Whether we’re talking vibrators, dildos, butt plugs, restraints... using sex toys is awesome.The sex toy possibilities these days are really only as limited as your imagination. Sex-positive sex shops like Babeland and Good Vibrations have even taken the shame out of buying sex toys and turned it instead into the boutique shopping experience you’d expect for any high end item. There are companies like Crave creating beautiful sex toys or Orgasmatronics, which is pushing the limits of what a sex toy can do. We are definitely in the middle of a sex toy revolution!
But you know what? As those awesome toys get more and more technical, so too are the ways that you’re probably using them wrong. Like, I don’t mean using a Hitachi Magic Wand as a back massager — if that’s where you need that deep tissue penetration, than do you, boo. What I’m referring to is really the kind of wrong moves that can end up hurting you. Yup, you read that right: your sex toy use could be hurting you.
Before you freak out though, know that you’re probably doing most things 100 percent right with your mechanical lovers. However, these are six sex toy mistakes you need to be aware of so you can stop making them, right now.
1. Not Cleaning Them Often Enough
I know that after you have an orgasm, the last thing you want to think about is cleaning up the contraction that got you there. If you’re anything like me, you probably just want to take a nap. However, it’s essential that you clean your sex toys every single time you use them. Otherwise, really nasty bacteria can build up on the surface and guess what happens the next time you turn to your buzzing buddy? You got it: that nasty bacteria gets all up in you.
2. Or Cleaning Them Incorrectly
Some sex toys can be boiled, some can’t. Some need special cleaning agents, while others can be washed with regular scentless soap. Pay attention to the cleaning instructions that come with your toy, both to ensure that they get squeaky clean each time and to make sure you’re not damaging them by using the wrong kind of cleaning agent. For example, anything made out of Cyberskin can be damaged by too much soap, so you have to be careful and use only a little bit of soap and warm water.
3. Not Paying Attention To What They’re Made Of
Here’s something that will keep you up at night: Sex toys aren’t regulated by the government. What that means is a lot of them are packed with high levels of nasty chemicals called phthalates, which can seep into your blood stream through the very porous areas you usually put sex toys. If you want to make sure that your toys are not cancer causing, buy them from a reputable shop like Good Vibrations or check out this list of non-toxic sex toys from Marie Claire.
4. Putting Them In The Wrong… Place
Some toys are meant for specific parts of your body and not others. Follow the instructions, folks! For real — if they’re not insertable, don’t insert them.
5. Or Going Between Orifices Without Protection
Just like you shouldn’t go from anal to vaginal sex without cleaning up or changing the condom, you absolutely shouldn’t do that with a sex toy either. And if you’re inserting the same toy into multiple people? Make sure to use a new condom every time or else put yourself at risk for STIs.
6. Getting Them Wetter Than They Should Be
Your sex toy should be making a buzzing sound not a zapping one! Some motorized toys can go in water, to some degree, and some really, really can’t. Watch out for this one! Best case scenario, you singe your bits. Worst case scenario, you electrocute yourself with a vibrator. Actually, those are both terrible-case scenarios, so use your toy properly!
Want more of Bustle's Sex and Relationships coverage? Watch people guess what these sex toys are used for:
Images: Andrew Zaeh/Bustle; Giphy (6)