Thinking about adding toys into your sex life? They can be a great source of pleasure for solo play, with a partner or even partners!
Sex toys come in all shapes and sizes and for all types of bodies and tastes. There are masturbation sleeves for transmasculine folks, anal plugs for all genders, pulsing vibrators and much more!
If you are using toys for anal, be sure that they have a flared base. Otherwise, it could get stuck inside the anus and you may have to stop by the emergency room to have it removed.
Solo play with toys is considered very low risk because you can’t transmit an STBBI to yourself. However, if you already have an STBBI in one part of your body, you can spread it to other parts when you masturbate. If you share your toys with others without a condom there is a chance of STBBI transmission, although HIV cannot be acquired this way since it dies when exposed to air.
The material that the toy is made from also affects your chances of obtaining STBBIs. Some toys are made from porous material (jelly, latex, PVC or vinyl) that can trap and grow bacteria and are often not tested to see if they’re safe to use on your body. Cleaning them can reduce your chances of STBBIs but evidence has shown that even after cleaning certain STBBIs can be found on these toys up to 24 hours after use.
Toys made out of non-porous material (silicone, metal or glass) are better for your body and are easier to clean but there’s still a chance of STBBI transmission when sharing. For a complete guide on cleaning, click here.
Silicone toys have to be taken care of differently because they can melt. Be sure to store all silicone toys separately, perhaps by placing them in Ziploc bags or soft pouches. Under no circumstances should silicone-based lube be used with silicone toys.
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