Sex toy

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Collection of sex toys
Vending machine selling a range of sex toys
Christmas tree decorated with Sex Toys in Corso Como in Milan in 2013[1]

A sex toy is an object or device that is primarily used to facilitate human sexual pleasure, such as a dildo or vibrator. Many popular sex toys are designed to resemble human genitals and may be vibrating or non-vibrating. The term can also include BDSM apparatus and sex furniture such as slings, however it is not applied to items such as birth control, pornography, or condoms. Alternative expressions include adult toy and marital aid, although "marital aid" has a broader sense and is applied to drugs and herbs marketed to supposedly enhance or prolong sex. Sex toys are most commonly sold at a sex shop.

Types of sex toys[edit]

Erotic electrostimulation[edit]

Another form of sex toy for both men and women are those for erotic electrostimulation.

Erotic furniture[edit]

Erotic furniture is furniture specially shaped for comfort, penetration levels, and stimulation.

General penetrative toys[edit]

A type of Ben Wa balls

Anal toys[edit]

Two butt plugs

Butt plugs should not be shared with other people, due to the risk of blood-borne diseases, including HIV that can arise from the transfer of body fluids from one person to another. They should be used only for anal play and not inserted into any other orifice, to avoid the transfer of harmful bacteria to other parts of the body. These bacteria may persist through cleaning.

Glass sex toys[edit]

Glass Dildo

Glass sex toys are commonly made from clear medical grade borosilicate glass ("hard glass"). This particular type of safety toughened glass is non-toxic and will withstand extreme temperatures, as well as physical shock without compromising its structural integrity.

The choice of this high-grade material provides safety in use and the option to heat or chill the toys. Borosilicate glass is also non-porous and can be sterilized to help prevent infection with reuse. The highest quality glass toys can even be put in the dishwasher making them easier to keep clean. As well as their practical qualities, a main selling point of glass sex toys is their visual appeal.

Some glass sex toys vibrate. There are two main ways this can be achieved:

1. The toy may have a hole into which a small bullet vibrator can be inserted. 2. The core of the glass design can be modified to form a standard vibrator.

Option 2 usually has a plastic cap covering the battery compartment, which will also house any control buttons or switches.

Vibrators[edit]

Main article: Vibrator (sex toy)

Vibrators are vibrating devices intended to stimulate the body. Vibrators come in a range of shapes and sizes, for internal or external use. Some vibrators intended for internal use are phallic in shape. Small vibrators may have a stretchy loop attachment for use as a finger toy or cock ring. Penetrative vibrators usually measure twelve to eighteen cm (five to seven inches) in length and two to five cm (one to two inches) wide often to mimic the size of the average human penis.[citation needed]

Nipple toys[edit]

Anal beads in practice

Penile toys[edit]

A penis sleeve

Penis pedometer[edit]

It is not really a sex toy, although it is also vibrates, but it is also an activity tracker. With ring shape, battery compartment and 5 LED indicators on the edge of the ring, the sex toy with activity tracker has accelerometer and Bluetooth module which can down load apps, record the in-and-out statistics and how many calories have burned it and certainly you can share the statistics with your friend.[9]

Materials used in sex toys[edit]

Health and safety concerns[edit]

No safety regulations exist in the sex toy industry.[10] The sex toys are sold as novelty items so they do not need to adhere to certain regulations such as reporting the chemicals and materials used in a product. Regulations such as REACH[11] do exist, and some sex toys may be compliant to this though, despite that there is no obligation for manufacturers on attaining compliance.

Danish retailers however report that they often still lack information about the composition of sex toys that they sell.[12] A recent (2006) study conducted by the Greenpeace Netherlands office found high level of phthalates in seven out of eight plastic sex toys tested.[13]

The reason why sex toys are classified as novelties is because sex toy manufacturers find the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) to have extensive testing and financial requirements for sex toys to be classified as medical devices. Therefore, sex toy manufacturers more often choose the less complex production by labelling them a novelty. Due to the novelty classification, sex toys are permitted[citation needed] to contain known toxins in them such as phthalates (some of which have been banned in children's toys by the CPSC) and in some cases lead paint.

