Is Your Vibrator Body Safe?

There are a lot of qualities to consider when you are shopping for a body safe vibrator, and only a few ways to tell for sure. Below is a guide to help you understand what to look for during your hunt for a good body safe vibrator, as well as detailed descriptions of these qualities.

Ask yourself the following 5 questions:

1.
Material/Product Classification: Medical Grade or Sold As A Novelty?

2.
Labels: Warning or Phthalate-Free?

3.
Cost: Cheap or Expensive?

4.
Pliability: Hard or Soft?

5.
Smell: Strong and Toxic or Neutral?

Material

Body Safe Vibrator Bullet
A good way to think about the material is by its product classification: a vibrator can either be made of medical grade, FDA approved material, or it can be "sold as a novelty only."

The sex toy industry is one of the biggest markets in the world--how could it be that such a large concern exists over its products? This question is at the center of the "body safe" saga: Vibrators can be as dangerous or hazardous as possible because there are no health codes or regulations to guide the industry to more conscious production. Health codes do not exist because sex toys are "sold as novelties only," meaning that they are exempt from any legal structure or recourse because the purpose of the products is technically not to be used on the body.

There are some products such as
Femtones that have passed as products made for medical use and are approved by government associations of health, but even though many manufacturers opt to use the higher grade of soft materials that are used for medical equipment, they do not count as "medical devices" according to the FDA. Historically, when this sort of lack of recognition is present within an industry, the private businesses will develop their own regulations which will then be adopted by government organizations. However, this has yet to happen for adult novelties. Our theory is that if regulation began, too many businesses would be slowed in production and have to sacrifice a great deal of money in order to conform to the new regulations, even if they were already "body safe."

Label

Body Safe Vibrators Waterproof
Ok, ok--most vibrators do not come with a warning label. But we think you would be surprised at how many packages have "small print" information about the neutrality or hazardousness of the materials used. Formal cautions like warning labels are something to be conscious of when looking for a body safe vibrator. On the other side of the spectrum, many vibrators today loudly advertise that they are "body safe" or "phthalate free."

Body safe is a huge selling point--it's the adult novelty industry's version of "green." If there are no such labels on the package of your vibrator, check for an ingredients list--if the material contains phthalates or plasticizers, steer clear. Most importantly, be aware of the information displayed on the package--don't immediately become dazzled by a cool box or a celebrity endorsement.

Cost

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Since the "phthalate scare," scientists have been hard at work to develop what is now known as "body safe vibrator" materials to replace the plastic-plasticizer combination that is flexible and realistic feeling, but potentially released harmful toxins when manipulated. Body safe materials such as silicone are far more expensive than PVC plastic and as such, the sort of materials generally associated with the phrase "body safe" are much more expensive.

Once manufacturers have spent such a significant amount of money on the materials, they generally shell out the bucks for top designers and technologies. Vibrators from the
Jopen Vanity series, for example, will often cost over $220! The lower the price is for a vibrator made of "realistic" material (not to be confused with hard, PVC plastic vibrators, which are always body safe), the higher the chance is that the vibrator is made with cheap plasticizers, and may have been manufactured in a country that has different standards and health regulations for merchandise--novelty or otherwise.

Pliability

Body Safe Vibrators
The question of pliability is whether your vibrator is made of hard material or soft, porous material.

Body safe vibrators can be either hard-shelled or soft. One rule to remember is that hard, plastic wands will always be a safe bet as a body safe vibrator. The material used for hard vibrators is PVC plastic and does not release any harmful toxins when used (and as an added bonus, you can feel the vibrations much better through this material rather than a softer body safe material, which buffers the buzz).

Vibrators that are jelly-like, realistic feeling, or soft in any way become more difficult to distinguish. Silicone, elastomer, and latex are body safe keywords...look for them on the labels.

Smell

Phthalate Free Vibrator
If you notice an odor when you open the package of your new vibrator, take a minute and try to identify it. Phthalates--the potentially harmful chemical that is released through the process of off-gassing when a vibrator with plasticizers is manipulated or held in warm conditions--give off a recognizable toxic odor.

The odor given off of products that are NOT body safe is similar to the smell of a blow-up raft, but stronger and with a sharper edge. It isn't pleasant at all. If this smell is present when you open up your new vibrator, it is NOT body safe.

The body safe vibrator pictured to the right is made of a soft, jelly-like material. However, the merchandisers have placed a notice on the package that the vibrator is phthalate-free and so body safe.

Hard plastic vibrators are inherently phthalate-free and are always a safe bet when looking for a body safe vibrator.