• Sex

Doin’ It With Dr. V: All About Dildos And Vibrators

Hi, I’m Dr. V. I’m not a real doctor, I just play one on the Internet. What I am is a lady, a lady who is a fool for love! And I love nothing more than sex. My deepest desires have happily led me on many adventures in the sack, but they have also, sadly, made me one of my gyno’s most valuable players. But I’ve lived to tell the tale(s)! So, from time to time, I will dish the dirt on everything from getting freaky to getting freaked out. Now, let’s get this party started…

Dildos and vibrators (a dildo with a battery operated massage element) are made for faux-penis fun! Reportedly 44% of women have toyed around with one. Surprisingly enough, 78% of those women with a B.O.B. (Battery Operated Boyfriend) are in a relationship. In fact, these adult playthings are known to help women orgasm with their sexual partners. Here’s how to make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck when buying yourself or that special someone the gift that keeps on giving…HOW IT HAPPENED TO ME
For my 18th birthday, all my friends decided to pool their money and get me something I could finally purchase — a vibrator! Unfortunately, as teens with mall job salaries, all they could generously afford was a jelly rabbit. While it gave me my first mind-blowing orgasm, it was sadly not so good for my lady parts because of the crappy materials it was made of. Sigh…but it definitely took my self-love to a whole new level of satisfaction.

WHO’S TO BLAME
Who keeps us in the dark about sex toy safety? It’s not the manufacturers. Sadly, it’s the close-minded U.S. Government! They refuse to regulate, examine, or test sex toys, so adult toy makers are able to get away with selling toxic junk without anyone looking over their shoulder. Worse yet, the makers are completely able to shrink from responsibility because the government forces them to market their goods as “novelties” or even “medical devices” — ha! My grandma would probably love it if she could get a dildo from Medicaid. But all jokes aside, in America, private businesses like Babeland and organizations like The Coalition Against Toxic Toys are working to help educate consumers. Hallelujah!

SIGNS
The number one sign a toy is toxic is the smell. Overall, if you can smell it, the toy stinks! The odor you sniff out is caused by a release of chemicals which, if you put the toy into your crotch, will release all up in your business. That’s no good…on it’s own. But if you cover that lil’ stinker with a condom every time you use it and in between partners, you’ll be okay. So, if you do want to save some cash and by a cheaper toy made of noxious materials, that’s fine so long as you wrap it up with a love glove.

WHAT TO DO
Read the box! It’s as simple as that. Find out what your toy is made of. The #1 thing to look out for is phthalates. Tough word to spell, but it’s a sign that the product will easily deteriorate. Basically, phthalates take PVC plastic (the stuff pipes are made of) and soften it up to be used in cushier toys. Unfortunately, phthalates are sorta like 18-year-olds. Since they aren’t chemically bound to their PVC parent, they break free and get lost. So, your toy has a short shelf life and will last no more than a couple of years — and, again, you should use a condom with any toy containing phthalates. According to the Danish Environmental Protection Agency, unless you’re pregnant or nursing, you can be exposed to phthalates for up to an hour a day without repercussion. You can read their full report here.

Here are some common material options with their pros and cons:
Jelly

  • Typically translucent, colorful and cheap.
  • This material is super porous so there’s no way to keep it sterile. Be sure to wash it with mild soap and water.
  • Always use a condom with these toys because who knows what the heck they’re really made of! Plus, since they can’t be sanitized completely, bacteria can live on then, so, you want to give yourself a latex line of defense!
  • Silicon-based lube can cause the toy to melt, so use only water-based lubes.
  • Latex

  • Extremely porous, so again, be sure to use a condom with these toys — especially if you’re thinking about sharing.
  • Clean your latex toys with mild soap and water.
  • Unfortunately, some people are allergic to this material and it can cause reactions like anaphylactic shock.
  • Cyberskin

  • Feels amazingly like real skin, but the name may vary. Futurotic, Ultra-Realistic, Soft Skin are others you may come across, but it’s all the same kind of material.
  • In addition to being extra porous, this material tears easily and often gets discolored or dirty looking.
  • To keep this kind of toy in tip-top shape, powder it with cornstarch. Don’t use talcum powder because it has been fingered as a potential cause of ovarian cancer.
  • Only use soap and water to clean a cyberskin toy.
  • Made from thermal plastic, these toys can warm up with skin contact.
  • As for lube, you should only use water-based types.
  • Always use a condom with cyberskin since you can’t sanitize this kind of material.
  • Elastomer

  • Elastomer is phthalate free and hypoallergenic, yet soft.
  • However, it is porous, so make sure you use condoms with this material.
  • Rinse it off with soap and water.
  • Hard Plastic

  • Since plastic isn’t porous it can be completely sanitized. To keep this toy clean, wipe it down with alcohol.
  • Usually a good material for clit vibes, it can be a little tough for in and out action.
  • Pyrex a.k.a. Glass

