Cleaning and Maintaining Your Sex Toys: Everything You Need to Know
Here are the essentials of keeping things safe and sexy, from maintenance to materials.
Investing in sex toys is a lucrative endeavour. It’s currently estimated to be a $30 billion market, and that figure is expected to rise to $50 billion by 2026, according to current forecasts. Millennials and baby boomers alike, as well as those who use the service alone, are all part of the trend these days. Even doctors promote sex toys as a way to improve one’s health.
It’s not uncommon for people to overlook the importance of sex toy safety, despite the fact that experts agree that it should be. There are no watchdog agencies like the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) in the sex toy market, thus there is no way to ensure that toys are safe. And, of course, sex toys are abused in the most intimate of settings.
So how do you keep yourself safe while still having fun with sex toys? Consumers of sex toys should be aware of the following five important safety precautions
Understand the components of the toys you own.
Some components in sex toys may be avoided by consumers notwithstanding the lack of scientific literature examining their safety for the body. Phthalates can be found in some toys. Toys and pacifiers for children have been restricted from using these chemicals because they may interfere with human hormones. According to the FDA, it’s unknown whether phthalates have any effect on human health. However, if you have chosen to avoid them in other areas of your life, such as your cosmetics, you should be aware that they may also be present in your sex toys.
Because the business is mostly unregulated, no outside entity examines whether or not a product’s phthalate-free claim is true. Toys that are squishy and jellylike should be avoided at all costs. Softeners containing phthalates are commonly found in household products. The more permeable the material, the more likely they are to be found in squishier toys.
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) can be caused by bacteria that are found in a woman’s anus and surrounding her urethra; you may not be aware of this. A woman’s urethra is a breeding ground for bacteria that can cause a urinary tract infection (UTI) if they are nearby.
Maintaining good hygiene in the vaginal area is essential to the prevention of UTIs, which includes keeping all items that come into touch with the skin as germ-free as possible. In order to avoid infection, any object that touches or enters the anus, such as a finger, penis, and sex toy should be completely cleansed before touching any other genitals, according to the Planned Parenthood website.
Because they can hold bacteria and viruses, toys can also spread illnesses, including STIs. A patient once asked Dweck why she kept getting trichomoniasis, a common and treatable STI. “Why do I keep receiving this?” she wondered. It turns out she wasn’t cleaning her toy correctly,” Dweck explains. Every time she used her vibrator, her patient was essentially re-infecting herself with the disease.
People who use phallic-shaped devices with a partner should wear condoms to cover them, advises Dweck. This is because, despite your best efforts, an infection can still spread from one toy to another. Studies in the journal Sexually Transmitted Infections in November 2014 detected human papillomavirus on vibrators one full day after they were used and cleaned.
Play with sex toys for their intended purpose and avoid using household products
Take the time to read the instructions that come with your new sex toy. Suggested by Dweck: Begin slowly, and don’t be afraid to stop if anything doesn’t feel right. Using household items as sex toys is discouraged by Dweck. Cucumbers and bananas, for example, have been used by patients, according to her.
Electric toothbrushes and vibrating phones are commonplace, says Dweck. “What’s the point of this?” This could cause a caustic reaction because the batteries aren’t enclosed properly.”
There is a risk of infection because food products might be porous, which means they may be able to contain bacteria.
Invest in a Trustworthy Company
The sex toy market is expanding at a rapid pace, making it difficult to determine the safety of the products you want to purchase. To begin, experts recommend conducting research on reliable manufacturers and seeking out firms who are open and honest about the products they sell. Providing information on the materials used and how to properly use and clean a toy is a smart first step.
Many people are now shopping on Amazon, but it might be difficult to know what you’re receiving unless you’re a product expert, says Hoffman. If you’d rather buy from an internet retailer than from a brick-and-mortar store, look into what other consumers have to say about the things they’re considering.
Is there a solid general guideline for sex toys and safety? Pay attention to what your body is telling you.
Any form of itching, burning, or anything else, Hoffman explains, “is not the proper one.”