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Everything You Need to Know About Sex Toy Care and Cleanliness

Everything You Need to Know About Sex Toy Care and Cleanliness

From maintenance to materials, here are the basics on keeping things safe and sexy.

colorful photo illustration of dildos on blue background

When choosing and caring for a sex toy, there are a few things to consider regarding safety.

The sex toy business is hot, hot, hot. Current estimates say it is a nearly $30 billion industry — and that could jump to more than $50 billion by 2026. These days, everyone is in on the action, from solo users to couples, millennials to baby boomers. Physicians even recommend sex toys for health purposes.

Sex toy safety, however, isn’t always top of mind, although experts say it should be. For one, the sex toy industry isn’t regulated by watchdogs groups like the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or Consumer Product Safety Commission, which means there is no one ensuring that toys are safe. And sex toys are, of course, used in very intimate ways.

So how can you protect yourself while enjoying all of the fun that sex toys have to offer? Here are five crucial safety tips every savvy sex toy consumer should be aware of.

RELATED: 7 Healthy Reasons You Should Have Sex

1 Know What Materials Your Toys Are Made Of

illustration of DEHP phthalate plasticizer molecule

DEHP phthalates plasticizer molecules are commonly used to make plastic flexible.

Although there is not scientific literature analyzing the body safety of various sex toy materials, there are some materials that consumers may choose to avoid. Some toys are made with phthalates. These chemicals, which are present in some plastics, have been banned for use in such products as children’s toys and pacifiers because they may disrupt human hormones. The FDA says it is unclear what (if any) impact phthalates have on human health. But if you have made a personal decision to avoid them elsewhere in your life — for example, your cosmetics —  it is important to know they could be lurking in your sex toys.

Many products state they are phthalate-free, but because the industry is largely unregulated, no outside organization checks the veracity of those claims. So one thing to keep in mind is whether the toys you are using are soft and jellylike. Phthalates are used as softeners. They are more likely to be present in squishier toys, made from more porous materials.

Porous sex toys are also “more likely to transmit infection,” says Alyssa Dweck, MD, a gynecologist based in Westchester County, New York, and author of The Complete A to Z for Your V. That is because their surfaces are more permeable.

That does not mean there is any research literature out there that says jellylike sex toys are inherently unsafe, but it is something to be aware of.

2 Wash — and Dry — Your Sex Toys Regularly

sex toys washed and drying on drying rack, soap, plates bubbles

Like, really regularly. “Sex toys should be cleaned between every sex act and in between every partner,” Dr. Dweck says.

You probably know that sexual activity increases a woman’s risk for urinary tract infections (UTI); you may not realize that the bacteria that cause a UTI live in the area around the anus. Sex increases the chances that the nearby bacteria migrate into a woman’s urethra, where they can multiply and trigger a UTI.

UTI prevention calls for strict genital hygiene, which includes keeping anything that comes into contact with sensitive areas as germ-free as possible. That’s why Planned Parenthood’s website warns, “Anything that touches or goes into your anus — like a finger, penis, or sex toy — should be thoroughly washed before touching other genitals.”

Toys can also spread infections, including sexually transmitted infections (STIs), because they can retain bacteria and viruses. Dweck recalls a patient who was baffled by why she kept getting trichomoniasis, a common, curable STI. “She was wondering, Why do I keep getting this? As it turns out, she wasn’t cleaning her toy properly,” Dweck says. Her patient was essentially reinfecting herself every time she used her vibrator.

Rachel Hoffman, a New York–based social worker with Union Square Practice who specializes in sexuality and intimacy, says she has seen similar things happen to clients who have ended up with recurrent yeast infections.

In addition, sex toys can get covered in dust and other particles while they’re stored.

Your toy’s manufacturer should be your first stop for washing instructions. Some toys can go in the dishwasher, for example. Others cannot.

“Most products will tell you specifically how to wash them,” says Hoffman. Though both she and Dweck say that if you are unsure of your toy’s exact instructions, soapy warm water is a good place to start.

And be careful to dry them, too. Damp toys can grow mold.

