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Learn About Sex Toy Materials

Sex toys have been around for as long as people, but as ancient as sex toys may be, the materials we use to make sex toys have definitely changed over time.  While you may still find the occasional wood dildo, sex toys are more likely these days to be made of silicone or ABS plastic than from bone or tusk!

Sex toy materials are generally considered to be "non-porous" or "porous". While most sex toy materials should be washed with mild soap, rinsed, and left to air dry, some materials (like silicone and steel) can also be boiled for five minutes between uses. Boiling does not sterilize - regardless of material. We don't recommend harsh sex toy cleaners - instead, we recommend a gentle unscented soap you already use on your body and know that you don't react to.

If you're sharing your toys, we generally recommend using a barrier (like a condom or dam) especially if the toy is porous and/or not boilable.

Very few of the sex toys we love and stock contain phthalates and other plasticizers. All of our phthalate-free products are labeled as such, and none of our silicone, metal, hard plastic, wood, glass, cyberskin, and elastomer sex toys contain phthalates.


Silicone Sex Toys

Silicone is a great material for sex toys! Silicone is resilient, retains body heat, and because it is non-porous, it's easy to clean. The high cost of materials as well as the fact that most silicone dildos are made by a small manufacturer means that you may pay a little more for a silicone toy, but it is well worth it!

Safety Of Silicone Sex Toys

Silicone is hypoallergenic, phthalate-free and latex-free. You can boil silicone sex toys (providing they don't have internal vibrators or mechanics) or put them on the top rack of your dishwasher, effectively disinfecting them. Because silicone is non porous there is less risk of reacting to the material. As with all toys condoms are required if you want to share your toy or use it vaginally and anally.

How Durable Are Silicone Sex Toys?

Silicone is very durable and won't degrade through regular use. However silicone can tear, so keep sharp edges away from your silicone toys. Silicone can also be destroyed when it comes into contact with silicone lubricant, so never use silicone lubricant on silicone toys.

Tips On Use, Cleaning And Storage

  • If you're using your toy in a harness, take extra care to make sure it's not forced through the opening.
  • You may use water based or oil based lubricants but never use silicone-based lubricants as they can damage your silicone toy.
  • You can use soap, rubbing alcohol, or bleach to clean silicone sex toys (if you are using alcohol or bleach, be careful to rinse thoroughly).
  • If your silicone toy is non-vibrating, you can boil your toy in water, or put it on the top shelf of your dishwasher to clean. Different manufacturers suggest different lengths of time, usually between 3-5 minutes for boiling.
  • You can store your silicone toys separately or with other silicone toys.
  • Clean your toy before you use it for the first time, and be sure to clean it after every use.  It is very important to ensure that your sex toy dries thoroughly between uses.

Metal Sex Toys

Metal sex toys are at once luxurious and industrial.' What makes metal so unique is the smoothness of the surface and the weight of the material. Metal sex toys are also very easy to clean (can be boiled), transmit vibrations powerfully, and are exceptionally durable.

Safety Of Metal Sex Toys

Metal toys are a great choice for people concerned about reacting to dyes or mystery rubber materials. They are hypoallergenic, non-porous, and can be disinfected and sterilized. As with all toys condoms are required if you want to share your toy or use it vaginally and anally.

How Durable Are Metal Sex Toys?

Metal sex toys are the most durable sex toys available. With simple care and cleaning they can last a lifetime.

Tips On Use, Cleaning And Storage

  • Metal dildos are great for temperature play!' You can warm or cool your metal dildo with water or ice. Metal is not damaged by contact with water or changing temperatures.
  • Metal toys can be cleaned with mild soap and water.' Be sure to rinse thoroughly and allow your metal sex toy to dry fully before you put it away.' Alternately, you can clean your metal toy with an alcohol solution.
  • If your metal toy is non-vibrating, you can boil it in water, or put it on the top shelf of your dishwasher to clean.
  • If you have a vibrating metal toy, keep water away from the motor or other working parts (use a washcloth for cleaning).
  • You can store your metal toys separately or with other metal toys.
  • Clean your toy before you use it for the first time, and be sure to clean it after every use. It is very important to ensure that your sex toy dries thoroughly between uses.

Glass Dildos

Like metal, glass offers a unique smooth, frictionless feel for penetration along with an easy to clean surface. They are also beautiful to look at. During regular use glass dildos are strong and durable; however if dropped on a hard surface they can chip or crack and must be thrown out.

How Safe Are Glass Sex Toys?

Glass is non porous and hypoallergenic and is unlikely to cause any reaction during use. Our glass toys are durable and will not break during normal use. However if you drop a glass toy on a hard surface and it chips or cracks you must throw it out for safety reasons. Always check your glass toys prior to use for any cracks or chips in the surface.

