What is a Body Safe Sex Toy?
A body-safe toy material needs to meet certain requirements:
- The toy cannot contain any plasticizers – also known as phthalates – which are chemicals added to hard plastic, such as PVC, to make it soft and flexible.
- The toy cannot be made of a degradable material.
- The toy has to be non-porous, which means it can’t absorb any outside materials, like dirt, dust or bodily fluids.
Examples of body-safe materials that meet the above criteria are: glass, silicone, wood, stone, steel and gold. Although the last one might be a bit too pricey for some of us! Speaking of cost: body-safe toys often have a higher price-point than other, non-safe counterparts. This due to the high cost of materials and higher production costs. A good alternative for silicone is therefore ABS plastic. This material is also body-safe, but is generally low cost.
It might not feel as silky and soft as silicone, but is more accessible for consumers with a smaller budget and beginners: for example, the Funky Vibrette vibes from the TOYJOY Funky collection. Note: consumers should also be made aware that toys containing a motor that are NOT submersible (meaning you can’t place them in boiling water to clean) cannot be a 100% sterilized even with the use of a toy cleaner or soap – meaning you should never fully guarantee that bacteria, fungi or viruses will not be transferred by the use of adult novelties.
Silicone – The Holy Grail of Sex Toys?
Let’s take a closer look at silicone: one of the most popular toy materials on the market. With so many good qualities, is silicone truly a holy grail of materials? No – let’s just get that straight instantly. Although silicone has many merits: it’s nonporous, hypoallergenic, flexible, produced in many colours, durable and colour-proof, silicone still has some minor demerits. Firstly, silicone can cause some static friction during use and doesn’t offer the same glide as for example glass toys; meaning a lubricant is essential to enjoy the toy properly. Secondly, the lubricant you’re using can’t be silicone-based, as this could possibly damage the silicone material. Thirdly, silicone toys are often treated with special Polyurethane layer on the exterior to make them feel extra smooth and silky. Polyurethane – a polymer consisting of a chain of organic units – isn’t the problem, as it’s also hypoallergenic and body-safe. What can be an issue is that the Polyurethane layer can degrade over time, meaning the toy could potentially loose its silky soft appeal. Lastly, one supplier’s silicone isn’t the same as another supplier’s silicone. What this means is that silicone knows various ‘gradations’ – purity of the material – and what might be presented as ‘medical-grade’ silicone, might not actually be.
TPE vs TPR
Moving on to two other materials that often raise questions: TPE versus TPR. Although similar in many ways, there are some differences between TPE and TPR. Both TPE and TPR belong to the family of Thermoplastic Elastomers; but TPE is the abbreviation of ‘Thermoplastic Elastomers’, whilst TPR is the abbreviation of ‘Thermoplastic Rubber / Resin’. TPE is mostly transparent and super stretchy, but can often feel sticky, meaning treatment with an additional powder is essential. TPR is a more stabile and durable material with an often cloudy appearance. It is considered of better quality than TPE, meaning the price-point of TPR toys is slightly higher – yet still affordable, as seen in the The Rabbits by TOYJOY collection. As both TPE and TPR are porous materials, the use of condoms is always recommended.
What you can always rely on, however is that Night Secrets will always do the best we can to deliver body safe toys. If you have any concerns or ideas on how we can improve, please let us know.