RELATED: Taking Care of Your Sexual Health

3 Consider a Condom to Reduce the Risk of Infection

yellow blue and magenta condoms on white

“Condoms most certainly should be used to cover phallic-shaped toys for people who are sharing toys with a partner,” Dweck says. That is because even if you diligently clean your toys, there is still a chance of transmitting infection. A study published in November 2014 in the journal Sexually Transmitted Infections found traces of the human papillomavirus on vibrators a full day after they’d been used and cleaned.

Dweck adds that the condom should be switched out if you change the body parts coming into contact with the toy, so from oral use to vaginal use, for example.

RELATED: 8 Things You May Not Know About HPV

4 Use Sex Toys as Intended and Skip Household Items

illustration of bananas and cucumbers

When you get a new sex toy, take time to read the directions. If you are new to sex toys, ease in slowly, Dweck says, and stop if anything feels uncomfortable. Dweck also urges people to avoid using household items as sex toys. She has seen patients who have used cucumbers and bananas, for example.

“We’ll often see people use cell phones on vibrate or electric toothbrushes,” Dweck adds. “What comes up with this? Well, the batteries may not be encased properly, so you can have some sort of caustic reaction as a result of that.”

Food products, on the other hand, can be fairly porous, which means they can carry bacteria and potentially cause infection.

RELATED: A Guide to Solo Sex or Women

5 Buy From a Credible Company

woman ordering online, magenta background, laptop, credit card, phone

The sex toy industry is growing by the day, which means it can be a challenge to vet the safety of what you’re buying. Experts say to start by researching reputable manufacturers and to look for companies that are transparent about their products. If a manufacturer provides detailed information about the materials it’s using and specifics on how to use and clean its toys, that is a good start.

“A lot of people are now buying from places like Amazon, but it can be hard to know what you are getting unless you are very well versed in products,” says Hoffman. If you are looking to shop at an online retailer instead of buying in person, do some research into what customers are saying online about the products through verified reviews.

An overall good rule of thumb for sex toys and safety? Listen to your body.

“If you’re feeling any sort of discomfort,” Hoffman says, “like itchiness, burning, anything, it’s not the right one.”

RELATED: 4 Strange Sex-Related Symptoms — and How to Handle Them


Trying Long Distance Toys

Trying Long Distance Toys

Sexology 101

The Truth About Masturbation

You Won’t Go Blind: The Truth About 7 Masturbation Myths

Think solo sex is unhealthy? Think again. Here are 7 reasons it can be good for you.

Masturbation myths
Masturbation is healthy — whether you’re in a relationship or not.Thinkstock

Masturbation is a normal physical function. “It’s as natural as going to the bathroom or breathing air,” says Susan Kellogg-Spadt, PhD, the director of female sexual medicine at the Center for Pelvic Medicine in Rosemont, Pennsylvania.

And yet for some people, there’s still a stigma around masturbation that has led to misinformation and numerous masturbation myths. Read on to learn what’s fact and what’s fiction when it comes to solo sex.

Myth 1: People in Relationships Don’t Masturbate

Reality: “People masturbate whether they are in a relationship or single,” says Justine Marie Shuey, PhD, a board-certified sexologist in Philadelphia. “Some get jealous when their partners masturbate because they feel it’s cheating, or that their partner is masturbating because they aren’t good enough [in bed]. But it’s important to understand that people have different levels of sexual desire — all are totally healthy and normal, and some involve masturbation.”

Myth 2: Excessive Masturbation Can Lead to Erectile Dysfunction

Reality: “Erectile dysfunction does not result from masturbation,” Dr. Spadt says. “What can happen with either men or women is you masturbate frequently and become used to a certain touch, whether it’s vibration or your own hand.” Because of this, she says, “You may become habituated to that sensation and find it more difficult to have an orgasm with your partner.”

Myth 3: Masturbation Is Not a Normal Part of Sexual Development

Reality: study published in JAMA Pediatrics that involved more than 800 teenagers ages 14 to 17 found that 74 percent of boys, and more than 48 percent of girls, masturbate — and that’s a good thing, according to Dr. Shuey. “It’s totally healthy for people of all ages to masturbate,” she says.

Myth 4: There Are No Health Benefits of Masturbation

Reality: “Masturbation has a number of health benefits,” Shuey says. “They include better sleep, reduced stress and tension, fewer headaches, improved concentration, increased self-esteem, a more youthful appearance, and better fitness.” There are also a number of specific sexual health benefits for women — particularly older women — including less vaginal dryness and pain during sex.

