Can You Get An STI From A Vibrator? Yup, But Here's How To Prevent It
Andrew Zaeh for Bustle
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Despite their name, sexually transmitted infections don't only propagate through sex. You can catch some from kissing or touching, and some don't even require another person — they can actually travel through your vibrator. How on earth can you get an STI from a sex toy? There are a couple possible ways.

Over half the human population gets an STI at some point in their lives, according to the American Sexual Health Association, so don't go into freak-out mode. Despite the stigma against them, STIs are really common and typically treatable. And while there are ways to prevent them, like using condoms, dental dams, and a few methods we'll get into, they're not necessarily a result of risky behavior. Oral herpes, after all, can be transmitted just through kissing.

Which brings us to sex toys. The majority of STIs spread from person to person, but it is impossible to spread chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis through objects if you're not taking good care of them. It's also, fortunately, almost entirely preventable. Kenna Cook, a sexual health educator and pleasure professional at O.school, tells Bustle that when it comes to safe sex toy usage, there are two main issues you might want to watch out for.

Sharing Toys

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If you've used the same toy on both yourself and your partner or with multiple partners, it could transmit an infection from person to person, just like having sex with them could. To prevent this from happening, Cook recommends using barrier methods. Put condoms around dildos and vibrators you use on the outside, and put in internal condoms before using butt plugs or anal beads.

Using One Toy On Different Parts Of Your Body

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While not common, it's also possible for an STI in one part of your body (like your vagina or anus) to spread to another part. That's one of the many reasons you should always wash your sex toys after using them. If you're about to put a recently used toy somewhere else on your body, wash it or put a new condom around it.

General Prevention Tips

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Since STIs can get in through tears in the skin, use lube with your toys to avoid creating points of entry. And, again, wash your sex toys after each use. "The best way to sterilize your toys is to wash them in hot water with mild, unscented soap and let them air dry," says Cook.

By the way, you shouldn't just be doing these things if you've tested positive for an STI. Not all are testable and many are symptom-less, so it's still possible you could have one without knowing it. To be extra careful, take these measures whenever you use sex toys — if not to prevent STIs, then to prevent the other bacterial infections they can carry.