Technical Intimacy

tech pleasures

We have possibly never been more cut off from the rest of the world than we are now and many of are toying with technical intimacy. This is a bold statement that I make, of course we have! Before we had ships and planes. Because now- we have technology.

Technology gives us the power of moving countries, time and space in a matter of moments. It gives us the power of being able to continue to interact with loved ones whether it is from our own homes to theirs in the same state, or overseas. And during this pandemic that counts for A LOT.

But do you know what else technology has radicalised for us during this “unprecedented” time? Insanely safe, zero proximity sex.

Yes. I did say that. And yes, that baffles the mind. But while we have been on lock down, the business behind industries such as interactive pornography, camgirls, onlyfans and online adult toy shopping have boomed! In fact there has been a rise, and why wouldn’t there be? Even beloved places of teaching “Studio Kink”  took to the internet to assist with keeping kinksters educated during the pandemic in their chosen tutelage of Shibari.

Technical Intimacy

Although interactive sex is only the beginning. Combine cam girling or interactive porn with products such as Kiroo and the experience is taken to the next level. If you haven’t heard of Kiroo, basically you can feel everything that is happening on one end of the toy (for example the Pearl – an innovative straight vibe) and indulge in it in real time on the other toy (in this case, the Onyx – an innovative masturbator)

Toys like these are fantastic for long distance relationships, bringing couples closer and being able to feel like they are having wonderfully hot and intimate moments as close together as they are apart no matter where they are in the world.

We Vibe is another company that boasts a long luxurious line of app controlled toys that are able to be controlled from around the globe no matter where you are provided you have a signal. Bringing you closer to your loved ones, which I am sure we can all agree is something we are more than thankful for during isolation.

Lovense

But then a new challenger arrived, Lovense.

Lovense, similarly had a luxurious line of gorgeous toys that were app controlled same as we vibe. They also had toys that simulated the feel of sex in real time even when you were apart like the Kiroo.

But where the Lovense differed to all those before it is it’s app features.

Lovense, at the time of writing this is one of the only apps that provides the option for people to use a “group play” function during play. Yep – a group function. This enables users of the lovense app to have up to 100 people in a “room” at a time, sharing vibrations and altogether having a good time.

Yes, that’s amazing.

I have heard many people come in and say, “oh wow, yeah an app controlled toy sounds great if you had someone who you could share it with.”

I get it, we are in a period of life where it is harder to find people right now, we have restrictions, and even when the restrictions are lessened, are we always willing to risk bodily fluid exchanges with strangers? It’s a fine line. SO meeting someone new can put a bit of a damper on things.

Lovense has that covered too. On their website Lovense has chat rooms where you can talk to others and join parties under pseudonyms or your lovense account and join large parties or set up some one on one vibe time. But, yes, be careful of bots. They are usually the ones with the repetitive bad sentence structure and as always, never EVER give away personal information or financial information online. Safe cyber play friends.

These functions are so popular that Lovense has just finished hosting their 3rd successful International Digital Orgy! On May 22nd at Midnight Eastern Time for 24hrs registered participants who were 18years or older could log into their Lovense account and share in the vibes that were sent through any use of the hashtag #lovense and #lovenseorgy as well as 15 others that were announced on the day. Completely anonymous, no faces shown just waves of pleasure, tuning in when you could. I mean – a whole 24 hours? That would be a marathon.

This was a wonderful movement to not only bring people together safely during isolation but also a unique way to celebrate Maturbation in May. If you were lucky enough to participate in this year’s Lovense Orgy let us know how you liked it, if you’d like to try next year, stock up on Lovense toys before next year and get some practice in.  It could be the future of sex.

So if you’re looking for something a little new, looking for a little play, without the physical proximity, why not try one of our long distance toys and pop on an anonymous forum? Talk to our wonderful sales consultants and educators to find the best fit and type of play for you and have a look at Wevibe, Kiroo and Lovense. Safely of course. Maybe we should be adding Long distance toy hookups to our online profiles.

