Category Archives: Masturbation

Tips for using sex toys & avoiding (vaginal) infections

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, and I don’t have any medical training. I am someone with a vagina who uses lots of sex toys and used to have a problem with yeast infections, speaking from my own experience as well as things I’ve learned over the years from reading about sex toys and vaginal health and talking to others about it. The tips I’ve laid out are for prevention, not treatment, so go to the doctor if you need to!

There are what seems like about a million factors than can contribute to getting a vaginal infection. The vagina has a delicate pH balance, and anything that upsets that can cause an overgrowth of yeast or bad bacteria. You’re more likely to get yeast infections around menstruation, if you use hormonal birth control, if you wear tight clothing/non-cotton underwear, among other things. Add sex toys to the mix, and you can potentially open yourself to the possibility of infection. Don’t worry though–you can use sex toys safely if you take some precautions. Most of these tips are focused around the vagina, but #1 & 2 apply to butts/mouths as well.

pennysblog_safetoys

Safe sex toy materials/natural lubes

1. Avoid using porous sex toys (especially in orifices.)

There are a lot of unsafe sex toys on the market that are incredibly porous, meaning they have tiny holes in their material that can harbor harmful bacteria and potentially spread infections and STIs. These sex toys will never be truly clean, even after what seems like a thorough washing. In addition to potentially harboring bacteria or mold, porous toys often leach out phthalates and other harmful chemicals over time, which can cause itching, burning, and other bad reactions that you don’t want to subject your genitals to.

Although it’s best to avoid these materials completely, it’s especially important for internal use toys. While they still can’t be sterilized and could present issues, using porous toys for external use, such as penis masturbators, cock rings, or clitoral vibes might not be as big a deal for some people. Still, proceed with caution. You can use condoms or other barriers to prevent spreading bacteria, but it’s unclear whether barriers will really protect you from phthalates and harmful chemicals. Porous toys should not be shared with partners who aren’t fluid bonded, as they can spread infections. Avoid jelly sex toys like the plague, and also stay away from PVC, rubber, TPR, TPE, elastomer, or basically anything that isn’t listed in the following paragraph whenever possible, especially for internal use.

Are you starting to fear for your safety now? Don’t worry, there are lots of safe, non-porous sex toy options: glass, stainless steel, 100% silicone, sealed wood, ceramic, and hard plastic. When these toy are cleaned thoroughly, they are truly clean. Just be sure to wash them properly (see #2.) If you want to learn more about toxic/unsafe toys, there’s tons of info on this page.

2. Wash Your Toys Properly

If you’re using a non-porous toy, then once you give it a good cleaning, it’s truly clean and safe to use again and potentially even share. There are a few different options for toy cleaning. You can wipe down/wash your toy with soap and warm water or use a 10% bleach/90%water solution. If you’re washing a toy with a lot of texture or a vibrator with buttons etc., use an old toothbrush to get in all of the crevices of the toy. If your toy doesn’t have an attached motor and is made of silicone, you can also boil it it or run it through your dishwasher cycle (no detergent.) You can potentially boil/dish-wash glass or metal too, but take care as both retain temperature and can also scratch or chip if not handled carefully.

Wash your toys before you use them, and make sure you rinse them thoroughly. You should also wash your toys after you use them when possible, and it’s a good idea to do it as soon as you can, so that lube and body fluids don’t get crusted to your toys.Sliquid Sunset

3. Use the Right Lube

Even if you’re using safe, non-porous toy materials, you can still potentially get yeast infections if you’re using the wrong lube. A lot of drugstore, “mainstream” lubricants contain glycerin, which is irritating to a lot of people.  Look for lubes that say glycerin free, and check the ingredients. There are also other ingredients in a lot of lubes than can be irritating, so if you’re sensitive, I recommend using a natural, hypoallergenic lube with few ingredients–my favorite brand is Sliquid.

4. Keep Butt Germs Away from Your Vagina

Anal play is awesome, but anuses have bacteria that can be harmful to the vulva/vagina and can cause vaginal or urinary tract infections. If you’re using a toy and want to switch from butt to vulva or vaginal stimulation, put a condom over it. Or, have a condom on the toy when you’re using it anally, and then take it off when you switch to vaginal. This goes for fingers/hands/tongues/pensises as well (use gloves, condoms, or dental damns, etc.)

5. Practice Good Vaginal Health

While using the wrong sex toys/lube can cause yeast infections, they may be caused by many other factors as well. There are a lot of other things you can do for good general vaginal health.Wearing cotton panties and loose clothing is a good idea, especially if you tend to have problems with yeast infections. I’ve also personally found probiotics to be helpful. Other things you can do for vaginal health: stay hydrated, eat healthy foods, make sure your/other people’s hands are clean before they go near your vagina, pee after sex, practice safer sex, and go in for check-ups and STI tests. Also, don’t douche or use feminine sprays or deodorants. Douching is not only unnecessary, it’s very harsh and can throw off the vagina’s natural bacterial balance and pH level. An external rinse is really all you need, and you can use a hypoallergenic, low pH soap externally if you want. In addition to avoiding lubricants and other products with glycerin, anything with sugar should not be introduced to the vagina–as Molly mentioned in her comment, lollipops shaped like cocks can be fun for photos etc. but should never be inserted, and this goes for other candy/syrups etc.

