In my younger days, I bought sex toys pretty injudiciously. Usually based on size, color, how it would look in my collection, and whether or not it would intimidate my ex-husband. My favorite dildo was magenta and pretty and had a suction cup, and it was made out of that squishy jelly mystery rubber that was kind of see through.
I had owned this toy for a few years, and used it plenty. So, imagine my concern when one day I felt burning about 30 seconds into using it... I stopped everything, turned off the porn, and went to ask Google what the heck had just happened.
Google, as usual, quickly stepped up, and let me know that jelly toys contain phthalates. And phthalates break down. They melt, they react with other plastics, and if they are stored touching other plastics both will melt. And if it’s melting plastics, imagine what it can do to your vaginal walls, or your anus. I didn’t have to imagine, I read story after story about the chemical burns people had experienced from using these toys. One woman was hospitalized, another felt that her ability to enjoy sex was permanently affected.
I threw out my favorite dildo, and my other jelly toys (including a brand new set of plugs, yet to be opened) immediately. Hopped on Amazon, and thanked my lucky stars that I had the budget to be able to buy two new dildos and a set of plugs in medical grade silicone.
Phthalates are not the only reason you should avoid jelly toys or mystery material toys. The sex toy industry is hardly regulated. Toys are mass-manufactuered in Asian countries (and some in the USA) without regulation or regard to whether it is safe to put inside your body. Chemicals are one major concern, but so is porosity.
Simply put, you never want to put anything porous inside your body. Definitely not your vagina, and particularly not your anus, because fecal bacteria will make you very, very sick. And porous items will carry that bacteria from one orifice to another, transfer to your hands, etc. And trust me, E. coli is no walk in the park.
I preach often, in my vanilla life as well, to be extremely careful about what you’re putting inside your body. Buy medical grade silicone, borosilicate glass, and stainless steel toys. You get what you pay for with cheap toys.
If you have to use something that you’re unsure about, for the love of Pete, cover it with a condom. Safe sex applies even in solo situations, friends.
If you want to read more about sex toy safety, here are a few fabulous resources: