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Buying Guides - Made to measure pleasure, a guide to Sex Toy materials

When purchasing a new pleasure pal, you should always consider the material your humdinger is made from – it’s almost as important as the toy itself. Sex toy materials will affect your orgasm, meaning the difference between so-so and oh-my-god-here-we-go…! To make the choice as simple as possible, we try to make sure that every one of our product descriptions includes information regarding materials and to be sure you know what we’re talking about, here’s a brief profile of the most common sex toy materials, what they’re good for, and how to best care for them.

ABS Plastic
The science bit
ABS or Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene, a mixture of elastomer, rubber, and hard plastic, is a common thermoplastic used regularly in the manufacture of sex toys because of its superior durability, gloss, hardness and insulation properties.

What makes it fun
Vibes made from ABS plastic usually have hard, non-porous surfaces and are generally smooth, but they may also be fluted or textured, depending upon the toy. ABS plastic transmits vibrations easily, leading to powerful sensations and super hot orgasms… There’s just something about that cool, sleek casing and its strong internal vibe! Plus because their motors are encased in hard plastic instead of smooth rubber, the vibe is generally felt all the way through the toy. Since many ABS plastic toys have a metallic silver exterior, they also have the added bonus of appearing sophisticated and hi-tech.

Keeping it clean
Toys made from ABS plastic are also the easy clean alternatives, as they can be washed with an antibacterial soap in warm water, and are generally whiff-free as they contain none of those dangerous phthalates often used to soften PVC.

Slip, slide and glide
Like most sex toy materials, you’ll get more mileage from your ABS plastic toys if you use a lubricant when you play. Both water and silicone-based lubricants are safe to use with toys made from ABS plastic.

Aluminium
The science bit
Aluminum is a metal that occurs naturally in the Earth's crust. Although it’s lighter than stainless steel, it’s just as durable as anodizing aluminum not only adds to its beauty, it also increases its resistance to corrosion and wear and tear. Aluminium toys are also recyclable – which is good news if you like to play it green.

What makes it fun
If you’re into seriously powerful sex, or you’re an S&M queen, aluminium is the perfect choice for your sex toy material! The hardness of aluminium makes it easy for vibrations to be transmitted, meaning more intense sensations and more powerful orgasms all round! Toys made from this material also have a weight to them which can be very pleasurable when used for penetration, and the material makes the vibration resonate in a different fashion, which is noticeable when using it. Aluminium toys also cool down and warm up quickly, adding another element to the sensation and aluminium is one of the least porous materials which means it’s less likely to cause allergies or transfer germs.

Keeping it clean
The easy clean alternatives, toys made from aluminium may be washed with an antibacterial soap in warm water. Your aluminium toys may also be boiled or submerged in hot water for a couple of minutes – even placed on the top rack of your dishwasher, provided they’re not battery operated of course! To guard against infection and quickly and gently clean and remove dirt, lubricant and bacteria – without spreading germs - a quick spray with an antibacterial wipe or vibe cleaner is a must. Ensure all surfaces are moistened with cleaner and then allow your toys to dry naturally or pat them dry with a soft towel or cloth. There’s no need to rinse your cleanser as both alcohol and non alcohol based cleaners are safe to use on toys made from aluminium.

Slip, slide and glide
Like most sex toy materials, you’ll get more mileage from your aluminum toys if you use a lubricant when you play. Both water and silicone-based lubricants are safe to use with toys made from aluminium.

Borosilicate glass
The science bit
Glass is an amorphous (or solid liquid), inorganic, non-metallic material that is usually transparent or translucent. Borosilicate glass is made by adding boron into the general mixture of sand, soda and ground lime. The boron reduces any stress caused to the material due to temperature changes, making it less dense than ordinary glass, and much more resistant to shattering and breaking as well.

What makes it fun
Borosilicate glass toys are gorgeous (glass is our Editor’s favourite sex toy material)! Not only are they the latest in sex toy sensations, they’re also beautiful and durable products that will give you and your partner a lifetime of pleasure. Borosilicate glass toys feel amazing! From their high quality, silky smooth finish to their ability to retain heat, glass toys are incredibly exciting and instantly arousing. Toys made from borosilicate glass also have a weight to them which can be very pleasurable when used for penetration. Borosilicate glass toys are very pretty to look at, with many Borosilicate glass toys doubling as beautiful works of art. Borosilicate glass is also completely non-porous and doesn't absorb dirt, oil or lubricant, so it stays germ-free for the ultimate in hygienic sex play. It's also hypoallergenic, making it the ideal material for anyone who suffers from an allergy to plastic or latex, and it’s completely phthalate-free! But best of all, your borosilicate glass toys can be heated and cooled to provide a range of exciting sensations. Try warming them in hot water or keeping them in the fridge and you’ll experience hot thrills and icy chills like no other! Borosilicate glass dongs also adjust quickly to your own body temperature, all without cracking or breaking. In fact, they’ll even withstand small bumps and bangs without shattering, cracking or chipping!

Keeping it clean
The easy clean alternatives, toys made from borosilicate glass may be washed with an antibacterial soap in warm water. Your borosilicate glass toys may also be boiled or submerged in hot water for a couple of minutes – even placed on the top rack of your dishwasher, provided they’re not battery operated of course! To guard against infection and quickly and gently clean and remove dirt, lubricant and bacteria – without spreading germs - a quick spray with an antibacterial wipe or vibe cleaner is a must. Ensure all surfaces are moistened with cleaner and then allow your toys to dry naturally or pat them dry with a soft towel or cloth. There’s no need to rinse your cleanser as both alcohol and non alcohol based cleaners are safe to use on toys made from borosilicate glass.

Slip, slide and glide
Borosilicate glass toys are compatible with both silicone and water-based lubricants, and need only a little lube for a super slippery effect.

CyberGlass
The science bit
CyberGlass is an amorphous (or solid liquid), inorganic, non-metallic material that is usually transparent or translucent. It is generally manufactured from a mixture of sand, soda and ground lime.

What makes it fun
CyberGlass toys are gorgeous (it’s our Editor’s favourite sex toy material)! Not only are they the latest in sex toy sensations, they’re also beautiful and durable products that will give you and your partner a lifetime of pleasure. CyberGlass toys feel amazing! From their high quality, silky smooth finish to their ability to retain heat, glass toys are incredibly exciting and instantly arousing. Toys made from CyberGlass also have a weight to them which can be very pleasurable when used for penetration. CyberGlass toys are very pretty to look at, with many CyberGlass toys doubling as beautiful works of art. CyberGlass is also completely non-porous and doesn't absorb dirt, oil or lubricant, so it stays germ-free for the ultimate in hygienic sex play. It's also hypoallergenic, making it the ideal material for anyone who suffers from an allergy to plastic or latex, and it’s completely phthalate-free! But best of all, your CyberGlass toys can be heated and cooled to provide a range of exciting sensations. Try warming them in hot water or keeping them in the fridge and you’ll experience hot thrills and icy chills like no other! CyberGlass dongs also adjust quickly to your own body temperature, all without cracking or breaking. In fact, they’ll even withstand small bumps and bangs without shattering, cracking or chipping!

Keeping it clean
The easy clean alternatives, toys made from CyberGlass may be washed with an antibacterial soap in warm water. Your CyberGlass toys may also be boiled or submerged in hot water for a couple of minutes – even placed on the top rack of your dishwasher, provided they’re not battery operated of course! To guard against infection and quickly and gently clean and remove dirt, lubricant and bacteria – without spreading germs - a quick spray with an antibacterial wipe or vibe cleaner is a must. Ensure all surfaces are moistened with cleaner and then allow your toys to dry naturally or pat them dry with a soft towel or cloth. There’s no need to rinse your cleanser as both alcohol and non alcohol based cleaners are safe to use on toys made from CyberGlass.

Slip, slide and glide
CyberGlass toys are compatible with both silicone and water-based lubricants, and need only a little lube for a super slippery effect.

CyberSkin
The science bit
CyberSkin, also known as Ultra-Realistic 3.0 or UR3, Futurotic and Pure Skin, is a thermal plastic elastomer comprising a mixture of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and silicone.

What makes it fun
“Real feel” materials like CyberSkin are very soft, warm and smooth to the touch. They’re also undoubtedly the most realistic dildo and vibrator materials on the market today! These materials, while quite durable, are extremely sensitive and can discolour and tear easily so care needs to be taken both during and after play. CyberSkin toys can be towards the more expensive end of the sex toy scale because often they’re handmade. On the plus side, this also means your real feel toys will generally be of a very high quality and their high molecular density promises they will be extremely flexible and resilient.

Keeping it clean
Realistic materials are extremely porous, much like rubber and jelly so they need to be looked after carefully. You should wash your CyberSkin toys with warm water and a very mild antibacterial soap (or better still - no soap at all), rinse them with clean hot water and pat them dry with a lint-free cloth or towel. You must NOT clean your “real feel” toys with alcohol or ammonia-based cleansers as they will destroy the surface of your toy and you should steer clear of harsh soaps and detergents too. Once your toys are completely dry, sprinkle them with “renewing powder” if supplied with your toy, or cornstarch. Never use talcum powder or baby powder as these products can cause irritation, particularly to a girl’s sensitive bits!

Slip, slide and glide
Silicone lubricants should NOT be used with toys made from CyberSkin or other “real feel” materials as they will make the material deteriorate, causing cracking and peeling of your toy’s super soft surface. When in doubt as to what type of material your toy is made of, always use a water-based lubricant.

Elastomed
The science bit
Elastomed is a thermo plastic elastomer. The word “elastomer” comes from two terms: “elastic” (describing the ability of this material to return to its original shape) and “polymer” (in which “poly” means many and “mer” means parts). During manufacture, toys made from soft elastomers have a product added to them to make them harder, which means they’re ideal for making sex toys with a variety of different textures.

What makes it fun
Elastomed is a slightly porous, odourless, and completely non-toxic synthetically blended material. It can be quite sturdy, but still soft and flexible. The softness and plasticity of toys made from elastomed is achieved because the special molecular structure of this material does not require chemical softeners like phthalates*, nor are any solvents or latex used. If you’re concerned about avoiding contact with these softeners then toys made from elastomed are a good alternative.

Keeping it clean
Toys made from elastomed may be slightly porous so be sure to wash them thoroughly with warm water and a very mild antibacterial soap (or better still - no soap at all), rinse them with clean hot water and pat them dry with a lint-free cloth or towel. They should also be given a quick spray with an antibacterial wipe or vibe cleaner, ideally a non alcohol based cleanser as these cleansers will not irritate or harm your skin if absorbed into your toy. You should steer clear of harsh soaps and detergents for this reason also. While it's a good idea to use a condom with any insert-able toy, it’s an especially good idea with toys made from elastomed. For safer play and easier clean up, a condom will provide a barrier between you and your toy and condoms are an absolute MUST if you’re sharing your toys between partners.

Slip, slide and glide
You’ll also get more mileage from your elastomed toys if you use a lubricant. Water-based lubes are generally additive, grease and fragrance free, which means they’re safe to use with condoms and barrier protection, they’re versatile and gentle on sensitive skin, and they wash off easily and quickly in water, making cleaning up after playing with your elastomed friend a breeze! However silicone-based lubricants are also compatible with toys made from elastomed.

Elastomer
The science bit
Elastomer is a thermo plastic material. The word “elastomer” comes from two terms: “elastic” (describing the ability of this material to return to its original shape) and “polymer” (in which “poly” means many and “mer” means parts). During manufacture, toys made from soft elastomers have a product added to them to make them harder, which means they’re ideal for making sex toys with a variety of different textures.

What makes it fun
Elastomer is a slightly porous, odourless, and completely non-toxic synthetically blended material. It can be quite sturdy, but still soft and flexible. The softness and plasticity of toys made from elastomer is achieved because the special molecular structure of the material does not use chemical softeners like phthalates*. If you’re concerned about avoiding contact with these softeners then toys made from elastomer are a good alternative.

Keeping it clean
Toys made from elastomer may be slightly porous so be sure to wash them thoroughly with warm water and a very mild antibacterial soap (or better still - no soap at all), rinse them with clean hot water and pat them dry with a lint-free cloth or towel. They should also be given a quick spray with an antibacterial wipe or vibe cleaner, ideally a non alcohol based cleanser as these cleansers will not irritate or harm your skin if absorbed into your toy. You should steer clear of harsh soaps and detergents for this reason also. While it's a good idea to use a condom with any insert-able toy, it’s an especially good idea with toys made from elastomer. For safer play and easier clean up, a condom will provide a barrier between you and your toy and condoms are an absolute MUST if you’re sharing your toys between partners.

Slip, slide and glide
You’ll also get more mileage from your elastomer toys if you use a lubricant. Water-based lubes are generally additive, grease and fragrance free, which means they’re safe to use with condoms and barrier protection, they’re versatile and gentle on sensitive skin, and they wash off easily and quickly in water, making cleaning up after playing with your elastomer friend a breeze! However silicone-based lubricants are also compatible with toys made from elastomer.

Fanta-Flesh
The science bit
Fanta-Flesh, also known as CyberSkin, Ultra-Realistic 3.0 or UR3, Futurotic and Pure Skin, is a thermal plastic elastomer comprising a mixture of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and silicone.

What makes it fun
“Real feel” materials like Fanta-Flesh are very soft, warm and smooth to the touch. They’re also undoubtedly the most realistic dildo and vibrator materials on the market today! These materials, while quite durable, are extremely sensitive and can discolour and tear easily so care needs to be taken both during and after play. Fanta-Flesh toys can be towards the more expensive end of the sex toy scale because often they’re handmade. On the plus side, this also means your real feel toys will generally be of a very high quality and their high molecular density promises they will be extremely flexible and resilient.

Keeping it clean
Realistic materials are extremely porous, much like rubber and jelly so they need to be looked after carefully. You should wash your Fanta-Flesh toys with warm water and a very mild antibacterial soap (or better still - no soap at all), rinse them with clean hot water and pat them dry with a lint-free cloth or towel. You must NOT clean your “real feel” toys with alcohol or ammonia-based cleansers as they will destroy the surface of your toy and you should steer clear of harsh soaps and detergents too. Once your toys are completely dry, sprinkle them with “renewing powder” if supplied with your toy, or cornstarch. Never use talcum powder or baby powder as these products can cause irritation, particularly to a girl’s sensitive bits!

