July 6, 2009

Q&A: Glass and Pyrex Sex Toys – Safe?

Research suggests that more than half of women and nearly half of men have used vibrators, but there has been little research related to toxicity.

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Question: I bought a glass sex toy online. The web site says it’s made of Pyrex material, but after reading some information, I’m concerned that it might be toxic. Are glass toys pretty safe in that regard? I know that the huge concern is jelly toys, but I want to make sure that this toy is okay.

Even though research suggests that more than half of women and nearly half of men have used vibrators, there has been strikingly little research related to the toxicity of sex toy materials. However, the little that we do know about sex toy materials suggests that toys made of glass, medical grade silicone or hard plastics are likely among the least toxic.

Keep in mind that even the toys that are thought to be made with more toxic materials, such as many Jelly toys, are unlikely to cause any significant or long term harm under normal use conditions.

Consider Using A Condom

If you are very concerned about sex toy materials, consider putting a condom over any sex toy that you put into your body. That way, the condom can act as a barrier between your body and the sex toy. You should still plan to clean your toy before and after using it.

One study related to sex toy materials suggested that a water based lubricant may be safer to use with sex toy materials compared to oil based lubricants, as oil based products may cause a greater release of chemicals from the more toxic sex toy materials.

Know Where The Toy Came From

Also, if you want more information about sex toy materials, you might consider purchasing toys that are manufactured in countries that have strict standards about chemical processing. It may take more time to learn where your favorite sex toys are manufactured but if this issue is important to you, it may give you more peace of mind.

Recommended Reading

You can learn more about how to shop for sex toys, types of lubricants to use with sex toys, and sex toy materials in my new book Because It Feels Good: A Woman’s Guide to Sexual Pleasure and Satisfaction, which also has tips for how to use sex toys alone or with a partner.