Sex Toys and Hygiene
With all the stigma and shame surrounding sex toys, it can be hard to obtain accurate information on what to buy, how to buy them, and how to use them. But if you have managed to jump over all of those hurdles, congratulations! There’s one last thing, though – probably one of the most neglected aspects of owning a sex toy – hygiene. The risks associated with using unclean toys are more serious than one might imagine. And we’re here to help. So fasten that strap on and continue reading!
- INVESTING ON A TOY = INVESTING IN YOURSELF
If you have ever felt guilty about “splurging” on a sex toy, you are not alone. Always remember that pleasure is a very important form of self-care. When using a product as intimate as a sex toy, you owe it to your body to make sure it’s safe and of decently good quality. Check for sharp edges or bumps on the surface of the toy. It should be smooth (unless ridged in certain patterns), sturdy, and easy to clean.
- MATERIAL, GIRL
Sex toys can be made of either porous (i.e. consisting of tiny holes) or non-porous materials. Non-porous materials (for example – silicone, glass, metals, etc.) are a safer choice because they do not foster germs or dirt as much as the former (certain types of rubber and elastomers) and are easier to clean.
- RISE AND SHINE
Make sure you keep your toys squeaky clean. Cleaning is a must after every use and highly recommended before every use. Warm water and soap are your best friends in most cases as long as the soap is mild and unscented. But if the toy has a cord or batteries protruding, you should try wiping the toy with a washcloth or intimate wipes. Most importantly, dry it well after rinsing with water – else it might turn into a breeding ground for yeast. Every toy is unique so the ideal place to find the best cleaning practices would be the toy manual.
- SHARING IS NOT ALWAYS CARING
There’s no reason why sex toys can’t transmit sexually transmitted infections. In case you end up sharing the toy with a partner for whatever reason, don’t forget to use protection (condoms, dental dams, etc.) Moreover, when using a penetrative toy, stick to one orifice at a time. Introducing anal/rectal bacteria into the vagina or vice versa is not a good idea!
- USE LUBE
Dumping your sex toys into a random drawer where they keep collecting dust until the next use is not the tea. Proper storage is key to a long shelf life (read: sex life). Using the original packaging for storage is a smart choice. You can also use lint-free cloth bags like satin. They have the added benefit of letting the toys breathe so any leftover moisture won’t lead to mold. This article has a crisp summary of storage options for different materials.
The motto when it comes to caring for sex toys is always “better safe than sorry”. There is a wide variety of toys available and each product has its distinct care routine. It is for you to figure out the process that works best for you. The learning curve involved in this journey of exploration might seem scary and time-consuming but it is very exciting, I assure you! Lastly, never forget – prioritizing pleasure also means prioritizing health.
Cover Illustration: everydayhealth.com