Toxic Toys – The Definite Guide to Toxic Sex Toy Awareness

 

Sex Toy Safety Information / Toxic Sex Toy Awareness

sextoystoxicorsafeThe point of this page is basically to have a landing spot with an easy address. A one-stop shopping point, if you will, of all Toxic Sex Toy content. While everything of mine is already linked over at the Toybox Page, I want to use this page to also link to stuff others have written. I can talk til I’m blue in the face, but I’m just one person. When you show someone the staggering evidence of the Boycott Toxic Toys Brigade, how can they not see the light? The Melted sex toy in this photo used to be a soft bunny sleeve on a plastic bullet. I can't tell if it was part of a larger rabbit vibe, or it's own thing. The material completely melted, it looks like a puddle of wax. This happened in storage, in a cardboard box.

You will find information here on toxic toys and “potentially hazardous” toys. There are shades of grey. We have still have sex toys that contain phthalates, but phthalates aren’t the only harmful chemical being used. And the companies can lie about their “phthalates-free” claim, so ultimately we’re left 100% in the dark about the true safety of a sex toy unless we buy only materials from the approved list or sex toys only from the approved manufacturer list. And then, we have sex toy materials that have never been proven toxic yet are still softened with mineral oil, the material still breaks down and is unstable, and the material is still porous enough to harbor bacteria and mold.

In the last year, some lab testing has happened. The first tests run by Smitten Kitten / Badvibes.org were done in 2006 and the sex toy industry has come a long way since then. But in September of 2014, they again sent out a bunch of sex toys to be tested, the results are found here. Surprise! All were considered phthalate-free. Does this mean they’re no longer toxic? We don’t know.

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Want to keep up on the latest climate of the Melted Jar of Sex Toys?

Original Photos (September 2013)November 2013February 2014November 2014June 2015 2016: An update and Retrospective

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Toxic Sex Toy Educational Articles from Dangerous Lilly

Yes, Jelly Sex Toys can be Dangerous 
Using Jelly products for oral, vaginal, or anal stimulation is going to introduce phthalates and other toxic solvent absorption into the mucous membranes of the body. … Headaches, cramps, and nausea are some of the side effects that result from exposure at the levels found in the study. … Regardless of whether you sheath the thing in condoms every time you take it out of its box, it’s still going to degrade and fragment, off-gas so that it leaves an oily stain behind, fuse to its packaging and stink like an old car tire. Is any part of that sexy?

Bringing Toxic Sex Toy Facts Out of the Attic
A company could have the manufacturing plant in China put “silicone” on the label when it’s far from silicone. Nothing and no one can stop them. Nothing on that packaging has to hold a grain of truth. NO REGULATION.

Are Toxic Sex Toys Still a Problem?
In late 2014, another official lab test was done on a bunch of suspicious, porous sex toys. We take a look at what the results mean and where we should go from here.

Dismantling the “Silicone Touching Silicone Melts” Myth
For years, we believed this because many things were called silicone, but were not. I did another Jar test to prove that nothing happens when you store your silicone sex toys touching in storage.

How Porous is Your Sex Toy and Why it Matters
Bacteria, mildew, fungus etc can enter the pores of these materials and make a home. The more porous the material is, the easier this will happen. No studies have been done on the effects of using a sex toy that mildewed.

Melted Sex Toys
How can you look at these images and still want to put sex toys made of materials that break down over time and possibly contain dangerous chemicals inside your body? How is this safe?

How Do I Know if a Sex Toy has phthalates in it?
You don’t. The better question would be: How do I make sure I don’t buy a sex toy with phthalates in it?

“For Novelty Use Only” Part 1
The “For Novelty Use Only” disclaimer is likely more for exporting reasons than anything else, for most companies – if it’s not “novelty”, then the FDA thinks it is medical and they will require formal approval, photos, and a 3-page paper written on the subject.

“For Novelty Use Only” Part 2
“I honestly don’t think it has anything to do with the quality, or lack thereof, of a sex toy. I think it has to do with history. Small manufacturers are less likely to use this terminology.”

Flame Testing Silicone Sex Toys for material purity
If a material is not silicone, it will not produce any grey ash. Cheaper materials are often softened with mineral oil – prior burnings have shown that when burned, the material caught flame; the entire thing engulfed and continued to burn like an oil lamp.

