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Sex Toy Material Guide

Sex Toy Material Guide

Wondering what's in your sex toys? This sex toy material guide will tell you everything you need to know.

Silicone

Silicone is smooth, non-porous and body-safe.

Silicone is a non-porous material which means it won’t harbour bacteria and can be sterilized between uses. It’s also hypoallergenic meaning it won't irritate the skin. It’s a great body-safe option for sex toys.

As silicone can be sterilized, it is safe to use vaginally or anally. And you can share the toy with others so long as you sterilize it between uses.

Silicone tends to have a soft and smooth surface and will adjust quickly to the temperature of the body. Depending on the formula of the silicone, it may be very flexible, or it might be somewhat rigid. It can be soft and squishy or relatively firm. Or anywhere in between.

You can use water-based or oil-based lubricants with silicone toys.

Some silicone toys may react with silicone lubricant.

Clean your silicone sex toys with a sex toy cleaner and warm water or mild soap and warm water. Ensure that your toy has dried completely before you store it.

Store your silicone toys in a storage bag to keep them protected.

Soft PVC

PVC is a porous material that cannot be sterilized.

PVC is a porous material meaning that it can harbour bacteria and cannot be sterilized. We recommend replacing your PVC toy every 8-10 months.

As PVC is a porous material, it is not safe to share between partners unless covered with a condom. We also recommend using a condom for anal use.

PVC sex toys may also contain phthalates which can have harmful effects on the body. Phthalates are known to interfere with the body's mechanism for hormone production, known as the endocrine system, and they are linked with developmental, reproductive, brain, immune, and other problems. It is not known whether a condom will protect the body against toxins.

Always look for a phthalate-free PVC.

PVC can be relatively firm making it popular for larger sex toys. The surface may be smooth or textured as it retains its shape well.

Use a water-based lubricant with your PVC sex toys.

Clean your PVC sex toys with a sex toy cleaner and warm water or mild soap and warm water. Ensure that your toy has dried completely before you store it.

Store your PVC toys in a storage bag to keep them protected and keep them separate from other toys.

If you are concerned about toxicity or want a non-porous toy, silicone may be a better option.

ABS Plastic

ABS plastic is a firm, non-porous and body-safe material.

ABS plastic is a very common sex toy material that is firm and smooth. As it is non-porous and can be sterilized between uses, it is a body-safe material.

As ABS plastic can be sterilized, it is safe to use vaginally or anally. And you can share the toy with others so long as you sterilize it between uses.

ABS plastic has a firm and smooth surface and is a popular toy for internal or external vibrators. It is also commonly used for g-spot and p-spot massagers. ABS plastic sex toys are rigid with no flexibility.

You can use any type of lubricant with ABS plastic sex toys.

Clean your ABS plastic sex toys with a sex toy cleaner and warm water or mild soap and warm water.

Store your ABS plastic sex toys in a storage bag to keep them protected. It is safe to store your ABS plastic toys together.

Metal

Metal is smooth, non-porous and body-safe.

Metal is a non-porous material meaning that it won’t harbour bacteria and it can be sterilized between uses. It’s a great body-safe option for sex toys.

As metal can be sterilized, it is safe to use vaginally or anally. And you can share the toy with others so long as you sterilize it between uses.

Metal is a firm, smooth and heavy sex toy material with no flexibility. It is a popular material for vaginal dildos and anal toys as it is ideal for internal massage of the g-spot or p-spot.

As metal retains temperature, it can be cooled down or warmed up before play to explore a new sensation.

You can use any type of lubricant with metal sex toys.

Clean your metal sex toys with a sex toy cleaner and warm water or mild soap and warm water.

Store your metal sex toys in a storage bag to keep them protected. It is safe to store your metal toys together.

Glass - regular

Glass is smooth, non-porous and sustainable.

Glass is a non-porous material meaning that it won’t harbour bacteria and can be sterilized between uses. It’s a great body-safe option for sex toys.

As glass can be sterilized, it is safe to use vaginally or anally. And you can share the toy with others so long as you sterilize it between uses.

Glass is a firm, smooth and heavy sex toy material with no flexibility. It is a popular material for vaginal dildos and anal toys as it is ideal for internal massage of the g-spot or p-spot.

As glass retains temperature, it can be cooled down or warmed up before play to explore a new sensation.

You can use any type of lubricant with glass sex toys.

Clean your glass sex toys with a sex toy cleaner and warm water or mild soap and warm water.

Store your glass sex toys in a storage bag to keep them protected. It is safe to store your glass toys together.

Look out for any cracks or chips each time you use the toy to ensure that it is safe for internal use. If you notice any cracks or chips in the glass, it needs to be replaced straight away. Glass sex toys can be recycled making them an environmentally friendly option.

This supplier has not confirmed that this is borosilicate glass. We recommend choosing a borosilicate glass as it has been strengthened and is safer for internal use.

Borosilicate Glass

Glass is smooth, non-porous & body-safe.

Glass is a non-porous material meaning that it won’t harbour bacteria and can be sterilized between uses. It’s a great body-safe option for sex toys.

