Sex toy advice for first-time buyers

Taylor Barron, Beaver's Digest Contributor

From the materials of vibrators and dildos, to types of lubricants and more — if you are sexually active and use a sex toy for masturbation or with another person, it is important to know how to clean your toys in order to maintain personal hygiene.

“There are multiple different toy materials,” Nic Ashland, manager of Eva’s Boutique, an adult shop, in Corvallis, said. “For beginners, I like to go with a 100% silicon one, just because it’s going to be non porous, so it is not going to trap bacteria as often”.

Toys made of metal and glass (borosilicate or pyrite), are a bit more costly due to their durability, Ashland said. The glass
and metal ones are non-porous, and they can withstand any type of lubricant and will not degrade over time.

Lubricants are a common misconception when it comes to using sex toys, according to Ashland. There are about four different kinds of lube: water-based, hybrid, silicon and oil-based.

“Water-based is the safest lubricant all around, but the only issue with it – because it is water based – it does get absorbed into the skin a lot faster, so you have to reapply it more often,” Ashland explained.

Ashland further explained that you can reinvigorate the water lubricant by applying more lube, or by using saliva or water. While silicone lubricant is a lot longer lasting, if used on silicone toys or latex condemns, it will melt the material, so you have to be really careful when using those.

The hybrid lubricants are a combination of the silicone and the water base, “so you kind of get the best of both worlds; you get the long lasting (nature) of the silicone, but the safety of the water base,” Ashland said.

As for the oil-based lubricant, it is recommended that it just be used for masturbation, and not internal use because it can interrupt one’s pH balance and make them more prone to bacterial infection.

When it comes to the cleaning, make sure you are using antibacterial and antifungal medical grade toy cleaners when cleaning your sex toys.

“We recommend this because compared to soap and water, soap and water will break down toy material, and you don’t want soap and water internally because that can affect the mucous membrane in regard to vaginal and anal play. It can create more bacteria and create infections,” Ashland said.

Eva’s Boutique workers highly recommend investing in medical grade cleaners, noting that the investment will be well worth it in the long run when you do not have to schedule multiple doctor visits for a potential infection.

There is a whole world out there dedicated to the knowledge of sex toys, so make sure to be safe and take care of yourself on your journey to sexual pleasure. Check out Eva’s Boutique on Ninth Street in Corvallis for a local array of toys, lubricants and much more.

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