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Safer Sex & Toys

assortments of different sex toys with bottle of lube

This blog post shares information on how to keep up the safer sex stuff when using sex toys. Keeping your toys clean is just as important as keeping your bits happy & healthy. No one would deliberately set out to catch an STI, and your attitude should be the same when it comes to toys.

Silicone is the safest sex toy material

Silicone is the best material for all your sex toys, be they clitoral vibrators, rabbit-style vibes or butt plugs. Whatever you're into, choosing body-friendly and safe toys should be a priority.

You may have heard of phthalates? Phthalates are chemicals that are often mixed into cheaper materials to make them softer and more transparent. Cheap PVC sex toys can contain phthalates - if you've ever unwrapped a vibe (from another company - we don't carry any toys with phthalates in them) and been taken aback by the chemical pong, it's likely made with phthalates.

Whilst studies into the damaging effects of phthalates are limited, we do know that there is some evidence linking phthalates to interference with sperm production, for example.

Other safe materials are glass and stainless steel, but as these toys are super-firm and unyielding, they are not to everyone's taste. Silicone is soft, strokable and bendable, thus ensuring a very comfortable ride.

a group of sex toys made from silicone

 

A word about silicone sex toys & lube

We recently came across an article that had us furrowing our brows with disapproval. This article stated that silicone lube should be used when playing with silicone toys. If there had been an social media-style "dislike" button, we'd have hit it.

Silicone-based lube is great for a number of things, like when you want long a session in the bath or if  anal play is on the menu... But it's not great for use with sex toys made out of silicone.

We argued this point with a well-known supplier of (very good) silicone-based lube a few years ago. They shipped us vats of the stuff and we dunked silicone toys into it, before leaving the lube to do it's thing.

The silicone lube damaged the surface of the toys, shapes were distorted and dildos ended up resembling a colourful collection of Loch Ness Monsters. The supplier had to agree: it's advisable to use water-based lube when playing with silicone toys. 

Sharing sex toys safely

You can absolutely share your favourite sex toy with one or several partners - as long as you either wash and dry it thoroughly, or, even better, cover it with a new condom between each partner.

Our trick is to cover the vibrator or dildo in several condoms, and then you can just whip 'em off one by one as your games progress. Easy!

Ribbed Condoms

Going From Back to Front

Make sure toys are washed thoroughly, or covered with a clean condom, before being dipped into a new orifice. This is especially important if you are planning on going from back to front, as you may otherwise end up with an unpleasant vaginal infection.

Always make sure any toys used for anal play are safe.

By "safe" we mean that the toy must have a handle or flared base. The anal muscle is strong and if something gets sucked in, your only option is to head to nearest A&E... Best avoided for so many reasons!

Cleaning your sex toys

Using a sex toy cleaner is the easiest way to keep all your favourite toys squeaky clean. Simply spritz, wipe down, rinse under warm water and leave to air dry.

Another good way to clean your sex toys is to use anti-bacterial hand wash and hot water.

Our own-brand silicone dildos can be boiled in a pan of water for up to 5 minutes, or put through the top rack of a dishwasher. Again, there are sex toy companies out there who will tell you that the dildos will melt, but this isn't true. At Sh! Towers, we regularly sterilize demo dildos by putting them through a hot cycle. (Just make sure to remove the small bullet vibe if you have a vibrating dildo).
 

Read our safer sex guides here. 

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