Materials Uncovered

Sex Toys these days come in a huge choice of different materials, each with its own benefits and advantages. Your choice of material should come down to many factors from the intended use of the toy to sensitivities and allergies to the materials in question.

Plastic

Plastic sex toys are much as they were when they first came into the market. Due to the rigidity of the slim plastic shell the vibrations are in direct contact with the skin making the sensation very intense. Hard plastic is among the least likely to absorb body fluids or react with your skin and you can use it with all lubes. Plastic is smooth and easy to clean but of all the materials it has the shortest shelf life. The plastic over time becomes brittle and is prone to cracking but the economical advantage makes them perfect toys for the first time user, allowing a cheap exploration into the world of sex toys.

Plastic is easy to clean using a wet cloth and mild soap or preferably a specially designed sex toy cleaner that also helps kill any bacteria. It is advisable however not to submerge any toy that has a motor in any cleaning agent, or use any agent that can cause skin sensitivity or irritation.

Silicone

Silicone’s main advantage is that it is hypoallergenic, allowing people who have had previous allergic reactions to materials to use them without risk. The non-porous surface also stops bacteria penetrating its surface meaning less chance of infection should the toy not be cleaned properly. One of the best features of silicone is the way it responds to warmth, it slowly warms up to body temperature and retains it. The Smooth texture of the material lessens friction and allows for smooth penetration when used in conjunction with a suited lubricant. Although you must not use silicone based lubricant with a Silicone toy as the silicone lubricant can melt the body of the toy. Oil and petroleum based lubricants should be used with caution. Silicone is more expensive than plastic but offers longevity, hypoallergenic qualities and the ability to be sterilised. The soft and warm exterior is also a wonderful bonus giving new users a softer more gentle first experience.

Silicone can be easily cleaned and sterilised with hot water or a sex toy cleaner, it can also be boiled to sterilise or cleaned in a dishwasher, although any plastic components should be taken into consideration.

 

Cyberskin/Real FeelLoving joy Realistic 8 Inch Dildo

Are new contenders on the market, the feel and sensation coming closest to real life skin. The mix of silicone and plastic gives it a real feel exterior mimicking how real life skin responds to warmth and friction while maintaining the hardness needed to give it the feel and appearance of real skin. The realistic appearance and feel of Cyberskin makes it perfect for a first time toy, or for anyone who wants something more realistic in the bedroom.

As with Silicone products, Silicone based lubricants must not be used, as it can cause the material to melt, a water- based lubricant is the only lubricant suitable. Oils such as baby oil and massage oils can cause discoloration and tearing, as will the use of any petroleum based lubricants.

One of the disadvantages of Cyberskin is the nature of the porous exterior, it needs very thorough cleaning to minimise any contamination from bacteria. A special cleaner should always be used or an antibacterial cleanser designed for the toy, never use any household cleaning agent as it can severely damage the toy. Once cleaned it is advisable to dry the toy the completely before applying a fine talcum powder to retain the toys soft real feel texture. Great care must be taken if you share a toy made of Cyberskin, the use of a condom is recommended (as with any toy that is shared) to minimise any possible infections being transmitted.

Jelly

Jelly toys are made from non-toxic vinyl rubber allowing flexibility and pliability but firmness. The nature of the material also gives a huge choice of colours. There is also a range of different textures ranging from the soft squishy feel to a more “rigid” feel. The in-expense of jelly toys plus the ease of manufacture means there is a massive range to choose from, making them perfect for a first time user or a more advanced veteran looking from something new to experience. The softness and malleability is a big plus allowing stimulation to be guided by yourself or partner.

Water or Silicone based lubricants should always be used with Jelly toys as oil or petroleum lubricants can break down the delicate material, leading to it dissolving.

Care must be taken when cleaning jelly toys due to the porous and delicate nature of the material compared to hardwearing silicone. The exterior is very porous which can allow bacteria to penetrate the surface and an antibacterial product specifically designed for the job is highly recommended. Harsh cleaning agents, boiling water, abrasive cleaners or alcohol should never be used as they will dissolve the jelly rendering it useless. It is always advisable when sharing a sex toy to use a condom to stop cross infection, also being non hypoallergenic it is advisable if you are sensitive to any other materials to use with caution.

Latex and Rubber

Constructed from latex rubber the main disadvantage of latex and rubber toys is the sensitivity that has arisen in recent years to these materials. It is advisable if you or your partner have any sensitivities or allergies to condoms to choose a product made of alternative materials. Latex is soft and pliable but not as malleable as jelly, however the in-expense of latex allows a huge choice, and is an inexpensive way to start discovering sex toys. It should be taken into consideration that latex and rubber has a shorter longevity than other products on the market though. It also has a distinctive smell which many people regard as positive feature, adding yet another sensation to their experience.

Water based and silicone lube should always be used when using latex and rubber, oil and petroleum based lubricants should be avoided as it can harm the material.

Rubber and latex are very porous which can lead to bacteria contaminating the toy. When cleaning latex or rubber, warm water, gentle soap or a sex toy cleaner should be used. Harsh soaps or abrasive cleaners will harm the surface of the toy.

Pyrex Glass

Pyrex toys are made from medical grade Pyrex, which is extremely strong, and resistant to cracks and chips. The surface and body of Pyrex is smooth and hard, and retains either heat or cold. It has a whole range of advantages but the main one being that it is hypoallergenic and can be very easily sterilised. Due to the nature of the material the designs are sleek and elegant with a wonderful range of patterns and shapes. The smooth hard surface of Pyrex is non porous which means there is no chance of any bacteria penetrating the surface and contaminating the toy. Because Pyrex is so versatile it can be placed in warm water to warm up before use or even chilled, by placing in cold water. This allows new sensations to be explored, making it a perfect material for those wishing to explore further. The only disadvantage is that Pyrex is more costly than the other materials, but longevity and adaptability is something that should be taken into consideration. Any lubrication can be used with Pyrex allowing its use to be tailored completely to the individual. With Pyrex a little lubrication goes a long way, the smallest amount makes it very slippery and easy to use. Cleaning of Pyrex is a simple affair, a sex toy cleaner is recommended but Pyrex can easily be placed in boiling water to sterilise, or even put through on a dishwasher cycle, although harsh abrasive cleaners unless washed off completely may irritate the skin on next use.