As glass can be sterilized, it is safe to use vaginally or anally. And you can share the toy with others so long as you sterilize it between uses.

Borosilicate glass is strengthened to ensure it is safe for internal use. It is extremely durable and processed to be shatterproof.

Glass is a firm, smooth and heavy sex toy material with no flexibility. It is a popular material for vaginal dildos and anal toys as it is ideal for internal massage of the g-spot or p-spot.

As glass retains temperature, it can be cooled down or warmed up before play to explore a new sensation.

You can use any type of lubricant with glass sex toys.

Clean your glass sex toys with a sex toy cleaner and warm water or mild soap and warm water.

Store your glass sex toys in a storage bag to keep them protected. It is safe to store your glass toys together.

Look out for any cracks or chips each time you use the toy to ensure that it is safe for internal use. If you notice any cracks or chips in the glass, it needs to be replaced straight away.

TPE

TPE is a soft non-toxic material that is porous and cannot be sterilized.

TPE is a porous material meaning that it can harbour bacteria and cannot be sterilized. We recommend replacing your TPE toy every 8-10 months. If you see tears or discolouration on the toy, it needs to be replaced. We recommend you examine it closely before each use to ensure it is safe to use.

As TPE is a porous material, it is not safe to share between partners unless covered with a non-latex condom. We also recommend using a non-latex condom for anal use.

It is a non-toxic material and is phthalate-free.

TPE can be made to feel soft and lifelike, or it can be more rigid like silicone. It is a common material for penis masturbators or realistic dildos and vibrators.

Due to the delicate nature of the material, it requires a lot of lubricant to prevent the material from tearing. Use a water-based lubricant with your TPE sex toys.

Clean your TPE sex toys with a sex toy cleaner and warm water or mild soap and warm water. Dry completely before storing.

Store your TPE toys in a storage bag in a cool place out of direct sunlight to keep them protected. Keep them separate from other toys.

If you want a longer lasting, non-porous material, silicone may be a better option.

TPR

TPR is a soft non-toxic material that is porous and cannot be sterilized.

TPR is a porous material meaning that it can harbour bacteria and cannot be sterilized. We recommend replacing your TPR toy every 8-10 months. If you see tears or discolouration on the toy, it needs to be replaced. We recommend you examine it closely before each use to ensure it is safe to use.

As TPR is a porous material, it is not safe to share between partners unless covered with a non-latex condom. We also recommend using a non-latex condom for anal use.

It is a non-toxic material and is phthalate-free.

TPR can be made to feel soft and lifelike, or it can be more rigid like rubber and silicone. It is a common material for realistic dildos and vibrators.

Due to the delicate nature of the material, it requires a lot of lubricant to prevent the material from tearing. Use a water-based lubricant with your TPR sex toys.

Clean your TPR sex toys with a sex toy cleaner and warm water or mild soap and warm water. Dry completely before storing.

Store your TPR toys in a storage bag in a cool place out of direct sunlight to keep them protected. Keep them separate from other toys.

If you want a longer lasting, non-porous material, silicone may be a better option.

PU

PU (polyurethane) is a faux leather.

PU (polyurethane) is faux leather made from plastic that is designed to look and feel similar to real leather.

PU is a low-cost, vegan option that is used for bondage tools and clothing. Many impact tools, restraints and clothing items are made of this material.

It can be made to be relatively soft and can be made into many colours and styles.

It doesn’t absorb water making it easy to clean. Follow the instructions of your product for cleaning.

PU wears quickly and will not last as long as real leather.

Polyester

Polyester is a sturdy material that is strong and lightweight.

Polyester is a generalised term for any fabric or textile, which is made using polyester yarns or fibres. It is a shortened name for synthetic, man-made plastic.

It is a common material for clothing and bondage accessories like blindfolds as it is resistant to wrinkling or stretching.

Polyester is lightweight and quick-drying and can be made to feel relatively smooth and silky. However, it is not a breathable fabric.

Follow the instructions of your product for cleaning.

Nylon

Nylon is a strong and sturdy synthetic material.

Nylon is an umbrella term for synthetic materials that are processed into different shapes and textures for various uses.

Nylon is a plastic that is commonly used for lingerie and bondage accessories like rope. It is lightweight, strong and resistant to shrinkage.

It is generally quite soft and silky and is shinier and stretchier than polyester.

Follow the instructions of your product for cleaning.

Leather

Leather is a strong, flexible and durable material made from animal skin and hides.

Leather is obtained from the tanning or chemical treatment of animal skins and hides. The most common leathers come from cattle or sheep but leather may also be made from pigs, goats or alligators.

Leather is a very common material in the world of BDSM and many bondage tools and restraint items are made from this material.

It can be treated to be smooth and soft, firm or highly textured. It can tease and tickle the skin or it can cause pain if it is spanked hard against the body. Clean your leather with a damp cloth and allow it to air dry naturally. Store your leather out of direct sunlight.

For more product examples - shop all our sex toys here.
Emma Hewitt, Sex Educator & Adult Toy Expert
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