“I want to buy you a sex toy,” my lover says, full-spoon.
“My fingers do the trick,” I say.
“I mean for us to use together.”
“Your dick does the trick.”
“For some kinky fun.” He flips me around, face-to-face. “Have you never used a sex toy before?”
“Once. It was cold and hard and I didn’t like it.”
“Aw, babe. We’ll get you a good one.”
He is a hunk of a man. All muscle. Just gorgeous. I can deny him nothing.
“Okay, babe. But I’m not sticking it inside of me.”
“Why not?” he asks.
“I don’t want to stretch out my vagina.”
“I’m pretty sure it doesn’t work that way, but whatever you’re comfortable with, beautiful.”
He is right. The vagina is far more elastic and durable and perfectly able to take dick, delivery, and dildo. But it got me to thinking…
What’s the appeal of sex toys? And what do I need to know about practicing safe sex toy?
A Little Sex Toy Background
A quick Google search reveals:
- The oldest sex toy dates back 30,000 years.
- The first electrical vibrator (invented by a male doctor) was used to treat crazy chicks in the 19th century. Give them an orgasm and tame their hysteria, the theory went.
Sidebar: Before this vibrator was invented doctors would put on some gloves and manually stimulate to bring on an orgasm. The vibrator was invented not to increase pleasure, but because the doctors’ hands were getting sore. (This whole account disturbs me greatly and I’m not prepared to talk about it right now.)
- 1 in 3 American women own a vibrator. (Other studies put it at 1 in 2. So lots.)
- 12% of women use a sex toy at least once a week to masturbate.
- 78% of women in a relationship use a vibrator.
- The Rabbit is shaped like a cute fluffy bunny because at the time of its creation it was against Japanese law to make a sex toy that looked like a penis. (I have no idea where Japanese law stands on this issue now.)
- Studies show that those who use vibrators are more likely to keep regular gynecological appointments and achieve higher levels of sexual arousal and satisfaction.
Overall, sex toys can help with sexual dysfunction, can spice up the sexy, can free up sex talk among couples…I mean, there really are no negatives to bringing sex toys into the bedroom, unless you consider the toxic materials some are made of. Yes, as a sometimes health and wellness writer, I have to go there.
Sex Toy Safety
Unfortunately, the mission of many sex toy manufacturers is to make the cheapest toy possible, which puts the unsavvy consumer in a health-compromising position. Chemical compounds in cheap rubber sex toys can cause allergic reactions, burning, itching, rashes, and even tissue damage. No thank you!
The most common culprit is a chemical called phthalate, which has come under fire in the last two decades for contributing to:
- Male fertility problems
- Breast cancer
- Type 2 diabetes
- Neurodevelopmental issues
- Behavioral issues
- Autism spectrum disorders
Sex toys made of jelly, PVC, and vinyl have been outed as phthalate-carrying materials.
But careful! Even if a sex toy is labeled “phthalate-free,” it may still contain other harmful toxins, like…
- Timethytin chloride
- Carbon disulfide
These offensive ingredients have shown harmful effects on the fetus of pregnant or breastfeeding women and have been linked to central nervous system damage. So please my kinky friends, read those labels carefully!
Found a toxin-free sex toy? Now it’s time to check its porosity. Porous sex toys, such as those made of rubber, are breeding grounds for bacteria, mildew, and fungus. It doesn’t matter how much antibacterial soap you use on that baby, bacteria is hiding out in its nether regions.
Nonporous sex toys are water-resistant and can be sterilized with simple boiling water.
So, what materials are safe? Bet your hard-earned cash on pleasure toys made of…
- Stainless steel
- Borosilicate glass
My Sex Toy and I Have Struck a Happy Balance
For date night we stuffed ourselves full of beans and tortillas and then headed to the sex shop. I was distracted by leather thongs and whips, and he by the foot-long display dildos. Eventually, we found our way to the vibrators.
We tried out some different buzzes and settled on a dainty purple pocket penis with different vibration modes. He wouldn’t let me buy him a leather thong so off we went to try out our new toy.
I gotta say, it works fast and efficiently. Too efficiently. So efficiently that at the start of my orgasm it was too much to bear and my orgasm was cut short. Don’t worry, I was good to go right after and he took care of me sans sex toy.
We experimented a few more times, but it was the same thing…just too much at climax.
Then he went on vacation, and I broke out the vibrator during phone sex. It’s taken a few rendezvous, but now I understand her better, and we’ve struck a happy balance of orgasmic perfection. I’m looking forward to exposing her secrets to my lover when he returns.
But, will my sex toy ever replace good old-fashioned manual stimulation, or cunnilingus for that matter? I think not. What can I say? I’m easy to please. I’ll save the fancy for the extra kink.