Jelly-Rubber Sex Toys And Their Health Risks

The phallic playthings dangle along the back wall of Lovers. Lined up on a shelf, their sparkly glitter insides shine through the thick layer of packaging, but something more sinister is also lurking in the sexy line up of jelly rubber dildos, vibrators and anal beads.


You’re probably hearing or reading a lot lately about jelly-rubber sex toys and their health risks. While they are usually less expensive and many people like the silky feel and flesh-like responsiveness of these toys, you should be very aware of the down-side. Ongoing studies have shown that there are genuine concerns with using these items. Jelly-rubber contains phthalates. (Thall-ates), are porous, and extremely difficult to properly clean after use. Most experts recommend using condom or condom-like coverings over phthalate-based sex toys.

Without getting too technical, phthalates are chemical compounds used to increase flexibility. They’re used to turn hard plastic into what’s described as jelly-rubber. One of the first indications that this is an unstable combination came about when after repeated use, people noticed their sex toys made of this substance began to fragment and discolor after only a few months. Another problem is that jelly-rubber is porous. That means fluids and bacteria can be absorbed and transmitted through toy use. In other words, jelly-rubber sex toys can be “carriers” of STDs and other harmful diseases and health conditions. Still another issue is that jelly-rubber sex toys are mass produced — like “cheap novelties” — in countries which often have very lax manufacturing codes and inspection conditions.

Most sex toy manufacturers and retailers have responded to these serious concerns by emphasizing their non-phthalate based products and producing educational materials about the dangers inherent in jelly-rubber items. No official regulations, however, have been adopted to prevent the sale of phthalate-based toys, so it’s still a buyer beware situation. Other porous and phthalate-based materials used in sex toys include Cyberskin and soft vinyl. Elastomer, while phthalate-free, is semi-porous and cannot be adequately cleaned. Even silicone mix products may contain phthalates. All of these items should be covered by a condom when used.

Does this mean you should immediately throw out all your phthalate-based sex toys?
Not necessarily. It DOES mean that you should be aware of the risks involved and that your ’safe sex’ practices should include replacing them when they begin to show ‘use fatigue’ and always covering them with a condom when in use.

Smart shoppers are already showing a marked preference for non-phthalate-based and non-porous sex toys. There is a wider variety now available and manufacturers are aware of the demand. Pure silicone, such as VixSkin, Lucite, acrylic, glass, and metal toys can be cleaned and disinfected and will outlast their cheaper counterparts. Your health is worth it!

Article: MissBonnie and MissBitch for The Beginner’s Guide to Vibrators ©

Many, many thank yous to Cle-Andria for her help with images, allowing us to destroy her shop shelves in the name of kink, and her wealth of information.

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