Sex Toy Materials 101September 16, 2016
With so many sex toy varieties available out there it’s easy to simply buy an item based solely on its price and/or packaging. However one of the most important elements to consider when buying your new best friend is what material is the toy made of?
To explain why this is important you firstly need to be aware that the sex toy manufacturing industry is largely unregulated. It is essentially up to the manufacturer to determine what ingredients make up the perfect sex toy. We are certainly not trying to announce that sex toys are dangerous and made of radioactive uranium, however you will find perceivable differences in quality and materials used in differing brands.
As a sex toy consumer you will want to have knowledge of the materials you are using on your body. SexEstore outline the most prevalent materials used in sex toy manufacturing to assist you in choosing what is right for you. We also recommend you choose a recognised and reputable sex toy brand (such as Pipedream, Doc Johnson or Adam & Eve) rather than an inferior Chinese import. Of course you can have the confidence that sexEstore only stock reputable brands.
Rubber sex toys
Rubber is perhaps the most widely used material in sex toy manufacturing. It is cheap, flexible and can be moulded into any number of styles and sizes. Realistic dildos, butt plugs and anal beads are all sex toys you will find commonly made of rubber. Rubber products may contain latex, so if you have a latex allergy you will want to check the fine print before you purchase.
Rubber toys are cheap to buy, making them perfect for people watching the budget. It is a porous material meaning it has microscopic holes in it which can harbor bacteria if not cleaned properly. A good toy cleaner and cleaning routine is all that is required to ensure your favourite rubber toy remains sterile and body safe. Rubber toys can initially have a rubber-smelling odour, however this will dissipate over time and with frequent washes.
They are best used with water based lubricants and should never be used with oil or petroleum based lubricants as this will degrade the rubber. Try to store rubber toys separately from others. Yes I know you’ll need another drawer! When rubber toys come into contact with other rubber toys they can deteriorate, resulting in an unusable toy.
Thermoplastic Elastomers (TPE) sex toys
Thermoplastic Elastomers (TPE), as well as being quite a mouth full to say, is commonly referred to as a ‘flesh-like’ material in both appearance and texture. You will find TPE toys manufactured by reputable brands such as Doc Johnson and Pipedream Toys to name a few. The TPE material is a combination of plastic and rubber and its products generally having a soft, squeezy and often silky-to-the-touch feel.
Products made from TPE can cost a little bit more than your typical rubber toys. Like Rubber, TPE toys are also porous and to ensure it remains body safe you will need to thoroughly clean your toy regularly and try to keep them separated while storing. While enjoying a toy made from TPE you should always use a water-based lubricant. Silicone or oil-based lubricants can cause the material to degrade and render the toy unusable.
Silicone sex toys
Silicone is an extremely body safe material used to manufacture Sex toys. You will find many sex toys including Dildo’s, Butt Plugs, Anal Beads, Vibrators and Prostate Stimulators made entirely, partially or coated in silicone. It is an expensive material compared with rubber and TPE so you you can expect a higher price tag for silicone toys. It comes in a variety of textures and can be very firm right through to ultra soft. Silicone warms up to body temperature easily, making it perfect for use with insertable toys such as dildos, butt plugs and vibrators.
Silicone is non-porous (does not have any microscopic holes) so you don’t have to be so rigorous with your cleaning. That’s not to say you shouldn’t regularly clean your silicone toys. In fact they are actually much easier to keep sparkling clean and can even be boiled (silicone can withstand temperatures up to 300C). Some companies use platinum-cured silicone and you will see this advertised as medical grade silicone.
It’s best to use water-based lube with silicone toys as oil and silicone-based lubes can cause damage your toy if it is not 100% silicone. They do however store well with other toys so you can place as many as will fit in that bottom bedside drawer of yours.
Glass & Ceramic sex toys
Glass and Ceramic toys can include Dildos, Eggs, Butt Plugs and Ben Wa Wa Balls. The glass used is Borosilicate glass and is the same glass used to make kitchen Pyrex dishes and laboratory flasks. This glass is strong, resistant to thermal shock (can withstand high temperatures without shattering) and thermal stress (won’t break into a million pieces if you drop it). It’s also non-porous and extremely body safe.
Despite some concerns glass toys can actually take a massive amount of pressure, so you don’t need to worry about breaking it. Glass dildos are very popular, not only because of their durability, but because they are visually appealing. Due to glass being a good temperature conductor you can warm or cool the toy to enhance your experience. A short time in the fridge or a warm cup of coffee nearby is more than enough.
Ceramic sex toys are very fashionable and tend to be designed with attractiveness in mind. When glazed, ceramic toys are also non porous and very body safe, however they do not share the same durability or temperature properties of Borosilicate glass.
Cleaning glass toys is too easy. You can boil your silicone toys or even pop them in the dishwasher should you choose to. Any lubricant is fine with glass, so just grab your preferred brand and you’re ready to play. Glass can be stored with any of your toys.
Metal sex toys
Anal beads, Butt Plugs, Dildos and Chastity Cages can all be made from metal (generally Stainless Steel or Aluminium). Metal toys, like glass toys. are also highly temperature conductive and can be warmed or cooled to achieve extra sensations when using them. They are extremely durable and as easy to clean as glass toys and you can use any type of lube with them. Metal toys can be stored safely with all other toys, and with good care should typically last forever.
A quick mention to note is that you may see Phthalate-free being advertised in the descriptions of many of today’s toys. Phthalate was an additive used in countless products to soften rubber in days gone by, however they have been linked to health concerns. This material should no longer be an ingredient used in any sex toy of reputable brand.
So there we go, a quick sexEstore round up of some of the more popular materials used to manufacture the sex toys of today. Don’t hesitate to let us know what your favourite sex toy material is.
The sexEstore team – Your online sex toy store