“Regifting” Sex Toys?

lelo_nea_pebble_vibeWe’ve been asked before if it’s okay to “reuse” a sex toy that outlasts the relationship it was originally purchased for. This rarely happens with battery-operated vibrators, as their shelf life is so limited, but it’s often an issue with something more hardy, like a silicone dildo.

If you’re only going to reuse it on yourself, fine: go nuts. But if you’re thinking of reusing it with a new partner? Our answer is always no, especially if it’s a toy that can’t be fully sterilized. But we still don’t care how “hygienic” 100% silicone is or how it’s “totally safe if you boil it for a few minutes on the stove top” or how you can slap a condom on a non-porous toy: that’s just plain disrespectful (and kinda gross) in our book. It’s kind of like recycling the sex-mix tape that your first true love made for you (please don’t tell us you’ve ever done that). We know sex toys are expensive—but, hey, hearts are precious, too, and we break those all the time.

If you ask us, regifting is only cool if the toy has never been used—and we’re talking not even out of its packaging. Who wants a toy that’s been manhandled, possibly dropped on the floor, or even licked by your dog?

The only exception to this etiquette guideline is this: you have a toy you’ve only ever used on yourself before that you’d like to introduce to your partner. Hey, some people need a helping hand to get off, even if they’ve got a partner with two willing, working hands. And your toy might very well be one of those high-end sex toys that’s worth at least half a pair of Manolos. You might be quite nervous about admitting your electronic needs to your partner, since doing so can feel like the equivalent of sharing a family secret or confessing to a love of reality TV. If this is the case, only an asshole would demand that you throw the toy out the window. But if the partner in question would simply prefer you not use your old-standby in their presence and then offers to replace your toy with a brand-new equivalent model — and least for couple-time — well, that’s just dandy.

But remember: any shared toys can spread STDs like gonorrhea, chlamydia, hepatitis B, and trichomoniasis, especially in the moment. There are no definitive studies on the rates of infection via toys, but we would hope that the mere possibility is enough for you: so don’t be passing that prop back and forth between naughty bits, without sterilizing it first or putting a fresh condom on it.

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10 Comments on "“Regifting” Sex Toys?"

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B Swish

Just make sure to sterilize it first before wrapping it as a gift 🙂

Castle Megastore

I think it is unhygienic to reused sex toys that are not sterilized. The best practice is to sterilize your sex toys every after use to avoid AIDS or STD’s and other fatal illness.

Sex Toys, Adam & Eve

You certainly make an interesting point about reusing sex toys – one that is often overlooked. It’s probably better to be safe than sorry!


Well, the mouth is a mucous membrane, so according to Em&Lo, it’s not reused.

Madamoselle L

emandlo said: “As long as they are not coming into contact with bodily fluids or mucus membranes, it’s probably alright (i.e not poor form). For example, no need to get new fuzzy velcro cuffs for every partner so long as nobody got overly excited with their money shot the last time.”

Yeah, the cuffs, OK. But, don’t reuse the ball gag.


If you’re already sharing fluids, I’m not quite sure I see the point in buying new toys. Say my boyfriend owns a Bo, and at least once in our relationship he uses it with me sans condom/femalecondom/dam/etc. If we broke up, and he were to get a new girlfriend with whom he enjoyed sexual relations, and if he were to want to use a ring with her, would he be required to get a new one? I understand that compared to most things, it’s not horrendous expensive [80 dollars? Why, you could not go out to eat 2/3/4 times and… Read more »

I see your point here – especially when it comes to health and safety issues. Then I totally agree but as the sex toy world moves to completely sterilizable materials and the prices move with them, I also understand that some people might not want to have to replace them. I think that some partners would be okay with it but discussion should happen first.