Have you ever looked at your sex toy and wondered if it was safe to use on your body? Maybe you were reassured to see it was made from “body-safe silicone.”
But what is body-safe silicone, exactly? Is it natural? Non-toxic? What are you putting on (and in) your body when you use a vibrator, dildo, or butt plug, and why is it so important to choose body-safe products? Join us as we answer these questions and many more!
What Is Silicone?
The silicone used in sex toys is an elastomer, a man-made material that bounces back to its original shape without stretching out. Also known as silicone rubber, silicone is made from the natural element silicon, combined with carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen.
Silicone rubber starts out as a gel or liquid, and is then cured to become a solid — or in this case, a vibrator or dildo. Cured silicone rubber is everywhere — in menstrual cups, sneakers, tires, you name it. That spatula in your drawer? Probably silicone rubber. Same with the elastic in your underwear.
Silicone rubber is used in such a wide variety of products because it stands up to heat and moisture — two things present in spades during sex — which can quickly break down materials like plastics and natural rubber.
How is Silicone Cured?
Silicone is cured by two common methods: condensation or addition. Both involve adding a chemical catalyst to turn silicone from a liquid into a solid. The addition method often uses platinum as a catalyst, creating a silicone that’s extremely resistant to heat.
If the phrase “platinum-cured” is ringing a pleasurable bell, that may be because many high-quality dildos are crafted from platinum-cured silicone. If your dildo’s cleaning instructions say it can be boiled, chances are it’s made from platinum-cured silicone.
Curing silicone with platinum also makes it stronger, and improves its consistency and clarity. This allows for the interesting textures, precisely molded shapes, and deep, distinct colors found in many platinum-cured silicone sex toys.
The downside to this type of curing? Expense. Platinum curing is a pricier process, which explains why dildos and other toys made with this material tend to cost more than others, even those considered “body-safe.”
For more about boiling silicone and other materials, read Can I Boil My Sex Toys?
What Is Medical Grade Silicone?
Medical grade silicone is biocompatible, which means it won’t cause a toxic or immune response when it’s in contact with the human body. Medical grade silicone is used in a host of products like baby bottle nipples, water pipes, and medical devices, and is usually platinum-cured.
This type of silicone makes a great material for sex toys because it’s hypoallergenic, inert (meaning it won’t change or degrade), and free of toxins and latex.
Medical grade silicone is also tested by the FDA and certified safe to wear inside your body. You’ll find it in many butt plugs and other pleasure products that are designed for extended internal wear. That Snug Plug you’re so fond of? You got it. Medical grade silicone.
What Makes Silicone Body-Safe?
Now that you know more about silicone, let’s talk about what makes it body-safe. Silicone used in high-quality sex toys has a few specific properties that make it superior to less expensive materials like plastic and jelly rubber. It can stand up easily to play of all kinds, and here’s why:
Body-safe silicone is completely non-porous, meaning liquid and air can’t penetrate it. This is important because non-porous material doesn’t absorb damaging or dangerous substances like bacteria, viruses, and mold.
Over time, porous materials like PVC and TPE can harbor pathogens, develop an odor, or even cause infections like UTIs if you use them inside the body. And no, washing won’t help. Once microscopic particles of bodily fluids or lube penetrate a porous toy, it’s impossible to remove them completely. Imagine the way mold stains grout — another porous material — and you’ll get the idea.
Non-porous doesn’t mean bacteria can’t build up on the surface of your sex toy. To keep your toys clean, wash them with water and a mild soap or a toy cleaner. Toys that aren’t waterproof can be sprayed with toy cleaner and wiped down.
The strong chemical structure of high quality silicone rubber makes it extremely stable. That means it won’t warp, melt, or change when you use it or expose it to body heat or fluids.
Low-cost sex toys made from porous materials are often softened with potentially dangerous or carcinogenic materials like phthalates. These “plasticizers” can make a toy feel soft and smooth, but they’re potentially hazardous and break down easily. Body-safe silicone contains no plasticizers or other dangerous substances.
