When To Retire A Sex Toy

There’s nothing quite like a good connection to your favorite sex toy. Whether it’s a vibrator, a dildo, a plug, a ring, or a harness it’s always there for you in the good times and the bad. Even if your beloved toy is like a friend to you, sometimes you have to acknowledge that they’ve given you all the can and it’s time for them to move along to greener pastures. It might be time to say goodbye if:

  • Your toy is causing a burning sensation when you use it. Toys containing phthalates can break down and release chemicals that cause pain or discomfort. These are generally your jelly or “mix-blend” toys and were probably pretty low in cost. However, even if you know that the toy in question did not contain phthalates it may have picked them up if it was stored in close proximity to another toy that did. The best way to make porous toys live a long and happy life is to put a condom on before you use them (because porous toys cannot ever be fully sterilized) and to store them in a sealed plastic bag of their own to prevent them from picking up any extra dust, hair, or out-gassing chemicals around them.
  • Your toy is starting to become discolored. Discoloration is a good indicator that the toy contained phthalates and that they are beginning to break down. This means more chemicals are being released and can lead to the aforementioned burning sensation during use.
  • You notice chips, tears, or cracks on the surface of the toy. These are all great places for bacteria and viruses to hide if you have a toy that cannot be completely sterilized (jelly, cyberskin, hard plastic, or elastomer) and will trap more dirt and grime than you can feasibly wash in the sink and that rocky surface is going to be abrasive on sensitive tissues. Even if your toy can be completely sterilized, a chip or a crack means that the structural integrity of the toy has been compromised even if it’s just in the handle. You don’t want that glass or acrylic toy to continue breaking while it’s in use.
  • Your toy has become misshapen or soft to touch in places where it once was firm. Silicone toys are fantastic because they can be completely sterilized and generally have long shelf life but some models will melt if used with a silicone based lubricant. Although the damage may seem possible to navigate around if used creatively, it will no longer have the amazing properties you purchased the toy for in the first place.
  • You notice that a battery has leaked or exploded inside the toy. If you think phthalates are bad, battery acid is definitely worse. Not only will your toy be corroded on the inside causing it to work sporadically (if at all), those chemicals can get mixed up with lube and fluids.
  • You’ve decided to go green. Batteries aren’t exactly eco-conscious. They are horrendous for the environment and rarely get disposed of properly. If you’re still relying on bulk-packages of batteries, it might be time to leave that toy behind for something that plugs into the wall or can recharged with its own internal battery.

Instead of tossing that old toy in the garbage at home, send it off to the Sex Toy Recycling Program where they will clean and disassemble it making sure that all of the parts can be sent off to facilities that can melt them down and reuse them. They’ll even take care of your dead batteries for you and send a gift card back in return to help you pay for that next sexy purchase.

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About Miss Maggie Mayhem

Miss Maggie Mayhem has worn many sex positive hats over the years. She has six years of experience as an HIV Prevention Specialist proving testing, counseling, and results disclosure as well as street based outreach for at risk youth. She is also a volunteer at the San Francisco Sex Information Hotline offering education and information to callers from around the world. She is also an erotic performer in San Francisco and loves to meet new people and show them new things. Maggie has also just recently returned from Haiti where she was part of the earthquake recovery and is looking for her next chance to go back and pick up her beloved 16lb sledge hammer once again.