Antibacterial Sex Toys Are Probably A Good Idea
Sure, you probably clean and disinfect your sex toys thoroughly after each and every use, but there's a good chance your best friend / boss / doula doesn't. The internet is rife with stories of unclean sex toys gone awry (they can absolutely pass on STIs), and what to do about it (wash for 30 seconds with antibacterial soap, and let them dry completely before returning them to the Dildo Vault).
Of course, it makes sense that sex toys are just a Gong Show of viscous nightmare coatings and that you should clean them, but I've also read about how no one changes their sheets or washes their hands or dishes properly, so I'm betting that we're not doing this right either. Did you know that more than half of public swimming pools are full of poo? Honest-to-god poo. From butts. Yeah, people don't clean anything as well as they should. Which is why the good people at Tenga are using silver in an effort to protect your genitals from microbes.
Silver has antibacterial properties, so when a company makes a dildo out of something labeled as "Ag antibacterial elastomer," it means they've mixed in silver ions and nanoparticles. These just enjoy the ride while you spelunk your nether-gulches, and then promptly murder the bacteria you left behind. So you probably still need to clean your wang-jangler off when you're done, but silver is the extra layer of protection for the people who just toss their used toys back into the Shadow Bog under the bed without even using a baby wipe on them.
Related: What We're Still Not Teaching Kids About Consent
... As Are Sex Toys That Are Free Of A Possibly Dangerous Chemical You Probably Didn't Even Know Existed
Even if you rolled your eyes at the above entry because you have a whole team assigned to disinfect your gear, there's another issue you're probably not even aware of. As it turns out, a lot of sex toys are made with something called "phthalates," which you can tell are bullshit because how the fuck do you say "phth"? Oh, it's pronounced "thalates." Couldn't they have just spelled it that way?
Anyway, phthalates are added to hard plastic to make it soft, squishy, and like a dong. Problem is, they don't chemically bond to plastic well, and in fact, they will leech right out of it on contact. It's for that reason that lots of us have traces of these chemicals in our system, and they were banned in some children's toys because studies have now linked phthalates to all manner of conditions, like cancer, asthma, birth defects, and even small dicks.
Now, these studies are all recent, so if these chemicals are indeed harmful, the regulations haven't caught up (the U.S. government still classifies them as safe at the moment). Still, it seems reasonable that if they do cause problems, then it's probably best to keep them out of your orifices as much as possible. Fortunately, there are a few enterprising sex toy makers and dealers which will help you stuff a hole the phthalate-free way.
But just in general, it's a good idea to read the label on your butt plugs and strap-ons. For example, many people have broken out in a nasty rash after finding out they're allergic to the latex in the toy they just spent all night with, or they were allergic to the lube they used, some of which can be just a buffet for bacteria. You have to be just as careful about your kinky sex stuff as you are with your diet and overall health.
What's that? You're not careful at all with your diet and overall health? OK, well, this is probably as good a place as any to start.
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