Mar 182014
 
Deciphering the Results of the Flame Test

Disclaimer: I am explaining things in the best way I know how. I’m dealing here in many “facts” that I can’t tell you are all 100% accurate – we lack the ability to be super scientific about this. I don’t have a chemist by my side, I don’t have a lab. I’m sharing with you what we think, what we are inferring from results thus far, and what our reason and logic is filling in. The information here may change as we learn more–in fact this post is all about how the information is changing because we’ve learned more because I’m sharing more nuanced result facets than I could with the first flame test post. So understand that nothing is 100% certain but I’m doing my best. Myth #1 – Silicone can’t “burn” A couple years ago I created a big post with videos talking all about how you can flame test sex toys to

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Mar 072014
 
How Porous is Your Sex Toy? Why Does it Matter?

Safety of sex toy materials is not exactly a black and white thing. People really focus on phthalates an awful lot; and while I absolutely agree that they’re terrible, they’re not the only thing about a sex toy that can harm you. There are many nasty chemicals. Heavy metals like cadmium can be present. The issue with VOCs can exist without phthalates coming in to question. And then there’s all these thousands and thousands of porous sex toys saturating the market. But people just don’t seem to understand or care much about porosity outside of our little sex educator/reviewer bubble.  Why? Because they don’t know it is even a thing. We’ve been told that materials like TPR/TPE and ‘Elastomer’ are “not as porous” as PVC/jelly/rubber/vinyl/cyberskin. The latter is heavily linked to phthalates and other toxic chemicals, while the former is usually regarded as a middle ground – it’s usually accompanied by descriptions such as “body-safe”

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Oct 132013
 
Dear Lelo: I Quit

There is always a proverbial straw that breaks the camel’s back; This straw is named Ida.   In 2008 when I first started reviewing sex toys, I got to review a couple of Lelo toys pretty early on in my career. Back then, “luxury” vibes were not as prevalent and seemed so….posh. So fancy. So very, very different from the garish, neon dreams of CalExotics and Doc Johnson, at 5-10 times the price. And with a price tag like that, surely they’re better, right?? So I felt let down when I didn’t love my first Lelo toys. They weren’t quite powerful enough for me. But I thought it was my fault. I was the problem, not Lelo. They were trying so hard, you see.  And so, I kept making excuses–trying to be objective, and state that just because it wasn’t perfect for me, Ms. Picky Clit-o-Steel, didn’t mean they weren’t great sex toys. After all,

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Sep 122013
 
Melted Sex Toys

The other day I picked up my experimental Jar of Manky Sex Toy Bits and was surprised to finally see a discernible pool of liquid in the jar. I had been watching it for awhile ever since I made the jar back at the end of May, but the trickles and dribbles of liquid weren’t photogenic. I just had to share this with everyone. But first, let me start off with the back story. In 2011 TruePleasures sent me a box of crappy sex toys. On purpose! I wanted to have demos of the bad shit to make my point when I would showcase the good stuff in a sex toy education workshop. The box of crap had been in her house for a year or so, and then it sat in my un-air-conditioned attic for a year or so before I got it out to take photos to share with Dildology. There’s a large,

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 Posted by at 11:53 am
Jul 012013
 
"For Novelty Use Only" Part 2

If you’re arrived here from elsewhere, be sure to read Part 1 first. As “toxic sex toys” are being talked about more and consumers and retailers are slowly being educated more, the idea of the “novelty use only” tagged sex toys is being held up as the poster child for all the is bad and wrong in the sex toy industry. But I learned something when I started talking to companies – some of them just don’t know jack shit. They’re doing it because there are no legalities or formal ways to do things, there is no governing body or regulations of any kind. Some companies are taking tentative steps out on a limb and doing away with the wording of “novelty” in any fashion; some get more creative and legal with their warnings. Some companies still use the term….companies that we have come to trust and respect. One such example is Standard Innovations, the

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Jun 072013
 
"For Novelty Use Only" Part 1

The sex toy industry is rife with half-truths, flat-out lies, confusing names for materials and more. When information is put out there that seems to make sense and seems credible, it gets passed on and shared until it’s viewed as fact. A prime example is that, for awhile, we all believed that a sex toy had to contain at least 10% silicone in order to be labeled as just merely “silicone” by the manufacturer (as if 10% silicone mixed with 90% PVC somehow makes it better….hint: it doesn’t) but I found out at CatalystCon’s Toxic Toys session in March that that isn’t true at all. In fact, they can claim whatever they want if they’re unethical. And some are. Imagine my surprise when an industry friend, who knows how much I love to write about things like this, tells me that the “Novelty” term is used mainly because of export and tariffs….NOT to create a

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