DIY Sex Blog

September 2009 Archives

Q&A: Can I Use Rubber Sex Toys If I'm Allergic to Latex?

glove.jpg Q: I have a latex allergy, so I can't use latex condoms, etc. But does that mean I can't use sex toys that are made out of any kind of rubber? What about cyberskin?

A: That is really inconvenient. Latex allergies are becoming increasingly common. Nobody knows what causes a latex allergy, but it's thought that prolonged or repeated exposure to latex may contribute. So if you're a healthcare worker, work in a condom factory, or have lots and lots of safe sex, you may be vulnerable.

Latex is the natural, plant-based form of rubber, and it is a specific protein in it that causes the allergic response. Most sex toys are made of synthetic rubbers and other elastomers that don't contain that allergen. Because of consumer health concerns about phthalates and other chemicals, many manufacturers and online sex toy stores are making a point of listing the materials that a toy is made out of. However, if it just says "rubber" and doesn't specify "latex free", you should probably play it safe and avoid it. Cyberskin and similar fleshy materials are latex free, as are silicone, vinyl, PVC, and polyurethane.

Another thing you could do, if you have a rubber toy and are concerned about a reaction, is to cover it with a condom (or, if you're a guy and it's a masturbation toy, cover yourself with a condom). You've probably already discovered polyurethane condoms as an alternative to latex condoms. But they're a little pricey to use for putting on toys. Polyisoprene condoms (Lifestyle Skyns) are cheaper, and you can use them in the rare event that you're allergic to polyurethane as well.

As far as materials you use to make your own sex toys, you'll have to do your own research to determine if something might contain latex, and find a suitable substitute if necessary. Some of the projects on our site use latex gloves, which can be replaced with nitrile gloves, or latex condoms, which can be replace with the above alternatives. For projects that use latex balloons, you might try those inflated plastic air pillows that are used for packing. It's all about creativity and ingenuity, and where there's a will, there's a way.

News: No Good Vibes in Alabama

Alabama.jpgOur sympathies go out to our readers in Alabama. Thanks to a recent state supreme court ruling, these folks still can't go down to the neighborhood dildo shop and buy a butt plug or vibe - it's illegal to sell or distribute sex toys in the state. It's OK to use one in the privacy of your own home, but good luck getting your hands on one. A gun, however, you can pick up at any Wal-Mart.

Alabama has a long history of policing citizens' bedroom behavior, and until six years ago, it was one of the few states that still had sodomy laws on the books. Retailers have been fighting the sex toy ban for years, but just suffered another blow as an appeal was knocked down and the law was upheld, under the auspices of "public morality". The innocuously named sex toy retailer "Love Stuff" is challenging the ruling once again.

But, in the meantime, horny Alabamans will have to find alternative ways to get pervy playthings - by ordering online (if companies will ship there), hopping a state line to go dildo shopping, holding clandestine Passion Parties (we love the idea of housewives buying vibrators like Tupperware), or of course, making their own fun gadgets. And that's what we're here for. Thank goodness they can't legislate the sale of cucumbers and electric toothbrushes!

A Few Words About Safety

We take safety seriously here at Homemade Sex Toys. We've rejected a lot of proposed sex toy projects as being too dangerous. We even did a feature on dangerous homemade sex toys you should avoid.

So when a reader alerted us to some safety issue with some of the dollar store sex toys we suggested, we listened up:

"Lots of those items may have 'seams' of plastic left over from the molding process, and if these are inserted into the body, may cause damage... Also, some plastics may be one-time use as they are not able to be sanitized after use."

These are good points. In our giddy delight over dollar store pervertibles, we did neglect to add some cautionary comments about these potential problems. Because they are cheaply made, some dollar store items, especially plastics, may have sharp edges or seams. They may break easily. They may also have paint or decals that can flake off. Items made of sticky rubber or flocked plastic can be hard to clean, and shouldn't be inserted uncovered anyway.

Carefully examine any object before inserting it into an orifice. Feel for sharp edges or seams and if possible, smooth them off with a nail file or sandpaper. It's always a good idea to put a condom over anything you insert. That will smooth things off and make clean-up easier, and protect you from any weird chemicals. Wash all your dollar store purchases before use. (Hey, they're from the dollar store. You never know who's been handling them.)

Finally, use common sense, and don't just go and do something because it's on a website, including ours.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from September 2009 listed from newest to oldest.

August 2009 is the previous archive.

October 2009 is the next archive.

This is the blog for Homemade Sex Toys, delivering homemade sex toy projects to you for almost 10 years.