Myth 5You Can Masturbate Too Much

Reality: Masturbation only becomes excessive if it serves as an escape from problems in your relationship, if it begins to affect your health, or if it turns into a substitute for real-life experiences. Additionally, if masturbation causes physical soreness, emotional issues (you can’t think about anything else), problems with your relationship, or habituation issues (when only the type of stimulation you engage in during masturbation will lead to an orgasm), it may be a signal to cut back, Spadt says. But very few people ever get to this point, she notes.

Myth 6: People Only Masturbate When They’re Alone

Reality: “Some people masturbate together, and they incorporate masturbation into their sexual repertoires,” says Spadt. Some couples enjoy watching each other masturbate, and some like to masturbate themselves to orgasm after other forms of sexual contact. Mutual masturbation is also a great way to have safe sex and prevent unwanted pregnancy.

Myth 7: Masturbation Will Make You Go Blind

Reality: “Many myths about masturbation, such as this one, come from back when people believed sex was only meant for procreation,” says Shuey. Because masturbation isn’t for procreation, it was considered problematic. “People also believed masturbation could lead to insanity, tuberculosis, hairy palms, and death,” she says. “Obviously, none of these things are true.”


Sexology 101 Uncategorized

3 Ways to Have Fun with Sex Furniture

If your only experience with having good sex is lying flat on the bed, bent over a table, or standing in the shower, you’re missing out on a lot of fun. You can have fun with sex furniture — from swings to wedges — to make any kind of sex you have more exciting and better in a lot of ways.

Here’s how to add more fun with sex furniture to your life.

Get Kinky in New Ways

One person’s kinky sex is another person’s vanilla sex which means there’s no single way to explore kink. But the flexibility and support of sex furniture definitely makes it a lot easier.

Play with orgasm control while your partner is strapped into a sex swing. Explore different sensations — pain, heat, cold, sensual massage, etc. — from multiple angles. Use a strap-on harness and dildo for penetration fun while a sex wedge helps you get into the perfect position. Pick swings, swings, and other equipment that includes cuffs for bondage fun. Add a blindfold or a ball gag for even kinkier fun.

You can use swings and wedges as part of role-play fun or to add heat and spice to your usual sexy fun. Play with power and control or try kinky toys and positions you never have before.

Try New Sexual Positions to Have Fun with Sex Furniture

The overwhelming purpose of having fun with sex furniture is to help you have sex in a different position. The piece of furniture you pick will determine how much (or little) you can switch up your positions.

Sex slings and swings let you or your partner sit up or lie back completely, suspended by straps. Wedges let you reposition your body in ways your joints or muscles might not normally allow.

The angles of genitals to genitals or mouth to genitals changes and becomes easier than ever to have fun with sex furniture. With the right wedge or sling, you can finally get your body to move in ways that allow you to experiment with sex and pleasure in a new way.

Take a Load Off

Sex slings and swings take all the weight off your body, but especially your limbs and joints. They also make it easier for your partner to reach parts of your body from different angles, like sitting underneath your body during oral sex.

Sex wedges support your body so that you can hold a position longer. Want to get into doggy style but your knees can’t handle it? Placing your torso on a wedge takes the weight off the rest of your body, especially your knees.

The main benefit of sex furniture is that whatever kind of sex you have becomes immediately more comfortable. You’re able to accommodate your body’s abilities and needs without sacrificing the activities — penetration, oral sex, fun with sex toys — you love the most.

Sex toys are all about playing and trying new things. Sexual pleasure is meant to be fun.  You can have fun with sex furniture as another way to level up your pleasure and play. With the right equipment, you’re not limited by your body’s capabilities. You can stretch your body, your limits, and your experiences in all-new ways. The perfect wedge or swing lets you explore sex in all-new ways and really get the most out of any intimate moment.

If you need help choosing some exciting sex furniture, our experts are here to help! We have the best and biggest selection of adult products in the area. Stop by the best adult store Tampa today to see our complete selection of adult toysadult apparel (including a wide variety of lingerie and dancewear), adult gamesfetish toys and props, and more!

And be sure to keep checking back because we’re always adding products to our selection!


Sexology 101

Naughty Holiday Sex Tips Because who doesn't like holiday sex?

