You are imaginative and creative, and for people who take you private, it shows. Costumes and props are obvious ways to harness, direct, and enhance your creativity. Sex toys, too, fit into the category of show-enhancing props.
Just like you take care of your costumes and lingerie, your sex toys need loving care to keep them working for you. Here are some sex toy basics that will help you select the right “accessory” and care for it properly. Sex toys can be expensive but if treated right, your favorite dildo or vibrator will pay dividends well into the future.
What’s a phthalate?
Have you ever opened a box or blister pack and smelled that plastic, synthetic, “new” smell? That smell is caused by phthalates, wafting off into the air.
Pronounced “thay late,” phthalates have many uses, including making hard plastics more flexible. But the chemical bond between phthalates and plastics is very weak — more of a mixture than a bond, really. Consequently, as softened plastics age and break down, they shed phthalates and harden.
People are exposed to phthalates via softened plastics all the time. The coating around pills, endless types of medical devices, and kids’ toys all contain phthalates. Interestingly, due to health concerns, phthalates are being phased out of many products in the United States, Canada, and Europe, mostly because there’re carcinogenic. So, you can see how you wouldn’t want these things in your sex toys.
Look for toys that explicitly state they’re phthalate-free. Though you’d think this would be the case for all products, you’ll be unpleasantly surprised by how many toys actually are not.
Interesting factoid: A sex toy can be up to 10-percent phthalate-laden and still claim to be “phthalate-free.”
Use the right lube
One way to make toy shows easier on your body is with lube. Lubricants come in three basic formulations: water-based, silicone-based, and oil-based.
Water-based lubes may be used safely with practically every toy. But if you like to use waterproof toys in or around water, a water-based lubricant will rinse right off. In these instances, you need a silicone-based lube. Your body will not absorb silicone-based lubricants, making them ideal for any sort of water-adjacent show.
You need to be careful about what toys you use with silicone-based lube, though. Silicone, including the kind used to make some toys, is made up of tiny glass beads. When an incompatible silicone-based lubricant is used on a silicone toy, it essentially “melts” the beads together, creating a gooey surface that is very unsafe for your body and destroys the toy. If you must use silicone lubes with your toys, make sure to use a toy-safe option.
Oil-based lubricants destroy latex on contact, toys included. A good rule of thumb is to keep oil-based lubricants and toys as far apart as possible.
Check out some more info about lube basics here.
Clean up after yourself!
You’ve heard “pick up your toys” since you were young, and sex toys are no exception to that command. Make sure to clean your toys every time you use them. This is no joke. Toys very quickly can go from sexy purveyors of orgasms to incubators of bacteria and infection. You must make sure to clean up after yourself.
Depending on the type of lube you’re using, mild soap and water may be sufficient. Just make sure to clean every surface, nook, and cranny thoroughly. Also, make sure to let your toys dry completely between uses and cleanings. Most toy companies make some type of toy-cleaning product, some of which are designed to clean off silicone-based lube, which is more difficult to wash away than a water-based product. Cleaners often are often just an added cost, but they do make some people feel more secure and come in a variety of nice scents.
Lock up your toys.
If you use any sort of sex toy in a place where people under 18 years of age may be present — camming from a designated room in a home in which children reside for even the smallest amount of time, for example — you must keep your sex toys in a locked drawer, cupboard, or container. Local laws can be murky when a home business is sex-related. It is best to err on the side of caution in this respect. Keep your toys out of sight and away from curious underage hands.
As always, remember to stay savvy. That’s the number one key!