Sex Toy Safety with Sophia St. James -- Part One

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By Sophia St. James, PQ Monthly
What makes a safe sex product?  Good question.  You may be surprised to know this, but there are currently no regulations about the items used to make pleasure inducing products.  Added to this, companies aren't required to label their products.  Because of this, most manufacturers do not take the time to list the materials used.   This also means that manufacturers are not obligated to report the chemicals and materials used in a product to any higher regulatory body, and that they may report them inaccurately on their packaging without consequence. Consumers who wish to protect their health and remain informed will need to perform outside research to learn the true material composition of many toys on the market today.  I wanted to discuss a few common materials that are found in many intimate products that are not body safe and how to detect if your products contain these items. Phthalates (pronounced - THAL-ates) are found in many well known items.  Items that you can purchase at your local neighborhood store such as margarine containers, soup cups, and other food products. Phthalates are plasticizers.  Plasticizers are used to increase flexibility, transparency, and durability.  Phthalates are found in 'jelly plastic ' or jelly rubber' sex toys.  We all have seen them, the toys that are semi transparent or completely transparent.  We all use products every single day that contain a certain level of phthalates. When you open a package, if there is a plastic-like odor this is a sign that phthalates are present. A great example of this is the “new car smell†that we all love. That smell, and the residue that keep reappearing on the inside of your windows on a hot day, is a classic sign of phthalates in soft plastics trying to separate and revert to their previous state. As enough of the phthalates escape over the years your car’s dash can even become brittle again.  Another sign that phthalates were used in a plastic product is that there may be an oily or greasy appearance on the surface, even if nothing has been applied to it. Studies have shown that phthalates may cause a variety of negative effects. Low sperm count, birth defects, and increase ones risk of cancer are some of the possible effects.  The EPA has designated phthalates 'possible human carcinogenics'.  One of the traits of phthalate containing items is having a porous make-up. The more porous a material is, the more nooks and crannies there are for bacteria and the like to hide in—like a sponge. Because they cannot be sterilized, porous toys should always be used with a condom, especially for anal use or when sharing of toys between partners. A non-porous toy has a smooth, impermeable surface, like stainless steel, and does not retain and harbor bacteria in its surface. Many non-porous toys can be sterilized by boiling them in water or running them through the dishwasher. Unfortunately products that contain phthalate are also very affordable to many consumers.  Because of this, they sell pretty fast.  Always be sure to wash your 'jelly' toys with warm water and soap and always use a condom.  Be sure to examine the package.  When examining a toy that contains phthalates, you’ll often find “weeping,†or sweat-like beads of oily discharge on the surface of the material. This is caused by chemical degradation of the toy material, which occurs naturally over time as a toy sits on a shelf or in your bedroom. Take care of your bits.  They are the only bits you have! tags - phthalates, safer sex toys, sexual health, sexual education Reference links - >
SSJ_No8-300x300Sophia St. James is an erotic entertainer who performs and educates the public on self confidence, self worth, and the art of sensuality no matter their outer appearance. She has worked as a sex and sensuality educator, sex toy/product reviewer, adult film director/producer, model, and erotic visual performer. You can reach her at