Slip, slide and glide
Silicone lubricants should NOT be used with toys made from Fanta-Flesh or other “real feel” materials as they will make the material deteriorate, causing cracking and peeling of your toy’s super soft surface. When in doubt as to what type of material your toy is made of, always use a water-based lubricant.

Faux-Leather
The science bit
Faux-Leather is a synthetic fibre from the polyurethane group. Like natural and patent leather, it’s generally manufactured with a high gloss finish, but with a much cheaper price tag!

What makes it fun
Much cheaper than natural and patent leather, faux-leather is an extremely water resistant and durable material with a high tensile strength and a very high resistance to wear and tear. Often used to make harnesses, restraints and sex position aides, it is also highly resistant to flexing and puncture. Faux-Leather is also a very good heat insulator, is extremely sensual to the touch and has an almost “naughty dominatrix” vibe to it, so it's an excellent harness material for steamy strap-on sessions!

Keeping it clean
You should wipe over your faux-leather toys with a soft cloth dipped in warm water, using a mild, detergent-free soap. For the best results, invest in a soft microfiber cleaning cloth or use an ordinary long-handled, soft bristled brush – but gently!

Futurotic
The science bit
Futurotic, also known as Ultra-Realistic 3.0 or UR3, CyberSkin and Pure Skin, is a thermal plastic elastomer comprising a mixture of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and silicone.

What makes it fun
“Real feel” materials like Futurotic are very soft, warm and smooth to the touch. They’re also undoubtedly the most realistic dildo and vibrator materials on the market today! These materials, while quite durable, are extremely sensitive and can discolour and tear easily so care needs to be taken both during and after play. Futurotic toys can be towards the more expensive end of the sex toy scale because often they’re handmade. On the plus side, this also means your real feel toys will generally be of a very high quality and their high molecular density promises they will be extremely flexible and resilient.

Keeping it clean
Realistic materials are extremely porous, much like rubber and jelly so they need to be looked after carefully. You should wash your Futurotic toys with warm water and a very mild antibacterial soap (or better still - no soap at all), rinse them with clean hot water and pat them dry with a lint-free cloth or towel. You must NOT clean your “real feel” toys with alcohol or ammonia-based cleansers as they will destroy the surface of your toy and you should steer clear of harsh soaps and detergents too. Once your toys are completely dry, sprinkle them with “renewing powder”, if supplied with your toy, or cornstarch. Never use talcum powder or baby powder as these products can cause irritation, particularly to a girl’s sensitive bits!

Slip, slide and glide
Silicone lubricants should NOT be used with toys made from Futurotic or other “real feel” materials as they will make the material deteriorate, causing cracking and peeling of your toy’s super soft surface. When in doubt as to what type of material your toy is made of, always use a water-based lubricant.

Glass
The science bit
Glass is an amorphous (or solid liquid), inorganic, non-metallic material, usually transparent or translucent, made from a general mixture of sand, soda and ground lime. Toys made from glass are 100% recyclable – which is good news if you like to play it green!

What makes it fun
Glass toys are gorgeous (glass is our Editor’s favourite sex toy material)! Not only are they the latest in sex toy sensations, they’re also beautiful and durable products that will give you and your partner a lifetime of pleasure. Glass toys feel amazing! From their high quality, silky smooth finish to their ability to retain heat, glass toys are incredibly exciting and instantly arousing. Toys made from glass also have a weight to them which can be very pleasurable when used for penetration. Glass toys are very pretty to look at, with many glass toys doubling as beautiful works of art. Glass is also completely non-porous and doesn't absorb dirt, oil or lubricant, so it stays germ-free for the ultimate in hygienic sex play. It's also hypoallergenic, making it the ideal material for anyone who suffers from an allergy to plastic or latex, and it’s completely phthalate-free! But best of all, your glass toys can be heated and cooled to provide a range of exciting sensations. Try warming them in hot water or keeping them in the fridge and you’ll experience hot thrills and icy chills like no other! Glass dongs also adjust quickly to your own body temperature, all without cracking or breaking. In fact, they’ll even withstand small bumps and bangs without shattering, cracking or chipping!

Keeping it clean
The easy clean alternatives, toys made from glass may be washed with an antibacterial soap in warm water. Your glass toys may also be boiled or submerged in hot water for a couple of minutes – even placed on the top rack of your dishwasher, provided they’re not battery operated of course! To guard against infection and quickly and gently clean and remove dirt, lubricant and bacteria – without spreading germs - a quick spray with an antibacterial wipe or vibe cleaner is a must. Ensure all surfaces are moistened with cleaner and then allow your toys to dry naturally or pat them dry with a soft towel or cloth. There’s no need to rinse your cleanser as both alcohol and non alcohol based cleaners are safe to use on toys made from glass.

Slip, slide and glide
Glass toys are compatible with both silicone and water-based lubricants, and need only a little lube for a super slippery effect.

IntraMed
The science bit
IntraMed is the brand name of a specially formulated, medical-grade, thermoplastic developed by sex toy manufacturer Rocks Off. Boasting similar benefits to silicone, IntraMed has been tested to the highest standard and is CE and ROHS certified. Toys made from IntraMed are fully reprocess-able and recyclable, making them an environmentally friendly sex toy alternative which is good news if you like to play it green.

What makes it fun
IntraMed is non-porous, odourless and completely phthalate-free. It's also hypo-allergenic, making it the ideal material for anyone who suffers from an allergy to plastic or latex. And because it’s 100% recyclable, you can cum without conscience when you play with toys made from IntraMed!

Keeping it clean
Toys made from IntraMed can be cleaned quickly and easily with hot water and a specially formulated vibe cleaner or antibacterial wipe. You should ensure all surfaces are moistened with cleaner and then allow your toys to dry naturally or pat them dry with a soft towel or cloth. There’s no need to rinse as both alcohol and non alcohol based cleaners are safe to use on toys made from IntraMed.

Slip, slide and glide
Like most sex toy materials, you’ll get more mileage from your IntraMed toys if you use a lubricant when you play, however because it boasts similar properties to silicone, silicone lubricants should NOT be used with toys made from IntraMed as they will make the material deteriorate, causing cracking and peeling of your toy’s super soft surface.

Jel-Lee
The science bit
Jel-Lee is the trademarked name for a line of jelly rubber adult toys. Jelly rubber is a poly vinyl chloride compound.

What makes it fun
The world’s most popular sex toy material, jelly is used to make different versions of practically every sex toy on the planet! It’s been used in sex toy manufacturing for decades and with good reason: it’s inexpensive, it’s colourful and its soft texture and feel make playing with jelly toys loads of fun! Jelly vibes and toys also tend to be a lot warmer to the touch than some other materials and can be quite nice at nearly half the price of their silicone sisters.

Keeping it clean
Toys made from jelly are extremely porous so be sure to wash them thoroughly with an antibacterial soap in warm water and then rinse them thoroughly to ensure no traces of soap remain. They should also be given a quick spray with an antibacterial wipe or vibe cleaner, ideally a non alcohol based cleanser as these cleansers will not irritate or harm your skin if absorbed into your toy. While it's a good idea to use a condom with any insert-able toy, it’s an especially good idea with toys made from this material as some jelly toys may contain rubber softeners, such as phthalates. For safer play and easier clean up, a condom will provide a barrier between you and your toy and condoms are an absolute MUST if you’re sharing your toys between partners.

