• What is it with plastic dildos?

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    Talia [sign in to see picture]
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    We've had users report breaking out in a rash when sucking a plastic dildo (I use "plastic" here for all polymers that are not silicone, i. e. skin-safe rubber, PVC, and whatever else is out there), complain about nauseating smell and black spots appearing on the surface of the toy.

    Yet people continue to recommend these potentially problematic dildos - why? I understand buying non-silicone soft toys when there's no affordable alternative, but Lovehoney has 67 silicone dildos starting from £ 15 in lots of shapes and sizes, with or without vibrations - what more would I want?

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    Foxxy [sign in to see picture]
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    A lot of people don't know about their issues, sadly. I know I didn't, when I started with sex toys many years ago. Thankfully though, people are educating themselves, and hopefully this will lead to a shift in the market eventually.

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    myghost [sign in to see picture]
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    I know when I started out with toys all I wanted was the cheapest I didn't care what it was made out of as long as it was the cheapest and I liked it I wasn't even aware how bad phalates were in jelly toys and I think a lot of toy noobs will be like that plus jelly toys are cheap to make if you like something in jelly rubber but don't want to use it because it,s jelly rubber you can always stick a condom or toy cover oveit and use it

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    mysteron [sign in to see picture]
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    The glass ones appear to be in vogue at the moment. My Mrs likes hers . Very easy to clean as well .

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    Terri JJ [sign in to see picture]
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    I guess I'm just lucky but I have toys in virtually every conceivable material and use them all regularly and have done for years.......never had a problem of any description with any of them, and it dosent matter where they get put ;) lol x

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    Lovebirds_x [sign in to see picture]
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    Probably a lot to do with denial. The 'it didn't happen to me so it won't happen to anyone else' mentality.

    You also see so many health related conspiracies on the internet these days so no doubt a lot of people simply don't believe they are a problem. Then you have companies like Lovehoney saying that the materials are safe (usually on the basis of no phthalates), when yes they may be technically 'safe' but they are not hygienic as they are porous etc etc...all a big minefield of information and yes, of course people are going to listen to trusted retailers like Lovehoney over a blog post saying the toys are unsafe.

    Some of the toys are damn convincing too. I have one particular realistic dildo in some real feel stuff that hasn't oozed crap anywhere and smells very neutral. It doesn't appear to degrade condoms, I left one on it for a few days and it was fine. So yeah. Convincing. If people are using toys like that I can understand why they reccomend them as they don't seem like a low quality or unsafe toy.

    I don't reccomend non silicone dildos myself. But I can get why people would, even if I don't agree. You are quite correct that silicone is available at a good price now, and price was the only argument I even found valid for people buying jelly type toys. Good, real feel silicone toys are still on the expensive end of the price range though so I guess for someone who wants a soft and squishy toy their choices are still expensive silicone toy or cheap rubber toy. And sadly, not everyone has the money to burn on the good quality toys.

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    VirginAngel [sign in to see picture]
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    Honestly i dislike silicone as it's very grippy and i have to use a TON of lube with them when i hate lube. That said i did throw out all my jelly rubber stuff as it was all sweaty/staining/smelled or just too girthy for me.

    Now i just have glass dildos, one silicone rabbit (was a tester) a silicone vibe, 2 coated plastic vibes, and 2 plastic/metallic painted bullets.

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    JJLWB [sign in to see picture]
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    I have just sent back a jelly dildo that I purchased a few weeks ago after I read all the blog posts about how bad they are for you. The reason I bought it originally is that I prefer the feel of them when in use as they're flexible and comfortable to wear and I had no idea of the dangers. I used it once and didn't have a reaction but after doing my research it's been sent back and replaced with a silicone one immediately. I won't be risking it again.

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    Ruby Red Slippers [sign in to see picture]
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    I wouldn't touch jelly with a bargepole. After reading up on sex toy safety concerns I decided it just wasn't a risk I was willing to take and to hell with the price, I'd buy the best quality. That said, with so many affordable silicone and glass toys I don't really understand why people would chance it with jellies.

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    MattB [sign in to see picture]
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    I've never had any issues personally with PVC or rubber toys.

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    DavidB1986 [sign in to see picture]
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    OK, so as someone who blogs about sex toys, let's just cover a few bits and pieces about materials and safety.

    So the first important thing to remember is that the sex toy industry is not regulated. So this means that almost anyone could market a sex toy and make it with whatever material they want to - hence why on EVERY single sex toy you'll buy, you'll see a warning about 'Novelty Use Only'.

