Q&A: Help I’m Allergic to Latex & Nickel – Some Safe Sex Toys Advice Please!

Q&A: Help I’m Allergic to Latex & Nickel – Some Safe Sex Toys Advice Please!


I have a severe allergy to both latex and nickel, so I’m afraid to get sex toys that contain rubber or any type of metal.

I am looking to buy some toys but I’m a bit of a novice and I’m having problems finding some that I trust. I’ve looked at silicone but I usually use silicone lube and I’ve heard that sometimes they can contain other materials? 

What would you recommend as the safest option for a beginner? Is there anything else I need to consider?




Hey Amy,

This is a great question!

Lots of peeps have allergies to sex-toy materials such as latex and nickel, so you’re certainly not alone. And, of course you want to be sure that your toy is going to give you pleasure, not pain or even an itch, in order for you to fully enjoy it!

Silicone, a hypo-allergenic sex toy material, is a good choice for those with latex allergies or sensitivities.

We’ve also seen some toys which advertise themselves as silicone, but which we suspect to be mixed with other materials, so it’s always wise to be cautious.

Rest assured that these toys don’t get past our cherry-picking process.

We produce our own range of silicone dildos, so we know what a pure silicone sex toys looks, feels and smells like!

It’s true that stainless steel sex toys can contain nickel but the nickel should be bonded into the steel in such a way that it shouldn’t trigger a reaction.  However, you won’t get the best experience a toy has to offer if you are worrying rather than relaxing, so it’s probably best to stay away from metal, even if it is safely bonded.

Another good option for latex allergies would be a glass dildo.

A glass dildo offers the firm pressure female & male G-Spots prefer and can be warmed or cooled to offer pleasurably different sensations to all erotic zones. Just  a touch of lube turns glass incredibly sleek and slippery, to deliver sensually weighty pleasure, like no other sex toy…

Glass is simply pure glass, so it will be allergy-safe for you.

It’s 100% non-porous, which means it won’t absorb any body substances or lube residue, making it very easy to keep clean. You can even sterilize a glass dildo! Our glass toys are made from  toughed glass and are incredibly strong, but you do need to handle them with care ( be careful not to drop it on a hard floor or bash against taps when cleaning it!) and check for any damage before you use them.

When it comes to a vibrator,  the best, non-allergy choice  is one made from silicone and ABS plastic.

However a lot of these toys are made in factories in the Far East which also produce vibrators made with latex and whilst  cross-contamination is highly unlikely, it comes down to the same issue; having any worries or niggling doubts is not conducive to letting go and having fun, is it??!

One good option maybe a  Fun Factory vibrator, as they produce all their sex toys in their own factory in Germany.

Fun Factory ONLY produce do not use latex in any of their sex toys, so they will be safe for your latex allergy

Fun Factory vibrators are made with silicone & ABS plastic. Yay!

However, the charging contacts on their rechargeable vibrators, is coated in a nickel-copper bond – a fusion that is like almost every cooking pot, apparently –  so if you are ok touching pans, this should be allergy safe.

The  two tiny recharging pins are located on the control unit of the vibe, so wont enter or be close to your body.

Fun Factory’s battery-operated vibes, such as LayaSpot don’t  have these pins and the control buttons are silicone-coated plastic, but changing batteries ( alkaline batteries contain nickel)  might pose a problem – perhaps you could phone a friend!?

We generally don’t recommend using silicone lube with a silicone toy, whether a dildo or a vibrator, simply because the 2 silicones can react together over time, possibly causing slight damage to the surface of the toy.

There’s no health warnings about mixing silicone toys with silicone toys and the possibility of damage is slight and would occur over a long period of time, so if you prefer to stick with the lube you’ve found best for your body,  then do so!

Or you may want to try a water based lube instead; read our Q&A all about lube and sensitivity.

( Names Have Been Changed for the Purposes of Anonymity)

If you have any other questions please contact us at advice@sh-womenstore, include the subject line ‘Ask Sarah’ if you’d like your advice from our new sex and relationship expert.

Hope that helps,


Team Sh! xxx


sex toy materials

Guide to Sex Toy Materials: Silicone

Silicone – probably the best sex toy material in the world with a growing choice as manufactures and consumers cotton on to its fantastic qualities.

Silicone is considered the safest and best material for sex toys

That’s why we produce all our dildos and butt plugs  in super-sensual, super-safe silicone.

Silicone is odourless, non-toxic and hypoallergenic, and contains no phthalates or latex. This makes it a particularly good choice if you have any concerns about the safety of adult toys.

How Does Silicone Feel?

Silicone feels warm, smooth and dry to the touch; not cool and hard like plastic sex toys, or cold and clammy like sex toys made out of jelly material.

Excite Vibrator

Silicone sex toys are non-porous and hold lubricant really well on the surface of the toy, meaning there’s no need to keep slathering it on at inopportune moments! However, not every lube will do – make sure you use only water-based personal lubricants and not silicone lube. Silicone lube as can have an adverse effect on the surface of your silicone toy, so are best avoided.

Whilst soft to the touch, silicone is quite a dense material so it transmits vibration really well – great for vibrators and Thrill-Dildos (the vibrating versions of our silicone dildos).

Silicone is practically indestructible, unless attacked by something sharp like pinking sheers (it’s been known to happen) and it doesn’t break down. This makes it a great choice for sex toys.

Although very durable, once torn, silicone can split quite easily, so keep your silicone toys away from sharp edges and curious pets.

Silicone is an expensive raw material and producers of silicone adult toys tend to be, like ourselves, small, specialist manufacturers, dedicated to producing quality toys. Silicone sex toys will never be able to compete in cost with the mass-produced sex toys that come from the Far East.

You’ll find 100% silicone/silicone-coated toys vibrators, Sh! Silicone Dildos and Sh! Silicone Butt Plugs sections of the website.

Sh! Dildos - Hand-poured in our London Studio in 100% body-safe silicone
Sh! Dildos – Hand-poured in our London Studio in 100% body-safe silicone

Pros of Silicone as a Sex Toy Material

  • The safest adult toy material
  •  Hypo-allergenic & non-toxic
  • Feels dry, smooth and warm to the touch
  • Totally non-porous (neither absorbs or discloses any other substance)
  • Can be sterilized/disinfected which means you can safely share toys between partners or pleasure zones just as long as they are sterilized/disinfected between uses.
  • Transmits vibration excellently
  • Warms quickly to body temperature
  • Holds lubricant well (use only water–based  lubes)
  • Durable
  • Easy to clean.

Cons  of Silicone Sex Toys

  • Expensive
  • Though durable, can tear once the surface is broken, so protect from nails, jewellery and curious pets
  • Cannot be used with silicone-based lubes  as the two silicones could be incompatible which will affect the surface of the toy.

Care & Cleaning of Silicone Sex Toys

Sex Toy Cleaner or soap and water, 10% bleach solution or rubbing alcohol can be used to clean silicone sex toys – always be sure to rinse thoroughly. Dildos and Vibratings Dildos (remove bullet) can be boiled for up to 3 minutes or washed in the top rack of a dishwasher. Dry thoroughly and store in a dry, fluff-free place.


Overall Verdict of Silicone Sex Toys:

A top quality choice: perfect for a strong, almost silent buzz, and safe, sensual experiences.