Slip, slide and glide
You’ll also get more mileage from your jelly toys if you use a lubricant. Water-based lubes are generally additive, grease and fragrance free, which means they’re safe to use with condoms and barrier protection, they’re versatile and gentle on sensitive skin, and they wash off easily and quickly in water, making cleaning up after playing with your jelly friend a breeze!

Jelly
The science bit
Jelly rubber is a poly vinyl chloride compound.

What makes it fun
The world’s most popular sex toy material, jelly is used to make different versions of practically every sex toy on the planet! It’s been used in sex toy manufacturing for decades and with good reason: it’s inexpensive, it’s colourful and its soft texture and feel make playing with jelly toys loads of fun! Jelly vibes and toys also tend to be a lot warmer to the touch than some other materials and can be quite nice at nearly half the price of their silicone sisters.

Keeping it clean
Toys made from jelly are extremely porous so be sure to wash them thoroughly with an antibacterial soap in warm water and then rinse them thoroughly to ensure no traces of soap remain. They should also be given a quick spray with an antibacterial wipe or vibe cleaner, ideally a non alcohol based cleanser as these cleansers will not irritate or harm your skin if absorbed into your toy. While it's a good idea to use a condom with any insert-able toy, it’s an especially good idea with toys made from this material as some jelly toys may contain rubber softeners, such as phthalates. For safer play and easier clean up, a condom will provide a barrier between you and your toy and condoms are an absolute MUST if you’re sharing your toys between partners.

Slip, slide and glide
You’ll also get more mileage from your jelly toys if you use a lubricant. Water-based lubes are generally additive, grease and fragrance free, which means they’re safe to use with condoms and barrier protection, they’re versatile and gentle on sensitive skin, and they wash off easily and quickly in water, making cleaning up after playing with your jelly friend a breeze!

Latex
The science bit
Latex is a synthetic elastic hydrocarbon polymer (rubber) which is naturally derived from the sap of the rubber tree.

What makes it fun
While silicone and jelly toys are wiggly and wonderful, many sex toys are made out of simple latex rubber. Latex can be pretty tough stuff, but it’s also relatively inexpensive, versatile and very resilient (unlike silicone, it won’t shudder at the site of your long fingernails and is less likely to crack if it’s dropped)! As befits such a tough customer, latex toys come in a wide range of colours, but basic black and flesh colouring appear to be the most popular. A lot of anal vibrators are made from latex. Some vibrators have a hard plastic shell which is then covered in a softer material like latex or jelly rubber. These vibrators often have the benefit of strength with the softer feel which some people prefer. If you’re looking for an inexpensive toy that’s less likely to smell like chemicals, latex is a very good choice.

Keeping it clean
Toys made from latex are extremely porous so be sure to wash them thoroughly with an antibacterial soap in warm water and then rinse thoroughly to ensure no traces of soap remain. They should also be given a quick antibacterial spray or wipe, ideally a non alcohol based cleanser as these cleansers will not irritate or harm your skin if absorbed into your toy. While it's a good idea to use a condom with any insert-able toy, it’s an especially good idea with this material, and an absolute MUST if you’re sharing them between partners.

Slip, slide and glide
You’ll get more mileage from your latex toys if you use a lubricant. And if you’re not already using a lube with your trusty toys, you’ll be amazed at how different a drop or two will make your toy feel and how much wetter and wilder your orgasms will be! Both water-based and silicone lubes are highly recommended because they’re safe to use with sex toys made from latex.

Leather
The science bit
Leather is a naturally occurring fibre, while patent leather is natural leather that has been given a high gloss finish.

What makes it fun
Leather is an extremely water resistant and durable material with a high tensile strength and a very high resistance to wear and tear. Often used to make harnesses, restraints and sex position aides, it is also highly resistant to flexing and puncture. Leather is also a very good heat insulator, is extremely sensual to the touch and has an almost “naughty dominatrix” vibe to it, so it makes an excellent harness material for steamy strap-on sessions!

Keeping it clean
You should wipe over your leather toys with a soft cloth dipped in warm water, using a mild, detergent-free soap only. For the best results, invest in a soft microfiber cleaning cloth or use an ordinary long-handled, soft bristled brush – but gently!

Metal
The science bit
Metal is an element that readily forms ions (cations) and has metallic bonds.

What makes it fun
There aren’t as many metal sex toys on the market as there are jelly toys, but if you’re into seriously powerful sex, or you’re an S&M queen, metal is the perfect choice for your sex toy material! The hardness of metal makes it easy for vibrations to be transmitted, meaning more intense sensations and more powerful orgasms all round! Toys made from this material also have a weight to them which can be very pleasurable when used for penetration, and the material makes the vibration resonate in a different fashion, which is noticeable when using it. Metal toys also cool down and warm up quickly, adding another element to the sensation. Metal is one of the least porous materials which means it’s less likely to cause allergies or transfer germs and it’s guaranteed to be phthalate-free!

Keeping it clean
The easy clean alternatives, toys made from metal may be washed with an antibacterial soap in warm water. Your metal toys may also be boiled or submerged in hot water for a couple of minutes – even placed on the top rack of your dishwasher, provided they’re not battery operated of course! To guard against infection and quickly and gently clean and remove dirt, lubricant and bacteria – without spreading germs - a quick spray with an antibacterial wipe or vibe cleaner is a must. Ensure all surfaces are moistened with cleaner and then allow your toys to dry naturally or pat them dry with a soft towel or cloth. There’s no need to rinse your cleanser as both alcohol and non alcohol based cleaners are safe to use on toys made from metal.

Slip, slide and glide
Like most sex toy materials, you’ll get more mileage from your metal toys if you use a lubricant when you play. Both water and silicone-based lubricants are safe to use with toys made from metal.

Neoprene
The science bit
Neoprene is the trademarked name for a family of synthetic rubbers based on polychloroprene. Used widely in the manufacture of wetsuits and protective gear, it’s also the fetish fanatic’s choice of material for BDSM equipment!

What makes it fun
Neoprene displays outstanding physical toughness and remains useful over a wide temperature range. Usually used for manufacturing of harnesses and BDSM equipment, toys made from Neoprene have an outstanding resistance to damage caused by flexing and twisting – the perfect material for position aides!

Keeping it clean
As Neoprene has a closed cell structure, dirt will not penetrate into the material. Consequently, a wipe over with warm water or a damp cloth is sufficient.

Slip, slide and glide
Both water and silicone-based lubricants are safe to use with toys and restraints made from Neoprene.

Nylon
The science bit
Nylon is a generic name for a family of synthetic polymers also known as polyamides. Nylon is one of the most commonly used polymers and is a silky, thermoplastic material.

What makes it fun
Like Neoprene, nylon displays outstanding physical toughness and remains useful over a wide temperature range. It’s also 100% hypo-allergenic and completely phthalate and toxin-free. Nylon is durable, resilient and resistant to oil, grease and solvents, making clean up after sex a breeze!

Keeping it clean
Generally, dirt will not penetrate into this material so consequently, a wipe over with warm water or a damp cloth is sufficient.

