Silicone is an inorganic polymer. Or, better put, the safest soft material for anything you’re going to insert in your bod — no contest. Here’s the long list explaining why: There are no pores to harbor bad bacteria, you can put it in your dishwasher, you can sterilize it by boiling it in water or cleaning it with a 10-percent bleach solution, you can swab it with alcohol, it’s hypoallergenic, it’s inert (so it won’t react with other materials), it’s long-lasting, and it has little to no odor. Plus, silicone toys are often made by small companies that design them in-house — they hand-pour the molds in small batches to create effective, functional toys. For all these reasons, silicone toys cost more, but they’re oh, so worth it!
Make sure the product is advertised as 100 percent silicone; otherwise, it may be mixed with jelly or other crappy material (sneaky bastards), nullifying all its kick-ass qualities. Keep it away from your cats; they love the feel of silicone, but one scratch and you’ll have to donate it to their squeaky-toy collection for good. The only real bummer ’bout silicone is that, historically, manufacturers haven’t been able to manipulate it into super-soft and super-funky textures like they can with elastomers and jelly rubber. But even that’s changing with the invention of VixSkin, a lifelike material made from 100 percent boilable silicone.
Examples of silicone toys include Tantus, Vixen Creations (careful, these are anatomically correct, if you know what we’re saying), and Fun Factory numbers (all brands available at GoodVibrations.com). In general, silicone lubes should not be used with silicone toys, due to a weird chemical reaction, but there’s an exception to this rule — tune in tomorrow for it!
Trivia tidbit: Silicon, the element, is often mistaken colloquially for silicone, as in the poignant pop classic “Objection (Tango),” where Shakira sings, “Next to her cheap silicon I look minimal” (lyrics off her official website). Though we like the sentiment, it should really be, “Next to her cheap silicone I look minimal.” Class dismissed.