Did you ever wonder what chemical composition your sex and wellness products have or what kind of material your vibrator is made of? Probably not. It’s why you most likely never thought of the risks that can come with using cheap sex products.
Although some items you keep hidden in your sock drawer have presumably undergone safety regulations, the sad truth is that most of them never did. And it can take a toll on your health if you aren’t aware of what you’re putting on and in your body. Naturally, you can’t boycott the whole sex products industry. Still, you can distinguish the good from the bad and keep away from the materials and ingredients that are potentially causing you harm. So, let’s see what is the “bad stuff” in your sex products and its potential risks.
Harmful Chemicals in Cheap Lubricants
Cheap sex and wellness products are all over the market, and nobody can fully control their production and distribution. Lubricants, for example, take a considerable portion of the sex and wellness products market, yet we rarely read the labels when we buy one. When choosing a lubricant, you have to be extremely careful because its ingredients can pass through the mucous membrane directly into your bloodstream.
Most lubricants’ main composition are parabens, glycerin and glycol, sodium benzoate, and mineral oils. However, a paraben is one of the more harmful chemicals here. It is a preservative found in a variety of pharmaceutical and cosmetic products, such as shampoos, toothpaste, makeup, and lubricants. Some types are even used as food preservatives.
Sadly, some of these components, according to Stylecaster, can “mimic the activity of the hormone estrogen in the body’s cells, and while estrogenic activity is associated with certain forms of breast cancer, parabens have been found present in breast tumors. Sulfates are concerning because they were found to break down proteins, which can lead to a degenerative effect on the cell membranes. Sulfates were also found to leave residue in the heart, lungs, and brain.” Nonetheless, lubricants aren’t the only products whose marketing and distribution gets under the government’s radar.
The Risks of Using Cheap Condoms
Some condom manufacturers, use benzocaine and lidocaine to prolong a man’s climax. They are often used as topical anesthetics to treat sunburns or sore throat, but more prolonged exposure to these numbing chemicals can impair the effectiveness of iron in red blood cells. It can no longer carry oxygen to the tissues, causing shortness of breath.
Still, the most common risks of using cheap sex products are burning and itching, rashes, blistering skin, allergic reactions, and bacteria Infections. The most severe risks include carcinogen exposure and reproductive toxicity. As stated by the FDA, “Parabens are usually easy to identify by their name, such as methylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben, or ethylparaben.” Sadly, companies don’t have to put some chemicals like anesthetics on their labels, so you can’t be entirely sure of what you’re buying.
Last, Verywell states that specific spermicide chemicals, like Nonoxynol-9, or N-9, often added to condoms, can “cause inflammation of the cervix, vagina, and rectum, undermining their cellular integrity and increasing the permeability of delicate mucosal tissues.”
Opt for a Natural Version
As said, the market might be saturated with harmful products, but there are also natural alternatives. You can recognize them by simply reading the label. Their composition often has a natural active ingredient, such as aloe vera, so you can opt for aloe-vera infused lubricant.
They not only moisturize, heal the skin and protect sensitive tissue but also prevent the growth of bacteria and fungi. Plus, you can see from the manufacturer’s label whether they are free from the harmful chemicals we enlisted before, just like Royal does.
Natural lubricants are also suitable for marathon sex - in this case, choose a water-based lubricant. It is formulated for maximum moisturizing and has a satin structure.
Health Risks from Sex Toys Materials
Sexual devices have been very popular in recent years - but how safe are they? Dutch Greenpeace conducted a study on this topic in collaboration with TNO Built Environment and Geosciences - they wanted to find out if and how much phthalate is present in sex toys, and they issued a phthalate warning.
Phthalates are toxic chemicals that are present almost everywhere where plastics are present. They are also found in nail polish, paint pigments and adhesives. Diethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP) is the most commonly used phthalate and can be found in a range of products. Past research has linked phthalates to infertility, reproductive system problems, cancer, and liver and kidney disease.
The results of the study showed that as many as seven of the eight sex toys analyzed contained one or more phthalates, at a concentration of 24 to 49 percent, while only one sex toy contained no phthalates.
Moreover, some sex toys should be regulated as they contain toluene, cadmium, phenol, and carbon disulfide. Prolonged exposure to these chemicals can affect the fetus or the central nervous system of a pregnant woman.
To reduce the health risk from phthalates and the mentioned chemicals, look for the toys that are made from other materials, such as silicone, glass, wood, ceramic, or 100% stainless steel. In slightly older aids, phthalates are most likely to be dissolved, thus increasing exposure and health risk.
Read Your Labels on Sex and Wellness Products
Did you ever come across a suspicious ingredient in your sex and wellness products? If so, let us know in the comments below!