In the last century increased awareness of what we put in our bodies has become more important to both the government and consumers. From banning certain food additives to more people going vegan, most people control this via what they eat and drink. However, what you put in your body from any orifice can impact your health and well-being. While there are regulations on our food and drugs, things like sex toys are not regulated.
Therefore, the term “body safe” has become a buzzword for identifying sex toys made of safe materials and those which are not. Still, many sex toys on the market are not safe for use inside of the body in all circumstances. While several factors contribute to the safety of a sex toy or product, the material is one of the primary ones. Here’s your guide to understanding body safe sex toy materials and finding the right one for you.
What Exactly Does Body Safe Mean?
First off, unlike medical devices, the Food and Drug Administration does not have guidelines for or regulate sex toys. It is almost entirely up to you–the buyer–to find and purchase the right sex toy for you and your body. Generally, when discussing body safe toys there are a few commonly recognized traits that a body safe toy should have.
#1: Safe Materials
A sex toy should be made of material that is safe to go inside the body, is unlikely to cause allergic reactions, will not leach chemicals through the sensitive mucus membrane of the vagina, anus, or mouth, it should not leave anything behind after use, and it should be sturdy. Materials should be medical or surgical grade.
Along with a material that will not cause undue harm to the body, sex toys should also consist of non-porous material. This is largely for cleanliness as a porous material is difficult to clean and disinfect properly. With continued use, this could eventually cause infections or hygiene issues.
#3: Appropriate Use, Size, & Shapes
Sex toys come in a variety of sizes and shapes. However, depending on where you want to use it certain toys may not be safe. While this is a lesser concern when it comes to body safety, ensuring anal toys have a flared base and/or are easily removable is an important safety feature. Additionally, everyone has differing anatomy and if a toy hurts to use or causes any issues, it is best to discontinue it and find another that better fits your body. Adjustable sex toys are a great option as well. Finally, if a toy has a specific purpose, ensure that you use it only for that purpose as using an anal toy in the vagina and vice versa can cause damage or problems.
Why It’s Important
Body safe sex toys are important because they are all about enjoying yourself the last thing you want for you or your partner is for an injury to occur or effects to cause problems in the future. Like sex itself, the use of sex toys–even body safe ones–can cause minor infections such as yeast infections, UTIs, and general irritation.
However, since the sex toy industry is completely unregulated, ensuring body safe standards as a sex toy company and individually as consumers help keep yourself and others safe during masturbation and sex. At Erosscia, body safety is exceptionally important to us as a company that takes pride in making versatile and discreet sex toys.
Non-Toxic vs. Body Safe
One of the most common marketing schticks in sex toys is using body safe to refer to toys that are simply non-toxic. Of course, body safe toys should be non-toxic, but non-toxic toys are not automatically body safe. The biggest issue is that non-toxic toys are often porous and can harbor bacteria even after cleaning them. Non-toxic toys may not harm your body in the way that toxic sex toys can, but they are not automatically body safe or recommended for use.
Additionally, non-toxic toys may not be as durable and break down over time which can eventually make them more dangerous. It is best to avoid non-toxic, porous toys unless always using a condom over the toy.
Material Breakdown: Body Safe vs. Unsafe Sex Toy Materials
Some of the most popular sex toys on the market are not body safe. Unfortunately, it is not guaranteed that if you buy a dildo or vibrator from Amazon that will be body safe. Here is a breakdown of the safest and least safe sex toy materials.
Silicone–specifically medical grade silicone–is one of the most popular materials for sex toys. Unlike other options, silicone is flexible which can be more comfortable, especially for those new to sex toys. Silicone is widely used in the medical industry and is considered a body safe option for several types of medical devices as well as sex toys.
Though, one caveat is that you cannot use silicone based lubes with silicone toys. Only use water-based lubricants for your silicone toys. However, this is made up for with the ease of cleaning and disinfecting silicone toys. They can even be boiled to disinfect them without damage.
“Jelly” is not exactly one material. We can’t even really tell you what it is. Thus, based on this alone, it is probably best to stay away from jelly sex toys. Many gravitate towards them because of their aesthetic, but they often contain harmful ingredients such as phthalates. There are plenty of ways to find attractive sex toys without resorting to dangerous materials.
Safe: Stainless Steel
Stainless steel and other surgical-grade metals are safe. Many vibrators are made of metal and this is generally easy to clean and does not contain harmful additives. It is not as flexible as silicone, but can also be easily disinfected in boiling water. You can also use any lubricant you like with metal toys without fear of ruining them.
Unsafe: Anything With Phthalates
Phthalates are a type of plastic that help make plastic products more durable. For plastic or partially plastic sex toys, it is understandable why companies may use phthalates in sex toys to help them last longer and not break down. However, especially when in contact with the sensitive mucus membranes of the body, phthalates can cause rashes, allergic reactions, and chemical burns.
While many people may not have significant problems using toys with phthalates, they are linked to several longer term problems such as breast cancer and fertility issues in all people.
Lucite is a type of acrylic plastic that often is translucent or near translucent. It is found in medical devices as well as several objects you probably already have at home such as camera lenses, jewelry, and candles among others. These may occasionally have a hint of color. It is a less common material and not as popular as other body safe options. However, if you value something similar to a jelly sex toy, but without the harmful ingredients, lucite may be ideal.
Initially, rubber was investigated as a sex toy material because it could feel extremely natural due to its flexibility yet sturdiness. Unfortunately, it is porous which makes it more likely to cause infections. Also, depending on the source and manufacturer, the rubber could contain irritating or harmful materials.
Rubber toys fell out of favor because they smell bad and are more likely to cause allergic reactions than other materials. Both unpopular and unsafe, we’ll pass on rubber sex toys.
Safe: ABS Plastic
ABS stands for “acrylonitrile butadiene styrene” and is a hard type of plastic often found in vibrators. It is stabler than other forms of plastic so it is unlikely to leach chemicals at any point. ABS plastic is easy to clean and nonporous. You will often find ABS plastic used alongside silicone in vibrators because the hard plastic carries vibrations particularly well.
Vinyl is a recognizable and malleable material that could make a good sex toy on the surface. Flexible, but sturdy, vinyl is also easy to clean. Unfortunately, vinyl tends to contain phthalates and other potentially harmful substances. While they do provide a soft feel that is attractive for certain people and products, vinyl is not body safe and should not be inserted into the body.
Safe: Wood & Glass
These two materials are combined because they may not be your first thought of body safe sex toy materials. However, as long as they are made correctly, they absolutely can be. Wood is a completely natural material that as long as you do not have any allergies to the specific type, should not cause any major issues. Obviously, the wood needs to be sanded down to optimal smoothness and treated so that it is nonporous with a body safe sealant.
Thankfully, manufacturers of wooden sex toys are quite transparent with the ingredients of their sealants and anything used to treat the wood. This can help you make a more informed decision.
The type of glass used for sex toys is the hard, durable type often found in Pyrex containers. Like metal, it is inflexible but easy to clean and does not generally contain any extra ingredients that could harm your body.
Similar to vinyl, PVC is used to make sex toys soft and more affordable. However, this type of plastic is usually porous and contains phthalates making it a no-go when it comes to anything going inside of your body.
Erosscia + Body Safe Materials = Hours Of Pleasure
Erosscia values the safety and respect of our customers more than anything else when creating our sex toys. Made to meet FDA class II standards as a device for obstetrical and gynecological therapeutic use. This makes Erosscia sex toys some of the most body safe sex toys and vibrators currently on the market.
To see all of our sex toy offerings and purchase, visit our online store.