Guide to Sex Toys: Materials
|Plastic Sex Toys:|
Durable, inexpensive and easy to clean, plastic sex toys are very common. Many traditional vibrators come in plastic and generally have hard, smooth exteriors-though most plastic vibrators are not water-proof -(see our Waterproof Vibrators and Massagers section for choices which are.)
Jelly Sex Toys:
Jelly has a very pliable, supple feel and tends to be rather flexible, allowing it to be used in a variety of shapes. The softness of jelly material used for sex toys varies from about as hard as a hard-boiled egg to just a bit more pliable.
Many feel that jelly toys are similar in feel to silicone sex toys, though jelly sex toys require more gentle cleaning methods (see our section on Care and Cleaning).
Usually, very mild hand soap and warm water will do the job. Never use rubbing alcohol on jelly sex toys and remember that only water-based lubricants should be used with them. Non water-based lubes and rubbing alcohol can potentially dissolve away the jelly material! They are soft, fun and pliable, but not as easy to sterilize, so if sharing a jelly toy with a partner, we recommend using a condom.
Cyberskin Sex Toys:
Cyberskin, just as the name implies, is designed to come close to the look and feel of real skin. It very easily warms up to body temperature and is one of the most recent advancements in sex toy materials. It is porous and so should not be cleaned with harsh soaps or detergents, but instead with mild soap and water or with a cleaner specifically made for Cyberskin. Like Cyberskin, other new materials on the market which are made to approximate the look and feel of real skin include Ultraskin and UR3.
Glass Sex Toys:
When you think of glass sex toys, think of sturdy Pyrex glass material that is very damage-resistant and easy to clean. In terms of glass toys that vibrate, their outer shells are made of glass, inside of which the vibrating device is imbedded. Glass toys without batteries or electronics can actually be boiled to aid in sterilization or even run though the dishwasher without harm!
Latex Sex Toys:
Latex sex toys tend to be a bit firmer than jelly toys, softer than plastic, and a little less lifelike than Cyberskin-think soft but firm. Many realistic toys are made of latex and tend to be less expensive than silicone sex toys or jelly sex toys. Latex does not tend to last as long and is porous which means they should be cleaned more diligently-staying away from harsh cleaners and using mild soap and warm water. If sharing a latex toy, you should use a condom over it since they cannot be sterilized. Once caveat- if you are allergic to latex we recommend buying a sex toy made of a different material.
Silicone Sex Toys:
Silicone sex toys tend to have a very lifelike feel -almost as much as materials like Cyberskin and UR3.
There are many advantages to silicone, in that it is non-porous and therefore less likely to harbor bacteria and easier to keep clean. It also absorbs and retains body heat, adding to its lifelike feel. Silicone sex toys tend to be very durable and last a long time.
UR3 Sex Toys
With a look and feel very similar to that of real skin UR3 is a new material that lends itself well to sex toys that aim for having a realistic texture and appearance. It may be a bit more durable than Cyberskin and is relatively easy to clean.
Acrylic Sex Toys
Acrylic is a special type of plastic and visually, acrylic dildos have a very similar appearance to glass dildos. Acrylic sex toys are usually durable enough to last for decades and are very easy to clean.