Safer sex toys
Sex toys are all about enhancing your pleasure and fun. To get the most out of them it’s worth knowing how to use them safely.
Condoms can help protect you from infections
Condoms can keep toys clean and help prevent infections being passed on.
When to use them:
- If you share sex toys with someone else there’s a risk of passing on bacteria, viruses or other infections from one partner to another. It’s safer not to share at all but if you do, wash toys or cover them with a new condom before they are used by a new person.
- If your toys are only for you, it’s still important to use a condom if you insert a toy in more than one part of the body (for example the vagina and anus; there are types of bacteria that are harmless in the anus but can cause infection in the vagina). Cover the toy with a new condom before moving to a new part of the body.
Choose a suitable toy
Different toys are designed for different parts of the body.
Some vibrators, such as the smaller bullets are designed to stimulate a woman’s clitoris and vulva or a man’s perineum (area between penis and anus).
They are not designed for internal use and you should be very wary of inserting short and/or slim toys into your vagina or anus. They can be easy to let go of and you might have a lot of trouble getting them out again.
Because the anus doesn’t produce its own lubrication it’s important to use plenty of lube with any anal toys. Using the right toy is also crucial.
Anal sex toys such as the Butt Quiver are smooth – no seams or sharp edges – and have a wide base to stop them being inserted further than intended and getting stuck inside your anus. Always use a toy specifically designed for anal play rather than a vibrator designed for the vagina or clitoris.
Use plenty of lube
Lube (also known as lubricant or lubrication) is designed to make inserting things into the vagina or anus (such as a toy, a finger or a penis) easier and more comfortable.
The vagina produces its own natural lubrication when a woman is sexually aroused but the amount of lubrication produced can vary so using additional lube can be very helpful, especially when using toys.
The anus does not produce its own lubrication so lube is vital for any anal play.
There are all kinds of lube available.
A water-based lube is a brilliant all-rounder. It can be used with all kinds of toys and can also be used with condoms. They wash away easily too. We sell a range of water-based lubes including silky and flavoured varieties.
Silicone lubes are less easily absorbed which means you have to reapply less often than other lubes. But be careful, because they can react with silicone toys so it’s safer to avoid using them with these.
Oil-based lube tends to be messier and harder to wash away so it’s not great for toys. It is also not safe to use with latex condoms as it can damage them. We don’t currently sell any oil-based lube. Our massage oils are not designed to be used as lube – they’re for external body massage only!
Some brands of lube sold as suitable for anal sex are designed to be thicker and last longer which many people find work well for them. Avoid products which contains a 'numbing' agent as they can stop you realising when sex is hurting you.
Know your materials
Sex toys can be made out of a variety of different materials.
Most of the range of Rocks Off toys we stock are made from a high-grade, body safe silicone. They are pleasingly soft, warm and smooth – we have been known to sit in the FPA Pleasure office stroking them (shh, don’t tell anyone)! Don’t use them with silicone lubricants though, as the two products may react badly together. Use a water-based lube instead.
Some of our toys, such as the massagers are made from ABS plastic which is safe, resilient and odourless.
At the moment we don’t stock any latex toys, but we do stock latex condoms. Some people can be sensitive to latex. If this is a problem you can use polyurethane condoms or choose from a wide range of other toys.
Phthalates (pronounced “thal-ates”) are a group of chemicals used to soften hard plastics which are sometimes found in toys made from PVC/Jelly.
Some people prefer to avoid toys that use (or might use) phthalates.
None of the toys sold by FPA Pleasure are made from PVC/jelly and they are all free from phthalates.