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Whoís Afraid of Phtalates?
The sex toy sales are at their peak, hitting about $12 billion every year in the United States alone, and figures destined to climb even higher with all the new products being released. Theyíve got everything nowadays. From rabbits to genital rings, lubricants and body oils that heat up or cool down (hey, whatever turns you on baby), erotic board games and little beads.
And what these figures prove is that the public has finally shed its Puritanism and the rather stupid assumption that enjoying sex is a sin, and you will be punished by the wrath of the heavens. Struck by lightning, maybe, or visited by droves of locusts.
This is not to say that sex toys arenít without its dangers. You may not hit by lightning, but improper use of a battery-operated toy can give you a nasty shock. And while you wonít see any insects descending from the heavens, forgetting to clean your toy can invite millions of microscopic bacteria. Letís hope you have health insurance.
The sex toy industry is also trying to create some kind of safety standards, monitoring the kind of materials used and whether or not they pose any major health risks to the user.
For example, some toys are made of phthalates and chemical coloring. Phtalates (part of phthalic acid) are sometimes used to make plastic more pliable. After all, those plastic sheets have to be shaped into curves and bumps. That rabbit wasnít hard carved by elves.
Phtalates are also used as additives to make products less prone to statis charge and mold, or mixed into soft jellies.
Phtalates arenít, strictly speaking, toxic. It only poses a huge health hazard if youíre exposed to it in very high dosages over a long period of time. But possible side effects include sperm damage and (in case you have a son) feminization of the genitals (in other words, theyíre born with slightly tinier twinkies).
You can control your phthalate exposure by using a condom with your sex toy (which is recommended anyway for hygienic reasonsóplasticís notoriously harder to clean, and after orgasm, most people feel too lazy to wash off the toy with water). And since the effect of phthalate is affected mostly by how much youíre exposed, and how, rule of thumb is: donít eat the toy, and donít leave it in you for several hours. Otherwise, youíre cool.
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