Monday, April 12, 2010

Go-To Guide to Phthalate-Free Sex Toys


Houston's Own "Novelty Shop" in a former Whataburger. Ugh.

Texas has few brick-and-mortar options for purchasing high-quality sex toys--most stores in the state are of the beside-the-highway variety where you're likely to find something in a clear plastic box with a semi-famous porn star on the front. In addition to wanting to avoid going into those icky, pinky-purple buildings (Zone D'Erotica, I'm looking at you), the shimmery, jiggly sex toys they carry usually contain a substance called phthalates that was banned last year in children's toys in the United States and banned in the European Union 5 years ago.

Phthalates have been documented to cause attention and behavior problems and genital development defects in male offspring of women with high levels of exposure--namely, their penises are smaller and their testicles may fail to descend. And how do women get exposed? A variety of ways, but sex toys, in the opinion of this blogger-cum-public health nerd, are an understudied pathway.

Phthalates are a plastic softener, which is why they are so often used in children's toys--like teething rings and soft plastic dolls--and they also soften plastic and vinyl used to make "jelly" sex toys. Since sex toys are not regulated by the FDA or the Consumer Product Safety Commission, which regulates children's toys and household goods, manufacturers are not required to demonstrate product safety nor is there a system for reporting potential hazards from exposure. Basically, that means that a sex toy could be completely toxic and totally legal.

If you have any sex toys meeting the "jelly" description I would encourage you to throw them away immediately and trade up to a nontoxic product. Here is my list of Top 5 Phthalate Free Sex Toys. They range from cheap to exorbitant but they're all well worth their price tag and won't, you know, render your future offspring infertile.
  • Combo Vibrator: The Ina by Lelo is the best and brightest of the Rabbit-style vibrators. It's made out of medical grade plastic and silicone, so it's waterproof and rechargeable. ($159)
  • Dildo:A general rule for toy safety is that if it will go inside your body, it should be made of silicone, glass, medical grade plastic or steel. The Rodeo Rick is perfect for Texas size queens: at 7 inches long and 2 inches diameter this is the last dildo you'll ever need. ($110)
  • Anal Toy:The Simply Blown Plug is just gorgeous. It's clear glass with a smidge of color: emerald, ruby, amethyst and aqua. With 3.5 inches in length and 1.25 inches in diameter, this plus is similar to the old standby Ryder but so much cooler.($75)
  • Just 'Cause: The Jimmyjane Form 6 is pink, completely waterproof, and rechargeable. AND it has a 'travel switch' so you can make sure you don't wind up at airport security with a suspicious buzzing in your handbag. Not that I know anything about that...($185, but so worth it)


You can't buy any of these toys in Texas, obviously, so get yourself to Babeland. I never miss it when I go to New York and they only sell the best of the best.

XOXO,
Julie Sunday

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