- Pay attention to the toy material
While rubber and PVC toys are the cheapest, they tend to be risky because their pores allow for bacteria to breed when not properly sterilised. Silicon and glass toys, being non-porous tend to be safer. Glass toys are getting popular because they are easy to wash as well and can be readily heated or cooled for some extra effects.
- Wash before use and re-use
Toys are fun but they may easily spread infections during sharing or re-use. This can be avoided by a few simple measures like washing the toy thoroughly before and after use with antibacterial soap and water, sterilising and even using a condom on the toy if possible.
- Beware of the phthalates
Different kinds of sex toys come with different amounts of phthalates - softening materials (with rubbery smells). It has been found to be potentially carcinogenic and harmful to reproductive health. So, before buying your sex toy, make sure you check for the phthalate content on the packaging.
- Choose the right lube
Toys are often used for penetration. Thus, it’s always advisable to have a lubricant handy around you to make the fun smoother. But choosing the right lube is as important as choosing the right sex toy. When using silicone toys, it’s best to stick to water-based lubes as silicone lubes can cause damage to silicone toys.
- Go for a toy with a single vibrating range
Vibrators can be the most fun among sex toys. But it’s important to know just how much vibration your body enjoys. It’s best to go for vibrators with a broad range of vibration modes, so that you can tone it up or down whenever you need to.
- Share it with anyone
Sharing sex toys with others (even using it on the partner’s genitals after having used it on your own or vice versa) can be a gateway to acquiring an STI among other problems. Mindless sharing can be especially risky during casual flings and one-night stands. So, remember, clean before you share and share not if you trust not!
- Ignore the width
It’s important to be mindful about the width of your sex toy. Especially if it’s a butt-plug or a dildo that is going to be used for anal sex. Uncomfortably high widths may cause bleeding/other discomfort to the anus or to any other part for that matter. 1.5 inches wide is a safe number but always safer to think or discuss first.
- Be afraid to think out-of-the-box
Not all sex toys are sold in special and secret shops. Some of them maybe lying around right in your very house. Just make sure that you’ve read enough about the safety measures for using the vegetable or hairbrush that you’re already toying with in your head before putting it to use.
About the author: Harish Pedaprolu is a writer and academic based out of Mumbai, India. He has been writing and editing content for the last 6 years. He has also been researching and teaching philosophy at the university level for the past 5 years. He can be reached out on LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram.