What's the deal with silicone?
At Naughty North, we often have customers who come to us asking about silicone sex toys. They may have heard or read somewhere that they should be buying silicone products but don't really know why. Read on and allow us the explain what silicone is all about in the sex toy world.
It often comes as a shock to folks who learn that the sex toy industry is completely unregulated on a federal level. This is particularly important to know when you think about items that are going to be closely acquainted with the most sensitive parts of your anatomy.
Luckily, there are a lot of ethical manufacturers out there who go out of their way to make great quality materials that are lab tested and safe. Similarly, we at Naughty North do our research and only offer products from manufacturers we trust and who deliver quality, safe products.
Does this mean all other materials are evil? Not necessarily. At Naughty North we also offer products in PVC, TPR (Thermoplastic Rubber), and TPE (Thermoplastic Elastomer) but we only offer products that are free from phthalates, which are the harmful chemicals used to soften certain rubbers. We believe that consumer education is the most important factor in choosing sex toys, so you will find materials listed on every single product.
Still, silicone is the preferred material for sex toys in general because it has some big advantages over materials such as rubber, jelly, elastomer, and PVC.
- It is non-porous. Meaning bacteria can't seep through the surface of the material and become a breeding ground for infections
- It is unscented. This is a huge consideration for anybody who is scent sensitive or is turned off by that rubbery smell of non-silicone toys.
- It is hypoallergenic. Most folks have no allergic reactions to silicone.
- It lasts a very long time. With proper care, a silicone toy should last indefinitely, unlike rubbers that break down with time
- You can completely disinfect it. This is important if you share your toys with other partners or if you engage in both anal and vaginal play with the same toy.
- It comes in many textures and densities. This means a silicone toy can be completely firm like a vibrator or soft and squishy like some dual density dildos.
Are there downsides to silicone?
In truth, the benefits of silicone far outweigh the downsides, particularly when it comes to your sexual and physical health and wellness, but there are a couple of things you should keep in mind when buying silicone toys.
- Some silicone dildos can have less 'squish' or realistic give than their rubber (ie. Realskin, TPE, TPR) counterparts so look for dildos that are 'dual density silicone' where they overlay a softer coating on top of a firmer core.
- Silicone is very difficult to use when making 'realistic' penis strokers because it is difficult to make it soft enough. You will find most 'realistic' strokers are rubber or pvc.
- Some silicone sex toys are incompatible with pure silicone lubricants. This is a complicated topic and it really changes from manufacturer to manufacturer and product to product, so at Naughty North we advise not using pure silicone lubricants with silicone toys. You can, however, use a silicone/water hybrid lubricant since the levels of silicone are not enough to damage a silicone toy.
- Silicone is more expensive to produce and pure silicone sex toys can be more expensive than their counterparts made with rubbers or elastomers. Luckily, this is rapidly changing and you can now find more affordable silicone on the market.