A number of us have a background in highly regulated and safety orientated industries. So when we were researching the risks within the sex industry for our social enterprise ‘Vavven’…
Well we were nothing short of horrified with what we found!
We’d expected items purchased for your favourite orifices would be safe for their intended purpose. We expected manufacturing standards and regulations would ensure consumer safety just as they do in so many other industries. But sadly this is not the case.
This blog contains the simple knowledge to prevent your parent, or child, or friend experiencing a world of embarrassment and pain.
Sex Industry Regulation
Lack of regulation for this industry means manufacturers of sex toys are relatively free to manufacture their products as they wish, in any form and almost any material they desire, even though they understanding you’re going to place these items in your most sensitive and porous areas.
The sex industry has also failed in this area. Retailers have every opportunity to provide you with the simple knowledge needed to protect yourself, but many of them either pay no attention at all, or they give toxic material and cleaning knowledge only.
People of all ages and all walks of life end up in hospital from serious mishaps while trying to gain sexual pleasure using either sex toys or common household products.
Sex Toy Safety 7 Easy Tips
We will share more information over time, but a great way to help with your safety is to follow these 7 easy tips:
1/ Don’t Place Anything In Your Anus That Doesn’t Have A Flared Base
We cannot stress this point enough!
Of the sex toy related injuries presenting at hospital, it is estimated over 80% are to remove items lost in the anus.[/fusion_text][fusion_text]
Your anus does not self-lubricate, it has two sphincters (one external and one internal), and it also has very strong muscles.
After the second anal sphincter there’s a kink in the bowel, and if your probe turns this corner (which it can do during anal suck or being pushed to far) it can begin to migrate north.
And no it’s unlikely it will come out.
In very basic terms, the bowel muscle normally contracts behind your bodily waste to remove it, but it can also push items the other way back into the body.
Anal suck is the contraction of those very big muscles during an orgasm.
Put slippery fingers from lubricant in the mix and it will make gripping your probe very difficult.
A flared base will not prevent this mishap (if you’re stupid enough to push it too far), but it does provide a proximity reminder and a gripping point for either you or the super lucky emergency doctor on the extraction mission.
Considering a mishap can still happen
- Reduce the likelihood by always controlling your own anal toy during joint play &
- Think about your product before play, that is, stay away from products with sharp edges that could cut the delicate internal body tissue, such as jewel studded butt plug, or plugs with sharp points or raised seams. Keep in mind the amazing medical people can not x-ray your lost item unless it is metal.
If you lose anything up your anal cavity forget your dignity and hightail it to emergency, because that sucker ain’t coming back out and can do extremely serious damage!!!
2/ Talk With Professionals
Before deciding to experiment with sex toys chat with your doctor.
Yes potentially embarrassing but you’ll get over it, there’s nothing your GP hasn’t seen or heard before. They’re a wealth of information (yep all that study is for a reason), they can make sure you’re in good health and that you’re not treating a symptom of a much larger problem.
The other important professional in your sex life is a great Sex Educator.
They can assist with pleasure as a complete package, mind and body. We recommend Cyndi Darnell as an educator, she was one of the experts we selected to participate in Vavven’s product risk assessment panel and she runs sessions via Skype so geography isn’t an issue.
Sex toy retailers are experts in retailing not sexual advice.
Yes many can educate you on sex, but your own doctor combined with an expert sex educator will help you really uncover what your issues are and provide you with a much healthier sexual outcome.
3/ Purchase Body Friendly Materials
Body safe materials are very important, not only are your pleasure zones often porous they are also sensitive.
This means a sex toy and lubricants made from a toxic materials can by absorbed into your body easily and irritate or burn your skin.
Finding non-toxic materials isn’t easy due the lack of regulations, but as a guide look for reputable manufacturers and only purchase products which are bodysafe, food grade, or medical grade: silicone; glass; metal; wood; ABS plastic; or ceramic.
Stay away from porous materials, materials that either absorb fluid or trap it on its surface. Porous materials not only capture micro yucks they’re really hard to clean, meaning the micro yucks can cause infection or worse.
Sex toy bloggers such as Princess Previews or Miss Ruby Reviews are a great place to investigate toys, as they both give honest sex toy reviews and only deal in non porous sex toys made with non-toxic materials.
4/ Use The Sex Toy Safely
Each sex toy is designed for a different use and can be dangerous if misused.
For example lubricate is designed to assist with reducing friction during sexual pleasure, but if used in the shower or the bath could cause a bone breaking slippery floor.
Vibrators & Dildos
A vibrator has an oscillating motor with an offset weight which causes it to vibrate. A dildo does not have a motor, it does not move under its own steam.
Vibes are great for external vibration or internal vaginal play, but both vibrators and dildos can be quite dangerous if used for anal play if they do not have a flared base (see #1).
It’s also important that you mix up your clitoral simulation methods from time to time, change the vibration frequency and speed as well as trying stimulation other than vibration. Play with temperature, air or water flow. Using a water proof vibrator in the bath can help with this by holding it close to the zone, but not touching.
Penis rings are a little tricky, see penis ring safety, but the main thing to watch out for is ensuring you purchase a material that you can easily cut from your penis if needed, and you check in with your doctor pre-use.
See anal play safety, but the main things to watch out for are #1 the flared base rule and #2 medical check.
This is a long probe which is inserted into the eye of the penis.
We do not stock this item, but we’d like to stress
- see your doctor first there are many things which can go wrong with this practice &
- be aware of the material being used, that is, the common household pencil is NOT a good idea. It may leave internal splinters which can only be removed in hospital if at all.
No matter what type of toy you are using always inspect it prior to use.
- run your hands over it thoroughly for sharp edges (the skin on your junk is very soft and easy to tear)
- visually check for pinch points and surface cracks
- visually inspect the batteries and housing for corrosion or any change; or check the charging cable and charging point for damage or exposed wiring
- if you find any of these things, it’s time to bin your toy.
Vavven Safety Information
With each of our sex toys we send you detailed do’s and do not’s.
5/ Clean Your Fun Toys
Always clean your sex toys before and after use, and as a general rule clean between each new cavity.
Check out How To Clean Sex Toys.
6/ Buy From A Reputable Retailer
Buy from a reputable retailer, an organisation who knows how to impose their own regulations to improve your safety.
There are a few great retailers out there when it comes to checking items for toxic materials such as Smitten Kitten, but the pickings are very slim if you’re also looking for electrical and functional safety.
In Australia, sex toys are adequately covered for electrical safety under Australian regulations, but good luck finding an Australian importer let alone a retailer who understands the legal responsibility here.
7/ Don’t Get Suckered By Internet Bollocks
- Price will not determine your toy safety. We’ve have found safe and unsafe toys in all price ranges.
- Materials ain’t materials. It would be the easy road to take a blanket assumption all toys made from a certain material are either toxic or non toxic, but the fact is materials are tricky and much rests on additives and manufacturing methods which you may not be aware of.
- Smell isn’t a good indicator of toxicity many toxins are odourless.
- The home flame test to prove if a sex toy is manufactured from “real silicone”. This is one of the most amusing things we’ve read so far in this industry. It‘s a great indicator of the lack of material and chemical property understanding of those involved, but a very poor indicator of the material. Silicone will melt at plus 300C and the hottest part of a pocket lighter can reach nearly 2,000C, even a slight wobble with flame placement will subject the silicone to temperatures far above its limits.