When buying a sex toy or sexual lubricant you need to consider what it is made from, just as you would when choosing cosmetics and personal hygiene products. Many people are unaware that some sex toys and lubricants can be harmful to health due to the type of material they are made from and where they are made. Some sex toys and lubricants can cause allergic reactions, leading to irritation, burning, stinging and may cause thrush.
You may think you’ve bagged a great sex toy or cheap tube of lube but it won’t be cheap if you end up with an itching vulval or vagina or a bout of thrush and have to buy some anti thrush cream or pessaries or even a prescription for antibiotics if you get bacterial vaginosis!
Also, keeping your sex toy clean is essential and if sharing, use a condom to prevent transmission of infection.
For people who have reduced immune systems or multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS), buying a sex toy can be hazardous. However, they are normally aware of what to avoid to prevent health problems occurring.
Here is a useful guide on how to help you choose a sex toy or lubricant which is skin safe and not harmful to your health.
Avoid if possible:
Plain rubber toys should be avoided wherever possible. The material used to make these products has not been clinically tested and can contain unpleasant substances such as phthalates, which are harmful to health and have been banned from children’s toys. Phthalates are used to make plastics and rubber softer to enable it to be moulded and more flexible. Rubber/jelly products are porous and therefore difficult to keep clean. The material used to make them is more prone to breaking down and degrading over time, making the product unhygienic to use.
Be aware of jelly/rubber mix sex toys, it is one of the cheapest materials around because it can be shaped and dyed to almost any specification.
The tell-tale sign of a jelly/rubber sex toy is the strong smell when you open the packaging.
If you are using a rubber toy and do not have a latex allergy, you can use a latex condom on the toy.
When purchasing a sex toy, do not assume it is latex free. Many mass produced sex toys are made in factories where the same mould is used for both latex and non latex sex toys. The moulds are not sterilised between factory runs, therefore latex particles can become embedded in the so-called latex free products. Latex dust particles can float around in the factory environment landing on the products being manufactured at the time, thus contaminating them.
This does not occur during the manufacture of silicone sex toys. Most silicone manufacturers only use silicone and can guarantee that their products are completely latex free. At Jo Divine we only sell skin safe sex toys and only work with reputable manufacturers.
Fake and Used Products
This is a huge problem, especially with some third party online sellers and an issue many sex bloggers have written about to warn people. You have no idea if you are buying the genuine product, it may be fake, used or a tester, as manufacturers send these out to many people to test and review. This is why it is important to buy from reputable manufacturers and retailers who only work with reputable manufacturers.
So do your home work, do not be tricked by the cheap price, if it looks too good to be true, it probably is! And remember many fake products do look like the real product so often it is difficult to tell the difference. Be careful about what and where you buy your sex toys from to protect your safety, intimate health and sexual pleasure.
Often these websites and sellers disappear so if you have a problem with your product there is no way to contact them to get a replacement or refund.
Some manufacturers will use perfume to mask the unpleasant smell of rubber or jelly. Often the perfume used is cheap and can cause irritation or an allergic reaction.
Cheaper sex toys may contain dyes which leach out into the body and can cause an allergic reaction.
Scented, flavoured and coloured lubricants
It is important to think about what you are going to put on or use inside your body, especially your genital area which can be more sensitive to chemicals due to the delicate nature of the skin.
Many lubricants contain perfumes, dyes and flavourings which can be absorbed by the skin, causing allergic reactions and irritation. Some lubricants contain chemicals to create a tingling feeling in the genital area to enhance your sexual pleasure.
Many sexual lubricants contain glycerin and glycols which are vaginal irritants and can cause thrush. It is advisable to avoid any lubricants containing perfume, dyes, flavouring, glycols, glycerin or skin tingling chemicals if you suffer from allergies or skin sensitivities.
Also avoid using storecupboard ingredients which have not been designed for internal use, just because you can eat it doesn’t mean it is safe to use on your vulva or vagina. Even if you consider a product to be natural such as coconut oil, you need to check its origin and the purity as many products are not 100% pure and have not been medically tested. If you do experience any burning, stinging or itching, it should be washed off immediately.
To ensure that you avoid any unpleasant chemicals, there are several lubricant manufacturers who produce lubricants entirely free from chemicals including YES organic lubricants which are Soil Association approved. Their lubricants are made from plant extracts and are tasteless, unscented and colourless.
Silicone lubricants are tasteless, odour free, colourless and 100% condom safe.
Get lubricant savvy and always check the label. Try a skin test before use to avoid an allergic reation and if you do have sensitive skin, always choose skin safe sex toys and sexual lubricants to enhance your sexual pleasure, not damage it.