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Homemade Sex Toys: The Crafty Lover’s Guide To DIY Delights
Dr. Lisa Lawless, CEO of Holistic Wisdom
Clinical Psychotherapist: Relationship & Sexual Health Expert
You Want To Stick What Where?
Many of us have gotten that 'what if' thought when it comes to masturbation. Perhaps that creative thought leads us to the handle of a hairbrush, a vibrating toothbrush, a vegetable, or piece of fruit to use as a substitute sex toy.
These creative wheels spinning can make for a fun way to try something new to pleasure ourselves and make for a great story should we ever be so bold as to share it.
Examples Of Home Made Sex Toys
Before diving into the DIY world of intimate playthings, let's chat about some you should not use. It's hard to believe, but some of these harmful suggestions below were actually listed as 'good ideas' for homemade sex toys in a popular women's magazine:
Wooden Spoon Or Hairbrush
Using wood that has not been properly treated can mean the possibility of splinters and infections. Inserting a wood object not intended for sexual play is a risk you should not take, especially into a mucous membrane, which is very soft and vulnerable.
In addition, using wood that is varnished may contain toxins that are not body-safe, which can be absorbed directly into your bloodstream. If you are going to use wood, you need to use a real sex toy designed to be body-safe, which uses a biocompatible finish called Lubrosity.
If a hairbrush handle is made of plastic, it may contain toxic phthalates, which is a toxin and is absorbed directly into the bloodstream through the mucous membrane of your vagina or rectum. This means you should either not use it or cover it with a condom.
Mints with Sugar
Can we say yeast infection? Using something that is cooling can be stimulating to the genitals but avoid anything that contains sugar.
Be aware that using foods can also contribute to a urinary tract infection (UTI), developing into a more serious kidney infection. You are much better off using a cooling or warming lubricant that is intended for sexual use.
Research has shown that condom breakage can occur in as little as a minute when using mineral oils. A broken condom puts you at risk of contracting a sexually transmitted infection (STI) or becoming pregnant. It's best to avoid them for sexual use where your safety is concerned.
Water Jets & Shower Heads
Please do not use a showerhead or jacuzzi jet that penetrates the vagina. While stimulation to external parts of the body, such as the clitoris, should be fine, when air bubbles from the water make their way into the urethra or vagina, they can go directly into the bloodstream and be quite dangerous.
Potential for Air Embolism
The primary concern with using water jets or showerheads for vaginal penetration is the potential introduction of air or water bubbles into the bloodstream, which could lead to an air embolism.
An air embolism occurs when air bubbles enter the bloodstream and travel to vital organs like the heart or brain. This can block blood flow and lead to serious complications, including death.
Be aware that the urethral opening is close to the clitoris, making it easy for water to enter it and get into your bloodstream. If you do use water to stimulate the clitoris, use it downward onto the clitoris and angled away from the urethral opening.
Why People Make Homemade Sex Toys
Beyond one's creative imagination, there are certainly financial considerations and a lack of access to sex toys for some. Others may be embarrassed to purchase something of a sexual nature in a store. (Although reliable sex toy companies like us ensure discreet delivery for sex toys).
A hairbrush left on a nightstand might slip right under the radar for any curious guest. But if they spot that sassy, twirling little gadget you use for those special moments of self-love, they'll know you're having a good time!
There is also the idea that being sexual using something ordinary can be exciting. Sometimes, the thrill isn't just in the act but in the unexpected! Mixing a dash of "ooh, I'm being a bit naughty" with a sprinkle of "this wasn't planned" might just lead someone to DIY their own little magic tool.
Considerations Before Using A Homemade Sex Toy
Before you grab that cucumber or vibrating toothbrush, you may want to consider some of the hazards. It is better to be safe than sorry, and thinking this through may save you an embarrassing discussion with the emergency room doctor.
Make Sure It Is Clean & Allergy Free
Make sure that whatever you use is clean and made of a non-irritating material. Also, think through what material the object is that you intend to use. Allergies to latex, rubber, fruit, vegetable oils, and other things may want to be considered and even researched before you use them.