At your Service,

Tiffany

OhZone Sales Consultant, Educator and Online Playmate

A Beginners Guide to Cleaning and Caring for your Sex Toys

Part 2 – Sex Toy Cleaning Continued

Moving on to electronic toys, now there’s not going to be boiling of any kind with these toys for obvious reasons so generally the route you’ll want to go down for cleaning these toys is the ‘rinse then use a toy cleaner’ one as previously discussed. Although you have to be careful with the whole ‘putting an electronic underwater’ thing because you might end up voiding the warranty or maybe even electrocuting yourself (depending on what kind of toy you’re trying to clean). Just about all of your electronic toys will come with an IPX rating, this indicates the level of waterproofing the toy is equipped with the most popular IPX ratings for toys are as follows; IPX7 is completely submersible in water upto 1 metre deep for a maximum of 30 minutes, going down a level we have IPX6 which is protected against a high pressure water stream from any angle so similar to IPX7 you can very easily wash off after use. Next we have IPX4 which is splashproof, so again fine for rinsing off your toy but be sure to avoid the charging port, IPX0-3 have even less water protection than this and you should read the cleaning instructions very carefully before using the toy for the first time. Although it’s important to note that most toys with an IPX rating lower than IPX4 will have a removable portion that is non-electronic for easier cleaning. Overall, make sure to be following the manufacturers recommended cleaning for any electronic toy, especially those with an IPX rating lower than 6.

INSERTABLE

Now onto something a good bit more complex, masturbators (both electronic and not) will generally require a more intricate cleaning routine than your average vibe (insertable or not) due to both their design as well as the materials used to create that supple realistic skin texture.

Some masturbators are made of a silicone, these are generally electronic and don’t involve any type of sleeve or lifelike material, so you’re able to clean them in an identical manner to a regular vibe.

Any type of masturbator that is or has a very soft non-structured sleeve, such as any Fleshlight, will need to be cleaned very thoroughly to ensure bacteria doesn’t grow. After use, first flush the toy out with some water to remove the excess lube and ejaculate, then remove the sleeve from any casing and flip the sleeve inside out. After doing this, rinse with water once again to remove the remaining lube and ejaculate, once the only liquid on your toy is water, allow to dry (still flipped inside out) until only slightly damp. Next spray a toy cleaner, I recommend using one that is foaming to allow for it to more easily get within all the grooves of the materials texture. After the toy is covered in this wait for it to dry fully (it is essential you don’t start the next step on a toy with any moisture on it). Once completely dry sprinkle refresh powder over the toy (pro tip: these powders are generally 100% corn starch), make sure to cover all surfaces including the entrance then shake so all excess powder is removed, leaving only a thin layer. After this is all done, flip the sleeve back and situate it within its case (if it has one), and then put the unit away for storage.

MASTURBATION SLEEVE 

If the soft sleeve of the toy IS structured, like that of the Svakom Alex and Alex Neo, you won’t be able to flip it for cleaning but the tunnel of the sleeve will generally be a fair amount wider and shorter so cleaning remains fairly similar, minus the flipping obviously. You also have masturbators like those from Tenga, that instead of a removable sleeve you are able to just open for easy cleaning, with these follow the same original steps, minus the removal and flipping of the sleeve.

Now the truly difficult toys to clean are your bigger toys made primarily of a lifelike material such as TPE, a lot of these toys will be life size replicas of portions of the female or male body, such as the pubic or chest areas and you won’t be able to remove a sleeve at all, plus the tunnel and entrance will both be very narrow (stretching only during use) so cleaning these is very hard to get right and very easy to fuck up. As with all toys, washing these before using them is paramount to your intimate hygiene.

Madison is a consultant at the Oh Zone Adult Stores

A Beginners Guide to Cleaning and Caring for your Sex Toys Part 1

sex toy cleaning

Whether you’ve just purchased your first ever sex toy or your 100th, knowing how to care for these products is paramount to not only their longevity, but also your intimate health. Make sure to clean your toy thoroughly at least once before using it for the first time.

