With the sex industry growing so rapidly, you will now find that a lot of couple’s sex toys come in such a vast range of different materials and styles. This may be daunting to some who are new to sex toys or even lack the knowledge behind the materials used. Don’t worry your not alone its very common for a lot of people to not fully understand the different materials used. To help with this we have devised a materials guide to make it easier to understand more about the materials used and where they can often be found within the sex toy industry.
It’s usually down to personal preference, when it comes to choosing your preferred sex toy material. However, this way you can make a more informed decision, about which is best for you.
ABS is a long lasting, hard plastic, you will find it is smooth against the skin and is incredibly strong. ABS is the strong type of plastic which Lego bricks are generally made from, giving you an idea of how resisted ABS can be. ABS is also compatible with water, silicone or oil-based lubes. Being a plastic, it is very easy to clean with warm soapy water.
ABS is generally used in bullet vibrators, lipstick vibrators and the handles of some silicone vibrators.
Silicone is a tough rubber, which is smooth, skin-safe and soft to touch. Silicone can withstand a great deal of stress, allowing it to be flexible when needed, as well as being incredibly resistant to high temperatures.
Silicone is very often regarded as one of the best materials when it comes to sex toys, and you’ll find that many of the ‘top of the line’ dildos and massagers will often be made from solid silicone or even have a silicone coating over ABS.
When it comes to using lube with silicone toys, it is advised to only use water-based lubricants, as silicone or oil-based lubes will damage the surface of your silicone toy.
TPE/TPR (Thermoplastic Elastomer or Thermoplastic Rubber)
TPE/TPR are often used for lifelike dildos or male masturbators, the blends are flexible rubber and skin safe.
TPE/TPR do not contain phthalates to soften the material, so all products made from TPE/TPR are phthalate free. They also have an incredibly high tear strength, which allows them to be made very soft without the risk of breaking down.
PVC is a very versatile material; it comes in various levels of hardness and can be found in more than just fetish clothing. PVC is also be used to make dildos or vibrators and is available in a wide range of colours.
Latex is naturally produced by some plants, starting as a milky, white fluid before it gets turned into adult products. Latex is often used for latex gloves, condoms and some fetish clothes. Beware that even though latex is safe to use, some people are sensitive or allergic to latex, so unable to use products containing it.
Whilst using latex products, if you experience any soreness, tingling, a rash or another unpleasant sensation, make sure you stop and discard the product immediately and seek medical advice.
PU or Polyurethane coating is starting to become increasingly popular within the sex toy production. PU is a liquid produced to be sprayed over a solid body (often made of ABS), giving it a silky texture, which can look shiny or matte depending on the spray process. PU can often be found on smaller dildos.
You will find that mainly dildos and butt plugs will be made from a smooth, yet tough glass, which is safe for intermate use. Borosilicate glass is the most common glass used, when it comes to producing sex toys, it is chemically reinforced during manufacturing, making it very strong and resistant.
Glass dildos could still be broken or even damaged, when dropped or after being hit against a hard surface, but the unique formula used to produce them means that they won’t break into sharp shards like normal glass. If you notice any damage on your glass dildo, make sure you discard it and don’t attempt to use it again.
Experimenting with a glass dildo has the bonus of being able to try out temperature play, as glass can be heated up or cooled right down.
Well, we all know metal is strong, long lasting and has a hardcore appeal which most people love! Just like with glass you can also use metal when exploring temperature play. Keep an eye out for them stainless steel toys. However, try to avoid zinc where possible as it can discolour and cause allergic reactions.
Basically, phthalates are a chemical compound that is often added to certain materials, mainly PVC, to make them more pliable. You will find that a lot of sex toy retailer websites or reviewers will often post about the potential risks of phthalates.
Even though they do a great job making the material feel squishy and flesh like, they can often react in a nasty way to other materials or even skin, they also give off unpleasant odors.
Sexy Emporium are pleased to say all our lines are Phthalate free!