Deciphering The Results of a Flame Test
There are many variances in sex toy materials, and your results when doing a burn can vary. I’ve document most of the results achieved on known-content materials to show the array of results and what you can expect.

My Sex Toy Stinks – What Should I Do?
“My vibrator has a lingering rubbery smell to it, how can I get rid of that? What should I wash it with?” THROW IT OUT! A lingering bad odor is a sure sign of unsafe chemicals.

Silicone vs Silicon vs Silica Gel
Thanks to shady sites that shouldn’t be selling sex toys, and the “lost in translation” issue, we’re seeing some weird claims in sex toy materials.

Should You Really Cover It With a Condom?

For years this advice made the rounds: Using an unsafe material? Cover it with a condom! Simple! I’m delving into this advice to see if it’s worth anything. Hint: It’s complicated.

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Tip: To get the best chance at a quality, safe sex toy avoid buying from Amazon and Ebay. Chances are high for counterfeit sex toys and problems galore. Want to know who I recommend for a safe shopping experience? View the list here.

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List of Reputable Sex Toy Manufacturers

The following manufacturers are “innocent until proven guilty” and do not produce toxic sex toys. Some of these manufacturers (noted with *) also make sex toys from porous materials like TPR and Elastomer. I include these manufacturers because I’ve found their silicone items are indeed pure silicone. A few others, like Tenga and Fleshight, primarily make porous sex toys but they are non-toxic and are some of the only truly non-toxic “male masturbator” products on the market. If anyone can prove that a company on this list is making a toxic sex toy, or their silicone sex toys are incorrectly advertised and are not pure silicone, please advise and I will remove them from the list.

Aslan
Aneros
Babes-n-Horny

Bad Dragon
BS Atelier
BSwish

BMS Factory*
Crystal Delights
Crave

Divine Interventions
Doxy
Damn Average

Exotic Erotics
Eroscillator*
Evolved Novelties*

Frisky Beast
Fleshlight
Fucking Sculptures

Fuze
Fun Factory
Godemiche

Hole Punch Toys
Happy Valley Silicone
Hot Octopuss

Jopen**
Incoqnito
Jollies LLC (now Chavez Dezignz)

Je Joue
JimmyJane
Joyful Pleasure

Luxotiq
Laid
 
Leaf**

Kiiroo
Lelo
 
L’Amourose

Maia
Minna Life
 
Magic Banana

Marc Dorcel
Nobessence
 
Nexus

Njoy
OVO 
Nomi Tang

New York Toy Collective
OhMiBod
 
Primal Hardwere

Papaya Toys
PyreXions
 
Picobong

PleasureWorks
Rianne S
 
Rocks-Off LTD

Swan**
Sensuelle 
Tenga* 

Tails & Portholes (Etsy)
Tenga Iroha
 
Toyfriend

Tantus
Vamp Silicone
 
Velv’or

Vibratex*
Vixen Creations
 
We-Vibe

Whipspider Rubberworks
Wet For Her
 

 ** Swan and Leaf are lines from BMS Factories, and have been shown to be 100% pure silicone. Jopen started off as a way to sell Swan brand in the US, but it is owned by CalExotics–further Jopen lines have thus far passed flame tests. 

I have people asking about Lovehoney branded items. Lovehoney has many lines, not all show up as the Lovehoney brand – Tracey Cox, Fifty Shades of Grey, Annabelle Knight, etc.  I will say that so far, anything they’ve labeled as silicone has shown to actually be silicone.

Which Sex Toy Materials Are Safe?

–> 100% pure silicone. You’ll also see this called Platinum silicone, which refers to the curing agent. You’ll sometimes see medical-grade, but often it’s food-grade (which is still very body-safe). This grading refers to the purity of the silicone in a different way, and doesn’t mean that if you do not see this term you should avoid it or assume it is a “blend” (because that’s not a thing).

–> Wood sex toys can be very safe, if the finish is medical grade. So far, only Nobessence makes truly safe wooden sex toys.

–> Medical grade stainless steel is very safe. Njoy is the premier company for this.

–> Aluminum is safe; most aluminum toys are powder-coated with body safe coloring. Crowned Jewels UK is a great brand.

–> Glass is safe; you’ll mostly see borosillicate glass. Fucking Sculptures is soda-lime glass. Cheap manufacturers won’t state the type, but leaded glass is expensive and super heavy, so it’s not likely to be used.