First and foremost, you’re going to need to determine the material of your toy, considering the large array of options when it comes to this, I’ll narrow it down a bit for you. Sex toys generally fall into one of two categories: soft or hard. By this I’m not referencing the flexibility of your toy, soft toys are generally made of; silicone, TPE, TPR, rubber or some type of hybrid material such as silaskin or super-skin, all of which are flexible on their own but many act as a barrier between you and the motor/internal hardware of the toy. While, in contrast, hard toys are made of materials such as; glass, ceramic, wood, steel (stainless or surgical) or a hard plastic such as ABS, hard toys are a lot less likely to absorb any bacteria and are generally easier to clean, most soft toys will also have a handle made of a hard plastic for increased usability, such as Fun Factory’s entire range.

There are also several other aspects to consider when it comes to cleaning and caring for your sex toys, are they electronic in any way? If yes, are they battery powered, rechargeable or plug in? What’s the intended purpose of your toy? Is it made specifically for anal use? Or perhaps it’s not meant to be inserted at all. Overall, there are a multitude of defining factors that influence what we can and cannot do with our toys, especially when it comes to something as rudimentary as cleaning and storing.

Cleaning

First things first, PLEASE DON’T PUT YOUR TOYS IN THE DISHWASHER, I understand why you’d think that to be a good idea but not only is that where you wash dishes, cutlery and other food related items, it will actually melt or severely compromise the structural integrity of most toys.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way let’s begin with non-electronic toys, these products can be made from any soft or hard material, or a combination of both, the main defining factor is of course that they have no electronic or mechanical components. It’s important to note that most poseable and thermoreactive toys will fall into this category. Let’s start with the easiest materials to maintain; steel, ceramic and glass, these toys are both hypoallergenic and non-porous so bacteria is completely unable to penetrate the toy on any level. Because of their extremely high melting point, you’re able to boil toys made solely of this material to completely remove any bacteria, but if you’d prefer to keep your toys out of the kitchen you can also use an antibacterial toy cleaning spray or foaming wash, but make sure to rinse off your toy completely before using these. They are designed to sanitise your toys as well as be both toy and body safe, I cannot emphasize enough that you shouldn’t be using any type of household cleaner on your toys, so please be sure to pick up a toy cleaner and not use Dettol wipes or any type of spray ‘n’ wipe.

After the aforementioned toys, silicone is the most hygienic, and a medical grade silicone is the golden standard when it comes to soft toys. Any toy made of 100% medical grade silicone that is non-electronic, can also be boiled for up to 2 minutes (similar to a menstrual cup), although you’ll find that many lower quality toys will say they’re made out of silicone, be sure to check it’s 100% silicone before purchasing and medical grade before boiling. For lower grade silicone, toys made of a hard plastic and any other soft material toy DO NOT BOIL, the best way to clean these toys is by using an antibacterial toy cleaner (either spray or foaming), after rinsing. Surprisingly enough wooden toys aren’t in a whole different ball park when it comes to cleaning, these products are generally handcrafted and given a medical grade polymer coating or some type of other varnish to ensure the wood won’t absorb any moisture or bacteria. And because of this coating, we can clean them the same way we clean our hard plastic toys.

Part Two Sex toy Cleaning

Madison is a consultant at the Oh Zone Adult Stores.

Condoms for all – Care and storage

condom storage

It is a big and equal responsibility for each of us to do our bit for safe sex these days. Condoms are an easy and relatively safe option for safe sexual practices in this day and age and have been for quite some time.

If using a condom to absolute perfection, a condom can be 98% accurate in protecting against pregnancy and STIs. That’s if you use them to absolute perfection. Catering for human error lets say the margin is more likely 85%. To achieve absolute perfection you need to do the following;

  • Put the condom on the right way (and if you put it on the wrong way – throw it out and start again)

  • Put the condom on before any foreplay

  • If using extra lubricant don’t use any oil based lubricants as it may cause the condoms to break.

