Episode #087 - May 15, 2005

Hot Stuff Sex Toy

Ultimate Guide to Sex and Disability Cory Silverberg is the co-author of 'Sex and Disability', as well as the sex toy expert who rounds up most of the toys that we present on TALK SEX.

Cory dropped by to share some of his expertise on the care and maintenance of sex toys, including the materials they are made of. He pointed out that sex toys fall into one of five different categories: jelly rubber; cyberskin; silicone; silicone/rubber mix; and hard (glass, plastic, metal). Each type requires a specific type of care in order to maintain its safety and longevity.

Here are some of Cory's notes:




1) Jelly Rubber Toys
Jelly vibator What is it:
A soft, translucent, and pretty looking material that is usually inexpensive. Jelly rubber is PVC that has softeners added to it. The softening agent - which contains phthalates - has, in other situations, been linked to heath problems, meaning that these toys should be used with condoms.
(Editor's Note: There are no studies that indicate that phthalates are dangerous to humans, and there have been no studies done on what effect, if any, phthalates have in the vagina or rectum. This is an unwarranted concern.)

How do you take care of it:
It is porous, so there are places for bacteria to hide, so washing is very important. Very mild handsoap to clean (not even dish soap, no alcohol, no bleach)

Special notes:
It's a good material for people to explore what they might want to try, but for long term use, if you've got the money you should go for better quality.

Only water based lubricants should be used.

2) Cyberskin, Softskin, Ultraskin
Cyberskin dildo What is it:
A very supple, almost life-like material that is not very durable, and tends to be more expensive. Here you are paying for the feel not the durability. This is a mix, they usually contain some latex, some silicone, and they also have the phthalates that are a health concern. Condoms are always recommended.

How do you take care of it:
It is porous, so there are places for bacteria to hide, so washing is very important. Very mild handsoap to clean (not even dish soap, no alcohol, no bleach). Be careful because it tears so easily. You need to powder it with corn starch (NEVER talc)

Special notes:
People should know that this toy is not very durable, but there isn't anything quite like the feel.

Only water based lubricants.



3) Silicone
Silicone butt plug What is it:
It is a soft material that is chemically inert and hypoallergenic. It is available in a variety of densities, and an unbelievable range of shapes and colours. This is the best material currently available for toys for penetration. This material does not contain pthalates.

How do you take care of it:
You can use soap, rubbing alcohol, bleach. You can boil them in water, or put them on the top shelf of your dishwasher. If you are using a toy on your own, not sharing and not using it vaginally and anally, you don't need to use condoms with silicone toys.

Special notes:
You should never use a silicone lubricant on a silicone toy as it can bond to it and destroy it. Water and oil based lubes are safe and won't damage the toy.

4) Silicone/Rubber Mixes
Because of the popularity of silicone rubber, and because of its durability, manufacturers are now making toys with small amounts of silicone in them. This does make the toy more durable, but it may still contain phthalates, and should still be treated like a jelly rubber toy.

5) Hard Materials (Hard Plastic, Glass, Acrylic)
Hard plastic vibe What are they:
These are hard, non-porous materials. This means they are easier to keep clean, and people are less likely to react to them. These materials do not contain phthalates.

How do you take care of it:
You can use soap, rubbing alcohol, bleach. You can boil them in water, or put them on the top shelf of your dishwasher. If you are using a toy on your own, not sharing and not using it vaginally and anally, you don't need to use condoms with hard toys.

Special notes:
Glass toys should not be boiled, microwaved, or put in the freezer. With all hard toys care should be taken not to drop them on hard surfaces. Also, because they are hard, internal use should be gentle, not rough.

All lubricants are safe with these hard materials.

Thanks Cory!


cover Sue's Mini Review

Pardon me while I rave about the 10th anniversary edition of this book – IT'S PERFECTLY NORMAL. Written by Robie Harris with brilliant cartoons by Michael Emberley, every kid going through puberty should have this book.