–> Ceramic is safe, so long as it is glazed and kiln-fired. The glaze keeps it non-porous.

–> Natural stone is mostly safe. Most natural stone sex toys cannot be sealed, they can only be polished. We’re unclear on the porosity and safety levels of putting these minerals and rocks inside the body for longer periods of time.

–> ABS plastic is safe. It’s pretty much non-porous, as far as bacteria and mold are concerned. Non-toxic.

Which Sex Toy Materials Should I Avoid?

–> Jelly / Jellee / Gel and other various spellings

–>Rubber / “skin safe” rubber merely means that the retailer is saying what the manufacturer claims, which is that the rubber is latex-free and phthalates-free, but this may not be true.

–>Cyberskin / UR3 / Futorotic / Fanta Flesh / Neoskin / FauxFlesh/ etc – if it’s not pure silicone, and it looks super realistic (and it’s not Fleshlight) then avoid it.

–>Vinyl and PVC

–> TPE, TPR, Elastomer, TPR-silicone, SEBS, “silicone blends” – These should be approached with caution. They are usually non-toxic, but are nearly always porous enough to harbor mold and bacteria. These materials are also softened with mineral oil, and might contain harmful chemicals besides phthalates. The material is highly unstable, and will begin to break down over time (a few months). Sex toys made from these materials should be examined closely before every use for material tears, black spots, foul odors. Sex toys made from these materials should be replaced every 8-10 months.

Click here to read up on proper care and maintenance for all sex toy materials.

 

Toxic Sex Toys with Jennifer Pritchett from Smitten Kitten on Vimeo.

 

Posts from around the ‘net, written by others

Bloggers are asked to self-submit, but the links will be moderated to ensure that there’s no spam, or mis-information. For “name” you MUST include the title of the article. You are limited to 50 characters. You are welcome to submit any article you have written that relates to the toxic toy awareness theme. I’m also on the lookout for older articles that may not be from bloggers, but contain up-to-date factual information. Examples of this can be seen below, in the first few linked articles.

 Posted by at 10:25 am
  • I’m so glad you did this post; it’s a vital resource!

  • Since it’s not going to be touching your body directly, I think it’s okay. You’ll want to keep an eye on it for odd odors, discoloration, black spots, or if down the line it makes you itchy even in indirect contact. Since it’s so porous it can harbor bacteria, fungus, etc.

  • Iris

    Not sure if you know, but the Eroscillator is made of TPR : (

    http://www.eroscillator.com/products/attachments

  • Yeah, I know.

    I’m contacting them to see if they have anything official to say. The TPR they use is different from most sex toys; it’s really firm, and the more firm it is, the less plastic softener has been added…..therefore it is less porous and more stable than traditional TPR used in sex toys. And there IS a medical grade version of TPR, which I would hope they’re using, but we’ll see what they say!

  • CrystalTippedWings

    Thanks for raising awareness, I had no idea! At the moment most of this is going over my head and I’m going into information overload slash confusion. Still it’s a vital resource and way of raising awareness, thank you. ♥

    I really, really liked the video, thanks for the link. :)

    As for your list of safe until proven otherwise sites, at first I was rather alarmed to see lovehoney wasn’t on there. Currently waiting for my recent order to show up to get a closer look at what things are made of but at a quick glance over my order list shows most things appear to be rubber so it sounds like I might be sending a whole lot back.

  • I didn’t include them since they’re technically a retailer, rather than a manufacturer. But they do have a number of store-branded items; for that I didn’t include because there’s still quite a lot of porous stuff. I don’t approve of their wording of “skin safe rubber”, either.

  • CrystalTippedWings

    Thanks for explaining. :)

    Your post and the links below in particular ‘Lubes 101 – Harmful Chemicals and Body Burden’ really helped me give things a yay or a nay pretty quickly. (I also found ‘What Materials Are Safe For My Body’ to be a helpful quick for a quick overview.)

    The only one I got caught up with was one that was ‘Made from smooth coated skin safe plastic. Does not contain latex or phthalates.’ The ‘skin safe plastic’ part freaked me out more than anything else since I recalled what you said about ‘skin safe rubber’. Thankfully I contacted them to clarify what type of plastic it was since I then found out it’s made from PVC. (note to anyone one else who ends up in the same situation, I had to ask twice since originally they just replied ‘hard plastic’ before I further clarified my question.)