  • Pinch the tip before rolling down the shaft

  • Roll all the way to the base

  • Wait until you have removed the shaft from the body to roll the condom carefully off the penis, keeping the semen inside.

  • If possible, tie the condom before throwing it away.

 

As stated above, everyone can carry condoms, in fact it is highly recommended. The best prevention is preparation and you should never expect a date to be packing; bring your own. This is also good advice in case you have any sensitivities or preferences in condoms.

 

But where to keep them?

 

Most of us immediately think of the movies, or the books or even our own experiences of having a trusty condom stashed in a pocket of our wallet for emergencies or on the go – This is in fact a grave error.

 

Condoms should be kept out in cool dry areas and there is nothing cool about the pockets where wallets are kept. Pockets of clothes, right next to the body conduct a lot of heat, add a mobile to the mix and we are cooking. This heat damages the structural integrity of a condom which in itself will leave it vulnerable to breaking.

 

What else is dangerous about wallets and pockets? Keys, sharp things, pens anything and everything that could poke, prod and dent into your wallet and therefore your condom. Seems like a pretty big risk to put on accidentally leaving a potential hole in a condom that you might be using.

 

Also when was the last time you checked the condom in your wallet? One of the biggest oversights with condoms is that they expire. They do last a long time, but you still need to check the use by date. That use by date is also greatly affected by where they are kept, are they kept in the sun? Somewhere hot? Dry? Always check your dates periodically to ensure that you are getting the best use out of your condoms and staying the safest you can be. If you’ve moved house several times and they aren’t stored correctly you might want to rethink that emergency few that you own

 

So where can you keep them?

 

Glasses Case:

A great alternative to your wallet, throw them in your car, your bag, whether it be your reading, your sunglasses any old case will do.

 

A cigarette case:

Go into a smokemart and buy a steel case for cigarettes. This will perfectly hold a couple of condoms, perfect for those emergencies, they’re sleek and slim, so they will fit into your pants or your clutch while keeping those little shields cool enough and making sure that they don’t get poked or damaged en route to wherever the night leads you.

 

A deck of cards:

A particular favourite of mine. Super elusive, ever seen a friend with a deck of cards in their bag that says they play solitaire by themselves or they’re missing a few cards or say they can’t really play group games in their work bag or uni bag? Chances are they may have removed some of the deck so that they can fit a few condoms in their well concealed deck of many things. Under stated and very clever.

 

Container:

Not necessarily the classiest but sometimes the most practical. Tupperware and small plastic containers can be beautiful and fancy little ways to store the odd condom in bags, handbags or cars on the go.

 

At home, keep them boxed in your underwear drawer, in the bathroom, in the bedside drawer but ensure that you check the dates often and don’t use them past the expiration date. And whatever you do, don’t try putting them in the fridge or the freezer for a cooling effect, we have Lubes for that. By putting them in the freezer, you will dry out the condom which again opens you up to the risk of it breaking it.

 

My pick is definitely the Skyn condom range: the non latex range means that anyone can use them without irritation, and without worrying that someone will say I can’t use a condom because I have a latex allergy- Done solved here I have a non latex one I prepared earlier!

 

Another huge pointer is check in with the nominal width of the condom when buying. Brands and varieties differ. The nominal width can make a difference in desensitizing and the feel, finding the right nominal width will have a big impact on how comfortable the experience is for the wearer. But remember-not too loose, you need it to stay on after all.

 

At your Service

Tiffany

Oh Zone Sales Assistant, Sexual health Advocate and Carrier of Condoms.

Sex Toy Materials vs Lube

sex toy 101

Going into buying sex toys can be scary enough if you’ve never gone into a sex shop (it shouldn’t be, all workers at the best adult shops in Sydney are amazing, helpful, open minded, and just want you to have good orgasms), and then when faced with all the choices of lubes it can be overwhelming, not knowing what’s safe with what is another hurdle, so here are the common materials and what they can be used with, with the added bonus of how they should be stored and cleaned!

