Out of all the sex toy materials out there, glass sex toys are at the top of the list that makes people nervous. With misconceptions of something breaking into sharp pieces in one’s nether regions, it’s important to offer customers education about using this type of pleasure product.
Like medical-grade stainless steel, glass is non-porous and therefore very easy to clean and sterilize — making it a great material option. They’re also beautiful additions to any sex toy collection. They can be quite strong and, therefore, quite safe… if they’re made correctly. Poorly made glass sex toys are dangerous nightmares. Well-crafted ones are nothing to shy away from.
The stuff in your car window isn’t the same as what’s in your flower vase. They’re entirely different beasts with entirely different processes. The same goes for sex toys.
And the best first step is to understand some of the terminology:
Soda Lime Glass — It’s the most common type of glass and can be found in anything from windowpanes to bottles or jars. It accounts for around 90 percent of all manufactured glass.
Borosilicate Glass — This glass is engineered to withstand harsher thermal and chemical conditions. It’s used in many applications including laboratory equipment and cookware (things you put in the freezer or oven).
Annealed — This is the process of slowly cooling a glass object to “relieve residual internal stresses” that can occur during manufacturing/creation. Small objects can be annealed naturally due to their size; however, large objects need a controlled environment to cool properly.
Tempering – Often confused with annealing, but it’s not the same. Tempering creates a stronger form of glass.
Stress — This is a complex idea. Some stress points in glass can make those parts weaker and more susceptible to breakage. However, there are some instances where glass stress can make things stronger.
Some makers say it’s impossible to have a piece of glass that’s 100 percent free of stress, while others say it is. There is also a certain amount you can have while being safe to use.
Interesting fact: Adding different colors of glass into your creation also adds stress.
Pyrex — Pyrex is not a kind of glass. It’s a brand. Like “Kleenex” is a brand, but it’s been mistakenly integrated into our language to mean the same as tissues.
Important note: Keep in mind that these descriptions are the watered-down versions that are easier to digest.
Glass Sex Toy Safety
Even a well-crafted toy should be retired if it gets dropped. There could be cracks or newly introduced stresses that you can’t see. The same goes for if it’s been chipped. Yes, you’ll hear of makers dropping their toys to test their strength, but still, better safe than sorry.
Weak points — this is where the real danger comes in. Toys with very thin parts/sections should be avoided because they have the high risk of breaking.
Soda-lime glass (even annealed) is not a good bedmate for temperature play. Yes, you can warm it or cool it slightly, but avoid anything else, lest you end up with cracking. Stainless steel is a better option if you want to get into this kink.
Checking for Stress
I have DangerousLily.com and one of my co-workers to thank for this next tip… There’s one way you can see the stress of your glass sex toy — keep in mind that it’s not the be-all-end-all method but it will at least give you a good idea in what direction the quality is headed.
- Your toy needs to be clear glass — colored glass won’t work for this test
- You need your computer monitor — a blank white screen
- You need a polarizing camera lens — however, my design co-worker also said that a pair of 3D glasses will also yield similar results
- Make sure the room is dark
- Hold the toy between the lens and the monitor … and any stress points will show up as rainbows
- Indigo or brown colors mean there’s stress, but it’s not something to worry about
- A little bit of rainbow action isn’t the end of the world. Any significant rainbow action means the toy has lots of stress points and may eventually break.
So, in short … Well-made glass sex toys (annealed borosilicate or soda lime) are completely safe as long as they’re not dropped or put through extreme temperature changes.
Exploring the Safety of Glass Sex Toys by Robyn Hemington originally appeared in XBIZ