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COLUMN

Savage Love

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What is the best way to sanitize a latex dildo? At least I think it’s a latex dildo. I actually don’t know. I had a yeast infection a few months ago, and before I knew what was up, I used my toy. Now I’m afraid to touch it until I know it won’t re-infect me!
Inserting This Chances Harm

“It sounds like ITCH isn’t 100 percent sure what their dildo is made of,” says Hannah Jorden, senior staff sex educator at Smitten Kitten (smittenkittenonline.com), a progressive sex-toy and gear shop based in Minneapolis. Don’t feel bad, ITCH: Most people don’t know what their sex toys are made of.

“Sex toys aren’t regulated like food when it comes to packaging,” Jorden says. “There’s no list of ingredients on the back. It could be latex, some other porous rubbery substance, or even a nasty, rash-inducing, endocrine-disrupting, cancer-causing mixture of PVC and phthalates.”

So maybe your best course of action would be to toss that old dildo and buy yourself a new one. So what should you look for when you go dildo shopping?

“The best option is medical grade, platinum-cured silicone,” Jorden says. “Silicone dildos are popular because they come in lots of different textures and firmnesses, and you can quickly sterilize them by putting them in boiling water for a few minutes or running them through a hot dishwasher cycle.”

Those platinum-cured silicone toys are going to be pricier, of course, but aren’t our orifices worth it? And our breasts and balls? And our children and their genitals? But if you can’t afford silicone, or if you have a sentimental attachment to older sex toys, you can put condoms over them.

“It’s not a foolproof approach,” Jorden warns, “and it supports companies that make low-quality toys. A silicone toy will last a lifetime, and when you buy one, you’re investing in a company that cares about quality and your sexual and reproductive health. Progressive sex shops, like those that are members of the Progressive Pleasure Club (progressivepleasureclub.com), can help ITCH figure out which toys are safe and which should be avoided.”

Jorden recommends a few trustworthy brands: Toys from Fun Factory, Tantus and Vixen Creations are safe, nontoxic and phthalate-free. And here’s a nonporous, nontoxic, non-silicone option for you, ITCH: the stainless steel toys made by NJoy (njoytoys.com). They’re pricey, it’s true, but they are as indestructible as they are beautiful.

I’m a 30-year-old straight guy 18 months into a relationship with a 30-year-old bisexual woman. We get along wonderfully and fuck wonderfully. Have you ever tried to see who can out-rim whom? Fun stuff. We want a life together. The snag is that while she’s nontraditional in many respects, she also has a certain dedication to Catholicism and wants us to marry. I’m agnostic on God, but I don’t care at all for his earthly representatives; the idea of a priest giving me permission to kiss her is repellent. A secular courthouse wedding isn’t much more appealing to me. I know that a marriage license doesn’t automatically come with a dead bedroom and a dresser full of pleated jeans to put in it, but it seems utterly unnecessary. It’s also a binary sort of thing, and thus our go-to solution when we have a conflict – compromise – doesn’t work here. I suggested flipping a coin as a sort of probabilistic compromise. She wasn’t interested. Breaking up over the details of your future life together seems like a dumb thing for two smart people in love to do, but that’s the outcome we’re inexorably moving toward.
Running Into No Go

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