3 March 2016

STRA Education : Sex Toy Materials Guide

ABS Plastic
This is hard plastic and you’ll find it in a lot of sex toys. It is smooth, durable, non-porous and easy to clean. Most ABS plastics do not contain phthalates. Since phthalates are a softener, hard plastic by definition doesn’t contain it.

Acrylic Resin (acrylic)
A general term for many plastics generated through chemical reaction by applying polymerization and heat. This process creates hard plastics with varying light transmitting properties (clear). Acrylic and Acrylic Resin are phthalate free.

Alloy (metals)
Alloy is derived from the base metals aluminum, copper, steel, and iron. Commonly used as connectors or adornments, metal alloys are strong and long lasting, as well as lead free and phthalate free.

AS (acrylonitrile styrene)
Hard plastic material. Non-porous, durable, and easy-to-clean and maintain. This is a Safe and Pure (phthalate-free) material.

Elastomer
Elastomer is quickly becoming a very popular material used with high-end sex toys, and like Silicone is used extensively in medical implants.  It has properties very similar to silicone. It is hypoallergenic, so it is kinder to your skin. These toys are extremely soft, yet very durable so it will last for years. Elastomer vibes are also extremely quiet and much easier to clean than latex. They are also 100% latex-free, so individuals with latex allergies and sensitivities can use them with no worries.

EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate)
A polymer that is processed like other thermoplastics. It is non-porous, durable, and Safe and Pure (phthalate-free), as well as flexible and light weight.

Glass (borosilicate glass)
Glass sex toys are commonly made from clear medical grade borosilicate glass (”hard glass”) of which Pyrex is one well-known brand. This material (essentially “lead-free crystal”) is completely non-toxic and will withstand extreme temperatures as well as considerable physical shock without compromising its structural integrity. Glass toys made of borosilicate are completely safe. A properly annealed inch thick piece will withstand up to 3,000 lbs of pressure and extreme heat and cold. Glass dildos are also non-porous and can be sterilized to help prevent infection with reuse or sharing. These types of sex toys are not only durable, but also visually appealing, often considered by some to resemble works of art. Glass sex toys are a long-lasting alternative to less expensive toys. These toys can also be warmed or chilled before use for temperature play.

Jelly
Due to being an inexpensive material jelly sex toys are extremely common. Jelly can easily be formed into almost any shape or size and be any colour. They are usually very soft and pliable, yet can be quite rigid during play time. Jelly toys are porous and difficult to properly clean. Jelly often looks translucent and sometimes has a rubber odor due to its porous character. They CANNOT be sterilized like silicone. They also appear to contain chemical agents called phthalates. Studies have shown that phthalates can be potential health risks and are phased out of many products in the United States and European Union over health concerns, particularly in products which are consumed by mouth, such as food packaging and water bottles. Although no conclusive studies on the health risks for jelly sex toys have been conducted. This has led to many adult toy brands to add a 'Phthalate Free' labeling on their packaging, and for more progressive brands to discontinue the use of this material in any of their product. Please use a condom every time you use a jelly toy to help with safety, maintenance, and cleaning.

Latex
Known for being used in condoms, some pleasure products are also made with latex. It is a stretchy, pliable material that is sometimes called “natural rubber” as it is made from tree sap. Be aware that latex can cause reactions in people who are allergic to it, and it’s important that people who are sensitive avoid latex products.

Latex vibrators and dildos are not as common as they were 20 years ago. Latex toys are generally more cost-effective than silicone or elastomer toys; however, they have their disadvantages. Latex is soft, but not pliable so these products do not bend well. Latex is also very porous, which makes the toy break down over time and difficult to clean properly. Since you cannot sterilize latex toys you MUST use condoms on your toys if you share them with a partner or use them for vaginal and anal penetration.

Metal
High quality metal sex toys are fine if they do not have any sharp seams and if they are unpainted. Painted metal toys are prone to flaking. Cheap metal vibes are not recommended. Metal toys are very hard, non-porous, 100% phthalate-free, and usually quite smooth. They are easily cleaned with anti-bacterial soap and warm water.

Nylon
A silky thermoplastic first used commercially in 1935. It was the first successful synthetic polymer. It was originally used as a man-made replacement for silk in products such as stockings. A highly resilient material, nylon has millions of every day uses and is phthalate free.

