Which sex toy material is right for you?
The material your sex toy is made from is just as important as the sex toy itself. Sex toy materials will affect your body responds to your toy, making the difference between an OK orgasm and a mind-bending climax.
Find out which sex toy material is right for you...
We knew this would interest you, and quite rightly so. You can get all sorts of toys made from all kinds of materials nowadays. It's not just the functions of the toys you should be interested in, but whether your new sex toy is made of the right stuff for your orgasm.
Everyone's different and everyone's looking for different sensations and functions from their sex toys, but not all of you take into account how much the different materials can enhance your orgasm. With that in mind, we've given you a breakdown of the most popular sex toy materials, what they're good for and how they will make you feel and come.
We know that it's important to you to know what your toys are made of, so we try to make sure that every product description tells you what material's in them. We also tell you whether a product is latex and phthalates free.
If you have a question about a particular toy, use the box on the product page to ask us about it and we'll find out for you, or you can ask a question in the Lovehoney sex toy discussion forums.
Once upon a time the world's most popular sex toy material, jelly is used to make different versions of practically every sex toy on the planet. It has been used in sex toy manufacturing for decades and with good reason: it's cheap, it's colourful and it makes sex toys fun! Jelly sex toys also tend to be a lot warmer to touch than other materials.
The only downside is that jelly toys are more porous than any other materials, which means they collect dirt easily, and they contain phthalates (phthalates are oil-like chemicals that make everything from vinyl to nail varnish more flexible), so it's a good idea to use a condom with your jelly toy, especially if you're sharing it with your lover. But hey, jelly sex toys are so damn cheap you'll have enough for a super-size box of rubber johnnies!
Latex and rubber
Rubber can be pretty firm stuff, but it's cheap, versatile and very resilient: unlike silicone it won't shudder at the sight of your long nails. As befits such a tough customer, rubber sex toys tend to come in black or flesh colouring. A lot of dildos and butt plugs are made from latex.
Much like jelly, silicone warms up quickly and retains heat well, but it's much more flexible and is non-porous, which means it is hypoallergenic and can be cleaned easily with hot water or with specially formulated sex toy cleaner. Silicone toys vary in density, making some feel supremely soft while others are more firm.
Its non-porous surface makes it easy to clean and unlikely to cause allergic reactions. It doesn't smell weird, it adapts brilliantly to your body's contours and it transmits vibrations more effectively than any other material.
Silicone sex toys are, on average, toward the more expensive end of the sex toy scale because the cost of silicone is so high. Most silicone sex toys are handmade, which on the plus side means your toy will be of superb quality.
When it comes to using lubricant with silicone-based sex toys, do not use silicone lubes because they will melt the silicone. Opt instead for a water-based lubricant or place a condom over your toy before applying the lube.
Take extra care when using silicone dildos, as they can snap at the base if you try and force them into O-rings that are too small. For smooth silicone toys, check these out: Tantus ProTouch Silicone Vibrating Butt Plug, Fun Factory Smart Balls and the Hush Bunny.
Plastic sex toys usually have hard surfaces and are primarily smooth and sometimes fluted or textured, depending on the type of toy. As with metal toys, hard plastic transmits vibrations easily, leading to much more powerful sensations and orgasms. Plastic toys are easy to clean, whiff-free and also phthalate-free.
Another sex toy material that's phthalate-free, Elastomer is a soft sex toy material that's being used a s substitute to jelly. Sex toys made from Elastomer are not much more expensive than jelly, but they are porous and can pick up dirt quite easily. We recommend you clean your elastomer-based sex toy with hot water and soap or a specially formulated Sex Toy Cleaner.
The most realistic dildo and vibrator material, Cyberskin feels just like a real penis and is soft, warm and smooth to touch. Cyberskin toys, also known as Realskin and Ultra Skin, are more expensive than most other materials, do not contain phthalates and are porous. With that in mind, always use a condom with your Cyberskin sex toy, especially if you're sharing it.
There aren't as many metal sex toys on the market as there are jelly toys, but if you're into seriously powerful toys, or if you're an S&M queen, metal is the perfect choice for your sex toy material. The hardness of metal makes it easy for vibrations to be transmitted, providing you with more intense sensations and more powerful orgasms. Metal is also one of the least porous materials, making it less likely to cause allergies or transfer germs.
Glass is used in an increasing range of dildos, and is becoming increasingly popular because it's easy to clean and stays massively slippery for a looooong time when used with a good lube.
The smooth texture makes it ideal for sliding in and out of your anus, but do check your glass sex toy for nicks before and after each use.
If the sound of all this makes you wet, try some of these glass and metal maniacs - Heavy Metal Dildo 6-inch Ribbed, Love Labs Dotty Glass Dildo 8-inch and the Love Labs Large Glass Massage Wand 10-inch.