Sex Toy Materials

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Autoblow 2As you may know, currently there are no government regulations on sex toys, which allows manufacturers to use materials that may not be in your health’s best interests. It’s up to the consumer to educate themselves and decide what’s acceptable, so we’re providing this brief summary of a variety of sex toy materials, including their care info. Since manufacturers are always inventing new names for their proprietary “hygienically superior” materials (which are usually just TPR or jelly blends) this isn’t a list of everything that you might encounter. But it ’s a fair representation of the most popular ones, so you can at least get an idea of what you’re getting into, or… what’s getting into you.

CYBERSKIN:

A proprietary TPR polymer blend patented by Topco, made to mimic real skin. It contains no phthalates, but does contain a small amount of latex. CyberSkin is very pliable and somewhat delicate. It is porous and cannot be fully disinfected, therefore it is safest to use a condom on toys made of this material.

Compatible Lubes: Water based only.

Cleaning Options: Clean with antibacterial soap and warm water.

Extra Notes: Dust with corn starch (not talc or regular baby powder) occasionally to maintain a soft feeling, or it may become sticky. Excessive heat will deform or destroy the toy. Store away from other male masturbators, particularly if they contain oils.

ELASTOMED:

Trademarked by sex toy manufacturer FunFactory, Elastomed is a non-porous synthetic blend. It is *not* the same thing as elastomer. Essentially it is a specially formulated medical grade silicon-based elastomer which contains no latex or phthalates and tends to feel rather firm. It’s non porous, non toxic, and considered hypoallergenic.

Compatable Lubes: Water based or silicone based.

Cleaning Options: Clean with mild soap and warm water.

ELASTOMER:

A blended polymer material, but the exact formulations can vary between manufacturers. Elastomer is pliable, with varying degrees of “squishiness” and stretchability. It is phthalate-free and latex-free, and considered non-toxic. Most is slightly porous and cannot be disinfected, but a few brands advertize their elastomer toys as being nonporous.

Compatable Lubes: Water-based. Sometimes silicone based (check with the manufacturer).

Cleaning Options: Clean with mild soap and warm water.

Extra Notes: Store away from other pliable material sex toys, particularly vinyl, jelly, and other elastomers.

FUTUROTIC:

Trademarked by sex toy manufacturer Caifornia Exotic Novelties, Futurotic is a blend of PVC and silicone, made to mimic real skin. It contains no latex or phthalates, and is somewhat delicate. It is very porous and cannot be fully disinfected, therefore it is safest to use a condom on toys made of this material.

Compatible Lubes: Water-based only.

Cleaning Options: Clean with antibacterial soap and warm water.

Extra Notes: Dust with corn starch (not talc or regular baby powder) occasionally to maintain a soft feeling or it may become sticky. Excessive heat will deform or destroy the toy. Store away from other sex toys.

INTRAMED:

Developed by sex toy manufacturer Rocks Off Ltd., Intramed is a medical grade thermoplastic rubber that contains no latex or phthalates and tends to feel rather firm.It is non porous and easy to disinfect.

Compatable Lubes: Water based or silicone based.

Cleaning Options: Clean with soap and warm water. To completely disinfect it, use a 10% bleach solution.

JELLY RUBBER:

Originally the name given to PVC treated with softeners, Jelly has become a catch-all term in the industry used to describe soft rubbery concoctions, which vary by manufacturer. It may (or may not) contain phthalates, latex, or any number of other safe or unsafe ingredients. Jelly toys are usually porous and cannot be fully disinfected, therefore it is safest to use a condom on toys made of this material.

Compatible Lubes: Water based. Some types can handle silicone based.

Cleaning Options: Clean with mild soap and warm water. Some jellies can only be cleaned with water.

Extra Notes: Excessive heat can deform or destroy the toy. Store away from other sex toys.

LATEX RUBBER:

Latex rubber can be either naturally derived from certain plants or synthetically produced. Natural latex can cause allergic reactions in some individuals. Latex is very porous and cannot be fully disinfected, therefore it is safest to use a condom on toys made of this material.

Compatable Lubes: Water based or silicone based.

Cleaning Options: Clean with antibacterial soap and warm water.

PLASTIC (includes PU Coat, RubberCoat, Velvet Cote and others):

There are many different types of plastic, but most often in the sex toy world it refers to ABS or PVC. Hard plastic toys don’t contain phthalates or latex, and are non porous. Most are considered hypoallergenic and/or non toxic. Some hard plastic toys will have a thin polyurethane coating (also a type of plastic) to make the surface feel velvety. These toys may be called names like “PU Coat”, “Velvet Cote” or “RubberCoat”, and their care will vary slightly from uncoated plastic.

Compatable Lubes: Any kind on regular hard plastic. No silicone based or oil based on coated plastic.

Cleaning Options: Clean with soap and hot water. Can wipe with isopropyl alcohol.

PVC (also see Vinyl):

Polyvinyl chloride, which is a vinyl polymer, ranges from soft and squishy to quite firm. It contains no latex but may contain phthalates or cadmium. It is somewhat porous.

Compatable Lubes: Water based or silicone based.

Cleaning Options: Clean with antibacterial soap and warm water.

Extra Notes: Store pliable PVC toys away from other sex toys.