This is especially true for insertion into the vagina and anus. The vaginal tissue, especially the rectum, can quickly absorb substances, so using food that may have bacteria or toxic properties like laminates (wood stain, etc.) is not a good idea.
Food As Sex Toys May Cause Infections Or Be Toxic
Ever thought of getting a little... creative with your fruits and veggies? Before you get too adventurous, here's a juicy tidbit: those non-organic greens and fruits come with a spritz of something not-so-nice: pesticides, even the organic ones. Yup! That could leave you with some itchy surprises.
The skin of non-organic fruits and vegetables contains pesticides and may cause allergic reactions, making for an interesting discussion with your doctor.
If you are thinking of using a sausage, nitrites, and other nasty preservatives would be a big reason to avoid them. Also, people who have allergies to ragweed will want to stay away from cucumbers, melons, bananas, and a few others.
So, we all know condoms are those nifty little things primarily used for birth control and shielding against STDs. Essentially, they function as a barrier, stopping the transmission of bodily fluids from one individual to another.
But guess what? Some folks are getting super creative and using them over everyday items to make them safer to use as sex toys. Let's dish on the good and the bad about using condoms in these unexpected ways:
Benefits of Using a Condom Over Items
- Condoms create a barrier, reducing the risk of coming into direct contact with potentially harmful microorganisms.
- In some scenarios, such as when sharing intimate toys, using a condom can provide a layer of cleanliness and reduce direct exposure to bodily fluids.
- After use, condoms can be easily disposed of, ensuring that potential contaminants are discarded.
Challenges and Considerations
- Depending on the item's shape, size, and usage, the condom might not stay in place. It may roll off, rendering its protective purpose ineffective.
- Some condoms come pre-lubricated. Depending on the purpose, this might not be ideal. Non-lubricated condoms are also available.
- Some people might be allergic to latex, which is a common material for condoms. There are non-latex alternatives available, but it's essential to choose the right one for your needs.
Avoid Bacteria, Mold, Fungus & Viruses
Sexual exposure to pathogenic (disease-causing) microorganisms, including bacteria, fungi, molds, and viruses, can lead to a range of infections and health conditions.
Common bacteria found on improperly cleaned items can include E. coli, Staphylococcus aureus, and Streptococcus species. Infections caused by these bacteria can range from minor irritations to more serious conditions, especially if they're introduced into the body.
Anyone who has had a UTI (urinary tract infection) will tell you it is rather painful, so making sure not to introduce anything that could irritate the urethra (where your urine comes out), like bacteria, is very important.
Molds and fungi thrive in moist environments, and items that are not dried properly can promote their growth. Candida, a common cause of yeast infections, is a type of fungus that can grow on sex toys if they are not cleaned and dried adequately. Using a toy contaminated with Candida or other fungi can lead to infections, especially in individuals with compromised immune systems.
Also, staying away from sugar in the vaginal opening is a good idea; (candy, popsicles, etc.) can lead to an unpleasant yeast infection as well.
While most viruses need a living host to survive, certain viruses can live on surfaces for varying amounts of time. If you use something that has been exposed to such viruses, there’s a risk of transmission, though this risk may be low and varies by virus.
Make Sure You Can Easily Remove It
There are emergency room stories of patients putting things inside them that made any sane person scratch their head in disbelief. Like the woman who got splinters from her broom handle, the man who couldn't relocate his vibrating pager in a plastic baggy, etc.
Common sense says not to get a lit candle too close to your pubic hair or not use electrical items that are not meant for contact with moist or wet areas for sex play, but I can assure you people have tried. Please, think it through and use common sense should you have a creative moment about what cool idea you could try.
Even when using a sex toy designed for sex, you should ensure it is designed for what you are using it for, as some sex toys are not safe to use in other ways. For example, something that may be fine to use vaginally may not be safe to use anally.
Below is a real CAT scan from one of the physicians we work with that shows a dildo intended for vaginal use that became irretrievable when put into the rectum because it did not have a flared base. The patient had to have surgery to remove it.
Your Genital & Anal Skin Is Delicate
Make sure to keep in mind that anything like a vibrating toothbrush or the base of an electric razor may feel good at; first. However, material that is too coarse may rub your delicate skin raw if applied for too long or too hard.