Slip, slide and glide
Both water and silicone-based lubricants are safe to use with toys and restraints made from nylon.

Plastic
The science bit
Plastic is a synthetic or semi synthetic polymerization product.

What makes it fun
Plastic and acrylic vibes usually have hard, non-porous surfaces and are generally smooth, but they may also be fluted or textured, depending upon the toy. Hard plastic transmits vibrations easily, leading to powerful sensations and super hot orgasms… There’s just something about that cool, sleek casing and its strong internal vibe! Plus because their motors are encased in hard plastic instead of smooth rubber, the vibe is generally felt all the way through the toy. Since many plastic toys have a metallic silver exterior, they also have the added bonus of appearing sophisticated and hi-tech.

Keeping it clean
Plastic and acrylic toys are also the easy clean alternatives, as they can be washed with an antibacterial soap in warm water, and are generally whiff-free as they contain none of those dangerous phthalates often used to soften PVC.

Slip, slide and glide
Like most sex toy materials, you’ll get more mileage from your plastic toys if you use a lubricant when you play. Both water and silicone-based lubricants are safe to use with toys made from plastic.

Pure Skin
The science bit
Pure Skin, also known as Ultra-Realistic 3.0 or UR3, Futurotic and CyberSkin, is a thermal plastic elastomer comprising a mixture of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and silicone.

What makes it fun
“Real feel” materials like Pure Skin are very soft, warm and smooth to the touch. They’re also undoubtedly the most realistic dildo and vibrator materials on the market today! These materials, while quite durable, are extremely sensitive and can discolour and tear easily so care needs to be taken both during and after play. Pure Skin toys can be towards the more expensive end of the sex toy scale because often they’re handmade. On the plus side, this also means your real feel toys will generally be of a very high quality and their high molecular density promises they will be extremely flexible and resilient.

Keeping it clean
Realistic materials are extremely porous, much like rubber and jelly so they need to be looked after carefully. You should wash your Pure Skin toys with warm water and a very mild antibacterial soap (or better still - no soap at all), rinse them with clean hot water and pat them dry with a lint-free cloth or towel. You must NOT clean your “real feel” toys with alcohol or ammonia-based cleansers as they will destroy the surface of your toy and you should steer clear of harsh soaps and detergents too. Once your toys are completely dry, sprinkle them with “renewing powder”, if supplied with your toy, or cornstarch. Never use talcum powder or baby powder as these products can cause irritation, particularly to a girl’s sensitive bits!

Slip, slide and glide
Silicone lubricants should NOT be used with toys made from Pure Skin or other “real feel” materials as they will make the material deteriorate, causing cracking and peeling of your toy’s super soft surface. When in doubt as to what type of material your toy is made of, always use a water-based lubricant.

PVC
The science bit
PVC is a colourless, odourless and tasteless polymer derived from vinyl chloride monomer, a chlorinated hydrocarbon.

What makes it fun
Generally PVC is light, water resistant and long lasting. These excellent qualities make PVC one of the most commonly used plastics today. Vibrators made from PVC usually have a hard, slightly porous surface and are generally smooth, but they may also be fluted or textured, depending upon the toy. Hard plastic transmits vibrations easily, leading to powerful sensations and super hot orgasms… There’s just something about that cool, sleek casing and its strong internal vibe! Plus because their motors are encased in hard plastic instead of smooth rubber, the vibe is generally felt all the way through the toy.

Keeping it clean
Plastic and PVC toys are also the easy clean alternatives, as they can be washed with an antibacterial soap in warm water. However, while it's a good idea to use a condom with any insert-able toy, it’s an especially good idea with toys made from this material as some toys made from PVC may contain softeners, such as phthalates*. For safer play and easier clean up, a condom will provide a barrier between you and your toy and condoms are an absolute MUST if you’re sharing your toys between partners.

Slip, slide and glide
Like most sex toy materials, you’ll get more mileage from your PVC toys if you use a lubricant when you play. Both water and silicone-based lubricants are safe to use with toys made from PVC.

Pyrex Glass
The science bit
Glass is an amorphous (or solid liquid), inorganic, non-metallic material that is usually transparent or translucent. Pyrex, a brand name for borosilicate glass, is made by adding boron into the general mixture of sand, soda and ground lime. The boron reduces any stress caused to the material due to temperature changes, making it less dense than ordinary glass, and much more resistant to shattering and breaking as well.

What makes it fun
Pyrex glass toys are gorgeous (glass is our Editor’s favourite sex toy material)! Not only are they the latest in sex toy sensations, they’re also beautiful and durable products that will give you and your partner a lifetime of pleasure. Pyrex glass toys feel amazing! From their high quality, silky smooth finish to their ability to retain heat, glass toys are incredibly exciting and instantly arousing. Toys made from Pyrex glass also have a weight to them which can be very pleasurable when used for penetration. Pyrex glass toys are very pretty to look at, with many Pyrex glass toys doubling as beautiful works of art. Pyrex glass is also completely non-porous and doesn't absorb dirt, oil or lubricant, so it stays germ-free for the ultimate in hygienic sex play. It's also hypoallergenic, making it the ideal material for anyone who suffers from an allergy to plastic or latex, and it’s completely phthalate-free! But best of all, your Pyrex glass toys can be heated and cooled to provide a range of exciting sensations. Try warming them in hot water or keeping them in the fridge and you’ll experience hot thrills and icy chills like no other! Pyrex glass dongs also adjust quickly to your own body temperature, all without cracking or breaking. In fact, they’ll even withstand small bumps and bangs without shattering, cracking or chipping!

Keeping it clean
The easy clean alternatives, toys made from Pyrex glass may be washed with an antibacterial soap in warm water. Your Pyrex glass toys may also be boiled or submerged in hot water for a couple of minutes – even placed on the top rack of your dishwasher, provided they’re not battery operated of course! To guard against infection and quickly and gently clean and remove dirt, lubricant and bacteria – without spreading germs - a quick spray with an antibacterial wipe or vibe cleaner is a must. Ensure all surfaces are moistened with cleaner and then allow your toys to dry naturally or pat them dry with a soft towel or cloth. There’s no need to rinse your cleanser as both alcohol and non alcohol based cleaners are safe to use on toys made from Pyrex glass.

Slip, slide and glide
Pyrex glass toys are compatible with both silicone and water-based lubricants, and need only a little lube for a super slippery effect.

Rubber
The science bit
Rubber is a naturally occurring elastic hydrocarbon polymer derived from the sap of the rubber tree.

What makes it fun
While silicone and jelly toys are wiggly and wonderful, many sex toys are made out of simple rubber. Rubber can be pretty tough stuff, but it’s also relatively inexpensive, versatile and very resilient (unlike silicone, it won’t shudder at the site of your long fingernails and is less likely to crack if it’s dropped)! As befits such a tough customer, rubber toys come in a wide range of colours, but basic black and flesh colouring appear to be the most popular. A lot of anal vibrators are made from rubber.

Some vibrators have a hard plastic shell which is then covered in a softer material like rubber or latex. These vibrators often have the benefit of strength with the softer feel which some people prefer. If you’re looking for an inexpensive toy that’s less likely to smell like chemicals, rubber is a very good choice.

