My prior experiences with sex toys were limited to one mail order company whose marketing strategies didn’t convey “discretion” very well, and the seedy “adult novelty” stores in the bad section of a nearby town. I thought all sex accessory purchases were destined to be tied with thousands of unwanted smut-catalogs in my mailbox, or dirty looks from perverts fresh out of the video booths. Thankfully, I was dead wrong.
A little while ago, a new friend clued me into the fact that I didn’t have to settle for whatever dildo looked pretty in the catalog; that there were thousands of choices out there and some were better for me than others. Recently, there has been a concern over chemicals called phthalates in sex toys, plastic softeners that tend to noticeably leach from jelly toys like mine. Phthalates bring a shower-curtain or pool-liner type of scent with them, as well as a decidedly unattractive sticky oily sheen that makes a sex toy less, well, sexy. If you’ve ever had redness, an itch, or a burn after using a new sex toy, phthalates were likely the culprit.
I’m rather lazy, I’m ashamed to admit, and theoretically I should be scouring the ingredients of anything that goes into my body. I don’t. I’m a busy girl, I want to have my orgasm, clean up, and be on my way. Checking the packaging of every toy I wanted to buy for phthalates did not appeal to me, and so I asked if there was a sure way to avoid them. My friend, in her infinite wisdom, introduced me to the wonders of silicone.
Pure silicone (not to be confused with TPR or TPE silicones, which are essentially blends of other materials that contain a varying amount of actual silicone) is a body-neutral phthalate free substance. Even without the aid of plastic softeners, it can be made firm or squishy, and in almost every color of the rainbow. Silicone is non-porous; anyone who has ever had a water-based lubricant go ‘sticky’ or ‘gummy’ on them when using a cheapie toy has been the victim of the toy slurping up all that nice water in the lube that’s supposed to be going on your naughty bits; Toys made of silicone won’t absorb water-based lubricants, so you’ll be in for a longer, slicker ride. Cleaning wise, all it takes is a bit of anti-bacterial soap and water to have your new friend ready to put away or to use again, or it can be either soaked in a 10% bleach solution or boiled in water for a few minutes to disinfect and get really clean (this is an in-between must for any toy destined for multi-partner play or going into different orifices – but obviously, don’t use these methods if the toy has mechanical parts that aren’t removable). It’s important to only use water-based lubricants with silicone toys, though; silicone-based lubricants break down silicone and this will cause your pretty new toy to melt or become sticky or tacky.
After going through my huge collection of toys, I sadly parted with most of it, including my very first rabbit vibe, affectionately nicknamed “espresso maker” after I found out it could do nearly everything but make the namesake beverage. I was tired of the smell, the skin irritation, and the potential health risks of my jelly toys and I wanted to start over, armed with my new knowledge. Thankfully, my friend also introduced me to a few well-known companies that make a dizzying array of sex toys in pure silicone; refilling my toy box was a snap with all the choices out there for an informed consumer. Below is a list of the silicone companies carried by EdenFantasys; if you can’t find what you’re looking for among them, it probably doesn’t exist!
- Downunder Toys: This Australian-based company is hard to find in the states, but has great quality firmer silicone toys. Boasting popular clitoral-stimulating penis rings, they also have a plushy realistic called the “Hot Rod” which can be microwaved safely for a warm sensation.
- Feelztoys: An import from the Netherlands, these fresh and brightly colored toys will appeal to almost everyone. Interesting pieces like an insertable bullet and a vibrator with interchangable silicone tips are definately worth checking out.
- Fun Factory: A German favorite, their vibrator offerings are likely the most plentiful of the companies listed here. Smiley-faced animals, pastel and bright colors, and the ever popular smartballs vaginal balls are all popular offerings.
- Happy Valley: Skillfully made by our neighbors to the north, this Canadian company crafts a variety of plugs and dildos suitable for harness use. Recently, they introduced the U.S. to their unique “The Zone” toy, a sensually soft silicone vibrator made for G-spot or Prostate stimulation.
- Jollies: Playful and colorful, these brightly colored baubles are all about ergonomics and fun shapes. Their signature piece, the Jollie, is sculpted to rub the G-spot and has a convenient molded-in handle. The luna plug, meanwhile, is custom contoured for anal play, and is ideal for prostate stimulation in males.
- Nexus: Made in the UK, this innovative company makes a line of great plastic prostate stimulators in addition to silicone hitachi caps, a C-shaped unisex dildo, and an insertable toy with a rounded “rocking” base.
- Rocks Off Limited: Another line from “across the pond,” Rocks Off is another British brand, responsible for the well known Rock-Chick and Rude-Boy silicone vibrators, designed for G-spot and Prostate pleasure, respectively.
- Soju: While they only have one item in their line so far, the sugar dildo – it’s a really great and simply designed one that even comes with it’s very own base!
- Tantus: Known for a firmer finish then most, Tantus softens things up in a few of their offerings with the skin-like O2 finish. A great variety of strap-ons, and one of the best assortment of anal plugs out there.
- Vixen Creations: Perhaps the most diversified of the silicone makers listed here, Vixen runs the gamut from harness-less strap ons Nexus Jr., Nexus Sr., and Maximus, ingenious silicone heads made to replace or augment the popular Hitachi Magic Wand vibrator, to ultra realistic Vixskin silicone toys that feel incredibly lifelike among a plethora of other offerings.
- We-Vibe: While they only have one product so far, it’s an impressive one! Named as the “best toy of the year” by Sex Educator Sue Johanson, this petite silicone vibe is rechargable and can even be worn during sex.
- Whipspider Rubberworks: Made in Maine by a company started by group of friends, these pieces are artsy, sci-fi-sexy and fun. From a glow in the dark octopus tentacle to a very smartly designed screw-shaped plug, the soft texture and swirling colors make these pieces must-haves.