Bedroom Insider

A blog about relationships, intimacy and sex toys.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

PVC Gets a Bad Wrap

collection of purple sex toys
For as long as I’ve been a part of the sex-positive blogging community, I’ve been aware of and echoed the need to buy only body safe sex toys. While the category includes many different materials, the leader of this cool kids club is far and away silicone. Since the popular kids get the most said about them, we often forget that the less popular ones have a lot to offer, too.
Recently, I ventured a little out of my comfort zone and now own a toy made of PVC. So far, it’s looking like one of the best decisions I’ve made in a while.

Although I love that toy now, until it arrived, I was scared it’d be like all those toys made from mystery material I bought as a horny youngin’. The horrors of those are burned into my mind and orifices permanently. Luckily, unlike those other toys, when I excitedly snapped open the clamshell pack, I failed to register any gnarly chemical odors – a sure sign we were off to a great start.


The decision to plop down my own hard-earned money on a toy made from PVC came from a lack of options. My partner wanted something larger than any toy made from silicone I could find… for less than $300. My hard-earned duckets are also minimal. So, spending almost half what I pay on rent for a sex toy is out of the question. Luckily, my toy was only about $40.

There’s a whole world of toys made from PVC that are just waiting to find a home and you don’t have to sell your house to give them one. Although, their reasonable price leads many people to say things like, “you get what you pay for.” As if every silicone toy’s high price is always justified by it’s quality. It’s most certainly not. Having seen the actual costs associated with producing things like this, $40 should get us a lot more than it usually does.

Body-safe,for you:

I’m sure some of my sexpert friends would balk at my earlier description of PVC sex toys as body-safe. The main reasons for this: Phthalates, pores and, and the aforementioned pricing. The former two are actual problems.

Phthalates are chemicals used to soften plastics like PVC to make them more stretchy, fleshy and silicone-like; they’re useful but can leach into the body and cause all sorts of problems. Like the ones on your face, pores or tiny pits in the surface of toys can collect bacteria, incubate, and let them  it back into the body.

Luckily, thanks to the public education and corporate prodding of sexperts, sex toys peek farther and farther out of the shadows. With more eyes and potential lawsuits around, safer toys seem to be spontaneously popping up out of nowhere.

Today, we have a wide array of options worldwide leaders in sex toys that don’t use phthalates or any toxic materials and have engineered the PVC to be less porous and anti-bacterial. I still don’t recommend sharing PVC toys to others without the use of a condom. Still, as long as you keep things monogamous, sanitize your lover toy after use, and leave it to air dry you should be able to love it problem-free for a long time.

Look out for changes in smell, color and finish to signal when it’s time to get another.


Just as sex toy manufacturers have removed toxic materials, many also exclude common allergens like latex rubber. Without these various additives, PVC sex toys are closer to hypoallergenic than ever.


Despite how great silicone toys are reported to be, I’ve always felt the finishes often feel too tacky. They always seem to pick up more lint than a Swiffer when laying around and they cause way too much drag in use for my tastes. Even when lubed for the gods, there never seems to be enough for an enjoyable experience. That’s certainly not the case with the PVC toys I’ve tried.

PVC toys tend to allow for glide closer to skin than any silicone toys I’ve tried. To me, PVC seems to offer the best compromise of grip and freedom of movement. This gives tactile pleasure and helps protect your orifices from tearing, which is an incredibly important yet often overlooked part of that body-safe thing.

External usage: 

Even if you’re uncomfortable putting a PVC toy inside, you can still use it externally. There’s plenty of cock rings, nipple clamps, impact toys, restraints, gear and many other kinds of toys made from or coated with PVC. As long as your toys are non-toxic, phthalates and – if necessary – latex-free, you’ll definitely be good.

Fun styles:

The low cost of materials and the ease of production means there’s a huge selection of toys out there in a ton of different shapes, sizes, and colors. Diving into the world of  PVC toys, you’re guaranteed to find something cute, fun, and pleasurable. That’s a much welcome change from how very serious sex toys tend to be.

If you are unsure about a product category or particular shape, you can buy a version made form PVC to see if it’s worth your money. You might even be swayed to keep it, once you see how great PVC toys can be. That is exactly what happened to me, after all.

By: Jerome Stuart Nichols
Follow on Twitter @NotJeromeStuart