My main aim as That’s The Spot is to help women feel more informed about what they are buying when they choose a sex toy. That’s why I want to talk a bit about why materials for toys are important. I will cover why and how they affect the quality of the toy, and how it makes you feel when you use it.
Materials for Toys
In the past, a lot of toys have been made from jelly or a hard plastic. A lot of the rabbit-style toys are made of a jelly material. Apart from the disposable Screaming O toys I sell, I try to limit the amount of jelly toys I sell.
The forward thinking manufacturers have started phasing out the use of jelly when it comes to making toys because there are better materials out there nowadays. Some manufacturers don’t use it at all, like Rocks Off and Fun Factory (my 2 favourite manufacturers!).
The good things about jelly is that it is soft and bendy and squishy and doesn’t feel too…’foreign’. What you need to be aware of, though, is that this material is porous. Porous materials can absorb, so think about what happens to your jelly toy if you use it regularly. The toy will deteriorate, discolour and maybe even start to smell. These are the reasons that jelly toys are fairly inexpensive though and maybe one shouldn’t expect it to last too long. There is a simple answer, though, if you would like to keep it alive longer – use a condom when you use the toy. Simple!
Who knows about phthalates? Have you ever opened up a jelly toy and have had that strong smell appear? Those are the phthalates. Phthalates come in all sorts of forms and are used for various things, including coating particular tablets, perfume and pesticides. It is a very popular ‘plasticizer’. You can get phthalates at different ‘molecular compositions’ but the European Union have banned particular types from children’s toys since 1999. The USA takes a similar stance. They can also prove to be a tad poisonous! It is still deemed OK to put them in vibrators though – mainly because we don’t use it as a teething toy! There haven’t been any injuries or death associated with using vibrators with phthalates in them, but there is a general view that phthalates are not good for us so when you find yourselves looking at toys, lots of manufacturers make a point of saying ‘NO PHTHALATES!’ so I suppose a toy without them is better than a toy with them!
Wikipedia has just told me that Greenpeace has managed to get a ban on some particular phthalates to be banned from being used in sex toys in Europe, so I’ve learned something new in doing this blog today! If you want to know more, here are a couple of links to information on wikipedia and on the CDC.
So this is why I only sell a couple of jelly toys. I am proud of the quality of the toys I source so tend to avoid the jelly ones. If you own jelly toys, just use a condom!
Plastic is the other classic one – ABS plastic being the most popular with sex toy manufacturers. Plastic makes for a very firm toy. It is definitely non-porous – you can use it as often as you want and it won’t absorb a thing! Plastic makes for a safer material because of this. It is easy to clean too. ABS plastic is good because it is impact resistant so dropping your toy and chipping it is unlikely. Some people favour using plastic because they like that hard feel. When you have a plastic toy that has a good curve on the end of it, you are more likely to find or hit your g-spot.
Now I am going to talk about my favourite material, and the material that the forward-thinking manufacturers are starting to use more and more – silicone!! What makes this material great is that it can be a nice bendy toy, similar to the softness of jelly, but it is non-porous! On top of this, it is a hypoallergenic toy – good for you sensitive people out there – and is a medical grade material. If you buy a dildo made of silicone, you can boil it in a pan to give it a proper clean and it won’t discolour or change the shape. It will sterilise it and then it will be good to go. A lot of silicone toys proudly claim that they are ‘top rack dishwasher safe’! A silicone toy, because of all the good things I have mentioned, means you can use it on different people too. If you look through my shop, you will see that there are a lot of silicone toys, especially the higher end of the spectrum. Fun Factory make all of their toys out of silicone and my personal opinion is if you want to create a toy that is respected and of high quality, you wouldn’t use any other material. Rocks Off also only use silicone for their squishy toys (they then use ABS plastic for their bullets and other toys that need a bit of ‘firmness’ to them)
Silicone also warms to your body’s temperature very quickly which is always nice. The type of silicone that manufacturers use can vary in quality though. It is all good quality, but some use excellent quality material. Key by Jopen claim that they have the best silicone (Shinitzu) for their toys – whilst Doc Johnson claim they use premium quality. I found a blog entry from a couple of years ago where blogger DangerousLilly interviewed Tantus about silicone toys, here is the link. I stock a number of Tantus Dildos.
As you may be aware some companies claim that they have made the toys from 100% silicone but may be fooling you. I have made sure that the silicone I stock is definitely silicone!
Silicone isn’t perfect though. Some silicone toys (but not all) can pick up fluff from their surroundings so may need to give it a little wash first of all before using it. The only other downfall about using a silicone toy is that it is best not to use silicone lube with it as there could be a reaction between the two. In the Tantus interview above, they say that you can maybe do this, but it is best to to a little ‘test’ first and dab a bit of lube onto the base of your toy to see if the lube gets gummy. It is because silicone quality can vary from toy to toy and also depends on which silicone lube you use. It is probably easier to just use a water-based lube instead! Maybe the other thing is that if you have had a browse in my shop, you will see that the silicone toys are the most expensive toys, which can maybe be viewed as a drawback because it is out of your price range, but what you need to remember is that the price only reflects the quality. BUT this is why I do offer the more affordable alternatives!
A silicone toy is basically a toy for life though, it will not deteriorate and can be used with different partners if you want. One thing I would say to watch out for is that when you use a silicone dildo, the base it will have to secure it into a harness can vary in thickness so if the base is a little flimsy, just be prepared that one day, the base may tear. I am talking from personal experience here!
So, my students, I hope you feel more educated in materials and understand why I am so big on silicone when I source the toys!
I will write another blog about more materials in a few months. As soon as the business has stabilised a little bit, I will be investing into metal toys, glass toys and even ceramic and wooden toys! As soon as I do, I shall write more about it. Stay tuned!
(If you are interested in purchasing these kind of toys already, get in touch and I can source them very easily for you)