    Anyway, pretty much everything I ended up setting aside was made out of something non-obviously toxic or otherwise (one of which was lube) so if I’d just been looking for jelly there is no way I would have caught it all. So thanks for all the amazing detail you went into for this post, it’s now among my top reference posts in regards to sex toys. While this and your other posts have been useful in finding other friendly sex toy sites and articles. I appreciate you’re knowledge getting to me so early in the game.

  • AbigailTea

    Why do so many of these look nothing close to an actual man’s penis? What are some safe dildo brands that actually look like the human body? I have a hard time finding arousal with products that do not look like the real thing.

  • DocOctavia

    Did you ever hear from them? I recently got one from a friend and I was wondering how I can sterilize it?

  • they say that it is “safe, non-porous TPR”. Now I don’t think this means you can boil it, because I’m not sure about the temp rating on it. But since the material is so firm on the attachments, I’m inclined to believe them on the non-porous part (it IS possible, there are firm times of TPR that are non-porous). I would suggest a 10% bleach solution and then rinse it well.

  • Same Lilly as on reddit ? I had no idea on on parts of this that it is/was such a pandemic!

  • If I listed out all the manufacturers I don’t trust, the list would be a mile long. Which is why, if you don’t see a manufacturer on the list, they’re iffy. That’s not to say that you should never buy from them, but exercise caution. The list simply says that these companies “do not produce toxic sex toys”. That’s it. I do not include companies like CalEx and Doc Johnson on the list (because they DO produce toxic toys), but I will recommend certain items of theirs because they are making decent, actual silicone, sex toys.

    However, Pipedream as a whole is a company I cannot support: http://dangerouslilly.com/2014/12/pipedream-not-company-support/

    The product you have is safe, but I’ve been told that all of their anal toys come with a packet of anal eaze, a numbing agent, which is extremely dangerous to use. So they go and do a good thing by producing more silicone toys, but then ruin it by telling you to numb your ass so that you don’t feel the signal of pain which is your body telling you to STOP. Pain = problem, do not proceed.

  • sumdood

    thank you so very very much for your reply. (i’m sorry if i spammed my post earlier, i wasn’t sure if it actually posted or not). i really can’t thank you enough for this list. i have another concern/question i’ve had since i first got my toys. as i mentioned earlier, these were the first toys i had ever purchased. did very little research except to make sure to not get jelly. when i received the items, they seemed to have a very slight odor if i pressed them against my nose. i assumed this was a “new toy” smell. it wasn’t a strong odor i could smell from 1 foot away, or even 3 inches from my nose. i litterally had to smell the surface to catch it. but the odor still bothered me because i thought true silicone was completely odorless? the odor itself, as best as i can describe, was like..earthy, like moist pasture, did i get ….*gulp* a used toy? >.< i might make this the last time i ever purchase from adam and eve. i just needed to confirm if silicone has a "new toy" smell. :(

  • Yes it is very possible for a silicone toy to have an odor out of the box. In fact, it can even have a strong odor. It’s not that the silicone itself has an odor, but the pores, while small enough that they cannot house bacteria and fungi, can still hold onto smells. Anal toys especially can start to get a butt funk sometimes. However, that’s not the only way. When toys are made, there’s a mold involved. Like making candy. And they have to spray a release agent (the toy equivalent of Pam) to make sure the toy pops out of the mold. There can also be dyes/glues in toy packaging, those can have odors too, and can cling to the toy for a little while. Leave it out for a day or two and I bet the smell will go away. Give it a good scrub with standard soap and water, too.

  • PersonMcPerson

    The kits that create a dildo from a mould look to be all the same product, regardless of where it comes from/ what it’s named. They are described as “100% silicone rubber”. I wanted to verify, that probably means that it’s not actual silicone right? Do you know of any kits where you could create a dildo from a mould that uses proper silicone? I don’t think I want to get a toy that’s rubber after reading your post. Thanks!

    Edit: I’ve spent the last hour doing some more research, and it looks like the “Clone A Willy” and “Make Your Own Dildo” sets are by Empire Labs. So what are your thoughts on Empire Labs? They claim to be phthalate and latex free, as well as claiming to be platinum cure silicone. So it looks like the perfect toy. I just wanted an expert opinion! This will be my first time buying and I’m a little uncertain.

