Category Archives: useful information

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.


the stars come out // contest

Happy two-months to the blog! I’m pleasantly surprised I’ve been able to keep this up (:

I had hoped I would have something special in mind for today, but alas. Work and organizing myself around my “I’ve been out of grad school for a year hooray!” deadline has been keeping me busy. Instead, I’ll post about something super useful: cleaning sex toys. I realize that a lot of people have this information, but I know that some of my friends don’t and I think it’s important to share.

Cleaning toys starts with knowing about the different materials that manufacturers are using. There are tons of different materials, but there are some main ones that you are most likely to see.

The easiest ones to clean are hard materials, like glass, wood, ceramic, metal, and hard plastic. These are the easiest because they are non-porous (in a pretty obvious way) and can be washed like you would wash dishes. Glass toys can even be put in the top rack of a dishwasher. Most toys like this don’t have vibrators or other parts that you would need to be careful with. What you do need to be careful with is accidentally breaking a glass toy. Few glass toys will break if dropped, but they can crack or become chipped.

Silicone toys are also easy to clean. Silicone is non-porous, so you can wash them with soap and warm water or put them in the top rack of a dishwasher. What makes many silicone toys less easy to clean is that a number of vibrators are made with silicone – obviously, you don’t want to put that precious motor in the dishwasher! Soap and warm water will still work, as long as you are careful with the toy. Some toys are waterproof so they’re easy to clean; others have seams where the silicone meets a plastic handle or controls and these can make cleaning a bit more complicated. Just be careful!

Silicone-blend toys are, in my opinion, little bitches. Yes, they can be more durable than a pure silicone toy, but they can also be very misleading if you are not reading carefully. Silicone-blend toys can be porous, so they should be covered with a condom for ease. Condoms keep the toy clean and safe. Keep this in mind when looking at the materials list of toys.

Like the silicone-blend toys, jelly toys (or soft plastic toys) are porous and should be covered with a condom. These toys are usually nice and soft, but can’t really be cleaned effectively because they are porous, so a condom is the best way to go. Additionally, you can simply avoid jelly toys, but this is a matter of personal preference.

Antibacterial soap is generally sufficient. Dishwashing soap is easy and you probably have it around. Make sure that you wash thoroughly, let the soap sit for a few minutes, and then rinse well. Make sure that you rinse carefully! Let the toys air dry so they don’t get extra dirt or lint on them. It’s a good idea to wash your toy again before its next use as well.

In lieu of soap and water, antibacterial toy cleaners can also be used. They are safe for your toys (the kind that can be cleaned, of course) and eliminate the need for soap (if it’s not handy) and possibly water (for example, if you live in a dorm with shared bathrooms). Like lubricant, they come in small, discreet bottles and can be kept close by. Some can be wiped off with a clean towel!

Right now, Happy Buzz Reviews is giving away a small bottle of Renew Toy Cleanser from Good Vibrations. Renew Toy Cleanser is organic, so it’s not at all harmful to you or your toys. It does say it is lightly scented, but the ingredients list is short and it seems like it smells a little citrusy.

Head over to the link above to enter! Entering is pretty easy, though two of the entry types require Facebook login.

If you have more questions about sex toy materials or cleaning your sex toys, check out any of the major online sellers for more information.