Ever heard the story of the girl that used a vibrator so much that her clit fell off? Spoiler alert, it’s definitely not true.
And neither are the countless other stories about people breaking their bodies by using sex toys or wanking too often. Thankfully, most of the time these stories are completely made up in order to shame people for pleasure (which is shitty, but at least we can wank fear-free now).
So wanking can’t damage your body, but can sex toys?
According to sex and relationships therapist, Genevieve Collister Brown, sometimes they can, but not in the way you might think.
“Some people think that sex toys can damage you, but they can’t, she said. “Sex toys bought from a genuine sex toy website or shop are completely safe. Using a vibrator can’t desensitise you and you can’t permanently ‘stretch yourself out’. On the whole, sex toys will not permanently damage you.”
Genevieve says that while most toys are safe, some are made out of materials that aren’t great for our bodies.
“It’s important to be wary of the cheaper insertable sex toys, the type made out of jelly and materials like that. They can be porous which means they’re difficult to clean and bacteria can get stuck in them. They can cause infections and UTIs if you aren’t careful.”
Treating a nasty infection definitely wasn’t the post-sex aftercare we have in mind. To avoid it, Genevieve recommends a range of materials that are easier to keep clean.
“You want to go for the middle range of sex toys, so that they’re still affordable but are made with good quality material. High-grade silicone is ideal, and natural materials like metal and glass also work well.
“Even really well-known and reputable toy brands can sell cheap and poor quality toys, so if you’re buying something insertable make sure to double check what it is made of. Buying sex toy cleanser is also really important to make sure you’re not leaving any bacteria on your toy. Soap and water is not enough to get it properly cleaned.”
Looking for sex toys from a reputable brand? Check out our vibrator recommendations here.
Edited by Imogen Bowlt