So. Sex toys. I’ll be the first to admit that my experience with them is not plentiful (yet). But, recently I enjoyed the company of Carlyle Jansen, founder and owner of Good For Her, a sex shop at Harbord and Bathurst, in discussing ‘eco-sex’. Oh the joys of having a sister so devoutly interested in saving the planet that she stumbled upon a small seminar at U of T in celebration of ‘Eco Week’.
Carlyle Jansen is pretty awesome. In my books, any woman who has a vulva puppet on hand is A-Okay by me.
Sadly, there were only between 8-10 people in a room meant for at least 100, which is 90 people that likely should have been there.
Now, I enjoy trees and oxygen as much as the next person, but I am not going to go on a rant about how lambskin condoms are preferable to latex ones. Or telling every girl to start wearing homemade, washable pads. Both of those things are completely sound choices one can make, but in this spiffy post I shall be focusing (briefly, as my know-how is still majorly lacking) on the world of sex toys.
The day before this enlightening chat with Carlyle, I was escorted into one of those large, intimidating sex shops along Yonge, with the purpose of purchasing a dildo. To be used on me.
How simple it was for the brazen, libido-ridden, sex blogger to become a bashful school girl. I blatantly admitted to my counterpart that my knowledge on sex toys was… limited. To non-existent.
And there we stand, watching a young, 20-something male, insert batteries into a shiny, blue, phallic-shaped object with the head of an Egyptian mummy and an extremity of a large, flying goose.
When the contraption is turned on, the mummy’s head dances in a circle, and the flying goose looks as if it’s having a seizure.
The young salesperson is holding this thing in his hand, completely straight-faced, and my partner-in-crime looks at me as if to say “What do you think?”
I burst into uncontrollable fits of laughter, as all I can imagine is this saleboys potentially vivid imagination concocting exactly what it would look like as I lay on a pink, satin bed and insert this ridiculous machinery into my vagina, all while being completely aroused by the seizure-having goose and worm like mummy-head.
I can’t say it was my best moment as a sex-professional (self-given title), but these things happen. If we go back to the story of my first face-to-face with the male anatomy, you will recall my reaction was a similar one. If not identical.
And so the learning period with Carlyle the very next day came at a very convenient time.
A few important things I picked up according to Ms. Jansen:
1. If you are going to purchase a sex toy, make sure it is a silicone one. Latex used to be a very popular material, but they discovered ‘phthalates’ in them, a harmful chemical that has been linked to infertility and has been banned. Silicone is used in hospitals and it can be put in boiling water for sterilization.
This is where the hard part comes in: many companies will claim their toys are made of silicone, but only use 10% in their products.
One of the ways to detect phthalates in an object, is to take a good whiff of it. You remember that ‘new toy’ smell that instilled large quantities of joyous excitement in your child-self? (If not, take a trip to Toys’R’Us – this may be expired advice, as I have not been in one for ten years, but I quite accurately remember it smelling this way).
2. If you can, go for something locally made – this ensures that it is likely not mass-produced (which is killing the environment) and that you are supporting your local, dildo-crafting artisans… “Happy Valley” is a small business in Peterborough that makes sex toys.
3. If you can’t get your hands on a local vibrator, check out LELO, which is basically like the Prada of sex toys. It is a large company, but their environmental standards are higher, the toys are rechargeable (don’t use batteries) and you get a 10 year warantee on the product you buy. They also do not look like big, fleshy cocks or seizure-having geese. They are svelte, classy and come in pretty boxes.
So go love your sexy self and buy something pretty.