DIY Sex Toys: Safety and Creativity
Sexual Wellness

DIY Sex Toys: Safety and Creativity

10/01/2024

If you’ve ever tapped your partner with a kitchen utensil while cooking dinner and fooling around, you’ve DIYed a sex toy before. DIY, AKA do it yourself, means you put your creator skills to use and find everyday items, like spatulas, to give a new purpose as a sex toy. 

Making sex toys is the most pleasurable form of crafting, but there are a few considerations to keep in mind. Some materials you’ll want to avoid so that you don’t get an infection or a splinter in your genitals because, ouch. 

Safety considerations for DIY sex toys 

Before showing you the abundance of household items with sex toy potential, it’s essential to know which materials to steer clear of. “Avoid using materials that could cause harm or irritation, such as glass, sharp objects, or anything that could break easily,” explained Martha Tara Lee, D.H.S., relationship counselor and clinical sexologist.

Lee said you’ll also want to abstain from materials that may cause allergic reactions or contain harmful chemicals. For this reason, you’ll want to stick to solid construction or proper safe sex toy materials like silicone.

Deciphering between porous and non-porous items is also key to keeping safe. What’s the difference? Simply put, porous items contain holes, and non-porous items don’t. Non-porous items are easy to clean and sanitize, Lee explained. Porous items like sponges or fabrics can be a breeding ground for bacteria and are best avoided for sex. 

DIY sex toy sanitization

Just like regular sex toys, you’ll want to have a plan for washing DIY toys before and after usage. “Before using any household items as sex toys, ensure they are thoroughly cleaned and sanitized. Wash them with warm water and mild soap, or use a sex toy cleaner if appropriate for the material. If using items with electrical components, ensure they are waterproof or can be safely cleaned without damaging the electronics,” Lee said. 

Especially if you’re sharing toys with a partner, you can use condoms and barriers such as latex dental dams to reduce the risk of infections or transmission of bacteria, Lee said. 

Everyday items you can use as sex toys

Everyday household items just waiting to be allowed to help your sex life are all around. Items you can use as sex toys, like a wooden spoon as a paddle for spanking, are sometimes known as pervertables because, well, you pervert them by allowing them to live their best kinky life.

A common DIY sex toy used by people with vulvas is running water, explained Suzannah Weiss, sexologist for BedBible and AASECT-certified sex educator. “The cliche you often hear is that people like to point removable shower heads at the clitoris. This is a very effective masturbation technique, but the shower head doesn’t have to be removable,” Weiss said. 

No detachable showerhead? “You can lie on the shower floor with your legs spread so that the water sprays onto your clitoris,” Weiss said. Also in the category of at-home water play is utilizing a jacuzzi jet for vulva or anal stimulation, Weiss offered. You’ll want to exercise caution with jacuzzi water pressure and temperature; it can be shocking and intense. 

Electric toothbrushes are another popular form of DIY toys, Weiss explained. “Many people can orgasm by turning on an electric toothbrush and putting the handle—or the end of the head opposite the bristles, over their clitoris,” Weiss said. Weiss added for those who use electric toothbrushes, follow your electric safety guidelines and don’t use one in the bath. “It’s also not recommended to penetrate yourself with an electric toothbrush in case battery acid were to leak out of it,” Weiss said. 

Some people masturbate by humping furniture, pillows, or sitting on the washing machine while it is running, Weiss said. 

People may explore their refrigerators for ideas and use produce as sex toys. A frozen strawberry or cherry can be a nutritious way to explore temperature play orally or by brushing one over a partner’s nipples. However, you won’t want to use fruit vaginally or on the clitoris as it could cause a yeast infection. 

If you’re using produce as a dildo, you might want to wash your fruits and vegetables before inserting them to wash off any pesticides, Weiss added. If you’re going to use a vegetable internally, you’ll want to use a condom with it. Condoms can also keep breakable materials together for easier removal, such as that perfect farmer’s market cucumber that you don’t want to break in half in the middle of a play session, with no way to retrieve the other half other than visiting the emergency room. 

For anal play, you’ll want to stick to sex toys you can purchase from a sex toy retailer. “I don’t recommend inserting any kind of produce into the anus because it’s extra difficult to fish anything out of the anus if it gets stuck in there—which can easily happen with any toy, store-bought or home-made, without a flared base,” Weiss said. 

If you’re poking around your pantry for a lubricant, you’ll want to stick to virgin coconut oil or olive oil and pretty much avoid everything else. To reinforce lube 101 guidelines, oil-based lube, like coconut oil, is not ideal for internal use and can cause a yeast infection because it sticks around longer than a water-based lube. Coconut oil may be fine for you if you’re using it for clitoral play and aren’t prone to yeast infections. 

For BDSM play, you can raid your closet for ties, silks, or scarves to bind a partner’s hands or legs together, consensually, of course. Silicone spatulas and kitchen tools are the best to use as you can sanitize them easily. For a paddle, tiny wood cutting boards with handles, like the ones you’d use for cheese, work well. 

Like trying anything new out with a partner, you’ll want to discuss your desires beforehand so everyone can agree on what they are comfortable with. DIY-ing your sex toys can help you think creatively about pleasure, which can translate to a more satisfying sex life. Using something in a pinch can be fun and spontaneous because it’s right on hand.

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