It’s the holiday season, and Santa coming down your chimney takes on a whole different meaning. Check out our holiday sex tips that are sure to put you on the naughty list!

Although it has a wholesome reputation, it turns out that Christmas is actually kind of sexy. Surveys found that nearly half of those questioned planned to have holiday sex on Christmas Day. Studies also show that the months August and September have the most births each year, which corresponds perfectly with findings of Americans being rather frisky during the holidays.

If you’re looking for some sexy, yet seasonal inspiration for holiday sex, here are some ideas to get you going. Cue up “Santa Baby” and hurry down the chimney tonight.

Get On The Naughty List

Indulge in some light BDSM — one of you has been naughty and has to be punished.

Lick Their Candy Cane (Or Peppermint)

Indulge in oral holiday sex but make it seasonal.

Christmas Shoes

For those with a foot fetish.

Wrap Them Up

Tie your partner up, using velvet ribbon if you want to get fancy.

A Christmas Toy

Buy your partner a new sex toy and let them open it early.

Baby It’s Cold

This song is now about temperature play. Grab an ice cube and have fun.

Kiss Them Underneath The Mistletoe

Put mistletoe around the house and go wild. You don’t have to stop at just kissing, either, enjoy some good old holiday sex.

Kissing Santa Claus

Put on a Santa hat and act out the song.

Toy Box

Lavish your partner’s “box” with attention.

Santa’s Lap

Take the opportunity for some sitting-down sex. Either one of you sits and the other kneels between their legs to go down on them, or one sits and the other rides their penis or strap-on.

Deck The Halls

Whether nipple or clit clamps add some sexy decor to you or your partner’s body.

Christmas Candles

Find a massage candle and try out an erotic massage.

Wonderful Christmastime

Act out your partner’s fantasy for a holiday they’ll never forget.

Santa Claus Is Coming

Try for multiple orgasms – even if you don’t get there, you’ll have fun trying.

Need more ideas for holiday sex? If you need help choosing a sex toy for Christmas for your partner, our experts are here to help! We have the best and biggest selection of adult products in the area. Stop by the best adult store Tampa today to see our complete selection of adult toysadult apparel (including a wide variety of lingerie and dancewear), adult gamesadult furniture, fetish toys and props, and more!

And be sure to keep checking back because we’re always adding products to our selection!




Sexology 101

3 Reasons You Should Buy Your Partner A Sex Toy For Christmas The Christmas gift-giving season is in full swing!

The Christmas gift-giving season is in full swing, and all manner of electronics are being promoted as the perfect presents. But one electric toy is conspicuously absent from most end-of-year gift guides: the sex toy. Following are some reasons why you should buy your partner a sex toy for Christmas this year.

Although a vibrator may not be on your partner’s Christmas wish list, you should buy them one. You’re probably running through a list of objections in your head: My partner would be offended. They’ll prefer the sex toy to me. But every one of your objections is misguided.

Your partner will not be offended if you buy him or her a sex toy for Christmas.

Your partner will most likely not be offended, as sex toys are so common that half of Americans have used them. And if they are offended that you want to improve your sex life with a vibrator, then you have a problem that’s way bigger than mere offense at the sight of a buzzing contraption.

Your partner won’t prefer a sex toy over you.

After all, sex toys can do things the human body cannot. But just because they can give your partner the multiple orgasms you’ve never been able to provide, it doesn’t mean they will abandon sex with you. Research shows that over two thirds of men are not intimidated by vibrators. In fact, women may like their partners even more because they are the ones who gave them the gift of endless sexual pleasure by purchasing a vibrator.

Just because you satisfy each other doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get a sex toy for Christmas.

While you may not need a sex toy in the way that you don’t need an LCD TV or a Cuisinart, a sex toy can enhance your sex life in the same way that watching your favorite shows on a high-quality screen makes the experience more enjoyable than watching it on your smartphone. If you can enhance your sex life with a consumer product—more pleasure, more orgasms, more fun—why wouldn’t you? Is sex somehow less valuable than other forms of entertainment?

A vibrator, dildo, or male masturbator can help you and your partner bridge the fact that women have fewer orgasms during intercourse than men; vibrators allow women to have orgasms faster and more frequently. It can make sex with the same partner more novel, which in turn makes it more fun. Even if your partner only uses the toy for masturbation, it can help them discover what they enjoy sexually and share that knowledge with you.

