Materials used to make toys for adults
What are the sex toys made of? We'll show, come and see!
Along the years, plenty of different materials have been used to produce adult toys. Older examples include easily available organic sources (both vegetal and animal) as well as inorganic ones (such stones and metals). More recently, materials harder to handle (glass) or synthetic (plastics or silicones) predominate.
Metals are resistant materials made by one single type of element, or several of them in an alloy. Since human manage to melt them, were used to create all kind of tools, slowly displace other materials.
Adult toys are not an exception. From bronze and iron in the old times to steel in recent ones, metal is always a good sturdy choice.
Mineral or rock
A mineral is an abiogenic (not produced by living beings) solid with a well-defined chemical composition and a specific crystal structure. Different minerals can share same composition or same crystal structure (not both! They will be the same). A rock is built up by several minerals intermixed.
Some minerals and rocks are hard enough to be carved and smoothed becoming perfect materials to make adult toys. Examples of those can be found from prehistoric times: chalk, jade, siltstone. And some of them are also produced today.
Glass is an amorphous solid which exhibit a glass transition. Basically meaning that it can melt to a viscous liquid and solidify back to a brittle solid. The most common ones, silica glasses, are mainly made of silica. The silica, also called silicone dioxide, is a chemical compound which can be found in the nature forming a mineral called quartz. It is commonly the main component of sands.
When the silica is manipulated to created objects (glasses, bottles, windows, etc.) is mixed with other minerals, some of which gave different colours to the final product.
Glass vitrify with smooth surfaces and edges and has ability to refract, reflect and transmit light without scattering it. The incorporation of metallic salts in the glass give colour to it but, a partial transparency often remains.
Glass is fragile but, it is also extremely durable. It resist the exposition to low and high temperature, ultraviolet light, weight and all kind of chemicals, including water. Additionally, it is usually safe to put it in contact with food. However, it is not totally inert as its surface can adsorbs and desorbs ions.
Wood is an organic material. It is found in the stems and roots woody plants as a structural tissue. It is mainly made from cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin. Once dry can be crafted without subsequent loss of volume, deformation or breakage.
Wood is a material use nowadays in the manufacture of sex toys but, was also probably used since prehistoric times. Unfortunately, its easy degradation make almost impossible that any of them reach to us. The oldest ones found were only around 4,000 years old.
Bone, ivory and antler
Hard parts of animal corpses, even when it’s difficult to find nowadays, were very trendy some million years ago in the sex toys industry. Together with other tools, such as dishes, awls and knives; bone, ivory and antler were crafted into dildos.
This happen all around the globe and numerous examples reach to us. In previous years, most of them were categorized as canes or statues. Don’t be ashamed, those are toys for adults!
Hard, sturdy and elegant. Any gadgets made of this materials elevate the class of our ancestors within their groups and help them to look more desirable. Probably.
Plastics are a much more complex thing that the word suggest. Basically, all plastics are polymers: tridimensional chains made of relatively simple units called monomers. Those monomers are synthetically-created organic compounds made from carbon, hydrogen and oxygen with one, more of none of other elements (nitrogen, sulphur, etc.).
There are so many with so many characteristics that its simplest organization is based on two characteristics: their stability with temperature and their elasticity. Thermoplastics can be reshape by heating while thermostable cannot. Their are latter called elastomers if they can be deform under a force.
Silicones, or polysiloxanes, are inorganic polymers derived from siloxane. In chemistry, a siloxane is a functional group composed by two silicon atoms link by one oxygen atom. Therefore, a silicone is formed by long chains of silicon and oxygen atoms which form a tridimensional net. This net can, and oftenly do, have organic (carbon-base) groups attached to the main chains. Those additions to the main structure gave the different properties and characteristics to the silicone.
Properties of the silicones
Silicones are colourless, odourless and tasteless. They have a low toxicity and can be formulated to be safe for its use in contact with the body or with food. Silicones repeal water and don’t support microbiological growth.
They present a low chemical reactivity, being mostly inert. Silicones are resistant to water, alcohols, oxidants, acids and bases. But can interact with organic solvents and fats.
Most silicones are insulators but, it is also possible to formulate them to be conductors.
The hardness of silicones varies greatly depending on their formulation, they can be from extra soft (shore shore 00-10) to hard (shore scale 100A). Cured silicones have a high elasticity (the greater the lower their hardness) and toughness. High strength sheets and threads can be cured, but once cured they are not ductile or malleable.
They present a low thermal conductivity and they are stable at low and high temperatures. Silicones keep their mechanical and electrical properties even after heat exposition. They are also resistant to ultraviolet light.
Silicones don’t adhere to many materials. However, they easily catch dust.