How Durable Are Metal Sex Toys?

Glass sex toys are durable and with proper care can last a lifetime.

Use, Cleaning And Storage Dos And Don'ts

  • Glass should not be exposed to extreme temperatures.  Do not boil or freeze your glass toy.
  • Glass toys can be warmed up or cooled down using warm or cool water.
  • You can keep your glass dildo clean by washing with a mild soap and water. Alternately, you can use an alcohol solution.
  • All toys can get scratched, chipped or broken. Be sure to run your hands over your glass dildo and check for defects before each use.
  • Clean your toy before you use it for the first time, and be sure to clean it after every use. It is very important to ensure that your sex toy dries thoroughly between uses.

Hard Plastic Sex Toys

Durable and easy to clean, sex toys made of hard plastic and acrylic are non-porous and when they vibrate they tend to feel stronger because hard plastic doesn't absorb the vibrations as much as soft materials do. The main durability drawback to hard plastic is that they may crack if dropped on a hard surface.

Safety Of Hard Plastic Sex Toys

Hard plastic and acrylic sex toys are phthalate free, hypoallergenic, and non-porous making them a safe choice for people concerned about reacting to sex toy materials or absorption of fluid by a sex toy. As with all toys condoms are required if you want to share your toy or use it vaginally and anally.

How Durable Are Hard Plastic Sex Toys?

On the one hand hard plastic and acrylic sex toys are very durable because they won't tear and they don't break down like some soft rubbers. With proper use and care a hard plastic sex toy should last for years and years (the material will always outlast the motor in the case of vibrating toys). However the drawback to hard plastic toys is that if dropped on a hard surface they can crack or break, and then they must be thrown out.

Some of our hard plastic toys are made of ABS plastic which is a more durable hard plastic that won't snap when bent and can be recyclable (depending on the formulation and local recycling facilities.)

Tips On Use, Cleaning And Storage

  • You may use water based, silicone based, or oil based lubricants with hard plastic sex toys.
  • Use a very mild hand soap to clean your sex toy.
  • Let it air dry before putting it away.
  • You can store your hard plastic toys separately or with other hard plastic toys. Don't store next too jelly rubber or jelly/silicone mixes as these toys can damage your toy.
  • Clean your sex toy before you use it for the first time, and be sure to clean it after every use. It is very important to ensure that your sex toy dries thoroughly between uses.

Jelly Rubber Sex Toys

Many dildos are still made from jelly rubber, and inexpensive material that can be made in a variety of vibrant colours and has a bouncy feel to it. Increasing concerns about phthalates have led many consumers to turn away from jelly rubber sex toys in favour of cleaner and more durable materials.

Safety Of Jelly Rubber Sex Toys

At Come As You Are we sometimes refer to jelly rubber as 'mystery rubber' since manufacturers won't provide the exact ingredients of their various mixes. We know that most jelly rubber dildos contain phthalates which have been proposed to be a health concern (although this is by no means a documented fact). Jelly rubber is porous and cannot be disinfected. For this reason we recommend using condoms on jelly rubber toys. As with all toys condoms are required if you want to share your toy or use it vaginally and anally.

Using a condom on a jelly rubber toy reduces any potential harm that results from exposure to phthalates.

How Durable Are Jelly Rubber Sex Toys?

Jelly rubber is the least durable of the soft rubber dildos, as it is porous and has an uneven surface that will degrade (flake) over time. Using a condom on a jelly rubber dildo will extend its lifespan.

Tips On Use, Cleaning And Storage

  • You can use water based lubricants and silicone lubricants with jelly rubber dildos but avoid oil based products.
  • If you're using your toy in a harness, take extra care to make sure it's not forced through the opening.
  • Use a very mild hand soap to clean your sex toy. Using alcohol or bleach, or even dish soap will lead to the breaking down of the rubber.
  • Store your jelly rubber toys separately and don't allow them to come in contact with other jelly rubber toys or any other sex toys as prolonged contact can cause the jelly rubber to melt.
  • Clean your rubber toy before you use it for the first time, and be sure to clean it after every use. It is very important to ensure that your sex toy dries thoroughly between uses.

Leather Sex Toys

Our leather strap on harnesses are made using either garment leather (which starts off soft and supple) or bridle leather (much firmer, but it softens with use and proper care). Leather is an ideal material for a strap on as it conforms to your shape, is durable, and comfortable.

How Durable Is A Leather Strap On?

Leather offers the greatest durability of all our strap on harnesses. With proper care a leather harness can last for years.

