Take a minute to learn about harmful chemicals in some dildos and vibrators here:
By far the biggest category of adult products, after pornography, is the production and sale of vibrating toys. The majority, over 70 percent are made in China and sold all over the world with a remarkable lack of oversight. A report in 2001 by CBC suggested that the North American market alone is worth $400 to $500 million. These estimates are probably conservative in an industry that is hardly tracked because all the companies are privately held and even pornography revenue is generally significantly underestimated. It is safe to say though, that adult novelties are products that everyone wants, but no one is really willing to talk about.
While there has been some press on the bad effects of vibrators and the dependence that some women develop on them for being able to find orgasm, they have also been profoundly instrumental in allowing women to have an orgasm in the first place. In fact, a little bit of recently uncovered history has linked the invention of vaginal vibrators to the Victorian physicians who were treating women with ‘hysteria’ and bringing them to orgasm as a form of health care. The recently released documentary ‘Passion and Power: the Technology of Orgasm’ tells the story of both the development of vibrators and their influence on the female experience of orgasm.
The range of options available is dizzying�. One can find vibrators and like products in every color, size and material from soft and squishy to titanium. Even the categories of vibrators and dildos can fill a web page- every thing from clitoral, missile, waterproof, vibrating erection rings and the lists go on- With over 12 percent of the internet devoted to adult themes- it is hard to know even where to begin to find out the answers to even the most basic questions. There are a few couple friendly websites that are tasteful yet informative that you might want to consider paging through- www.freddyandeddy.com is a great resource and owned by some friends who always have something to teach me about the range of products and info available. Another, www.wildinsecret.com has a tasteful and discretionary tone and has a pretty good blog as well.
The majority of adult products are made with plastics which although stating the obvious is an important consideration as you become a consumer. Sadly, the lack of regulation and oversight in this industry has created a glut of products which have been found to be extremely dangerous, with both low quality ingredients and bad plastics which off-gas and leak nasty chemicals. This video by Treehugger.com has the low-down!
European studies of adult toys have shown extremely high levels of off- gassing of dangerous chemicals like phthalates in very high concentrations and that even in small levels have been linked to cancer and damage of the reproductive system. Being an intelligent and conscious consumer of adult products is an absolute necessity in this unregulated market- so please consider this a health warning and ask about the ingredients and the coating on the soft jelly and ‘cyber skin’ items which are popular and often made with cheap PVC. As bad as these ingredients may be for the environment, they are even worse for sensitive tissue.
All of that said, there are some really great eco friendly and safe toys to use that can add excitement and novelty to the bedroom. As in any industry- you get what you pay for, and when I first brought home some cheap phallic shaped vibrators, my husband was uninspired to say the least. So be prepared to invest in toys that are responsibly made, luxuriously beautiful, functional and long lasting. Moving up in price point, moves you from shopping for a vibrator to selecting a pleasure object� a distinction definitely worth the investment.
A couple of my favorite companies in the mid and upper price ranges include two European manufacturers- The German Fun Factory and the Swedish manufacturer Lelo. Both of these companies offer a wide range of styles and shapes to engage most any couple. These more upscale vibrators use plug in chargers instead of batteries and offer much quieter motors with up to 16 different speed variations. There are always new designs coming out and I am really excited to add a couple of the new designs to our offerings- especially the new gigi, which promises almost certain success for any woman trying to find and understand the g-spot.
Accessories can get your imagination rolling and as Einstein said, ‘Imagination is more important than knowledge’. Certainly when it comes to physical intimacy, allowing our imaginations a bit of free reign can only help to unleash some undiscovered passion. I have become a vibrator affecionado, always ready to expand my repertoire to include more and different sensations and my beautiful lelos provide inspiration and some new ideas to explore what had been uncharted territory. Which is the point of all the millions of dollars of adult novelties- finding more and better ways to share deep personal pleasure that is the glue for holding all of the messy parts of loving relationships together.
Shopping and wondering about toys together can be a great appetizer to the main course. In addition to the other sites mentioned, www.goodcleanlove.com offers a wide array of health conscious and eco-friendly love products and toys.