It has no smell or taste
Body-safe silicone doesn’t off-gas or release chemicals even when it’s new. It won’t interfere with the taste and scent of skin, bodily fluids, lubricants, or those all-important pheromones. In fact, it’s so safe it’s used in baking sheets and kitchen utensils of all kinds. Pass the Magic Wand, please.
Expert Tip: Body-safe silicone can be used with most lubricants except those made from silicone. Though silicone toys are non-porous, they can be penetrated (and damaged) by liquid silicone molecules. Use a water-based or hybrid lube instead, or look for a silicone lube formulated to be safe with silicone toys.
Best Body-Safe Silicone Toys
Now that you’re an expert on body-safe silicone, it’s time for the fun part: toys! Here are some stand-out picks in the most popular categories:
Lelo Sona 2 This combo suction/air pressure toy delivers sucking and blowing sensations in a super-smooth, waterproof package.
Pillow Talk Racy Mini Vibrator This pretty pastel toy delivers intense clitoral and G-spot stimulation and is easy to use in any position. Hard to beat the price, too.
Femme Funn Booster Bullet Small but mighty, the Femme Funn Booster Bullet glides over the surface of the skin with a surprising amount of rumbly power.
Luv Inc Panty Vibe One of our favorite under-$50 toys, this remote-controlled vibrator slips securely into your underwear for intense vibes on the go.
Doxy Die Cast 3R Wand Vibrator Heads up, power queens. The Doxy Die Cast 3R Wand offers a satiny silicone head that spins at a world-rocking 9,000 RPMs. Just wow.VeDO Liki Clitoral Stimulator The aptly named Liki boasts a fluttering silicone tongue for sensations so real you’ll be reaching for it every night.
Avant D2 Purple Rain The Purple Rain is part of Avant’s line of mouth-wateringly gorgeous platinum-cured silicone dildos.
Strap-On-Me Medium Strapless Dildo This velvety-soft dildo offers clitoral and G-spot stimulation, and is a pleasure to wear and receive.
Avant Suko This dual-density dildo feels like the real thing with a soft, slightly squishy exterior and firmer core. It has a super-strong suction cup, is harness-compatible, and is a bargain, to boot!
Fun Factory Boss The Boss gets both girth and length just right, and is addictively smooth to the touch.
Fun Factory Small Bootie Plug This wildly popular plug offers a comfortable glide in multiple sizes.
VeDO Bump Anal Vibe with Remote The tapered Bump brings powerful, remote-controlled vibes to the A- and P-spot.
B-Vibe Snug Plug 2 The Snug Plug is a weighted butt plug made from premium, easy-to-position silicone. Sizes range from pretty and petite to eye-poppingly large. For a closer look at the Snug Plug 2, read/watch our review of the b-Vibe Vibrating Snug Plug 2.
New to butt plugs? Not sure how to choose one? Check out the Beginner's Guide to Butt Plugs
Arcwave Voy Stroker This innovative masturbator is made from body-safe silicone instead of the TPE found in most strokers, and features a self-tightening mechanism for a customized fit.
Fun Factory Cobra Libre 2 Vibrating Sleeve The Cobra’s stretchy silicone interior delivers deep, erotic rumbles.
We-Vibe Pivot Vibrating C-Ring The Pivot creates longer-lasting erections and stimulates both partners with 4 speeds and 6 patterns of intense vibration.
Arcwave Ion Stroker The Ion uses air pressure to target pleasure receptors in the frenulum of the penis. This high-tech toy is designed to create uber-strong, long-lasting orgasms and is 100% body-safe.
Fun Factory Manta This ultra-versatile vibrating penis toy has a low profile and has an open design, making it the perfect accompaniment to oral sex.
Body-safe silicone is smooth and non-toxic, and is the ideal material for sex toys. All the toys we sell at Delicto are 100% body-safe, including our glass, stainless steel, stone, and wood products.