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Using Sex Toys Safely

Sexual Health Week is upon us, and as always, we'll be doing our bit by separating facts from fiction. We'll share information on how to choose sex toys wisely, how to keep your bits & bobs bacteria-free, and we'll also squeeze in a shortie about sexually transmitted infections. Highlighting sexual health is important for so many reasons.

Did you know that sharing toys with a lover could mean ending up with an infection? Or that forgetting to wash your favourite vibrator could have dire effects on your vagina? It's true.

Today we are focusing on how to use sex toys safely. It might sound self-explanatory, but ask any A&E nurse and you'll find they have a long list of things gone wrong during play time.

We've all heard about the light bulb that disappeared up someone's bum, or the vibrator that was sucked up...still vibrating. Most recently, a story about a toy dinosaur being removed from a lady's  cave made the rounds on social media.

These stories may elicit a giggle from most of us, but we guarantee the person who ended up in A&E didn't think it much fun. Such trauma is enough to put anyone off toys for life!

First rule of safe sex toy play:

Use toys that have been designed for what you have in mind. Light bulbs may look enticing, but you'll regret it. Likewise wine bottles (ouch!), coca cola cans (really?) or fish (borderline bestiality).

We have heard the most horrendous stories of things gone awol inside a person and we can't stress this enough; it's a lot less embarrassing to go to a sex shop to purchase a sexy toy than it is to go to A&E with a spatula up yer bum...

Butt Plug 2 Butt Plug 2 £19

Use Anal Toys Safely

We're going to start off with anal toys as this seems to be the most popular orifice for inserting a wide range of unsuitable things.

Anal play is a whole lot of fun - as long as you play safely. The anal muscle is stronger than you think, so ensure any toy used for anal teasing or insertion has a flared base or handle.

Our range of handmade silicone butt plugs are perfect for safe anal play. The plugs have all got wide bases, meaning there is no chance of them getting sucked into the rectum. Start off with small-size butt toys, and add a generous squirt of a thick anal lubricant for comfy, pain-free play. The anus isn't self-lubricating so added lubrication to keep all moves sensual, smooth and pain-free is essential.

Vibrator Safety

Sh! Easy Egg Sh! Easy Egg £22

Some vibrators, like Sh! Easy Egg bullet vibrator, are designed for external use only. Play with the softly textured egg on your nipples, labia and clit, but avoid slipping it inside. The main reason for this is removal: you'll have to pull on the cord to remove the egg and over time,  this will weaken the connection. This will not only shorten the life of the vibe, but also put you at risk for internal scratches and difficult removal.

Tip: if you do want to play with  a bullet style vibe vaginally, we recommend slipping it into a condom first. You can then pull on the condom for easy removal without damaging the cord - or  more importantly - your delicate parts!

If you want a toy that can be used for safe insertion, we have a stunning selection of G-spot vibrators and Rabbit-style vibrators to choose from. These toys have been designed for internal play.

Waterproof Sex Toys

Some vibrators are 100% waterproof, some are shower-proof and others not safe for use in the water at all. If you like to splash around in the hot-tub full of bubbles (who doesn't?), make sure your vibrator is waterproof. Always check the instructions before submerging.

Safety with Rechargeable Toys

Rechargeable sex toys are fabulous, but you need to pay attention when plugging them in for a boost. Use only the correct charger, and make sure to unplug when done.

Also pay attention to voltage - make sure your toy is compatible with national voltage. Espesh important when going abroad!

sexybattery-aaa Sexy Batteries £4.50

Batteries - power up your toys safely

Using the right kind of batteries for your toy is imperative. Protect and prolong the life of a cheaper-style vibe with low-power batteries like Panasonic. Or even better, stock up on Sexy Batteries, which are designed specifically for sex toys. Extra power but kinder on motors!

Don't mix new and old batteries, and always remove batteries before storing your toy.

We know of one woman who chose to go against advice when it came to storage, preferring to carry her favourite vibe in her handbag at all times. She eventually ended up with an overheated vibrator and the batteries caught fire - on public transport!

Safe Sex Toy Materials

Whilst we don't sell the, lots of sex toys are made from  Jelly, which to a greater or lesser degree has been softened with Phthalates - a type of chemical which has raised heath concerns.

There has not been much research on Phthalates in sex toys but our advice choose body-friendly materials for your play things. Above all other materials, we recommend silicone.

Silicone is hypo-allergenic, non-porous and phthalate-free. It's super easy to keep clean and you can even sterilize non-vibrating silicone toys for sharing and ultimate safety.

Vibrators made from Elastomer TPR/TPE are a great alternative to Jelly as they are Phthalate-free, but they are likely to be porous, so better to not share these toys or cover them with a condom if you do...

Other super-safe materials are solid glass and stainlesss steel, but these hard and inflexible toys are more of an acquired taste.

Cleaning Your Sex Toys

Yes, you do need to wash your sex toy.  Regularly. Not cleaning your toys will ensure that bacteria grows, causing all sorts of itchiness in delicate areas.

Use a special sex toy cleaner, or wash with antibacterial hand wash and hot water.

Leave them to air dry ( drying them with a towel or tissue could leave tiny particles which you probably don't want transferred to your muff) and store them in a clean, dark place, away from other toys ( direct heat, sunlight or proximity to other sex toy materials can cause strange melting/fusing  to sex toy surfaces)

We don't recommend storing any sex toys, including those made of leather, such as strap ons or bondage gear, in a sealed plastic bag, as this doesn't protect them but actually creates a culture-growing environment. A  cardboard storage box or fabric bag is better - let your sex toys breathe!

Sh! Pure Lube £10 Sh! Pure Lube £10

Lube

We always advocate for the use of lube, but it's equally important to choose the right lube for both you and your toy.

Water-based lubricants are  body-friendly and usually our first choice. They are often very similar to your natural juices in consistency, with no scent or flavour. If you are concerned by parabens, choose a Praben-Free Lubricant or if you are prone to thrush, opt for a Glycerine-Free Lube.

Silicone-based lubes are great for when you need long-lasting glide, but the downside to these lubricants is that they'll damage the surface of silicone toys. Silicone-based lubes are best left for skin-on-skin play.

Playing Safely with Temperature on Sex Toys

Putting toys in the microwave to "warm them up" before inserting isn't a good idea. Neither is putting them in the freezer and then directly on to the delicate skin of your down-belows.

If you like to play with temperatures, there are much safer ways: warm toys by rubbing back and forth in your hands, run under warm water or cool by leaving in the fridge for an hour or two.  Or, go super-safe by warming or cooling the lube instead of the toy...



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