchy, squishy, and more durable. The problem with phthalates is that they make the material they’re included in porous. When it comes to sex toys, this means that you cannot clean that toy. Let me repeat that.

Cannot clean that toy.

Okay, yes, you could clean it, but as a practical matter I consider phthalate-containing toys uncleanable. Bacteria could remain in the pores of the material, thus being transmitted into you when you use it, and these toys also can’t be sterilized (if you share, against STDs/STIs).

Perhaps the worst part about phthalates is that they themselves have been found to cause harm to your body.

Most online retailers allow you to search for toys specifically eliminating any that contain phthalates. A good local sex store employee should also be able to answer your questions about phthalates; mine are quick to tell me right off the bat that a toy is body-safe by not containing any phthalates. Dangerous Lilly has a more extensive post on phthalates that includes details on how to use this search function on a number of online retailers.

Bottom line: I don’t use jelly toys and strongly urge you to be careful as well. Check the materials in a toy before you buy it, and if you can’t find materials, buy something else.

Now on to more pleasant things!

Some body-safe materials are a little harder to come by and are less common; these include ceramic, wood, and metal toys. They’re becoming more popular as more and more reviewers and users are looking for natural, renewable alternatives to plastic and silicone. Still, many of the most popular toys are glass and silicone.

Glass is easy, and easily one of my favorite toy materials. Glass toys are often gorgeous as well as pleasurable (giving me a double incentive to possess them all). Glass can be very intimidating; it’s hard, we’re naturally afraid of breaking it and sharp edges. But, if you’re careful and patient, glass toys can be immensely rewarding and I highly recommend them. For example, glass toys are compatible with all kinds of lubricant and often don’t require much lubrication at all because they are smooth with no drag. Dangerous Lilly has a very nice post on glass sex toys with a list of pros and cons and myths – there aren’t many cons!

Finally, silicone. As I said before, silicone-blends can be a problem and you should be aware of that. Technically a product only has to have 10% silicone in it for it to be labelled as silicone! Dangerous Lilly has a great post about different types of silicone and myths associated with them but here’s the Cliffnotes version:

TPR (and other silicone blends, like cybersilicone) are not pure, food or medical-grade silicone. This means that while they are latex and phthalate free (and therefore body-safe), they are still porous. A condom should be used with these to make life easy, and care should be taken when cleaning. These kinds of silicone will also melt when subjected to a flame test.

Food grade silicone is safe, as is medical grade silicone. This is the type of silicone used by manufacturers such as Tantus, Lelo, and FunFactory – in other words, as with many things in life, with some brands you are paying for what you get. You pay a little bit more for the safety of high quality, non-porous material.

Lilly has a lot of other great information on her site, including fun! videos of her putting toys to the flame test.

Which I loved.

Because I liked chem lab because we got to light matches.

Finally, Lilly has a great tip: if you are looking for the soft feel and sweet price of a jelly toy but with the safety of a silicone toy (which I cannot make you do, but would strongly suggest), check the Closeout category on Tantus’s website!

Thanks to Dangerous Lilly for all the information.

Posted on May 12, 2012, in bloggers, useful information and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Actually, the Tenga Eggs are not pure silicone. I’m not sure why EdenFantasys lists them as such but according to the Tenga site the eggs are SEB, which is porous. Still phthalate-free, but porous. “- Constructed of TPE odorless silicone elastomer”

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