But perhaps the most important thing about using a sex toy with a partner is this: It makes you talk to each other about your sexual likes and dislikes. Few couples discuss sex enough, so if a vibrator can help you communicate your sexual desires, then it is well worth the price of buying a sex toy for Christmas.

If you need help choosing a sex toy for Christmas for your partner, our experts are here to help! We have the best and biggest selection of adult products in the area. Stop by the best adult store Tampa today to see our complete selection of adult toysadult apparel (including a wide variety of lingerie and dancewear), adult gamesadult furniture, fetish toys and props, and more!

And be sure to keep checking back because we’re always adding products to our selection!


Sexology 101

Sex Toys for Men: The Perfect Christmas Gift Fa la la la la!

There are a lot of sex toys for men, but too many guys feel nervous about buying one for themselves. This is either due to stigma or because they think they shouldn’t “need” one. But sexual pleasure comes in many forms — including toys made just for him. This holiday season, consider buying the man in your life his first (or his next) sex toy for Christmas.

Why Sex Toys for Men Make the Perfect Gift!

With Sex Toys for Men, You Can Play Together

Buying him a sex toy can really be a gift for both of you. Cock rings, kinky gear, and couples’ toys can all involve both of you. If you’re looking for a way to let him know you want to get naked and try new things, gift wrapping a new sex toy is an easy way to do it. Once he’s ripped off the wrapping paper, he can rip open the box, and you can get busy in the bedroom or wherever.

His Pleasure is Important, Too

Buying your guy a sex toy as a gift lets him know that you think his sexual pleasure is important, too. And that it’s okay if he uses something beyond his hand to get himself off. You’ve given him a new way to explore and made it clear you’re comfortable with his masturbation habits.

Enjoy More Orgasms With Sex Toys for Men

If he can play with a sex toy in bed, so can you — and vice versa. This was true before you buy him a sexy gift, but it’s made clear once he opens his new toy. You can pull out your favorite toy when he does, and enjoy them together, side by side. Mutual masturbation is just one way you can both enjoy sex toys together. Maybe he wears a cock ring while your vibrator pressed against your clit. Maybe he tries prostate massage while you use a butt plug

Either way, twice the sex toys in bed often means twice the orgasms. And more toys mean more opportunities for pleasure. Orgasms are never guaranteed with any sex toy, but they definitely make them easier to achieve.

Sex Toys for Men are Fun

No other reason is required. Sex toys feel good – they help you get off. You and your partner get more pleasure with a sex toy, either because of the extra stimulation or because you’re willing to explore new sensations and sexual play. We call them “toys” for a reason and playing with each other takes on a whole new meaning once your partner gets a new sex toy to try. He might spend time alone getting off, but he might also take that energy, excitement, and desire and have more and better sex with you, too. Either way, everyone benefits.


If the man in your life seems too shy to tell you what sex toy he’d like to try, think about what kind of stimulation gets him off. Those who are willing to explore new sensations may be interested in butt plugs, prostate massagers, or strap-ons. But as long as he’s into trying new things, consider giving him his own sex toy this holiday season. Once he opens it up, then the real fun can begin for both of you. Fa la la la la!

If you need help choosing sex toys for men, our experts are here to help! We have the best and biggest selection of adult products in the area. Stop by the best adult store Tampa today to see our complete selection of adult toysadult apparel (including a wide variety of lingerie and dancewear), adult gamesadult furniture, fetish toys and props, and more!

And be sure to keep checking back because we’re always adding products to our selection!



Sexology 101

Using a Vibrator: It’s Good for Your Health! The Benefits Abound!

Most people don’t realize it but using a vibrator to have a satisfying orgasm may make a headache go away, put yourself in a better mood, or alleviate anxiety. In fact, a vibrator can be good for your health. Here’s how.

Using a Vibrator Boosts Your Sexual Pleasure

If you’re having sex and not getting as much pleasure as you’d like, it can be difficult to get excited about having sex at all. You may also miss out on some of the health benefits of orgasms and the benefits of added intimacy in your relationship. If nothing else, the right vibrator may help you stay connected to what you enjoy about your body, during sex, and/or as you orgasm.