PC (polycarbonate)
Thermoplastics characterized by high-impact strength, being light weight, and sometimes, having flexibility. PC is so strong that it is often used as a substitute for glass. Phthalate free.

PE (polyethylene)
Man-made thermoplastic polymer commonly used in consumer products. It is a durable, non-porous, easy-to-clean, soft, pliable, Safe and Pure material. All types of lubricants may be used with this material.

Plastic
Plastic toys are generally very hard and not pliable. They are usually smooth, but the cheaper toys have sharp seams that can cut the vaginal canal or rectum. Hard plastic does conduct vibrations well and can usually be used safely for the exterior stimulation of the erogenous zones. They are also easy to clean with either sex toy cleaner or rubbing alcohol.

Polyester
A group of polymers that consist of repeated units of an ester (created by a reaction between an acid and an alcohol) which is then spun into a fiber or fabric for use in producing clothing. Phthalate free.

POM (polyoxymethylene)
A thermoplastic material engineered for precision parts that require high stiffness, low friction, and excellent stability. All types of lubricants may be used with this material. Phthalate free.

PMMA (polymethyl methacrylate)
A transparent thermoplastic material often used as an alternative to acrylics. Phthalate free.

PP (polypropylene)
A man-made thermoplastic polymer often used as an alternative material to ABS plastic that is durable, non-porous and easy-to-clean. All types of lubricants may be used with this material. Phthalate free.

PS (Polystyrene)
A man-made hard plastic material with limited flexibility. Can be transparent or take on various colors. Commonly used in millions of everyday applications. Phthalate free.

PU Cote
PU Cote (polyurethane)/Satin Finish is actually a finish given to sex toys to make them silky soft. It is a luxurious texture found on many hard toys made of ABS.

PVC (polyvinyl chloride)
PVC (polyvinyl chloride) is pliable, durable and flexible. It has been a popular sex toy material for many years. Phthalate free.

Rubber
Denotes products that are either natural or synthetic rubber. Natural rubber is derived from latex, a natural substance harvested from some plants. Synthetic rubber is any type of artificial elastomer, or polymer. Two thirds of all rubber produced annually is synthetic. Both varieties are phthalate free.

SAN (styrene acrylonitrile)
A hard plastic material. Non-porous, durable, and easy-to-clean and maintain. Phthalate free.

Silicone
Silicone is to sex toy materials what silk is to clothing. It is a premium, hygienic, body-safe material. Nonporous and more durable than other materials, silicone is easy to clean. Solid silicone toys can be sterilized in boiling hot water. Silicone is often pliable, soft, and versatile.

Soft Vinyl
Food grade vinyl sex toys from excellent manufacturers are less porous and last longer than jelly toys. They are extremely soft and pliable, yet hard enough to feel great. Soft vinyl is a great vibe material because it carries vibrations wonderfully. Some stores carry high-end food grade vinyl sex toys made in Japan. Some stores and sites carry cheap vinyl toys that are quite porous. These toys are more likely to house bacteria and yeast causing nasty vaginal and/or rectal infections. Because of this you should always use a condom on your inexpensive vinyl sex toys. Because vinyl toys are more porous they do not last as long as silicone toys. Further, vinyl cannot be disinfected. Clean your vinyl toys with anti-bacterial soap and water.

Steel
Sex toys made of chrome alloy and stainless steel are non-porous, easily warmed to body temperature, pleasurable, and beautiful. Steel sex toys will last almost indefinitely if cared for properly. These toys can also be warmed or chilled before use for temperature play.

TPE (thermoplastic elastomer)
TPE, thermoplastic elastomer, a class of polymers, has many of the same characteristics as Silicone, but is often more stretchy. It is soft, pliable, hygienic, and most contain no phthalates. It is found in a wide variety of pleasure products ibcluding many enhancers. TPE is also a recyclable material.

TPR (thermoplastic rubber)
TPR, thermoplastic rubber, is a lifelike material that feels realistic. Used often in strokers, dongs, and lifelike toys, it closely mimics the texture of real human skin. TPR is a class of polymers with characteristics similar to silicone.


*This information is to be used as a basic guide to aid sex toy consumers.


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