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Toxic Toys

Choosing a safe and sexy toy

Sex toys can be a great addition to your sex life but just because something is on sale, doesn't mean it's safe. Here's what to watch for.

  1. Material. Toys can be made from many different materials including wood, crystal, perspex and latex. However, some plastics contain things called pthalates. While the research is still in its early days, pthalates have been linked to reproductive disorders and some cancers.* Play it safe by choosing a pthalate-free toy. Silicone is a great material that warms to body temperature and is body-safe. If you have an old toy that you think might contain pthalates but you love it, use a condom on the toy to protect yourself from any toxic chemicals.
  2. Shape: While toys come in many shapes, from phallic to 'novelty', make sure it's fit for purpose. Check the packaging for warnings, such as 'for external use only' and follow those guidelines accordingly. If you're experimenting with anal play, only use a toy that's meant for that, and make sure it has either a string or a flared base for ease of removal. Straight toys can get sucked in and that's a trip to hospital you could probably do without.
  3. Size: Bullet vibes are designed for external use, so don't insert them or they could end up stuck inside you. If you're going to insert a vibe or dildo, make sure there's enough of a grip for you to be able to keep hold of it throughout. Conversely, if you think a toy looks too big, don't put pressure on yourself to take it all. Trying to push your limits could lead to bruising, chafing and general discomfort. Bigger isn't always better.

    "Play it safe by choosing a pthalate-free toy."