Mar 282013
 

UPDATE:  The funds were raised successfully, and the test happened (results here). While waiting on the results, something else happened….Dildology.org was founded in order to keep testing more sex toys and create a positive change in the sex toy industry. A third-party neutral watchdog organization, non-profit and running on donations. If you came to this post looking to donate a little something for this test, please consider donating to fund more tests, so that you will begin to know the truth about what’s in your sex toys.

 

For the time being, the flame test is the at-home sex toy owner’s only tool for testing to see if an advertised sex toy is truly 100% pure silicone. Thus far it seems to have served me quite well. I do know that it isn’t perfect and I try to keep that in mind.

But so far now I’ve happened upon two products from two major thought-to-be-safe companies and have been brushed off to a degree. As I said in the Toxic Toys post, I learned that it is very possible that the Chinese manufacturing plants decide on their own to cut corners and pennies, and these cuts are not usually cleared with the company. Adding in some elastomer to a pure silicone product will reduce the cost. And hey, we’re just consumers. We’re just concerned with shoving these things in our holes and feeling good and how the fuck will WE ever know the difference, right??

Enter, Me. You. Us. The reviewers and our fucking lighters. The fact that we’re doing THAT much is a start. We’re getting the ball rolling. We have a platform and some of us are not afraid to challenge the status quo and speak up.

I’d like to dedicate an entire post to the JimmyJane Hello Touch saga, so I won’t be going into detail just yet about their response to me (yes, they finally responded). Suffice to say, their response lit a fire under me. There’s something you need to know about me….when I get told that I’m basically full of shit and/or lying, I get pissed. Furious. When I am reciting nothing but a common sense fact and I am told “sorry, I’m seeing something very different and I’m right, you’re wrong” I get irate. I go out of my way to prove them wrong. Now, JimmyJane didn’t exactly outright say I’m wrong, but they basically did. They ignored a major fact in my laying-out of the logic and it negates their whole argument. If this were a company who truly cared about the material quality of their products, they would listen and give my words weight and would genuinely look into it at the plant level. I do believe there exists some companies who would do that.

I feel that the only way to get recognition on this is to present them with proof. Will I create a change at JimmyJane? Likely not. But will I create SOME CHANGE? Yes. I think that this will, if I’m right. The fact is: Myself and another reviewer have flame-tested our Hello Touch silicone, and they both failed. A store owner and another person who shall for now remain unnamed (unless she raises her hand) both flame tested and it passed. How is it that 2 people could hold a flame to it and in 5 seconds it goes up in flames (not smoldering, not a singe, FLAMES) and then two others can hold a lighter to  it for minutes on end with no ill results? Something isn’t right.

My plan is to get the certified test done by the same lab that CATT used, and check for material composition. They will tell me if it is pure silicone or not. What I would really like to do is also send them one from someone who flame tested and it passed, to see what the material difference is, but I doubt I’d raise enough money for that. Either way, this process will be well-documented and written up. I plan to do my best through connections to get this story published somewhere besides just my blog (especially if the lab test shows that it isn’t pure silicone). While the recognition from the media may not get an actual change happening from JimmyJane on this product, it will lead to bigger things. For one, the flame test won’t be blown off like it has been in the past. Two, manufacturers will know that people are becoming smarter, and caring more, about the materials. Three, I’m hoping it will also highlight to manufacturers that they need to send off random samples to a quality lab to make sure that the plant isn’t making secret changes.

All I have is my drive and my desire and my words, to enact a change. And while the change may be small…..a small change begets another small change which begets, eventually a big change. Hey, the industry has made great strides in the last 10 years. We can push it harder and faster.

So the test costs $200. Yep, that’s a lot. If anybody with the means who is as concerned as me and is as interested in starting a change as me would like to contribute, I would really appreciate that. I’ve had 2 people so far tell me they’ll chip in to the pot. I love those two people. If you can’t help, you can’t help. I get it. Most of us are poor. Most days I’m poor, lol. When I get paid next month I’ll be a little less poor.  If you have the ability to help, send me an email.  If you’re on ToySwap you can help by buying one of the sex toys I have up for swap/sell; that would get you something and get me help.

If you’d like to comment on this matter publicly and you’re in the industry, please feel free to comment with a different name and even put my email address in the comment form below. I know that many people can only talk to me about this privately and I respect that.  If you’d like to just tell me I’ve got ridiculous pie-in-the-sky daydreams and I’m wasting everyone’s time and my money, tell me that too.

But I’m tired of reviewing and writing and nothing happening.

I need to TRY.

  • http://sex-ational.blogspot.com Sexational!

    You already knew that I completely agree with you on this one. I’ll write up a post on my blog about this; I don’t have as many readers as you do, but I support what you’re doing and want that to be known. Things are tight over here, but I’ll check out toy swap and see if I can afford to splurge on something. Might as well help out monetarily if I can get something I’ve been eyeing!

  • Custard Flip

    Well, I for one would like to contribute. After all chemical testing is what turned me around from Jelly. Do you remember what Jennifer Pritchet talked about in her video’s: that she had the top 10 most sold toys tested and they came out with ridiculous percentages of pthalates (up to 60%)?

    That, coupled with education about what phtalates do was what made me follow her advice to “throw out my jelly toys and get some safe, sexy ones”

    This shit DOES make a difference if the information is put out there. It did for me and I’m hardly the only one, and anyone can see in the blogosphere.

    I assume you can see my E-mail Lily, please send me a note and tell me on which PayPal I can help out.

  • Custard Flip

    By the way, beside contributing it might help to spread this information if you have anything resembling a platform, like a blog or a forum/community of people who might be interested in helping.

  • dizzygirl

    You should probably know that thanks to your efforts (and others like you) I, as a sex toy noob, know what materials I will demand in a toy and which ones I will vehemently oppose.
    A lot of people don’t have a clue about the sort of issues you bring to light. I for one am grateful to you (and the others) for educating us. Nobody else will, right?
    Your energy is inspiring. All I can say is: RAWR! GO GET EM!

  • http://alanandmichele.com Michele

    For what it’s worth, you may have to pay to have several of the same toy tested to get the big picture (buy them from different places if you do). Alan & I ran into this issue with a company who sent us a “silicone” toy that turned out to be PVC. Oh at first the owner poo-pooed the flame test we did too, certain that we were wrong. But dammit, you know as well as I do that when you handle hundreds of toys a year you do NOT mistake silicone for sticky, stenching PVC.

    Well, as it turns out the guy had no idea what the hell the Chinese manufacturing plant had done, but he finally admitted that the “last few batches” he received of that toy were not silicone after all. He sent us one from an earlier batch, and yeah it was silicone.

    I think as long as toy companies are willing to relinquish control of the actual manufacturing process, we’ll never have any guarantees batch-to-batch of what we’re getting from their toy lines.

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  • FieryRed

    I love, love, LOVE that you are spearheading this effort. I received a “silicone” vibrator recently from CalEx’s Couture Collection, the Liberte 2, and I had my suspicions when it had a scent to it that was just like a TPR-silicone toy I own, AND nothing on the package says “non-porous”, “100% silicone”, or “pure silicone”–just “silicone” and “ABS”. Since I can no longer return it (it was purchased with points earned on EdenFantasys, which are now essentially worthless, I’ll be performing my first flame test!