Keeping it clean
Toys made from rubber are extremely porous so be sure to wash them thoroughly with an antibacterial soap in warm water and then rinse thoroughly to ensure no traces of soap remain. They should also be given a quick antibacterial spray or wipe, ideally a non alcohol based cleanser as these cleansers will not irritate or harm your skin if absorbed into your toy. While it's a good idea to use a condom with any insert-able toy, it’s an especially good idea with this material, and an absolute MUST if you’re sharing them between partners.

Slip, slide and glide
You’ll get more mileage from your rubber toys if you use a lubricant. And if you’re not already using a lube with your trusty toys, you’ll be amazed at how different a drop or two will make your toy feel and how much wetter and wilder your orgasms will be! Both water-based and silicone lubes are highly recommended because they’re safe to use with sex toys made from rubber.

Rubber-Cote
The science bit
Rubber-Cote, like Velvet-Cote, is a trademarked name for a synthetic or semisynthetic polymerization product comprised of organic condensation with the addition of polymers.

What makes it fun
Velvety to the touch, Rubber-Cote is non-porous, which means that vibrators and sex toys made of Rubber-Cote don't readily absorb dirt or lubricant and can be cleaned quickly and easily. It is also hypo-allergenic, making it the ideal material for anyone who suffers from an allergy to plastic or latex, and it’s completely phthalate-free! Rubber-Cote toys readily transmit vibrations so the motors in these toys feel stronger, which means generally you’ll get more bang for you buck with these beauties. Plus they feel deliciously soft and silky smooth.

Keeping it clean
The easy clean alternatives, toys made from Rubber-Cote may be washed with an antibacterial soap in warm water. To guard against infection and quickly and gently clean and remove dirt, lubricant and bacteria – without spreading germs - a quick spray with an antibacterial wipe or vibe cleaner is a must. Ensure all surfaces are moistened with cleaner and then allow your toys to dry naturally or pat them dry with a soft towel or cloth. There’s no need to rinse your cleanser as both alcohol and non alcohol based cleaners are safe to use on toys made from Rubber-Cote.

Slip, slide and glide
Like most sex toy materials, you’ll get more mileage from your Rubber-Cote toys if you use a lubricant when you play. Both water and silicone-based lubricants are safe to use with toys made from this material.

SensaFirm
The science bit
SensaFirm is the trademarked name for a line of products made of a soft variation of thermal plastic elastomer (or TPE), a mixture of polyvinyl chloride and silicone.

What makes it fun
Manufactured to mimic the feel of real skin, the high molecular density of this material promises that toys made from SensaFirm and TPE will be extremely flexible and resilient. Less porous than CyberSkin and other “real feel” materials, TPE is quite durable however it’s also extremely sensitive and can discolour and tear easily so care needs to be taken both during and after play.

TPE is hypo-allergenic, making it the ideal material for anyone who suffers from an allergy to plastic or latex, and it’s completely phthalate-free! No solvents or latex are used in the production of TPE so it’s also an excellent material for people who have sensitive skin.

Toys made from this material can be towards the more expensive end of the sex toy scale because often they’re handmade. On the plus side, this also means your TPE toys will generally be of a very high quality. If you’re looking for a sex toy made of a superior, toxin free material, you can’t go wrong with a toy made of TPE.

Keeping it clean
Realistic materials, like TPE, are extremely porous, much like rubber, jelly and CyberSkin so they need to be looked after carefully. You should wash your TPE toys with warm water and a very mild antibacterial soap (or better still - no soap at all), rinse them with clean hot water and pat them dry with a lint-free cloth or towel. You must NOT clean your TPE toys with alcohol or ammonia-based cleansers as they will destroy the surface of your toy and you should steer clear of harsh soaps and detergents too. Toys made of this material should also be stored in a cool, dark place.

Slip, slide and glide
Like most sex toy materials, you’ll get more mileage from your SensaFirm toys if you use a lubricant when you play. Both water and silicone-based lubricants are safe to use with toys made from this material.

Sil-A-Gel
The science bit
Sil-A-Gel is a trademarked name for a variation of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) which is a widely used thermoplastic polymer.

What makes it fun
Like PVC, Sil-A-Gel is light, water resistant and long lasting. These excellent qualities make PVC one of the most commonly used plastics today. Vibrators made from PVC usually have a hard, slightly-porous surface and are generally smooth, but they may also be fluted or textured, depending upon the toy. Hard plastic transmits vibrations easily, leading to powerful sensations and super hot orgasms… There’s just something about that cool, sleek casing and its strong internal vibe! Plus because their motors are encased in hard plastic instead of smooth rubber, the vibe is generally felt all the way through the toy. Another major benefit of Sil-A-Gel is that it is completely latex and cadmium-free. Cadmium, a known carcinogen, is often used as a stabilizer in some plastic products. Sil-A-Gel is also soft, super-smooth, and completely anti-bacterial, which means it limits the risk of transferring bacteria.

Keeping it clean
Sil-A-Gel and PVC toys are also the easy clean alternatives, as they can be washed with an antibacterial soap in warm water. To guard against infection and quickly and gently clean and remove dirt, lubricant and bacteria – without spreading germs - a quick spray with an antibacterial wipe or vibe cleaner is a must. Ensure all surfaces are moistened with cleaner and then allow your toys to dry naturally or pat them dry with a soft towel or cloth. There’s no need to rinse your cleanser as both alcohol and non alcohol based cleaners are safe to use on toys made from Sil-A-Gel. The only down side to playing with a toy made of Sil-A-Gel is that this material has a tendency to attract dust and small debris, so ideally they should be covered before being stored separately in a cool, dark place.

Slip, slide and glide
Like most sex toy materials, you’ll get more mileage from your Sil-A-Gel and PVC toys if you use a lubricant when you play. Both water and silicone-based lubricants are safe to use with toys made from Sil-A-Gel.

Silicone
The science bit
Silicone is a man-made, semi-organic polymer known for its wide-ranging stability and water repellence.

What makes it fun
Watch it wiggle, see it jiggle... Silicone is the ideal material for just about every kind of sex toy! Much like jelly, silicone warms up quickly and retains heat well, but it’s much more flexible and is also non-porous which means that vibrators and sex toys made of silicone don't readily absorb dirt or lubricant and can be cleaned quickly and easily. Silicone toys readily transmit vibrations so the motors in these toys feel stronger, which means generally you’ll get more bang for you buck with these beauties. Silicone toys can vary in density – some are extremely soft while others are more rigid - but they’re all extremely life like with a smooth texture (the variation simply depends on how much silicone is poured into the mould). With no hard edges, snags or imperfections - if you run your fingers over these toys with your eyes closed, you could easily be fooled into thinking you were touching skin. 100% medical grade silicone toys tick all the boxes – they’re hypoallergenic (safe for people with allergies), hygienic, boilable, bleachable AND dishwasher safe. If you're looking for a high-quality, realistic toy that will last a long, long time, silicone is generally a great way to go.

Keeping it clean
Silicone toys can be cleaned quickly and easily with hot water and a specially formulated vibe cleaner or antibacterial wipe. You should ensure all surfaces are moistened and then allow your toys to dry naturally or pat them dry with a soft towel or cloth. There’s no need to rinse as both alcohol and non alcohol based cleaners are safe to use on toys made from silicone. Your silicone toys may also be boiled or submerged in hot water for a couple of minutes – even placed on the top rack of your dishwasher, provided they’re not battery operated of course!