As I said before, I’m not a doctor or health professional. All of these tips are for prevention, not treatment, and this isn’t all encompassing. Did you know you that semen can actually through off your vaginal pH balance as well? So can certain medications and underlying health problems. If you already have an infection or reoccurring infections, go see to a doctor.

*Products pictured: Mona 2, Atomic Rose Plug/Crystal Twist, Buck, Tango, Juice, Pure Wand, Comet Wand, Sliquid Oceanics & Sassy

wickedwed

Addicted

Yesterday, someone found my blog by searching for the term “does Hitachi ruin sex life?” I got these kinds of “how will sex toys affect my sex life” questions and comments frequently when I worked at the sex shop, from straight up ones like “will this vibrator make me go numb eventually?” to the more subtle “I want something small so I don’t scare him” to the snide boyfriend’s “that better not replace me” remark. My least favorite ones were the curious but nervous friends that would say judgmental things like “I don’t need one, I have a boyfriend” while their friends purchased a new vibrator.

Everyone’s sexual preferences are different, and there is no “correct” way to get off. Although I can get off (clitorally) without toys, I love the quick, powerful orgasms my Hitachi gives me. And I can’t have a gushing g-spot orgasm without a good toy or someone else’s help (hand cramp anyone?) But who cares? I certainly don’t, and I’m thankful for my boyfriend’s thick fingers and hard toys with specially designed curved tips. There’s nothing wrong with wanting or needing a sex toy. And as far as replacing my partner? Can a vibrator pull my hair, pinch my nipples, or spank my ass? How about listen to my breathing and moans and respond accordingly? No.

My point is, there’s nothing wrong with using sex toys or whatever sexual exploration you choose. If you can’t get off without a vibrator, so what? If you can give yourself a screaming orgasm with only your hand, or with your mind, or with multiple partners, or by staring at photos of feet while you tickle your asshole, good for you. I won’t judge your sex life, as long as it’s safe and consensual.  Like I said before, there’s no wrong way to get off, unless you have a problem with it. And if you truly find yourself feeling a harmful “addiction” to vibration or less sensitive, all you have to do is stop using vibration for awhile or even switch to a lower setting, and you’ll soon regain your sensitivity (Getting Off.) This has never happened to me though, and I’ve been using jack-hammer powered plug in vibrators for 9 years now…

and guess what? I’m proud to be a Hitachi “addict.”

Sinful Sunday

Sources

Waxman, Jamye. “The Buzz:Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Vibrators.”Getting Off: A Woman’s Guide to Masturbation. Emeryville, CA: Seal, 2007. 81. Print.

Celebrating Self Love

If you haven’t already heard, last week was the last ever Wanton Wednesday. Luckily, fellow sex blogger Rebel decided to continue the Hump Day tradition with a new meme, “Wicked Wednesday” that will have optional weekly prompts. This week’s theme was “celebrate,” and I decided to celebrate self love and masturbation.

To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.

-Oscar Wilde

I want some new sexy pictures of myself, and since Jake isn’t home, I’ll take self portraits. I get out my remote and set up my camera on my bed, leaning against the cool purple wall as I reach into my panties, feeling the little bush that’s been growing between my legs. With one hand, I press the remote and then quickly hide it from view in the photos. First, I take some with my blue leopard panties on, but they soon slide to the floor as I decide the smooth skin on my bare hips looks better without them. I feel the edges of my thigh high socks, thinking about how much Jake would love to see me in them if he was home. I play with positions, on my tip toes with my ass up in the air, spreading my legs and then closing them, feeling up and down my curves. I take a break to look through the images, and I like what I see: curvy hips that blossom from a small waist, a pretty pink cunt with full lips, and perky round breasts.

I drag my full length mirror in front of me, leaning back against the wall again. I like to touch myself like this, as if I’m putting on a show. Forgetting about pictures, my fingers grope below my bush, feeling my soft, plump lips. I lick a finger, and circle it around my clit. I pinch my right nipple with my free hand, and watch my breast bounce a little as I release it. I continue for awhile, staring at myself in the mirror, seducing myself. My fingers reach in, capturing my wetness and spreading it around my lips and my clit, and I thrust my hips slowly into my hand. I close my eyes. I imagine Jake coming home early, walking in on me, grabbing my shoulders and spinning me around, back to him. I turn, pressing my nipples against the wall, imagining him caressing my ass, and then spanking it. I see his strong hands pull down his pants and briefs, and his cock bouncing up as it is released. I move my fingers and hips harder and faster, and just as I can almost feel him pushing into me, sliding into my wet cunt, I come, breathing heavy against the wall.

 

Wicked Wednesday
*Click on the image to see the black and white version; please let me know which one you prefer!