Orgasms Provide Health Benefits

Because using a vibrator helps you have an orgasm, it stands to reason that vibrators are good for you, too. Orgasms release feel-good hormones that help you relax, feel less stressed, and sleep better. And anyone who walks through life with tense muscles and no sleep knows how bad that can be for your well-being and everyone else around you.

Using a Vibrator Increases Blood Flow to the Genitals

As people age, blood circulation decreases to their genitals. For women and anyone with a vulva this can make it difficult to become aroused. You may also feel less stimulation from a hand or other body part. A vibrator can provide the sensations you’re missing helping your body become aroused and sending blood flowing back to your vulva.

Vibrators Keep You Sexually Active

Not all sex requires a partner. And if you’re craving arousal, pleasure, and an orgasm or two, the right sex toy makes that easier to have. Why does this matter for your sexual health? Because sex and your body’s response to it and the sensations you feel are a use it or lose it kind of thing. Go too long without paying any attention to your sexual needs, and you may find it difficult to get back to it when you’re ready to get down with a partner.

Using a vibrator can be good for your health if being sexually satisfied and active is important to you. If you find it difficult or less enjoyable to orgasm with your hand or during penetrative sex, then vibrators may be the key to increasing your sexual health — and pleasure.

For anyone who wants to incorporate using a vibrator into your sexual wellness, it’s important to find one that feels good to you and that you want to use. We have the best and biggest selection of adult products (including vibrators) in the area. Stop by the best adult store Tampa today to see our complete selection of adult toysadult apparel (including a wide variety of lingerie and dancewear), adult gamesadult furniture, fetish toys and props, and more!

And be sure to keep checking back because we’re always adding products to our selection!


Sexology 101 Uncategorized

Best Tips for Using a Vibrator With Your Partner With their wide variety of pulses, styles, sizes and shapes, there are countless different ways for using your vibrator with a partner.

For years, women have enjoyed the vibrator as a trusted tool to produce orgasms. These days, many couples are using a vibrator together as part of their sexual pleasure. With their wide variety of pulses, styles, sizes and shapes, there are countless different ways for using a vibrator with your partner.

Include a Tantalizing Touch When Using a Vibrator With Your Partner

If your partner is unwilling to use the vibrator, start by using it as a massager. During the massage process, allow your partner to relax, as they lay back with their eyes closed. After a while, head to a sexy spot and set the vibrator on a low speed while you look for signs of excitement in your partner. As they begin to beg for more, you can vary the pressure and speed and bring it to the sexiest spot!

Alternate Pleasure

When using a vibrator with your partner, employ a mix of your natural lovemaking abilities and vibrator techniques to enhance each other’s pleasure. You can alternate stimulating the genitals with the vibrator, fingers and mouth. The changes in the various sensations will drive your partner wild!

Stealth Foreplay

There are numerous vibrators that couples can use to enjoy pleasure anywhere. Remote controls allow partners to enjoy a secret game of foreplay!

Vibrating Cowgirl

This may be challenging to pull off, and you need to have a good rhythm with each other. The lady should straddle the gentleman cowgirl style and while there, slide the vibrator between your two pelvises. The vibration should be right on the clitoris and highly pleasurable!

Vibrating Doggy

When making love doggy style, alternate the vibrator between the woman’s clitoris and the base of the man’s penis at low speeds. The handy models for this technique are the smaller bullet vibrators.

Don’t Neglect the Men

Traditionally, vibrators have been thought to be for ladies, but males can enjoy them, too! Stimulation of the anus or perineum will increase a man’s pleasure. After some foreplay, the vibrator can be placed at the base of the penis, behind the balls, as you stroke the organ with your hand or mouth.

It’s important to be careful when using a vibrator with your partner as sensitive areas can become overstimulated and raw. Share feedback with your partner and pay close attention to the way they respond.

We want our customers to experience all the pleasure that life and love can bring. Using a vibrator with your partner is a great way to get creative and spice things up in the bedroom, so stop by today to explore our great collection!

We have the best and biggest selection of adult products in the area. Stop by the best adult store Tampa today to see our complete selection of adult toysadult apparel (including a wide variety of lingerie and dancewear), adult gamesadult furniture, fetish toys and props, and more!

And be sure to keep checking back because we’re always adding products to our selection!