They say sharing is caring, but not using proper sex toy etiquette around your dildos, vibrators and butt plugs can lead you or others into a situation that you won’t really care for, namely STIs and other infections. You can avoid that thanks to writer and sex educator Caitlin M. Murphy. Here she shares her top five tips for proper sex toy etiquette with Fetish.com readers.


Whether you have a sex toy that you want to share with a partner or get some good use at a play party, a properly sterilized sex toy or tool is essential.

Improper cleaning of sex toys can lead to transmission of STIs, bacterial/yeast infections and other unsavory side effects.
 

Clean your toys, often


This is also a concern if you have an active STI or infection. If not properly cleaned, your toy can re-infect you. Even on your own body, one part is vastly different from another, so it’s a bad idea to use a toy that isn't or cannot be sterilized in more than one orifice.

When it comes to sharing your toys with others, the Kink community tenets of “Safe, Sane, and Consensual” ring true.

It’s not safe or consensual to potentially expose your partner to a health problem, whether they’re a long-term lover or one of many. So, always use clean sex toys.
 

Safe, sane, consensual and clean?


So, how do you clean sex toys? First, you need to determine whether or not it can be cleaned. Regarding the usual suspects like dildos, vibrators, cock rings, butt plugs, etc, there are porous and non-porous options.

Porous sex toys, made of everything from jelly to cyberskin on to Thermoplastic Rubber (TPR), cannot be sterilized. There are tons of different brand names for these materials and I'd never recommend using a sex toy made of porous materials.

That's because they have the potential to contain toxic ingredients, and can also harbour dirt, bacteria and mould. If you use one, always put a condom on it.


sharing is caring - etiquette for toys and tools
Good ol' soap and hot water will clean up your sexy toys... but it won't sterilize them completely!
 

Sex toy etiquette tip #1: go body-safe with your sex toys


Non-porous toy options are things like silicone, ABS Hard Plastic, glass, metal, ceramic, stone, and specially treated wood. But don’t always trust what companies say on the packaging about their materials. If you’re not sure, do your homework and look for solid reviews.

Now, how to clean your sex toys for use. The good news is there are ways to completely sterilize your toys, so you can ensure you're always using clean sex toys with a new partner.
 

Sex toy etiquette tip #2: soap and water


Pretty straightforward. Don’t use antibacterial soaps, or soaps with fragrances, as these can cause irritation down below.

“Free and Clear” dishwashing soaps work best for clean sex toys. Be sure to rinse thoroughly, and you can use a soft toothbrush if there are grooves or texture on the toy. However, this method won’t completely sterilize your toy.
 

Sex toy etiquette tip #3: bleach it


Use nine parts water to one part bleach in a bucket or bowl. Let your toy soak for a while, remove, rinse thoroughly with water, and dry.

This method sterilizes your toys thoroughly. If there was gunk of the vaginal or anal kind on the toy before cleaning, it’s best to use soap and water with a toothbrush first.
 

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Can't clean it? Put a condom on it!


Sex toy etiquette tip #4: boil it!


It’s pretty straightforward: brush any gunk off then put your toys in a pot of boiling water for 10 minutes. Lay out to dry. This will sterilize your toys.  Obviously, don't use this method for any electronic toys!
 

Sex toy etiquette tip #5: throw it in the dishwasher!


For those of us who have one, this method reigns supreme. If there's anything crusted on to your toys, you should scrub first and then throw them in the dishwasher on the “sterilize” or “normal” setting, with NO soap. This will sterilize your toys.

But if you can’t do one of the above to sterilize your toy, put a condom on it between orifices and between people. This is also imperative if you’re using a toy on more than one person: barriers are necessary unless everyone involved has made the very serious decision to be fluid bonded.

Even then, you shouldn’t use a strap-on in someone’s back hole and then into their or another person’s front hole without putting on a condom. If you can’t sterilize or put a condom on it? Don’t share it.

If you’re stuck on something you know can’t be sterilized, your best bet is to buy toys that are specifically for each person you regularly play with. Keep sterilizable options for orgies, swinging events, or for when you’re just hooking up.

It may seem like a lot of work to clean sex toys, but anyone who has gotten an infection from one can tell you, it’s essential!

Caitlin M. Murphy is a writer, sex educator, consultant, and product reviewer who focuses primarily on issues of sex toy and accessory safety, pleasure, sexuality, gender, and more.
 

Thoughts, questions or concerns? Or just want to tell us about your favorite sex toy? Leave it in the comments below. And, if you're not already a member of Fetish.com, sign up by hitting the button for free BDSM dating, Forum chat, and all the latest fetish news from our sex positive, kinky community. 
Go on, you know it makes sense.

Photos: apops / Dollar Photo Club and Axel Bueckert / Dollar Photo Club und Ani-Bee

 

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[…] toys are made of and always buy non-toxic body safe sex toys. The material also will change how you clean your sex toy, and whether it will last a long time or need to be thrown out after a few months. Whether you have […]

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