  • Brant Martin

    I just bought a toy from NS Novelties on Amazon (I know, I know). They claim medical grade silicone on the listing, but the box simply says “superior grade”. Bah. I tried the flame test, and while it didn’t melt or go sticky, it’s now got a weird spongy texture where the flame was. You can pull off little bits of material pretty easy. What do you think about this? It looks to me like it’s still largely silicone, but has some other mystery substance in it as well. (as an aside, the mold release they used smells like pepper. It’s really werid, but seems to be going away with washing)

    Do you think it’d be alright to just cut off the burned part with a razor?

    One last semi-unrelated question: I have one of those rude boy massagers from Rocks-Off, and for the life of me I can’t get the smell of poo off it. I’ve tried different soaps and an antibacterial toy cleaner. Only thing I haven’t tried is boiling. What should I do?

  • The term “silicone rubber” is antiquated but doesn’t mean anything other than “silicone”. I think they’re trying to say that it’s a “rubber-like” version of silicone since there can be silicone liquids (lube), hard silicones, etc.

    I’ve heard from others that Empire Labs kits are indeed true silicone and body-safe. Now, it’s not EASY to shove a cock into a mass of cold go and stay erect, but that’s another story.

  • Star

    Do you consider nsnovelties a reputable manufacturer?

  • for the most part no, I don’t but just like other companies (Doc Johnson) I will recommend certain items I know to be silicone and others have flame tested that particular dildo.

    The threads, I have no idea, I’ve never heard of that happening!

  • Thought I responded to this! Ok so the “grade” is less important. Medical grade is tough to get,
    because “medical” means “FDA” and created in a “clean room”. Superior grade, platinum, etc is all gonna be the same these days. Even food grade is perfectly safe and fine.

    How soft was the material? Did you get any ash? This post should help: http://dangerouslilly.com/2014/03/deciphering-results-of-flame-test/

    Odor is a by-product of using things anally a lot if they come into contact with poop, they can retain an odor. Let it air out for a while, try baking soda (fill a bowl, cover it with a box of baking soda), try bleach solution.

  • Invida

    I have a question and maybe someone will see my comment and feel like answering. :) I bought a certain kind of toy because all the other insertables I’ve tried were just too hard and I felt too ouchy using them. When I unpackaged it, the thing smelled chemically and bad. I contacted someone about it who said to wash and let it air out. Stupidly, I used the thing, just assuming the smell would eventually go away, but even my hands stunk for hours with the chemical smell after using it no matter how many times I cleaned my hands or the toy. Gross. I washed the toy and hid it in a drawer with some clothing and forgot to throw it out. I just opened the drawer today to toss or donate old clothes I don’t wear and the whole thing stinks of that same chemical nastiness. The drawer and everything in it completely reeks of the toy smell. I washed some of the clothes and the smell is still there. I cleaned the drawer and sprayed in there with various things, but the odor just isn’t going away. Has anyone encountered anything like this before? I looked up the toy and the only material given on the site I bought it from is latex, but what could be in this damn thing that the stink would permeate and ruin a whole drawer of things? Thank you for all of the information here! I found this site because all of this made me want to put a lot of research into what is safe instead of the silliness I did.

  • Unfortunately it’s hard to say which chemical it is, exactly. Some claim that phthalates have no odor. Some say they do. It’s a plasticizer of some sort and it’s off-gassing. I had that happen once when I was forced to write a review years ago on a dildo that I assumed would be silicone but was PVC.

    The first step is to get rid of the dildo. You can’t rid the chemicals until you destroy the cause. The scent left behind is a Volitile Organic Compound (VOC) and you’ll sometimes see aerosol hair products state that they’re low-VOC or No VOCs. Wash the clothes after you get rid of the dildo, air them out, and maybe use a vinegar solution on a rag to wipe down the drawer.

  • Invida

    Thank you so much! I threw the toy away and tried vinegar amongst some other things, but I think maybe it will take a while for the chemicals to air out of there. I’m thankful your site is here with all of these helpful things I can read about and I’m enjoying your reviews, so at least something good came out of getting that stinker.

  • If it’s not silicone, then I’m not going to tell you it’s safe.