    With that said, there are various materials that toys can be made out of and each of them have their pros and cons. Ultimately it is up to you to decide what you use.

    Jelly Rubber

    With things like Jelly Rubber, they are porous (which basically means there are tiny pores in the material that can absorb everything - bodily fluids/bacteria etc) and as such can not be properly sanitised. It is important that these sorts of toys are NOT shared (and do not switch between anal/vaginal use). These toys often have added chemicals in them to make them softer and more flexible (and is often why they have that 'smell') which in some people, can cause a reaction/irritation. You could potenitally use a condom with a toy, but that is by no means a fail safe.

    You should only ever use a water-based lube with this material and should be stored completely seperately from any other toys (especially if they are made of the same material) as with prolonged contact, the material will break down and you will soon find a melted puddle where your toy used to be. The same applies to things like PVC, 'Skin-Safe' Rubber, TPE/TPR etc

    When it comers to things like Masturbators - TPE/TPR and the other usual suspects like UR3/FantaFlesh etc - are generally considered slightly 'safer' as these are not being inserted into the body. As above, use with only water-based lube and store seperately.

    Silicone

    Silicone is generally considered one of the safer materials as it is generally non-porous (slightly innaccurate as Silicone will still have pores, however these are significantly smaller, and therefore cannot harbour bodily fluids and bacteria). Silicone can be sanitised by bleaching it in a 10% bleach solution, boiled, put in the dishwasher or just washed with water and toy cleaner (do not boil/dishwasher any toys that have electrical parts - even if waterproof) - just to be on the safe side.

    You can switch between anal/vaginal usage (provided they are sanitised in between uses). You should use a water-based lube or a silicone-safe hybrid lube. Dependent on the quality of the silicone, I have used silicone lubes before without issue - always best to conduct a patch test before using to make sure. Silicone generally has a soft, silky feel and is personally my preferred choice for insertable toys. Silicone toys can be safely stored with other toys.

    Glass

    Properly annodised glass is also completely body-safe and non-porous. You can use it with almost any type of lubricant and again, can be sanitished by bleaching/boiling/dishwasher etc. They can also be stored safely with other toys and are surprisingly sturdy - they are usually made from boroscilicate glass (the same material your pyrex dishes are made from) so they hold on to temperature very well.

    Metal (Stainless Steel/Aluminium)

    Another non-porous material that can be sanitised the same way as glass and silicone. Metal toys can be very intense (especially the heavier stainless steel toys) and are again great for sensory play. You can also use them with almost any type of lube (which ever works for you) and again can be stored with other toys.

    Wood

    There are fewer toys made from wood, but they do exist. Make sure that the wood is properly finished and lacquered and again, they are non-porous.

    At the end of the day, you make the decisions - due to most of my toys being used anally, then I completely avoid anything made from Jelly/PVC etc.

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    Talia [sign in to see picture]
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    DavidB1986 wrote:

    .... hence why on EVERY single sex toy you'll buy, you'll see a warning about 'Novelty Use Only'.....


    Silicone

    ... You should use a water-based lube or a silicone-safe hybrid lube. Dependent on the quality of the silicone, I have used silicone lubes before without issue - always best to conduct a patch test before using to make sure. ...

    Thanks for the summary, David. I just have one remark and one question:

    Vixen Creations (Goodfella), Lelo (Mona 2), L'Amourose (Denia) and Fun Factory (Stronic Eins) do NOT have the "Novelty use only" disclaimer on their packaging - at least not when the toy is sold in the EU where I strongly suspect such a disclaimer to be completely invalid anyway. (The list is hopefully not exhaustive but those are the packagings I could check).

    Regarding lube for silicone toys: What do you have against oil-based lube? Is sex toy silicone really so different from the silicone used for kitchen implements?

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    MK7 [sign in to see picture]
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    Perhaps I'm being presumptuous but I would assume that the reason people go for cheap plastic toys is because the person buying a £10 plasic dildo is not the kind of person who understands just how far paying the extra cash for a good quality sex toy goes. Likely they're just a beginner who wants something cheap to get off with not knowing anything about the materials and has little prior experience. After all, I wouldn't call this forum representative of the general public's knowledge of sex toys. We're in general a cut above the rest on the topic, so you really have to look at it from their point of view. Why would they know that they're bad for them? They wouldn't. It's a simple matter of naivety.