Lubricant
Like most sex toy materials, you’ll get more mileage from your silicone toys if you use a lubricant when you play, however silicone-based lubes should NOT be used with toys made from silicone as they’ll make the material deteriorate, causing cracking and peeling of your buzz buddy’s super soft surface. When in doubt as to what type of material your toy is made of, always use a water-based lubricant.

Silk
The science bit
Silk is a natural protein fibre obtained from cocoons made by the larvae of the mulberry silkworm.

What makes it fun
Silk has a shimmering appearance that comes from the fibres' triangular prism-like structure which allows silk cloth to refract incoming light at different angles. It has excellent absorbency properties which makes it extremely comfortable to wear when you’re steaming it up between the sheets!

Keeping it clean
Silk can’t stand high temperatures so never soak, boil or bleach silk. Silk may be hand-washed in tepid water only with a small amount of mild and gentle soap flakes or a specially formulated washing product for delicate lingerie. You should rinse your silk products thoroughly three times using hand hot water for each rinse and then allow them to dry naturally in an airy place away from the sun and direct heat.

Spandex
The science bit
Spandex is a synthetic fibre known for its exceptional elasticity (stretchability).

What makes it fun
Spandex is an extremely strong and durable material. It has the ability to be stretched repeatedly while still maintaining its original shape and size. It is resistant to body oils, perspiration, lotions, and detergents and has very few static or pilling problems.

Keeping it clean
Like silk, spandex can’t stand high temperatures so never soak, boil or bleach spandex. Spandex may be hand-washed in tepid water only with a small amount of mild detergent. You should rinse your Spandex products thoroughly in tepid water then allow them to dry naturally in an airy place away from the sun and direct heat.

TPE
The science bit
TPE, also known as TPR, stands for Thermal Plastic Elastomer and is a polymer blend of polyvinyl chloride and silicone.

What makes it fun
Manufactured to mimic the feel of real skin, the high molecular density of this material promises that toys made from TPE will be extremely flexible and resilient. Less porous than CyberSkin and other “real feel” materials, TPE is quite durable however it’s also extremely sensitive and can discolour and tear easily so care needs to be taken both during and after play.

TPE is hypo-allergenic, making it the ideal material for anyone who suffers from an allergy to plastic or latex, and it’s completely phthalate-free! No solvents or latex are used in the production of TPE so it’s also an excellent material for people who have sensitive skin.

Toys made from this material can be towards the more expensive end of the sex toy scale because often they’re handmade. On the plus side, this also means your TPE toys will generally be of a very high quality. If you’re looking for a sex toy made of a superior, toxin free material, you can’t go wrong with a toy made of TPE.

Keeping it clean
Realistic materials like TPE, are extremely porous, much like rubber, CyberSkin and SensaFirm. They therefore need to be looked after carefully. You should wash your TPE toys with warm water and a very mild antibacterial soap (or better still - no soap at all), rinse them with clean hot water and pat them dry with a lint-free cloth or towel. You must NOT clean your TPE toys with alcohol or ammonia-based cleansers as they will destroy the surface of your toy and you should steer clear of harsh soaps and detergents too. Toys made of this material should also be stored in a cool, dark place.

Slip, slide and glide
Like most sex toy materials, you’ll get more mileage from your TPE toys if you use a lubricant when you play. Both water and silicone-based lubricants are safe to use with toys made from this material.

TPR
The science bit
TPR, also known as TPE, is a thermal plastic elastomer, which is a polymer blend of polyvinyl chloride and silicone.

What makes it fun
Manufactured to mimic the feel of real skin, the high molecular density of this material promises that toys made from TPR will be extremely flexible and resilient. Less porous than CyberSkin and other “real feel” materials, TPR is quite durable however it’s also extremely sensitive and can discolour and tear easily so care needs to be taken both during and after play.

TPR is hypo-allergenic, making it the ideal material for anyone who suffers from an allergy to plastic or latex, and it’s completely phthalate-free! No solvents or latex are used in the production of TPR so its also an excellent material for people who have sensitive skin.

Toys made from this material can be towards the more expensive end of the sex toy scale because often they’re handmade. On the plus side, this also means your TPR toys will generally be of a very high quality. If you’re looking for a sex toy made of a superior, toxin free material, you can’t go wrong with a toy made of TPR.

Keeping it clean
Realistic materials like TPR, are extremely porous, much like rubber, CyberSkin and SensaFirm. They therefore need to be looked after carefully. You should wash your TPR toys with warm water and a very mild antibacterial soap (or better still - no soap at all), rinse them with clean hot water and pat them dry with a lint-free cloth or towel. You must NOT clean your TPR toys with alcohol or ammonia-based cleansers as they will destroy the surface of your toy and you should steer clear of harsh soaps and detergents too. Toys made of this material should also be stored in a cool, dark place.

Slip, slide and glide
Silicone lubricants should NOT be used with toys made from TPR or other “real feel” materials as they will make the material deteriorate, causing cracking and peeling of your toy’s super soft surface. When in doubt as to what type of material your toy is made of, always use a water-based lubricant.

Ultra Realistic 3.0
The science bit
Ultra Realistic 3.0 or UR3, also known as Futurotic, CyberSkin and Pure Skin, is a thermal plastic elastomer comprising a mixture of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and silicone.

What makes it fun
“Real feel” materials like Ultra Realistic 3.0 are very soft, warm and smooth to the touch. They’re also undoubtedly the most realistic dildo and vibrator materials on the market today! These materials, while quite durable, are extremely sensitive and can discolour and tear easily so care needs to be taken both during and after play. Ultra Realistic 3.0 toys can be towards the more expensive end of the sex toy scale because often they’re handmade. On the plus side, this also means your real feel toys will generally be of a very high quality and their high molecular density promises they will be extremely flexible and resilient.

Keeping it clean
Realistic materials are extremely porous, much like rubber and jelly so they need to be looked after carefully. You should wash your Ultra Realistic 3.0 toys with warm water and a very mild antibacterial soap (or better still - no soap at all), rinse them with clean hot water and pat them dry with a lint-free cloth or towel. You must NOT clean your “real feel” toys with alcohol or ammonia-based cleansers as they will destroy the surface of your toy and you should steer clear of harsh soaps and detergents too. Once your toys are completely dry, sprinkle them with “renewing powder”, if supplied with your toy, or cornstarch. Never use talcum powder or baby powder as these products can cause irritation, particularly to a girl’s sensitive bits!

Slip, slide and glide
Like most sex toy materials, you’ll get more mileage from your UR3 toys if you use a lubricant when you play. Both water and silicone-based lubricants are safe to use with toys made from this material.

Velvet-Cote
The science bit
Velvet-Cote, like Rubber-Cote, is a trademarked name for a synthetic or semisynthetic polymerization product comprised of organic condensation with the addition of polymers.