Also, make sure that what you are using does not have a crevice that can grab some of your skin and pinch because your intended erotic experience may have the kind of screaming that comes from pain, not pleasure.
Cheap Sex Toys Can Also Be A Problem
Quality matters. In a world where shortcuts and quick profits tempt many, a toxic realm of adult toys exists. Some manufacturers, driven more by greed than integrity, might opt for toxic materials or shoddy craftsmanship.
Consumers can be easily seduced by the allure of a cheaper price, only to discover that all that glitters isn't gold. So, before diving headfirst into the world of sexual pleasure, take a moment to peruse the article below that shines a spotlight on the safest, healthiest, and truly the best out there because you're worthy of nothing less than the best when it comes to your health and pleasure.
Be sure to explore our Body Safe Sex Toy Guide for more information.
Homemade Sex Toy Rules
You may be wondering what people have tried that has been successful, and there are undoubtedly many potential ideas. Using things made of pure silicone, food-grade elastomers, or even protected by using a condom over it can be a safer way to play.
Most people are not sure what it is they are sticking up or rubbing against the most vulnerable parts of their body, so please think through what you are doing, as a few moments of intended pleasure can turn into serious trauma if you are not careful.
You can put condoms over things to help prevent exposure to rough surfaces, etc. which may provide a safer option. For those with latex allergies, we have put together some of the best latex-free condoms and helpful guides on condoms, such as our Condoms & Dental Dams Guide.
Below are the parameters for using homemade sex toys safely:
Always ensure that the materials you're using are body-safe. Avoid items that have sharp edges, could shatter or break, or that may contain toxic substances.
Any item you decide to use should be thoroughly cleaned and, if possible, covered with a condom for extra safety.
Avoid Porous Materials
Porous materials can harbor bacteria, increasing the risk of infections. Non-porous materials such as silicone, glass, and stainless steel are better.
Caution Regarding Size & Shape
Be careful with the size and shape of the item you are considering. It should be neither too large nor too small, and avoid any design that might cause it to become stuck or difficult to retrieve. Never use something that does not have a flared base anally.
Before using any homemade toy, test it on a less sensitive part of your body, like the inside of your forearm, to ensure you don't have any allergic reactions or sensitivities to the material.
Secure and Smooth
If you're adapting an item, ensure that any added elements like handles are securely attached. The entire surface should be smooth without any protruding parts that might cause injury.
The Right Lubrication Is Essential
Always use appropriate lubrication to reduce the risk of friction or injury. Ensure the lube is compatible with the material of your homemade toy. For instance, silicone-based lubricants can degrade silicone toys. See our lubricant guide for more information: The Ultimate Personal Lubricant Guide.
Possibly Safe Homemade Sex Toys
With these principles in mind, here are a few homemade options people have considered:
Acts as a makeshift vibrator. Always cover with a condom and only use the backside of it, not the bristles.
Soft materials like cotton cloth or scarves can be used.
Sponges & Cup
By placing two sponges in a cup and putting a condom between them, some people create a makeshift masturbatory toy for the penis. Lube up the inside of the condom before use.
Some people use the handle side of a hairbrush as a dildo. Ensure it has no sharp edges, is smooth, and always use with a condom.
Can be used for sensation play. However, don't insert ice directly into any body cavity, as it can cause cold burns. It's better to wrap ice cubes in a cloth or put them in a plastic bag.
For gentle tickling or sensory play.
Prioritize Safety Over Spontaneity
Exploring our sexual desires is a natural part of human sexuality. While creativity and spontaneity can be exhilarating, when improvising with DIY sex toys, the risks often outweigh the rewards.
The delicate nature of our genital and anal skin, combined with the unpredictability of materials and objects not designed for sexual use, can lead to infections, injuries, and outright medical emergencies. At the end of the day, the safety of our bodies should always come first.
If you want to explore, invest in safe, tested, and purpose-made products that prioritize your health and well-being. Remember, a momentary thrill isn't worth long-term consequences. Stay informed, stay safe!