How Do You Feel? A Sex Toy Material Guide Part 1

How Do You Feel? A Sex Toy Material Guide Part 1

There's Cyberskin and Bioskin and Silicone and TPR and Plastic, I could sit here all day naming the different materials toys can be made out of! But what's the difference between them all? Why are silicone toys so much more expensive? I'm glad you're rhetorically asking these questions! This blog is going to talk all about the different materials that toys can be made out of. We're even going to be talking about materials you might not have considered making toys out of, like crystals! 

First, lets list and describe all the materials we'll be talking about today:

      • Silicone - Non-toxic, body-safe material that can range in squish-level from firm to super squishy, almost life-like. Silicone is considered non-porous which means the pores are too small to harbor bacteria and fungi like some other materials do; It’s medically non-porous, for all intents and purposes.

      • ABS Hard Plastic - Another very common body-safe material. Hard plastic toys are non-toxic and non-porous, though you should watch out for toys that are painted (especially with silver or another metallic paint). Warm water and soap work perfectly fine to sanitize.

      • Metal - Both stainless steel and aluminum are completely body-safe, and if you need to sterilize them, you can boil metal toys. Just make sure to put a dishtowel at the bottom of the pot so that the toys and pot don’t touch — it can harm the finish.

      • Glass - Glass toys are body-safe, but make sure to inspect them for cracks or chips before each use and at the time of purchase. Some glass toys can also be boiled – with a dishtowel, like metal toys — but I wouldn’t recommend it in general. Always see what the manufacturer recommends.

      • Stone and Crystal - Natural stones are mostly safe. Most natural stone sex toys cannot be sealed, they can only be polished. We’re unclear on the porosity and safety levels of putting these minerals and rocks inside the body for longer periods of time. High end brands such as Chakrubs are professionally polished and are body safe. These I would never boil and would only wash thoroughly with warm water and soap.

        ** Those are the most common materials that are considered completely body-safe. There are a few others such as glazed ceramic, wood, and acrylic, but because those are relatively uncommon it’s harder to find information on how to identify the material as well as care and handling. Follow the manufacturers’ instructions for how to take care of toys of those materials.**

      • TPR, TPE, or Thermoplastic Elastomer - The most common non-toxic but porous materials you’ll see listed as TPR or TPE. Some TPR is advertised as being non-porous. This is theoretically possible, but I would only trust it if the toy is from a reputable manufacturer and the material is very hard. In general these materials are porous, especially if they’re soft and squishy. **These toys also shouldn’t be stored touching other toys because material will break down over time and can stain or even fuse together with them. And make sure porous toys are completely dry before you store them to avoid mildew.**

      • The "Others" / Toxic Materials - These include jelly, rubber, PVC, latex, and most realistic or skin-like materials that don't already claim some kind of silicone. I highly discourage from using toys made of any of these materials, especially internally. If you want to throw a condom on them, make sure it’s polyurethane, but condoms aren’t made to protect against toxic chemicals and there haven’t been any studies to show that they do. These materials are incredibly unstable and will break down very easily, so you shouldn’t store them with other toys unless you want a big container full of fused sex toy monstrosities.


    Cyberskin and Bioskin

    It's really hard to tell what's made of what when all these nice, squishy dildos feel the same. The best way to tell is the back of the package. Even though there's no regulations for the sex toy industry and the materials they use, almost all of your toys will blatantly say what they're made of in the fine print. If you can't find the material yourself, ask your local sex toy retailer to help you identify the material. Most of the time, they can research on the Distributors Website where they bought the toy, and most descriptions provided will describe the toy in dimensions as well as the material.

    When talking about Cyberskin, it refers to super soft, super squishy TPR elastomer. I know, so disappointing right? As disappointed as we are about cyberskin being porous, that doesn't mean it's 100% out the window yet. Like we said about those "Other" materials, you can always slap a condom over that bad boy if you're cautious. Cyberskin is made, as previously stated, of a mix of materials. While the manufacturer may state it's safe, these materials break down over time and release byproducts, which are a noticeable scent and that oily residue - this should always be washed off before using. When the toy is first opened, it is covered in a powder that has 'soaked up' this residue and feels velvety and more skin-like. While most toy brands that make and distribute Cyberskin suggest purchasing Renewing Powder to up sale, but the same effect can be achieved with plain old cornstarch. Lots of people prefer Cyberskin, so don't be discouraged if that's your material of choice. Just be cautious and never store your Cyberskin toys with your other toys!

    When talking about Bioskin, it refers to a 100% silicone material. Bioskin is completely different and was patented by a toy company named Fun Toys London. Their GJack and GPlug are both made out of this luxurious material, and we carry both of these products in store!  Bioskin is what Cyberskin wishes it was. This material is very pliable and squishy, but will keep it's shape indefinitely. The GJack 2 has waves up the shaft, which can look harsh to someone who doesn't like ridges or edges. But in junction with the Bioskin material, the bumps feel natural and glide well with a hybrid or water based lubricant. Being that Bioskin is silicone, it'd be silly-cone to use Silicone Lubricant with this toy. It's body-safe, non-porous, and can be easily cleaned with soap and warm water (we'll get to cleaning in a bit, that's a whole topic in itself)! What more could you ask for?

    ABS Plastic

    This is one of the safest toys materials out there, and the cheapest. It's non-toxic, non-porous, and can be used with any type of lubricant, silicone, oil-based, anything! If you're purchasing an ABS plastic toy with no paint or polish, there's virtually no way to mess up this toy. It won't fuse with other materials, it won't leak oils and there's really no way for manufacturers to mix ABS with another material to make it unsafe. Plastic is plastic! When we talk about how to clean your toys, we'll be talking about the ability to boil your toys to sanitize them. This is the only way I could see anyone messing up a toy made of ABS; boiling your toy. It could absolutely melt. Since it's non-porous, you can just use soap and warm water to sanitize and that'll do the job just fine.


    To Be Continued

    Thank you for reading our all inclusive sex toy material guide! This blog is going to be split between two blogs to allow enough space to talk about each material in great detail. In the next part, we'll be covering glass, metal and crystal sex toys, as well as proper ways to clean each material. We hope to see you in the next installment of How Do You Feel? A Sex Toy Material Guide!


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