What makes it fun
Soft and downy to the touch, Velvet -Cote is non-porous, which means that vibrators and sex toys made of Velvet-Cote don't readily absorb dirt or lubricant and can be cleaned quickly and easily. It is also hypo-allergenic, making it the ideal material for anyone who suffers from an allergy to plastic or latex, and it’s completely phthalate-free! Velvet-Cote toys readily transmit vibrations so the motors in these toys feel stronger, which means generally you’ll get more bang for your buck with these beauties. Plus they feel deliciously soft and silky smooth.

Keeping it clean
The easy clean alternatives, toys made from Velvet-Cote may be washed with an antibacterial soap in warm water. To guard against infection and quickly and gently clean and remove dirt, lubricant and bacteria – without spreading germs - a quick spray with an antibacterial wipe or vibe cleaner is a must. Ensure all surfaces are moistened with cleaner and then allow your toys to dry naturally or pat them dry with a soft towel or cloth. There’s no need to rinse your cleanser as both alcohol and non alcohol based cleaners are safe to use on toys made from Velvet-Cote.

Slip, slide and glide
Like most sex toy materials, you’ll get more mileage from your Velvet-Cote toys if you use a lubricant when you play. Both water and silicone-based lubricants are safe to use with toys made from this material.

Vinyl
The science bit
Vinyl is composed of chlorine, based on common salt, and ethylene, which is manufactured from crude oil.

What makes it fun
Like jelly, vinyl is a firm, solid material which is smooth and soft to the touch. Toys made from vinyl however have a more solid feeling than toys made from jelly and they’re also less porous than most jelly toys. However toys made from Vinyl are still capable of absorbing oil, dirt and germs so proper cleaning techniques should be followed. Vinyl toys are also longer lasting than their plastic fantastic friends.

Keeping it clean
Toys made from vinyl are less porous than those made from jelly and rubber, however they should still be washed thoroughly with an antibacterial soap in warm water and then rinsed carefully to ensure no traces of soap remain. They should also be given a quick spray with an antibacterial wipe or vibe cleaner, ideally a non alcohol based cleanser as these cleansers will not irritate or harm your skin if absorbed into your toy. While it's a good idea to use a condom with any insert-able toy, it’s an especially good idea with toys made from this material for safer play and easier clean up.

Slip, slide and glide
Like most sex toy materials, you’ll get more mileage from your vinyl toys if you use a lubricant when you play. Both water and silicone-based lubricants are safe to use with toys made from vinyl.

Vinyl Rubber
The science bit
Vinyl rubber is an elastic hydrocarbon polymer which occurs as a milky emulsion in the sap of a number of plants. It can also be produced synthetically.

What makes it fun
Vinyl rubber is a higher quality rubber than latex, but of course, it’s not as high quality as silicone. Vinyl rubber sex toys are really sleek and not particularly pliable, making them the perfect material for butt plugs, where a solid build is required. Toys made from vinyl rubber are less porous than jelly toys, making them a good alternative for jelly babies on a budget. However toys made from vinyl rubber are still capable of absorbing oil, dirt and germs so proper cleaning techniques should be followed. Vinyl toys are also longer lasting than their plastic fantastic friends. Vinyl rubber toys will also last longer then latex toys and are good for people who have an allergy to latex allergies.

Keeping it clean
Toys made from vinyl rubber are less porous than those made from jelly, however they should still be washed thoroughly with an antibacterial soap in warm water and then rinsed carefully to ensure no traces of soap remain. They should also be given a quick spray with an antibacterial wipe or vibe cleaner, ideally a non alcohol based cleanser as these cleansers will not irritate or harm your skin if absorbed into your toy. While it's a good idea to use a condom with any insert-able toy, it’s an especially good idea with toys made from this material for safer play and easier clean up.

Slip, slide and glide
Like most sex toy materials, you’ll get more mileage from your vinyl rubber toys if you use a lubricant when you play. Both water and silicone-based lubricants are safe to use with toys made from vinyl rubber.

What floats your boat
Remember, everyone is different and everyone is looking for a different sensation. The variety of materials available for sex toy manufacture these days makes it easy to find the right toy and the right toy material for you. We also like to point out when a product is latex and/or phthalate-free so you can be certain you’re getting the right sensation, not just for the good of your orgasm but also for your health.

This is particularly because over recent years there have been a number of detrimental reports on the alleged health effects caused by phthalates. As a result, a number of children’s toy manufacturers, including Mattel and Disney, have banned the use of phthalates in the making of their products which in turn has led to phthalates receiving even more adverse attention in the media.

If you've read some of the more sensational headlines, you could be forgiven for being worried about the use of phthalates in the making of some sex toys! But when you look at the research behind the headlines, it's not quite that simple - or scary…

In fact, after extensive testing, the European Union's Scientific Committee on Toxicity, Ecotoxicity and the Environment (CSTEE) has said that it does not believe phthalates pose an immediate or serious risk to consumers. A further study carried out by the US Centre For Disease Control has also demonstrated that there is no evidence to suggest there are any direct links between the phthalates present in some sex toy materials and any detrimental health effects on humans.

So while phthalates may sound scary (even pronouncing the word is hard), it's important not to become overwhelmed by a sense of hysteria. We also believe it is important for you to understand how phthalates are used in the making of some sex toys so that you can make your own informed decision about the sex toy materials you purchase. So read on…

What are phthalates?
Pronounced 'thalates' (the 'ph' is silent), phthalates are colourless oil-like chemicals used in the manufacturing industry to increase the flexibility, transparency, durability and longevity of some plastic and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) products. Derived from phthalic acid, and often called a plasticizer for its plastic-softening properties, phthalates have been in use since the 1920s and have been added to everything from perfumes and pesticides to medical instruments and sex toys.

Many vibrators, dildos and “love dolls,” for example — especially the soft, pliable “jelly” type — are made from some form of plastic. Jelly has been used in sex toy manufacturing for decades and with good reason: it’s inexpensive, it’s colourful and its soft texture and feel make playing with jelly toys loads of fun! Jelly vibes and toys also tend to be a lot warmer to the touch than some other materials and can be quite nice at nearly half the price of their silicone sisters. In an effort to make this jelly material softer and more lifelike however, manufacturers may add rubber softeners such as phthalates to their toys. Some realistic or “real feel” materials such as Cyberskin may also contain rubber softeners such as phthalates.

So how does this affect you?
There is no hard scientific data available at present to show that phthalates in sex toys pose a risk to human health. So toys made from jelly and other “real feel” materials, even if softened by the use of phthalates, can be considered safe to buy and use!

Rest assured that we're keeping an eye on this situation though and will keep you informed of any further developments. In the meantime, we’re doing our best to make our product descriptions as detailed as possible so that you know what you're buying when you make a purchase from our website. We’re also striving to inform you of exactly what material each toy we sell is made from and whether it is guaranteed to be free of toxins, latex, and/or phthalates.

The final word
If you're concerned about the use of phthalates in the making of sex toys however, we suggest that each time you use a toy that contains rubbers softeners or phthalates, you slip a condom over the top of it. For safer play and easier clean up, a condom will provide a barrier between you and your toy and condoms are an absolute MUST if you’re sharing your toys between partners. This way, you can give yourself peace of mind, protect yourself from STIs AND still enjoy your favourite sex toy!

Finally, if you're still concerned about the effects of phthalates, we suggest you buy a sex toy made from silicone, elastomer, skin-safe rubber, glass or metal for your ultimate peace of mind.

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