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    DavidB1986 [sign in to see picture]
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    Fine, on MOST sex toy boxes. I have several in front of me here which have that disclaimer printed (including a dildo from Lovehoney). The disclaimer may vary in wording, but the point is, it's printed on their so if you have a problem whilst using a toy, you can't 'do anything about it', as it's intended use was 'novelty only' - however thanks to retailers like Lovehoney, you are able to send products back should that be the case.

    I also didn't state I have a problem with, or am I against oil based lubes. I just don't use them, therefore I cant recommend them if I don't use them. But, if I was to say anything, it would be to ensure that the sex toy is made from high quality silicone, and not cheaper silicone mixes as there is potential for silicone/oil based lube to damage them - hence why a patch test is always a good idea. I would suspect higher quality silicone like LELO, Fun Factory, Tantus etc use, would be safe. But as I said, I don't use oil lubes so I cannot say for certain.

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    Lovebirds_x [sign in to see picture]
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    DavidB1986 wrote:

    Fine, on MOST sex toy boxes. I have several in front of me here which have that disclaimer printed (including a dildo from Lovehoney). The disclaimer may vary in wording, but the point is, it's printed on their so if you have a problem whilst using a toy, you can't 'do anything about it', as it's intended use was 'novelty only' - however thanks to retailers like Lovehoney, you are able to send products back should that be the case.

    This, Lelo for example make several disclaimers in the booklets (not on their precious boxes) about how anyone pregnant or with a pacemaker, diabetes, phlebitis or thrombosis should't use the toys without consulting a medical professional first, don't use silicone lube (and if you must then do a patch test first), never use massage oils or hand creams as lube (so there's your answer for oil based lubes-Lelo say no, never to oils, I doubt they'd approve of oil based lube either and would take no responsibility if you ruined your toy), don't store with toys of other materials, don't expose to sunlight, don't clean with anything containing alcohol/acetone/petrol, users use the toy at their own risk so Lelo are not liable for anything blah blah blah...under the logic of 'adult use only'. Same basic principle of 'novelty use only', it's just a disclaimer. Just because it's not on the box as 'novelty use only' doesn't mean the companies aren't putting it somewhere else in alternate wording.

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    Talia [sign in to see picture]
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    Lovebirds_x wrote:

    This, Lelo for example make several disclaimers in the booklets (not on their precious boxes) about how anyone pregnant or with a pacemaker, diabetes, phlebitis or thrombosis should't use the toys without consulting a medical professional first, don't use silicone lube (and if you must then do a patch test first), never use massage oils or hand creams as lube (so there's your answer for oil based lubes-Lelo say no, never to oils, I doubt they'd approve of oil based lube either and would take no responsibility if you ruined your toy), don't store with toys of other materials, don't expose to sunlight, don't clean with anything containing alcohol/acetone/petrol, users use the toy at their own risk so Lelo are not liable for anything blah blah blah...under the logic of 'adult use only'. Same basic principle of 'novelty use only', it's just a disclaimer. Just because it's not on the box as 'novelty use only' doesn't mean the companies aren't putting it somewhere else in alternate wording.

    Specific warnings (like don't use the toy on damaged skin) are not the same thing as a blanket "sold as a novelty item only". Maybe it's because I'm not a native speaker, but I honestly don't know what "novelty item" is even supposed to mean in practical terms! (And incidentally, a warning in English is completely meaningless in non-English-speaking EU countries!)

    And I would be very surprised if in the UK "novelty item" would free the manufacturer/importer from their product liability. My very limited legal studies took place in Germany and there (but we were given to understand the the EU system is pretty unified) the product must first be made as safe as possible, and then the manufacturer/importer puts warnings in the instructions to inform the user of the remaining risks (which in the case of a chainsaw are so manifold that the warnings are so long I'm willing to bet that nobody reads them).

    So a jelly dildo that causes a rash would definitely give sufficient reason for sueing the company. But unfortunately it's very unlikely, even in the best case, to end with enough damages to make it worth the effort and expense (in Germany lawyers don't take a percentage of the winnings, they get paid by the hour, win or lose).

    As for the oil question: Do Lelo put the warning because they honestly think that massage oil and hand lotion don't make good lube, or because they want to sell their own lube, or because Lelo silicone - unlike other companies' silicones - will be damaged by oil, or because their technical writer copied from somewhere without enganging his or her brain (the "don't store with other materials doesn't make sense either")? I don't really care, because I'm not going to buy any more Lelo products, but I wonder whenever I read interdictions for which I can't see a reason.

    I feel very strongly that if the silicone used in kitchen implements withstands oil, silicone sex toys should do as well! (Even if I personally use them anally with condoms - none of which has been visibly damaged by vaseline either, so far.)

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