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Sex Toy Safety

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Note on language: In order to be as clear as possible, we use the medical terms associated with people’s body parts. We understand that these may not be the words you use for your body or the words that best describe you. 

It’s up to you

You decide if you want to have sex with strap-ons, prosthetics or other toys. Checking in with your partner to make sure you both give an enthusiastic YES to what is about to happen is an important part of having great sex!

Can I get STIs from sex toys?

Caring for your toys

It’s important to know how to take care of sex toys by keeping them clean. Because toys are made of different materials, they need to be cleaned in dierent ways. Read the cleaning instructions that come with them, or if you don’t have those anymore, here are some general rules:

• Silicone Toys: Wash with warm, soapy water or immerse in boiling water for 10 minutes to disinfect. Air dry. These can also be disinfected by putting them in the dishwasher on the top rack, but run the dishwasher without soap. Don’t boil silicone toys that have a vibrator inside.
• Glass Toys: Wash with warm, soapy water. Air dry.
• Jelly-Rubber Toys: This material is porous (has small holes) so it cannot be completely disinfected. Wipe with a soapy cloth and rinse with warm water. Always use a condom with jelly-rubber toys.
• Cyberskin Toys: Also known as Ultraskin or Softskin. This material is porous so it cannot be completely disinfected. Wash with a mild soap and warm water. Air dry.

Sharing toys with partners

Toys that are shared during sex should always be used with a barrier to prevent the spread of STIs or other infections, such as bacterial vaginosis. Be sure to use a new barrier any time a toy is used by a different person or in a dierent place on the same person (such as moving from someone’s vagina to their anus or butt).

Lube is good for pleasure, but don’t use oil-based products or lubes with latex condoms and never use silicone-based lube with silicone toys.

Get tested

When getting an STI test it’s important to get tested in all the places on your body you are having sex. Talk to the person who is doing your testing about the types of sex you are having so you can get all the tests you need to keep yourself and your partners safe. 


Special Populations - CDC
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