Images from my collaboration with Heather Corinna at Scarleteen, All the Barriers, All the Time!
“Sex toys, like people’s bodies, can also carry, harbor and transmit pathogens. Many can’t be boiled, and are made of porous materials that pathogens like hanging out in. If you want to be safe with your toys, even when you’re the only one using them, you want to cover any toy that can’t be boiled or otherwise safely and effectively sanitized, and use a new barrier with every use. Ideally, you don’t want to be sharing most toys, but if and when you do share, or plan to, using barriers is important for everyone’s best health. Using barriers with toys also often makes cleaning them and keeping them clean a whole lot easier!
Condoms cover dildos and other long-shaped toys well, and you can also drop a small, corded vibrator, like bullet styles, into a condom and cover it that way. For sleeves or pumps, toys meant for the insertion of penises, you simply use a condom like you would for intercourse while using it. If you are using household objects for masturbation, they very much should be covered, but even if they are, they shouldn’t be shared. For several reasons, some pretty basic etiquette and good-neighborliness among them.”
- Heather Corinna, All the Barriers, All the Time!
Not sure how to make your Hitachi Magic Wand body-safe? Put a dental dam over it for use or attach a removable head to it.
I need to start being more careful about this. TMI time — not taking proper care of your toys means potentially transferring bacteria to your genitals. This has resulted in UTIs and yeast infections for me in the past, and let me tell you — THEY SUCK SO FUCKING BAD. They can be spread through other people’s sexual lubrications too, so if you’re playing with another girl, either use condoms to share toys or use different toys for each other.
This is especially important if you use toys for both vaginal and anal play. BE EXTREMELY AWARE of what toys have been used anally, and if you are going to use them vaginally you must wash them before doing so.
I’d highly recommend buying glass toys whenever possible, on that note. They can be sanitized more fully than any other material. You can actually boil them and trust that they will not transfer bacteria and cause an infection. I was skeptical of glass toys initially, too, until I started selling adult toys and learning more about them. I haven’t used a glass toy but I am eager to try them! They can also be warmed up by placing them in hot water until it is at a reasonable temperature.
Jelly toys are my least favorite to sell to people and to use. They are very porous and difficult to really get clean. My first vibrator I bought with my husband was jelly (it’s a rabbit, the brand escapes me but it is definitely a beginner toy, multiple speeds, under $30.00) and I have seen pieces of the jelly come off after having it not even a year. Hard plastic can be cleaned pretty easily, and so can metals.
While we’re talking about this — remember to be aware of your toy’s material also if you plan on using silicone based lubricants. Silicone based toys can be broken down if used with silicone lubricants. Speak to your local adult novelty store representative about which toys are safe to use with silicone lubricant (most often used in the shower or hot tub since it doesn’t break down in water).
Get educated on your toys and their uses and cleaning methods, it is very important in order to have the most enjoyable sex possible! :)