I talk a lot about the importance of body-safety and general sex toy education here at EROcentric. I only review products made from high-quality materials, I only advertise for & become affiliates with manufacturers/retailers who I trust, and I try my hardest to educate my readers before they purchase a toy that may cause them harm — or at the very least, be completely wrong for their bodies.
Why? Because I’ve personally experienced negative effects from toxic, porous, latex-laden, cheap ass sex toys. And I’ve also spent a small fortune on certain luxury items, assuming that “expensive” must be synonymous with “mind-blowing”… only to be left with a useless paperweight.
This was my very first vibrator, before I knew anything about Pipedream and their disgustingly sexist & racist business practices. I chose it because it was small and under $20. To be fair, it held up pretty well. I had it for over a year before the thin, transparent coating (polyurethane?) began to flake & peel off the exterior of the vibe. At this point, I immediately should have thrown it away. Unfortunately, I had no idea that sex toys could be porous and that this flimsy layer was all that had been protecting me from bacteria growth.
Eventually, a black spot formed under the bright pink surface. At first, I thought that the toy was over-heating and burning through the plastic from the inside out. Then I found blogs like Lilly‘s and learned that the black spot was more likely mold. Cue revulsion.
Moral of the Story: Educate yourself about sex toy materials. Do not rely on sex toy manufacturers being honest & trustworthy with their advertising or packaging. Learn how to differentiate between materials and know what the “warning signs” are for toxic and porous toys.
My partner & I had been curious about experimenting with size, but we couldn’t find many silicone penis extenders — and to be honest, we weren’t sure that we wanted to spend a fortune on a product that could be completely wrong for us. We settled for this TPE sheath because although it would be porous, I figured that it should at least be phthalate-free.
We only used this toy once — because it was a complete disaster. Within the first few minutes, the strap that is supposed to wrap around the testicles (holding the extension in place) snapped in half. It was only downhill from there. While attempting to have PIV intercourse, I noticed a horrible burning sensation in my vagina. I shrugged it off for a while, telling myself that it was simply from being stretched. But those two sensations are different.
Finally it clicked: I had felt that same burning before, back when my partner & I used latex condoms. Although I have no proof that this toy contained latex (in theory, most TPE should not), I also have no other explanation for the pain…unless I was experiencing mild chemical burn from some other additive.
Moral of the Story: Be proactive for your own health and listen to your body. If you have allergies, find out what ingredients are in your sex toys & lubricants and aim for only hypoallergenic materials. If you notice a negative reaction, talk to your doctor, seek out similar experiences online, try to narrow down the issue so that it can be avoided in the future. Remember: YOU are not the problem.
I understand that silicone is expensive and more time-consuming for manufacturers to use. And I understand that companies who traditionally sell very cheap sex toys worry that their customers will not spend big bucks on higher quality (especially when they continue to misinform & mislead those customers). I could almost give them a pass on cutting corners with the interior of their silicone toys. After all, it should never come into contact with the body.
But when something is advertised as “pure silicone” or “100% silicone”… I expect it to be silicone all the way down to the core; not full of foam, curious plastic chunks, or (most disturbing of all) rags.
There’s also one other problem with this particular anal toy: the base is ridiculously small & extremely flexible. I consider myself very lucky that I never had to go to the emergency room to get this probe removed from my body. Knowing what I know now, I do not consider this toy safe for anal play and it upsets me that it was even created.
Moral of the Story: Again, don’t always trust what companies tell you on their advertising or packaging. Do research into a company’s reputation online — especially with sex bloggers. And for the love of butts everywhere, if a toy doesn’t have a large, sturdy base…don’t risk it.
Immediately after purchasing this bullet vibe from my local Cirilla’s, I inserted the small watch batteries that were included and turned it on. It buzzed for a few seconds… but then shorted out completely. I never even got to use it.
At the time, I didn’t know what to do with my broken little sex toy. I knew that you couldn’t return these items to the store and honestly, I was too embarrassed to start contacting the company online to find out what my options were and how to get a replacement. (That’s right, folks. I was not always the brazen sexual creature that you see today.) In the end, I simply ate the $20 that I wasted on this toy and tossed it in the trash.
Moral of the Story: Find out what type of warranty manufacturers have for their products. In this case, Evolved does allow you to send back faulty or defective items — with or without a receipt & original packaging. Don’t let sexual shame get in the way of your right to pleasure! The people in this industry talk about sex toys and sexuality every day. You will not seem weird, perverted, or hypersexual simply because you purchased a sex toy and you want it to work.
Obviously, this is the odd man out — but I wanted to prove that just because a toy is body-safe and “luxurious,” that doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily good or that it will do anything for your particular body or sexual anatomy.
The Lily was my first serious, body-safe sex toy purchase. I spent months drooling over its form, learning about Lelo and their high-quality products. I based my purchase largely off of one glowing review, without knowing what else worked for that person or if my body was similar. I tracked (what I thought was) the best deal and ended up spending approximately $90. When my beautiful Lily arrived, my clitoris was entirely unamused. The vibrations were so weak that I wondered if it was defective. (You can read my full review here, but know that the more toys I get introduced to the more I regret this particular purchase.)
The letdown was huge and it definitely deterred me from purchasing other expensive, body-safe sex toys for a long time. I felt like there must be something wrong with my body for needing so much more power. In fact, one of the next toys I purchased was the Hitachi because I kept reading that it was the most powerful toy out there — and I was convinced that was what I needed. (Turns out: Yes, the Hitachi Magic Wand is absolutely wonderful, but I can also orgasm from less powerful vibrations.)
Moral of the Story: Even if you’re purchasing a toy that is body-safe & produced by a trustworthy manufacturer, it helps to know your body. Of course, this is more difficult if you’re just beginning to experiment with sex toys; even us “experts” mistakingly assume that a toy will produce fireworks only to find that it barely even sparkles. Still, it helps to read as many reviews as you can find. Try to discover a toy reviewer who shares a similar body type or sexual response as you. Are you easy to orgasm? Is your clitoris buried by your labia? Will your anatomy even work with that rabbit vibrator? More often than not, one size does not fit all.
One of the biggest sex toy shopping seasons is upon us! Check out my Introduction to Sex Toy Safety, 5 Tips for Getting Quality Sex Toys for Less, my Toybox (for a list of reviews), and the current Sales & Deals of my wonderful affiliates. Enjoy your purchases; Don’t make the same silly mistakes that I did.