Studies on rodents have revealed that when exposed to very large doses, phthalates can cause damage to the liver, lungs, kidneys, testes and can cause hormonal disruption. The latest research indicates that exposure to these substances can upset the body's ability to regulate hormone production, damage reproduction, and can cause liver and kidney defects. They can also possibly cause cancer.[14]

In 2000, the development toward safe and nontoxic sex toys in the United States began with sexual health pioneers such as Lisa S. Lawless, Ph.D.[citation needed] who founded one of the first retail sex toy stores (Holistic Wisdom) to carry only nontoxic sex toys.} Her articles, radio and magazine interviews have been a major influence in the public eye,[citation needed] allowing consumers to become more aware of health concerns regarding sex toy safety. Lawless also began a movement toward safer sex toys through the National Association for the Advancement of Science & Art in Sexuality (NAASAS). This trade organization works with professionals in the field of sexuality and the adult industry to self regulate the safety of sex toys.

Besides not containing any toxic chemicals, sex toys are only hygienic if they are also non-porous.[15] As such, the material of which it is made is a very important factor to determine the safety of a sex toy.

The most hygienic/safe materials from which a sex toy is made are:[16][17]

Legal issues[edit]

India[edit]

Sex toys are illegal in India.[19] Selling sex toys is a punishable offense under section 292 of Indian penal code, as sex toys are considered an "obscene" product. Besides sex toys, any book, pamphlet, paper, writing, drawing, painting, representation, figure or any other object, is by the way also considered obscene by section 292 if it is lascivious or appeals to the prurient interest.[20] The punishment for the offense is up to two years in prison.[21]

Malaysia[edit]

In Malaysia, the sale and importation of sex toys is illegal.[22]

South Africa[edit]

Section 18A of the Sexual Offences Act, 1957, inserted by the Immorality Amendment Act, 1969, prohibited the manufacture or sale of any item "intended to be used to perform an unnatural sexual act". The term "unnatural sexual act" referred to any sex other than vaginal heterosexual sex, and this prohibition was ostensibly aimed at preventing the use of dildos by lesbians.[23] No longer enforced, the section was repealed by the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act, 2007.

United States[edit]

Sex toys and lubricants have become increasingly available in major commercial outlets in the United States. On-shelf displays tend to be more discreet than the offerings on web sites. These items tend to be displayed in the "sexual health" sections of stores.[24]

Until recently, many Southern and some Great Plains states banned the sale of sex toys completely, either directly or through laws regulating "obscene devices."[25] In 1999, William H. Pryor, Jr., an assistant attorney general in Alabama commenting on a case involving sex toys and discussing to what end the devices are used, was quoted as saying there is no "fundamental right for a person to buy a device to produce orgasm". A federal appeals court upheld Alabama's law prohibiting the sale of sex toys on Valentine's Day, 2007.[26]

In February 2008, a federal appeals court overturned a Texas statute banning the sales of sex toys, deeming such a statute as violating the Constitution's 14th Amendment on the right to privacy.[27] The appeals court cited Lawrence v. Texas, where the U.S. Supreme Court in 2003 struck down bans on consensual sex between gay couples, as unconstitutionally aiming at "enforcing a public moral code by restricting private intimate conduct." Similar statutes have been struck down in Kansas and Colorado.

Dr. Marty Klein, author of America's War on Sex and an advocate for the moral value of sex toys, has written of sex toy bans that this "extraordinary erosion of personal liberty, coupled with the massive disrespect of and fear of sexuality is no joke" and that the "Supreme Court [of the United States] has declared our orgasms a battlefield, and sex toys another casualty."[28]

Industry[edit]

As of 2008, it was valued at US$15 billion worldwide, with a growth rate of 30%.[29] 70% of sex toys are manufactured in China.[29][30][31] Sex toys are sold in various types of local and online sex shops,[32] at conventions associated with the adult industry,[33][34] and at parties. However, some items, such as "hand held massagers", are sold in mainstream retail outlets such as drugstores.[33]

