There has long been speculation and arguments about Standardising Sex toys. The adult toy industry was roughly worth AUD$44.69 Billion worldwide during 2020 and it is projected to grow to AUD $69.61Billion by the year 2028 (Grandview Research, 2021).
LBTQ Sexual Wellness
Acceptance of LGBTQ+, sexual wellness and acceptance, sexual experimentation, even Fifty Shades of Grey and lets not forget COVID, the global sex toy market increases to grow and expand. All of these reasons and more can be attributed to the rise of the purchase and use of adult toys. But with the increase in mainstream use and attention.
At this point it is important to note that it is an unregulated corner of consumerism. That’s fine and well for me to say, but what does that mean? Simply put, anyone can make an adult toy and sell or market it as such. It does not have health standards to meet or safety standards. That alone is pretty scary though, because I mean, these toys are more often than not, going near our nether regions where we have sensitive, delicate organs that are very important to our everyday function as well as for pleasure and sometimes for reproduction. These organs aren’t even all external, some are internal which brings a whole new spin to the question “do you know what you’re really putting in your body?”
So we immediately think and agree that we need to put good quality if not premium quality grade materials in or out of our body during our pleasure time. And that is a great consensus. A brilliant, amazing solution to the aforementioned problem.
But then there is the cold hard grossly more concerning fact that is the problem without regulations.
Anyone can state an adult toy’s materials is one thing, on the packaging, and nobody, no regulation, no standard or government body can stop them or pull them up on it. Yes, they cannot say that a dong is made of silicone when in actual fact it is made of pvc. But it does not need to be 100% silicone, for a company to label an adult toy “silicone”. Factories are legally able to add fillers in and cut corners and costs to produce more and cheaper toys, bringing in a bigger revenue or convincing you that you can get away with a cheaper product when in fact, that material is no better for your body than if you chose a product that was made with “bad” materials in the first place.
Even tags such as BodySafe or MedicalGrade are a little bit dependent on who has deemed it so. BodySafe silicone for instance is deemed body safe in each individual factory or lab, therefore will have different and varying grades across the world.
So how do you pick!
All is not lost and there are safe toys out there. The best way to ensure that you are using a quality product is by investing money in a product. Yes it may seem like a bit of money but we consider things such as shoes or a car, the money we put into them is the quality we often see in return. When we skimp on these things, we aren’t surprised when they don’t work, or they break or we end up injured.
Buy from reputable brands. While we may not have regulations, there are reputations. Not having regulations has not stopped some pretty amazing companies from developing products that are safe, made from high grade materials and amazing for your body. Least of all forgetting the literal orgasmic nature of them. These big companies have worked hard on their reputations to bring you products that will last a long time, and be amazing and work hard in improving sexual wellness at the unprecedented incline that the market is working at.
Not sure what makes a reputable brand? Talk to our sales consultants. This is all part of our job. We extensively train with representatives from companies and research the companies that are being sold in our stores to ensure that we can give you the best information regarding the safest product experience for you and for your body.
Warranties. Another good indication of quality is a warranty. If a product doesn’t have a warranty, give it a wide berth. When a company puts a warranty on their products it’s somewhat telling you that they have faith in their product.
Hopefully we won’t have to wait too long though, with so much traction, popularity and exploration within the world with adult toys it was no wonder that soon there would be a consensus that adult toys needed standards.
Swedish Institute for Standards (SIS) approached the International Standards Organization (ISO) and in 2019 a committee was created for discussions surrounding this. ISO/PC 325 Sex toys – Design and safety requirements for products in direct contact with genitalia, the anus, or both. Standardization in the field of sex toys This document will specify safety and user information requirements relating to the materials and design for manufactured products intended for sexual use. This will cover only manufactured products that are intended to come in direct contact with genitals and/or the anus.
So how will this change the industry? It can only mean good things for the industry! Or at least, for our health and safety. Unfortunately, yes it will mean that adult toys and products will most likely become more expensive because not every man and his dog can make them any longer. It will also mean that companies will be held liable for producing safe and good quality products for “consumption”.
Already, there are a number of “admittance’s” to hospital or medical related issues that have come down to materials used in cheaply or poorly made toys that unfortunately can not be liable followed up on or known for absolute certainty if they were the cause. Currently, American law dictates that only serious injury or death as a consequence from a product can warrant investigation and prosecution. With standardisation this will be a thing of the past.
These are yet again why it is so important to shop in store, to be able to ask the relevant questions regarding material composition with our sales consultants and discuss the differences between the companies and factory origins of individual products to ensure that you are getting and putting the best companion for your body to make for the ideal play partner.
I can only imagine that having a set of standards to abide by will also drive the industry forward to be more innovative and produce more specialised products that are improved in both material, design and functionality. I think the amount that the sex toy industry has already changed and evolved so much since the 90’s I for one cannot wait to see where these next decades will take us, especially with an introduction of standards that are there to work for us as consumers.
At your Service
OhZome Sales Consultant, Educator and Standards Advocate.
Tiffany is studying to be a future Sexologist with a current background in education and leadership. As a passionate writer; Tiffany is heavily interested and invested in all things kink, sex and pleasure. Tiffany has spent much of her life experimenting, learning, reading and seeking out as much information as she can from various sources to bring you great reads and tantalizing information.