Over 2 dozen states are working toward, or have already passed, laws limiting the amount of bisphenol A, a toxic chemical found in hard, durable plastic items like baby bottles, water bottles, and kids toys. But what about toys for grown-ups? So far, there has been very little government-sponsored research into the contents of the plastic in sex toys and devices, despite their intimate, contact-heavy nature. But luckily, the adult entertainment and toy industry doesn’t need the government regulating what they make and sell: they’ve already got your back.
“We’re confident that less than 1% of our product selection may contain BPA,” Babeland spokesperson Pamela Doan told me. Babeland, (formerly Toys in Babeland) a female-owned, sex-positive toy vendor, operates New York and Seattle–but, Doan said, they can be choosy about what to carry, because many toy manufacturers are on the anti-BPA bandwagon, too.
“Three of the leading companies in the industry, Doc Johnson, Topco, and Lelo, are all BPA free.” Doan added, which means that, no matter where you’re shopping, if you’re concerned about the contents of one of your most intimate purchases, you can pretty safely turn to one of these makers.
It’s not just BPA that Babeland and others are limiting, either. Doan told me that many toy manufacturers and vendors are also on the lookout for pthalates, which are plasticising stabilizers often found in products made with “jelly rubber”–like soft, rubbery sex toys. Pthalates are being phased out across the US and Canada, but, Doan said, Babeland has already taken precautions to make sure they, and their vendors, know the dangers and don’t use or carry anything containing pthalates.
What can you do to make sure you’re not putting nasty plastics near your most precious of areas? Don’t skimp when it comes to your sexytime stash–paying a little extra at a nicer establishment almost always means the toys were vetted first. And avoid toys made of hard plastics; opt for glass, latex, silicone, or wood (they exist). Buy eco-friendly sex toys when possible–they’re far less likely to contain nasty stuff. If you’re truly concerned? Call the company and find out what their pthalate and BPA policies are. If they don’t have them, you don’t need their goodies.
And, Doan reminded me, if you’re truly concerned about putting something that could possibly be toxic near your ‘nether regions, practice safe solo sex.
“Use a barrier if you’re concerned. It’s as easy as slipping a condom on whatever you’re inserting,” says Doan.
You know, just like with the real thing.