In popular culture[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Christmas Tree Decorated With Sex Toys In Milan
  2. ^ Leung, Isaac (2009). "The Cultural Production of Sex Machines and the Contemporary Technosexual Practices". In Grenzfurthner, J. et al., eds. Do androids sleep with electric sheep? Critical perspectives on sexuality and pornography in science and social fiction. RE/SEARCH, ISBN 978-1-889307-23-7
  3. ^ a b "Sex and The City Episode Guide". HBO.com. Retrieved 2007-07-15. 
  4. ^ a b c Trout, Christopher (28 August 2014). "The 46-year-old sex toy Hitachi won't talk about". Engadget. Archived from the original on 27 August 2014. Retrieved 30 August 2014. 
  5. ^ "News & Commentary". Valley Advocate (Easthampton, Massachusetts: Accessed via NewsBank). 4 November 2010. The Hitachi Magic Wand , with a reputation for releasing even the most stubborn orgasm, brings a powerful buzz to all the right places (instead of uncomfortably rattling the handle). Separately sold removable silicone tops add extra texture or penetration options 
  6. ^ Browne, Ray Broadus (1982). Objects of special devotion: fetishism in popular culture, p. 49 Popular Press, ISBN 978-0-87972-191-6
  7. ^ Barrett, Grant (2006). The official dictionary of unofficial English: a crunk omnibus for thrillionaires and bampots for the Ecozoic Age. McGraw-Hill Professional, ISBN 978-0-07-145804-7
  8. ^ McInnes, Gavin (2003). Vice Guide to Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll (Sept.), p. 190
  9. ^ Daniel Cooper (August 7, 2014). "SexFit is a pedometer for your penis". 
  10. ^ No safety regulation in sex industry
  11. ^ REACH
  12. ^ "Survey and health assessment of chemicals substances in sex toys". Danish government staff report. Retrieved 2008-05-18. 
  13. ^ Bad vibrations? We expose an EU sex scandal Posted by bex (8 September 2006)Greenpeace UK
  14. ^ How safe is your sex? toxic phthalates in your sex toy
  15. ^ Porous sex toys are unsafe too
  16. ^ Ref 1
  17. ^ Ref 3
  18. ^ What is TPR
  19. ^ Singh, Jyotsna (20 June 2007). India rattled by vibrating condom. BBC News
  20. ^ [1] Section 292 of Indian Penal Code]
  21. ^ Staff report (February 2, 2011). Sex toys recovered from shop in Rajkot. Times of India
  22. ^ Chin, Christina (28 July 2013). "Shop online but don’t break the law". The Star (Malaysia). Retrieved 17 October 2014. 
  23. ^ Botha, Kevan; Cameron, Edwin (1997). "South Africa". In West, Donald J.; Green, Richard. Sociolegal Control of Homosexuality: A Multi-Nation Comparison. New York: Plenum Press. pp. 22–23. ISBN 0-306-45532-3. 
  24. ^ Red-Light Specials Newsweek February 13, 2008
  25. ^ "Lingere Store Accused of Violating State Obscenity Laws". KBCD.com. Retrieved 2007-09-28. 
  26. ^ Rawls, Phillip. Court leaves Ala. sex toy ban intact, USA Today, Oct 1, 2007
  27. ^ "Appeals court overturns Texas ban on sex toys". msnbc.msn.com. Retrieved 2008-02-14. 
  28. ^ Holthouse, David. Alabama vs. Dildos Attorney General Troy King stands hard against stimulators, Dame Magazine
  29. ^ a b Sethi, Atul (2008-11-26). "Palika a haven for adult toys". Times of India (Times Group). Retrieved 2008-10-06. 
  30. ^ "China Manufacturing". The China Perspective. Retrieved April 6, 2014. 
  31. ^ Gordon, Claire (March 14, 2012). "How To Make $39,000 By Testing Sex Toys At Home". AOL.com Jobs. 
  32. ^ Amanda Hess (January 16, 2013). "Vibrator of the Future". Slate. 
  33. ^ a b Amanda Hess (January 16, 2013). "Vibrator of the Future". Slate. 
  34. ^ "Sex Toys Of The Future, According To The Adult Entertainment Expo (NSFW)". Huffington Post. January 20, 2014. 
  35. ^ "Dave Levine & Shauna Raisch: Book releases and hot-headed clients!". BravoTV.com. March 19, 2009. 
  36. ^ Naughty But Nice Rob (January 5, 2012). "Kandi Burruss Launches Sex Toy Line 'Bedroom Kandi'". Huffington Post. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]