Tips On Use, Cleaning And Storage

  • Because leather is porous it's important to clean your harness after each use.
  • You can clean your leather harness by wiping it down with a damp cloth and some anti bacterial soap. You can also use rubbing alcohol (70%) to disinfect your leather harness. Dry the harness by patting it with a clean towel.
  • Don't immerse your harness in water and avoid getting it too wet.
  • After it's dried you can apply a leather conditioner to keep the leather soft and prevent cracks from over drying.

Wood Dildos

Wood is another material recommended for people who react to rubbers and plastics. All our wood dildos are hypoallergenic, durable, and easy to clean. Like metal and glass wood has a smoother feel than rubber, but its surface texture is unique and the weight of wood also changes the way the toys feel in use.

Safety Of Wood Sex Toys

Wood is a good option for people concerned about reacting to sex toy materials. Our wood dildos all have a hypoallergenic and waterproof sealant that has no scent and makes the surface non-porous and easy to keep clean. As with all toys condoms are required if you want to share your toy or use it vaginally and anally.

How Durable Are Wood Sex Toys?

Because of the manufacturing process and the body safe, waterproof sealant, our wood sex toys are designed to never splinter and will not be damaged during regular use. Dropping your wood sex toy on a hard rough surface could damage the surface of the toy. But other than that your wooden sex toy should last many years.

Tips On Use, Cleaning And Storage

  • You can use water based, silicone based, or oil based lubricant with wood sex toys.
  • To clean, wash it with warm water and non-abrasive soap, or wipe down with anti-bacterial/microbial cleaner (alcohol, bleach, peroxide, etc.) Allow it to air dry before storing your wood toy.
  • You can store your wood toys separately or with other wood toys.
  • Clean your sex toy before you use it for the first time, and be sure to clean it after every use. It is very important to ensure that your sex toy dries thoroughly between uses.

Vinyl Sex Toys

Vinyl vibrators and dildos have a unique surface feel - smooth but soft - and some people prefer the look of vinyl. In terms of durability, safety, and cleaning they should be treated like jelly rubber. We also have harnesses made of a different kind of vinyl, which are firm and very shiny. Vinyl harnesses don't breath like fabric or leather which creates a binding sensation some like and others don't.

Safety Of Vinyl Sex Toys

Vinyl sex toys may contain phthalates which have been proposed to be a health concern (although this is by no means a documented fact). Vinyl is porous and cannot be disinfected. For this reason we recommend using condoms on vinyl toys (as with all toys condoms are required if you want to share your toy or use it vaginally and anally).

Vinyl Durablility

Vinyl is slightly more durable than jelly rubber but can degrade over time. With proper care and cleaning your vinyl sex toy should last a few years. Using a condom on a vinyl sex toy will extend its lifespan.

Tips On Use, Cleaning And Storage

  • You can use water based and silicone based lubricants with vinyl sex toys but avoid oil based products.
  • If you're using your toy in a harness, take extra care to make sure it's not forced through the opening.
  • Use a very mild hand soap to clean your sex toy. Using alcohol or bleach, or even dish soap will lead to the breaking down of the material.
  • When stored together vinyl sex toys won't react to other toys made of vinyl or to silicone toys. But don't store your vinyl toy next to jelly rubber or silicone/rubber mix toys.
  • Clean your sex toy before you use it for the first time, and be sure to clean it after every use. It is very important to ensure that your sex toy dries thoroughly between uses.

Cyberskin Sex Toys

Cyberskin is sometime referred to as 'dual density' because of itís unique firm core/soft exterior feel. Cyberskin does feel very fleshy to the touch and is soft enough to bend but firm enough to be practical.

Safety Of Cyberskin

Cyberskin is phthalate free but it is a porous material that is difficult to keep clean and cannot be disinfected. For this reason we recommend using condoms on cyberskin toys. As with all toys condoms are required if you want to share your toy or use it vaginally and anally. You should only use corn starch or another non-talc powder on cyberskin as talc has been linked to cervical cancer and should not be used internally.

How Durable Is Cyberskin

When taken proper care of your cyberskin dildo should last for a few years. However the material tears easily and can be damaged by improper storage or cleaning. Avoid using cyberskin in strap on harnesses and follow the cleaning and storage instructions carefully. Using a condom on your toy will also extend its life.

Tips For Use, Cleaning And Storage

  • You may use a water based lubricant but avoid using silicone lubricant and oil based products on cyberskin toys.
  • Avoid activities that can tear the dildo, strap on use is not recommended.
  • Use a very mild hand soap to clean your sex toy. Using alcohol or bleach, or even dish soap will lead to the breaking down of the rubber.
  • Let it air dry and if you choose to powder it, use corn starch.
  • Store your cyberskin toy away from other rubber toys. If it is in prolonged contact with other toys the material can melt.
  • Clean your toy before you use it for the first time, and be sure to clean it after every use. It is very important to ensure that your sex toy dries thoroughly between uses.