Gay Men’s Guide to Cleaning and Maintaining Sex Toys

caring for sex toys for gay men

How to care for your sex toys

Once considered taboo, sex toys have become an integral and celebrated part of sexual culture and are commonly used to heighten our sexual experiences.

However, as popular as sex toys have become, knowledge surrounding the care and maintenance of our toys is lacking, putting our bodies at risk of poor health and infection – suddenly sounding less sexy, right?

Just as we take various steps to decrease our chances of contracting infections from partners, we must also approach the use of sex toys with similar considerations and precautions.

By following the below advice, you’ll ensure your toys stay in tip top shape, and you stay healthy and sexually satisfied – doctor’s orders!

Choosing the right lubricant—First of all, if you’re not using any lubricants with your sex toys, it’s time to start. Lubricant acts as a slick barrier between the toy and your delicate skin to prevent anal injury, so it’s especially important to make sure you’re using the right one.

As different lubricants are suitable for different people and sex acts, you must take the same precautions when it comes to your toy types. With silicone toys, it is imperative to only use water or toy-safe lubricants, as pure silicone lubricants can degrade silicone toys.

This can cause irregularities and breakdown, which leads to improper play and higher likelihood for injury.

Play-time—Speaking about improper play – using toys correctly is imperative for its functional pleasures. Each toy has specific instructions and should be thoroughly researched. With improper use not only can the toys be rendered useless, but, more importantly, one can get injured quite significantly, limiting anal play altogether.

More: I broke my boyfriend’s penis during a sex accident

This might seem obvious, but something that cannot be ignored — the smaller ones can get lost a lot easier than one might think… And then what good are they up in your colon? Not functional or pretty, don’t you think?

Most sex toys are designed in a way that the base prevents this from happening, but it’s still something to keep an eye out for.

bottoming for the first time

Post-use care—It’s super common to climax using sex toys and then completely forget to properly clean them afterwards with appropriate toy-safe purposeful solutions – we’ve all been caught in the moment before!

It is not only imperative for the longevity of the toy itself, but unsanitary toys can be a significant method of transfer for bacteria and all sexually transmitted diseases.

Remember, the anal canal and rectum both have naturally occurring bacterial flora that can be easily overgrown, causing localized irritation and infections.

When it comes to STDs, unsanitary toys can be a source of continued contamination, with most individuals forgetting to disclose and/or implicitly ask about status as it relates to the use of sex toys.

Whether you’re using toys individually or with partners, the process of continued upkeep and cleaning cannot be stressed enough – and weren’t we all taught to put our toys away properly after play?

And on that note, let’s talk about proper storage of sex toys.  100% silicone toys can really be stored however you’d like (we suggest wrapping them in a cloth or in a dust bag); however, toys made from composite materials should be kept away from silicone, as they will degrade over time.

Preventing Good ol’ HPV—As genital warts can be easily transmitted via skin-to-skin contact, they can also be contracted by toy-to-skin contact.

When HPV is transmitted through sex toys, it is extremely common to experience recurrent anal wart disease from continued use of non-sanitary toys. If the thought of recurrent anal warts isn’t enough of a warning to properly care for your sex toys, I’m not sure what is.

While often ignored, the key to ongoing healthy anal engagement with sex toys is with the knowledge of proper use and the importance of continued sanitary practices post-play.

With this in mind, your favorite toys will go the distance and you will continue to enjoy the benefits of healthy enhanced sex play.

Contributed by Dr. Evan Goldstein, CEO and Founder of Bespoke Surgical.