SEBS SILICONE:

A silicone/elastomer blend that tends to feel very squishy and usually doesn’t contain phthalates. It is porous and cannot be fully disinfected, therefore it is safest to use a condom on toys made of this material.

Compatable Lubes: Water based.

Cleaning Options: Clean with antibacterial soap and warm water.

Extra Notes: Store away from other sex toys.

SILICONE:

Considered one of the most hygienic sex toy materials, 100% pure silicone is non-porous, non-toxic, phthalate-free, latex free, and hypoallergenic. It has a firm rubbery feel and will last for many years with proper care. It can be fully sanitized. Many grades of silicone exist, along with silicone blends. Platinum cured is the highest grade and may become “medical grade”. Although still considered hypoallergenic, non toxic, and safe, “Food grade” or “Tin” silicone isn’t quite as pure as Platinum grade and may, over time, change color or take on a rubbery taste or odor.

Compatible Lubes: Water-based. Some high grade silicone lubes may be safe, but lesser grades can damage the material.

Cleaning Options: Clean with soap and water. To completely disinfect it, it can be boiled for 3 minutes, wiped with a 10% bleach solution, or placed in the top rack of the dishwasher (no soap).

Extra Notes: Silicone toys of the same grade can be stored together, but it’s best not to let it come in contact with other silicone if quality is in question. BEWARE that some toys labeled as just “Silicone”, with no grade mentioned, may have other ingredients blended in (see below), particularly if they are very inexpensive.

SILICON (and other SILICONE BLENDS):

By law, a toy only has to include 10% of a material to be called that material, so some manufacturers add a little silicone to their lesser ingredients and label them as Silicone. Some manufacturers also use the label “Silicon” to make the customers believe they are buying silicone. These toys are obviously not of the same quality as 100% silicone toys are. They may (or may not) contain phthalates, latex, or any number of other safe or unsafe ingredients. They are often porous and cannot be fully disinfected, therefore it is safest to use a condom on toys made of silicone blends.

Compatable Lubes: Water based only.

Cleaning Options: Clean with soap and warm water.

Extra Notes: Store away from other sex toys.

SUPER SKIN:

A proprietary polymer blend patented by the Fleshlight manufacturer. It contains no latex, phthalates, or silicones, and is considered non-allergenic. SuperSkin is very pliable and realistic, though somewhat delicate. It is very porous and cannot be fully disinfected.

Compatible Lubes: Water-based only.

Cleaning Options: Clean with warm water only, no soaps. May use a small amount of isopropyl alcohol if mold appears.

Extra Notes: Dust with corn starch (not talc or regular baby powder) occasionally to maintain a soft feeling or it may become sticky. Excess heat will deform or destroy the toy. Store away from other toys, particularly if they contain oils.

TPE / Thermoplastic Elastomer:

T.P.E stands for Thermoplastic Elastomer, which are synthetic rubbers. The exact formulations can vary between manufacturers. It is usually phthalate-free and latex-free. TPEs are most often pliable, with varying degrees of “squishiness” and stretchability depending on the manufacturer. It may be non porous or slightly porous, but cannot be fully disinfected either way.

Compatable Lubes: Water-based. Sometimes silicone based (check with the manufacturer).

Cleaning Options: Clean with mild soap and warm water.

Extra Notes: Store away from other sex toys. Sometimes the terms TPE and TPR are used interchangeably.

TPR / Thermoplastic Rubber:

T.P.R stands for Thermoplastic Rubber, which are synthetic rubbers. The exact formulations can vary between manufacturers. It may (or may not) contain latex or phthalates. TPRs range from rather firm to jelly-like, depending on the manufacturer. It’s almost always somewhat porous and cannot be fully disinfected.

Compatable Lubes: Water-based. Sometimes silicone based (check with the manufacturer).

Cleaning Options: Clean with mild soap and warm water.

Extra Notes: Store away from other sex toys. Sometimes the terms TPR and TPE are used interchangeably.

VINYL:

There are different grades of vinyls, ranging from “food grade” that’s used to make plastic storage containers and sandwich bags, to economical grades. PVC, which is also used to make sex toys, is a type of vinyl. Food grade vinyl contains very little if any phthalates and is considered non-toxic, but other vinyls may contain phthalates or other harmful substances including cadmium and lead. It’s slightly porous so cannot be fully disinfected.

Compatible Lubes: Water based or silicone based.

Cleaning Options: Soap and water.

VIXSKIN:

Exclusive to Vixen Creations, VixSkin is a high grade silicone used to make their firm realistic-feeling toys. Like other pure silicones, it’s non porous, non toxic, and hypoallergenic.

Compatible Lubes: Water based.

Cleaning Options: Clean with soap and water. To completely disinfect it, it can be boiled for 3 minutes or placed in the top rack of the dishwasher (no soap).

WTP:

A specially formulated thermoplastic that includes a non toxic anti-microbial ingredient to prevent the growth of bacteria. It has allegedly been tested to European health standards and has been used in their medical and food industries. It tends to feel firm and smooth, and contains no latex or phthalates. It cannot be sanitized by means of boiling or bleach, but it is assumed that such measures aren’t needed due to the material’s anti microbial content.

Compatible Lubes: Water based or silicone based.

Cleaning Options: Clean with mild soap and warm water.


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