You would be amazed what are the most popular sex toys in Australia!

Silicone – smooth, no real smell or taste, some with a silky finish. Medical grade silicone is body-safe and is 100% hypoallergenic with no latex or phthalate.
Lubes: safe with water-based, oil-based, and hybrid lubes. (Extremely high quality is safe with silicone lube, Colours triple density dongs are safe.)
Cleaning: 100% silicone can be boiled, others should be washed with a toy cleaner!

Glass – most are made from the same glass as Pyrex, they are heat resistant and shatterproof. They are smooth and sturdy and perfect for temperature play. Glass is incredibly skin safe but be sure to check for cracks and fractures before each used!
Lube: Glass is safe with all lubes.
Cleaning: Can be washed with toy cleaner and water, or even thrown in the dishwasher, or boiled.

Plastic – most commonly made with ABS (the same material as LEGO), used for it’s cheap production value, these toys may be blended with latex. These are hard with no distinct smell or taste. Generally a skin safe material but could be blended with phthalates and latex, which are common allergens and harmful to skin.
Lubes: safe to use with all lube types
Cleaning: can be cleaned with sex toy cleaner, anti-bacterial soap and water, or through boiling.

PVC – man made plastic, can be hard or more flexible, has an intense plastic smell and more often than not contains phthalates and latex so isn’t the most body-safe option in the world.
Lubes: this material should be used with water-based lubes only, as oil and silicone can melt the material.
Cleaning: rigid PVC is non-porous and very easy to clean, flexible PVC can be porous so may be harder to clean. Store these toys away from other materials and preferably in their own casing to avoid chemical reactions and damage to toys.

TPE – the material used to create Real Feel, Cyberskin, Softskin, or Ultraskin. Frequently used for male masturbators. Realistically fleshlike, warms to the touch, incredibly flexible, due to it’s softness it isn’t a great option for vibrators as it can weaken vibrations. Can tend to have a rubbery smell and taste. TPE is non-toxic but is porous so it’s prone to bacterial growth, and can be mixed with product softeners which can be allergens.
Lubes: use water-based only with this material.
Cleaning: as this is a porous material it can be hard to clean, best to use just water and a toy cleaner.
This should be kept away from other toys in storage to be on the safe side. Any discolouration can be a sign of growing mould in the pores of the material, so throw it away. These toys should be replaced every 5 months.

Metal – usually made from medical grade stainless steel, they can occasionally be mixed with other metals (such as nickel WHICH SOME PEOPLE ARE ALLERGIC TO), so be sure to check this. These toys are rigid and smooth but perfect for temperature play, higher densities are good for weighted and pressure play.
Lubes: all lubes are safe to be used with metal! 😊
Cleaning: this is a non-porous material which makes cleaning a breeze, toy cleaner, soap, dishwasher, or boiling all work.

Wood – if made correctly these toys are beautifully smooth with a non-toxic resin coating to prevent splinters. The weight and look will depend on what kind of wood was used to create the toy. If made correctly these toys are super body safe and environmentally friendly. Some manufacturers use scrap wood which is great for conserving rainforests.
Lubes: wood is safe with all lubes, due to it’s smooth finish you only need a small amount.
Cleaning: best washed with just water to prolong life, be sure to check for any damage before and after each use.

Rubber – one of the cheapest materials, will be flexible with a very strong rubber smell and chemical taste. To ensure body safety it is strongly recommended to use a condom with rubber toys as they often contain phthalates which can be harmful to the skin. (They have produced body safe rubber recently but it is not widespread).
Lubes: best used with just water-based, however if using a condom with rubber silicone is okay to be used.
Cleaning: best washed with soap and water and stored away from other materials, just to avoid chemical reaction with other toys.

 

My personal favourite lube is the Wicked Hybrid as it’s super vagina friendly and can be used with most toy materials out there, it has the benefits of the longevity and silkiness of a silicone lube, but the easy cleanup of a water-based!