Did you know that, in March, there’s a “National Worship of Tools Day”?
And yes, my dirty mind went someplace else too. So don’t worry.
Apparently, it’s a day you’re supposed to give your tools some extra TLC- like sharpening, cleaning, oiling, storage etc. It makes sense. It also got me thinking about sex toy care and caring for these important “tools”.
This cheeky, butt spanking, harsh-reality guide will help you care for your sex toys and get as much life out of them as possible.
IDENTIFY THE MATERIAL
I hope none of you are using a sex toy, and you’re not sure what it’s made from – because that’s bad. If you don’t know, go back to the seller’s page and read the details before you play with it again.
Having toys that stay with you for years really begins with pre-purchase research and education.
Ideally, it should be something non-porous:
- 100% silicone – preferably medical grade
- Stainless steel – preferably medical grade
- Borosilicate or soda lime glass – that’s annealed
- Ceramic – that’s sealed properly and body-safe
- Porcelain – that’s “cooked” at high enough temperatures
- ABS plastic – solid pieces or no “pull apart” seams
SIDE NOTE – it’s hard to find medical grade levels because it’s expensive to make, but “regular levels” are fine.
Anything else is not a good idea to use anymore because they fall into the POROUS category – aka. the material has micro-crevices that are impossible to sterilize. This means the toy will never be 100% clean and possibly harbor bacteria, mold, or other nasties. Some of these materials will also disintegrate or melt over time. Ew.
EXCEPTIONS … SORT OF – Labels of rubber, TPE, or TPR are one of the only exceptions because, while they ARE porous, they’re not toxic to the body (as far as we know).
You NEVER share these toys with other people! And be extra thorough cleaning them.
The thing is … I know what’s going to happen next…
There are going to be some people that still refuse to throw out their “babies”, either because they’ve spent a lot of money or they are fine taking a chance with porous toys.
You’re adults, I get it. You can stick whatever you want in your bodies. Just, please don’t stick them in other people, because that’s making health choices on behalf of someone else (possibly someone who’s uneducated about sex toy materials), which is uncool. You might also end up with something that gives you a rash in places you don’t want.
PUT ON A CONDOM
Putting condoms over top of their sex toy is what people do if they want to share (porous or non-porous). This is a good option for cleanliness and an extra step towards safety. But remember, condoms are tested against human skin, not sex toy materials. Just sayin.
CLEAN THEM CORRECTLY
I’ve already written an in-depth guide on cleaning your vibrating friends (and I’ll include a link), but the main thing to remember is to wash them BEFORE and AFTER each use.
Also, make sure you use mild soap then thoroughly dry before storing.
Past that, it’s the occasional sterilization. Here’s the link for WAY more cleaning details…
STORE THEM CORRECTLY
Ideally, each toy should be in its own silk/satin/cotton baggie and then stored somewhere with an acceptable room temperature (not too hot or cold) as well as away from direct sunlight (too hot).
If you have one toy, that’s easy. But if you have several, you might want to consider a dedicated plastic bin, drawer, case, etc. to keep them.
DID YOU KNOW: Over time, silicone degrades silicone. This is why it’s never a good idea to have your silicone toys resting against each other while in storage.
USE THE RIGHT LUBE
Remember a second ago when I told you silicone degrades silicone? The same goes for sex lube.
Always use water-based lube with your silicone toys (preferably with all your toys). However, if you NEED other kinds of lube, make sure it’s compatible with your devices or put a condom over top.
HAVE REGULAR INSPECTIONS
Look over the toy in detail. Check for scratches, pits, cracks, dents, or anything else that might affect how safe they are (especially for ceramic, porcelain, or glass).
CARE FOR THE BATTERY
If you’ve bought something that vibrates, you’ll have extra steps to make sure it doesn’t die an early death (and FYI, ALL vibrators have some sort of shelf life and will eventually die).
1. If you’re not using your toys, make sure they get a full charge every 3 to 6 months. Don’t starve them.
2. When a maker says “keep them away from hot or cold”, they’re not just writing extra details in their user guide for fun, it helps maintain the battery life of your toys.
DON’T ABUSE THE MOTORS
Most of the time, the motor isn’t something to worry about. However, if you have a toy with obvious moving parts (not just vibrators – think of the Lovense Nora or the Lelo Ora 2, even a sex machine), then, for Christ’s sake, don’t excessively push against the motor rotation/movements.
Things were built to move a certain way and screwing with that is going to hurt the motor AND battery.
SIDE NOTE – This doesn’t include “normal” force against the motor. Engineers construct toys to withstand normal wear and tear with the human body, but not crazy excess – Eg. Nora’s head rotation is fine to withstand the pressure of the vagina, but not your hand forcing it in a different direction.
DON’T ABUSE ANYTHING ELSE
Yes, you paid a couple hundred bucks, but the price tag doesn’t make the product invincible – just like you pay a few hundred dollars (or more) for a cell phone, but it’s going to break if you keep dropping it.
The only exception would be toys that are solid silicone or rubber (things that are naturally bendy) and have no mechanical or techy insides. These can take far more wear and tear.
And while we’re talking about dropping things…
Treat your glass, ceramic, and porcelain toys with extra care. A well-made one will NOT break inside your body. They can be VERY strong in that respect.
If you drop them on a hard surface, you’ll most likely have to say bye bye.
I might catch some flak for this next part, but I’m going to say it anyway. Because it NEEDS to be said.
If you’re flat-out abusing your non-bendy toys (blending, flexing, swinging, tossing, dropping etc.), and they break, you really shouldn’t be surprised (or angry). I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve heard my customer service co-workers shriek in horror as they watch a video of someone swinging a LUSH around their head by the antenna, and then the user wondering why it doesn’t work anymore.
*bangs head against desk*
Thank you for coming to my TED talk.
READ THE USER GUIDE
It’s tempting to toss the guide/packaging and use the toy ASAP, but the manufacturers put those little booklets in for a reason. Make sure to go over them carefully and pay attention to specific care instructions.
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What’s the longest you’ve had a sex toy? Share in the comments!