Sex toys are composed of a wide range of materials, and each material has its own special properties that contribute to the look and feel of the toy. If you use sex toys, you’ve probably encountered a number of sex toy materials, and you have probably developed a preference for some. The substance a toy is made of is just as important as its side, shape, and vibrations, especially if you are someone with sensitive skin or allergies to certain materials. So, what are sex toys made of, and what makes each material unique?
Jelly/Rubber: Jelly sex toys are typically a mix of rubber and plastic (PVC). This material is commonly in the form of flexible G-spot vibrators and realistic dildos. They are easy to mold and make, so they are typically cheaper to purchase. They are usually squishy and flexible, but not so much that they cannot be inserted. Common jelly toys also include anal toys, cock rings and masturbators for men. Jelly toys are made with phthalates, which can cause irritation for some users, so if you have an allergy to phthalate or suspect as much, a different material would be more comfortable.
Jelly sex toys need to be kept clean and replaced often. This is not a material built to last, but the wide variety of shapes, sizes, and colors makes this a great material for anyone. The properties and lifespan of rubber sex toys are similar, and many toys include both jelly and rubber components.
PVC: PVC is a plastic material used to make hard, economically-friendly sex toys. Most sex toys will have some sort of plastic component (such as the remote control or buttons). It is usually a well-tolerated material and can be used to make many different types of sex toys. Bullet vibrators are often made of plastic, as well as sleek vibes, firm G-spot toys, prostate massagers and anal toys, waterproof toys, and Kegel balls.
With proper care, plastic toys can last quite some time. They are easy to clean because they are hard, and overall, they are fairly inexpensive to own. There are different qualities of plastic and the material is sometimes used in the production of luxury adult products.
Elastomer: Elastomer is a lot like jelly in the sense that it is flexible and has a “rubbery” feel to it. For women and men who like the feel of jelly toys but have more sensitive skin, elastomer is a little more high-quality in comparison and may fair better with a toy of this material. It is typically made without phthalates, making it a jelly-like option for women and men with known or suspected allergies to phthalates. Elastomer is used in the making of many dildos, vibrators, and masturbators.
Care is similar to jelly toys. It should be washed after each use, left out to air dry, and replaced if any particles seem to get stuck in the surface of the material.
Realistic: Realistic materials combine rubbers, silicone, and plastic to create a skin-like texture. This material can be found in hyper-realistic dildos and realistic vaginas. The flesh-like material typically fairs better than the average jelly/rubber material because it is easier to clean and less porous (meaning anything that gets on the toy stays closer to the surface and can be wiped away with less effort).
Some sex toy manufacturers sell gels and creams that can help restore the suppleness to their realistic sex toys, which is a great way to extend the life of the toy.
Silicone: Silicone is a hypoallergenic, body-safe material with a lot of great qualities. It is safe for most people with sensitive skin and can also come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and styles. Though a little more expensive, silicone is easier to clean than jelly/rubber as well as realistic materials, and is often a top choice for people who want something soft yet firm. Silicone can be used in the making of vibrators, clit stimulators, dildos, Kegel balls, anal toys, body wands, and more.
Silicone has a long lifespan with proper care. It is non-porous, so particles stay on the surface and can be wiped away easily. However, silicone sex toys should never be used with silicone lubricant! The two compounds will annihilate one another, ultimately destroying your lovely sex toy. So be sure to used water-based lubricant!
Glass: Glass sex toys (which are usually made from borosilicate glass) are very high-quality and ideal for individuals with allergies. Glass sex toys are very hard and usually are labeled as shatter-resistant if you are worried about it breaking at a most inopportune moment. Glass is used in the making of dildos, internal stimulators, and anal toys. It’s hypoallergenic and easy to clean, so it’s a great toy for quick-cleaning and sharing between partners. These sex toys are some of the most beautiful (with some being so finely crafted they double as a decoration piece for your living room).
Glass sex toys should be cleaned after use. They dry quickly (put it on your dish rack!) and can last a long, long time. They are great with different lubricants and can even be used for temperature play. Just run the glass sex toy under hot or cold water for a few minutes for a tantalizing experience.
Steel: Steel toys are a lot like glass – they are high-quality, hypoallergenic, smooth to the touch, lube-friendly, and typically gorgeous.
Clean up is the same for steel toys as it is for glass, and with proper care, these adult toys can last an extremely long time. It is also a great material for temperature play. Because it’s quick & easy to clean and can be properly sterilized, steel massagers are great for sharing with a partner!