  • Pyrex is the name for any hypoallergenic, heat and chemical resistant glass. It will not break! It might crack, but it will never ever hurt you. You can ride this bull as rough as you want!
  • Pyrex is non-porous so you can completely disinfect this toy by boiling it (see below), washing it with soap and water, or by rubbing it down with alcohol.
  • Warning: be on the look out for painted glass toys. If the color is trapped in layers of glass, that’s totally fine. However, if there’s a coat of color on the outside, what you have is a toy covered in toxic paint.
  • It takes a master glass craftsman to make this kind of sexy stick, so they’re expensive.
  • An awesome feature of Pyrex toys is the ability to play with temperature — heat things up or cool them down. Now, do NOT freeze this toy because it might stick to your skin like a kid licking a pole in winter. If you want to chill it out, put it in a bowl of ice water for a half an hour. To get it even hotter than it already is, don’t drop it into a boiling pot of water because it will crack. You have to gradually raise the temperature. First, immerse it in warm tap water. After five minutes replace two-thirds of the water in the bowl with boiling water and then let it sit for 20 minutes. ALWAYS do a touch test to make sure the toys temperature is safe for your sensitive parts.
  • Silicone

  • Silicone is non-porous and durable. So you can sanitize it by easily tossing it in the dishwasher or boiling it.
  • Check the label, some silicone toys aren’t 100% silicone. So again, use your nose and sniff things out with a smell test and also, read the packaging to make sure it’s food or medical grade.
  • Silicone carries vibrations oh-oh-so well.
  • A lot of silicone toys are hand-crafted.
  • This type of rocket for your pocket was invented in the ’80s — just like the space shuttle.
  • Silicone warms up to the body. Bonus!
  • WHERE I WENT WRONG
    I once cut myself off from my vibe because I thought it would force me to do a better job of going out to meet men. Well, who wants to walk around horny, waiting for someone to take the bait? I don’t know what I was thinking. Prince Charming wasn’t just going to waltz into my life because I stopped masturbating. After a couple weeks of sexual starvation, I woke up and realized solely depending on a man is always a dumb idea. We’ve got to be independent ladies!

    TIME TABLE
    You can screw Pyrex/glass sex toys for as long as you’d hump your husband — forever, ’til death do you part! Other sex toys may not last so long, but hey, get it while the getting is good. As far as day-to-day use, knock yourself out! It is a total myth that you can desensitize any of your ladybits with a vibrator. In actuality, it helps women get off!

    EMBARRASSMENT FACTOR
    Depends on how stodgy you are. There’s no shame in ownership, women have been using them since the Stone Ages. If you’re Dr. V, you might keep it discreet by storing it in a satin bag in a drawer. A lot of people choose to order toys online and many places ship in discreet packaging. Heck, even Amazon sells ‘em!

    Now as far a whipping a fake phallus out, well, I’d talk to a partner about it before you go bringing out the big guns. Although, I must admit, my hottest interaction with a dildo was when a guy surprised me. In general, you should always ask a partner what they’re into. It takes a lot of the guesswork out of sex and opens up communication in the relationship.

    TIPS
    1. Sharing Is Caring: If you are going to use your toy on multiple partners, it’s a good idea to wrap it in a condom for each person. This way, you won’t have to worry about sterilization in the heat of the moment and some toys aren’t able to be disinfected because they’re porous. Even if you are just using the toy yourself, bacteria lives in those holes. So, make sure you still use a condom. Safety first!
    2. Clean Jean: Always clean your toys between uses.
    3. Water Tight: Since vibrators run on batteries, there is NO risk of electric shock. However, you should only take special toys, made explicitly to be waterproof, swimming with you.
    4. Lube Job: Check the kinds of lube you can use with your vibrator. In some reported cases, lubes have melted toys. Make sure your lube and toy are compatible.
    5. Yummy: You should buy sex toys that are made of medical or food grade substances so it’s safe for your sexy bits and also hypoallergenic. After all, who wants to have a bad reaction to their new toy?

    SEXY TIMES
    You want to finish yourself off? He can’t get it up? You want to screw him up the butt? There are a lot of awesome reasons to use dildos and vibrators! While it may seem like you might insult the guy who can’t get a hard on by simply replacing him with your toy, it’s just not the case. In my own experiences, I’ve found men really enjoy watching women masturbate — especially when you put on a show! So, if you’re in good company, don’t be shy!

    FUNKY FACTS
    1. The band Steely Dan named themselves after a dildo in William Burroughs’ beat masterpiece “Naked Lunch.”
    2. It’s hypothesized that the word “dildo” comes from the Latin word meaning “open wide.”
    3. Seven bronze-cast dildos were uncovered in a tomb that dates back 12,000 years to the Han Dynasty in Xian, China. Since the toys were so beautifully made, it is speculated that there were dildo craftsmen back in the day.
    4. At the turn of the century, the widely used Sears Roebuck catalog featured massagers and called them “devices for tension and female anxiety.”
    5. In 2007, California followed the European Union’s lead and became the first state to ban phthalates from children’s toys. Senator Dianne Feinstein and Representative Hilda Solis have introduced a similar Federal bill.

    [Babeland]
    [Holistic Wisdom]
    [The Coalition Against Toxic Toys]
    [The Danish Ministry Of The Environment]
    [About.com
    [MSNBC]
    [Lezbeout]
    [Go Ask Alice]

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