Types of Plastics Used in Sex Toys

plastics used in sex toys

Shopping for sex toys is fun and exciting. But while thinking about the hours of pleasure awaiting us, we can easily get carried away and only think about the fun part. However, it's important to think about environmental and personal safety as well.


Many adult toys consist of harmful plastic and chemicals. It's enough for the makers to put a label "Novelty item" on the toy, and they can get away with just about anything. The problem with the sex toy industry is that FDA doesn't regulate it carefully.


In such circumstances, you have to be wise and make sure that a toy is both enjoyable and safe. To help you with this task, we have prepared a guide that will walk you through different plastic materials you can find in sex toys.


What to Watch Out for When Buying a New Sex Toy


Sex toys can be made of various plastic materials — some of them are safe, and others are toxic. The real issue is that makers put "Safe to use" labels even when their products can cause you health problems. So, it would be best if you checked every toy for porosity and chemical makeup.



Porous VS Non-Porous Materials


You want your toy to consist of non-porous plastic. Why? Because porous materials have microscopic holes where bacteria and yeast can get trapped and multiply.


Furthermore, you can never thoroughly clean such plastic. No matter how many times you wash it, there's always more bacteria stuck inside. When you repeatedly use such toys against your sensitive tissue, you risk infection and skin irritation. Also, it would help if you never shared these toys with your partner because you can transmit diseases to each other.


If you already have a cheap plastic sex toy, it would be best to use a condom every time you masturbate to lower the risk of infection. But bear in mind that porous materials usually don't last long.


On the other hand, you can easily clean and disinfect non-porous materials by heating or boiling them. Moreover, their smooth, hard surface will not let any bacteria get inside. However, quality comes with a price. Sex toys made of non-porous plastic are usually more expensive.



Chemical Makeup


Some makers put cheap, harmful chemicals in their sex toys. These chemicals can cause itching, burning, and other health issues. So, to check if a toy consists of such substances, you can use a smell test. Namely, cheap chemicals have a stronger smell and taste that are easily recognizable.


One example of harmful chemicals found in toys is phthalates. Phthalates are chemicals that make toys softer and more flexible. However, recent studies have shown that they can be extremely dangerous when they come in contact with human tissue.


There are strong suspicions that phthalates cause fertility issues, obesity, type 2 diabetes, asthma, neurological problems, and cancer. Moreover, they can affect fetuses in pregnant women and babies if a woman is breastfeeding.



Toxic Plastic Materials


Here is a list of plastic materials you should probably stay away from when buying your next toy.





TPR/TPE is a type of rubber that has been in use for a long time in the sex toy industry. However, many reputable companies are now avoiding it because it is likely to contain phthalates. Still, you will find TPR/TPE in many cheap toys and recognize it by the distinctive new car smell.


Rubber is a porous material, which means it will likely retain yeast and bacteria. Moreover, this material won't last long. So, if you notice greasy, dark, or weak spots, you should immediately replace the toy.





Another common material used for sex toys is PVC. Just as TPR/TPE, PVC usually contains phthalates and has a strong chemical smell. Toxic chemicals in PVC, as well as its porous nature, can make it extremely harmful to your health. 



Fanta Flesh/CyberSkin


Toys advertised as "real feel" often consist of a thermoplastic elastomer called Fanta Flesh. Although this material gives a fantastic skin feel to fleshlights, masturbators, and dildos, it's also highly porous. Products made of elastomers are almost impossible to clean and won't last long.





Jelly is a popular sex toy material because it's very bendable and provides a great slide with little to no lube. But, jelly also has a highly porous nature. So, to avoid health issues, throw away the toy as soon as the color starts fading, or you notice a smell that won't go away after washing.





Latex toys are only harmful if you are allergic to this material. In that case, using them will cause breakouts, burns, and rashes.



Safe, Non-toxic Sex Toy Materials


Now that you know which plastic materials you should steer clear of, we will talk about materials that are safe to use.





Silicone is one of the best plastic materials for sex toys. It's safe, and you can easily clean it by boiling it or putting it in a dishwasher. Moreover, you can choose between different densities and textures. So, toys made of silicone can be firm, soft, or squishy.


But not all silicone is the same. When buying, it would be best to look for a medical-grade silicone because cheap silicone toys can contain other harmful materials.



ABS Plastic


ABS plastic is a common sex toy material. In most cases, you can find it in bullets and vibrators because it transfers vibrations very well. It's both safe and cheap, so look for this material if you are on a tight budget.


However, keep in mind that ABS tends to be hard and not so smooth. So, it would be best to use a lot of lube with it.





Glass sex toys might be the best option because they are smooth and don't need a lot of lube to create a perfect slide. Also, they are easy to clean — you can boil, freeze, disinfect, or put them in a dishwasher.


Although they usually consist of borosilicate glass which is difficult to chip, you should always buy glass toys from reputable sources.





Wooden sex toys are not so common, but they are safe to use. Some might worry about splinters, but just pay attention that your toy has the proper finish, and you should be good to go.





Stainless steel, titanium, and aluminum toys are also standard in the adult toy market. They are a popular choice for those who enjoy heavy and firm toys. Furthermore, you can clean them by boiling or putting them in a dishwasher.


Gold and silver toys are also safe and, let's face it, luxurious. But be careful with cheaper metal toys since they can contain nickel.





Ceramic toys are safe and strong. However, just to be sure, check for chips and cracks before using them.





Sex toys can really spice up your sex life. So, choose the ones that can bring you the most pleasure but won't cause you any harm in the process.


Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.