By Adriana Avila, Managing Editor and Rene Thompson, Staff Reporter
How to buy and use the right toy
Shopping for sex toys can be tough for those who do not know what to search for. With the vast variety of toys, the frustration of not knowing what to buy can be overwhelming. Research online and visits to local sex shops can prevent the annoying case of receiving the wrong size or material of a toy without realizing it.
Size (and shape) matters:
There are various shapes when it comes to vibrators and dildos, and run a gamut from smaller, penile-shaped to dongs the size of a friendly dinosaur. Most sex shops carry a wide variety – from slender and short to long and wide, and are even available double or triple-ended. Research is recommended to know what your body can handle.
Using a toy that is too big can cause micro-tearing, especially with anal play, so a good rule is to start small and work up to larger toys.
Latex: flexible material that is non-porous and can be sanitized.
One-hundred percent medical grade silicone: is a flexible and durable non-porous material, and is safe to sterilize.
Glass or Pyrex: are hard non-porous and safe to sanitize. Both absorb heat and cold for different sensations.
Silicone blends, or Jelly Rubber: porous materials that cannot be sanitized and can contain phthalates, which may be linked to cancer according to zerobreastcancer.org.
Acrylic, hard plastic or PVC: porous materials that cannot be sanitized, but can be cleaned with soap and water, and are best used with condoms.
Anodized aluminum and surgical grade stainless steel: Anodized aluminum is porous, due to the anodizing process and can also cause micro-tearing, while stainless steel is non-porous and can be used for cold sensations.
W a t e r – based lubricant: does not stain or dry often and water or saliva reactivates it. It is safe to use on all toys and sex supplies.
Oil-based lubricant does not dry out easily and is edible. Only use oil-based lubricants with polyurethane condoms because oil lubricant breaks down latex materials. Oil is an ingredient that can cause excretion, so if used anally, expect a visit to the restroom. Silicone lubricants do not dry out easily and should not be used on toys that cannot be sterilized.
Organic lubricants are marketed as natural products not containing parabens, glycerin or animal-based ingredients, and contain mostly botanicals and plant extracts.
Lubricants that contain glycerin or sugar feed yeast, making it more likely for women to get an infection – ya know, down there.
There are also specialty warming and cooling lubricants for desired sensation, and anal-specific lubricants tend to be more viscous, which helps the lubricants stay in place.