Thursday, May 1, 2008

Killer Sex Toys

Why your Energizer Boner might be hazardous to your health

by Anna J. Evans

Imagine this scene: It’s Saturday night and you’ve been reading something steamy by one of your favorite Ellora’s Cave authors. Maybe you’re between lovers, your hubby is out of town, or perhaps you’re just not in the mood to deal with a cock or the man attached to it on this particular night. So you reach over to your bedside table, open the drawer and pull out…

(Cue scary music.)

A potentially cancer-causing hunk of chemically unstable plastic!

Unfortunately, that’s probably exactly what you’re getting. The basic material of choice for most popular erotic toys is polyvinyl chloride (PVC)—plastic that releases cancer-causing dioxin during manufacture and disposal. To make matters worse, in order to soften the PVC and give these toys the more lifelike, jelly-rubber feel that many erotic toy users prefer, they are treated with phthalates.

Phthalates have been linked to numerous health problems including obesity, kidney disease, abnormal estrogen and sperm production and prenatal genital development. And they have been proven to transmit via breast milk to infants. Two recent studies have also shown phthalates are even more unstable when they come into contact with fatty tissue, or become warm or damp.

I’ll let you fill in the blank there on your own. But I have to tell you—if your vibrator isn’t in a warm, damp place, you aren’t using it right.

Surely the government is protecting us from killer sex toys, you may think. Unfortunately, you’d be wrong. Nothing is being done to protect sex-toy users from these dangerous chemicals. Thirteen nations including the U.S., Japan, and Canada have banned use of these chemicals in children’s toys, but so far no one has considered doing the same for the adult market. Because you’ll notice—if you look at the packaging of your average erotic toy—it's probably been labeled a "novelty," a gag gift not intended for actual use. This classification allows the Consumer Product Safety Commission to avoid responsibility for these adult playthings, many of which are made in China of the cheapest possible materials. Which are…you guessed it, PVCs.

Read the rest of this article (and lots of other great stuff) free in the May issue of Lady Jaided .


Laurel said...

And that's why my dildo is made of glass. Yeah, it's not as "realistic," but it won't rot and it's easily cleaned.

Anonymous said...

Good point, Laurel.