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!