Quite often we are asked whether sex toys made of glass are safe. The short answer is: Yes, they are! But we don’t give up that easily. Because there are some persistent rumours. And where there is smoke, there may also be fire. Right?
What kind of glass are glass sex toys made of?
Glass sex toys are dildos or butt plugs made of a special kind of glass (Borosilicate). This is a heat-resistant glass, better known as borosilicate glass, which has a longer lifespan than most other types of glass, such as calcium sodium silicate, the glass from which most normal windows are made. Most laboratory glassware and oven dishes, for example, are made of borosilicate.
Borosilicate has a number of properties that make it very suitable for sex toys. It can withstand heating and cooling very well, because it has a low coefficient of expansion (hence its use as an oven dish, but also as a telescopic lens). It is break-resistant and resists chemical attack better than ordinary glass.
You come across products under names such as borosilicate, borax glass and borate glass and under the brand names Pyrex and Kimax. Incidentally, Pyrex also sells other types of glass under the same brand name, at least in America, and therefore ‘Pyrex’ does not say very much in itself.
Because this material has a much higher melting point than ordinary glass. It is also a lot more expensive than ordinary glass. Moreover, you should not put boron silicate products in the bottle bank, because if it gets into the glass melting furnace, it will not melt and it will clog up the production process.
The advantages of glass sex toys at a glance
Sex toys made of borosilicate are therefore:
- Durable and strong. A sex toy of this material will not break when it is inside you. A 25mm thick and 200mm long rod will not break until a force of 680kg is applied to it. The only way you can be injured by a boron silicate sex toy is if it falls on your toe, or if someone else hits you on the head with it. I have several glass sex toys and even if they fall on the ground they do not break. If it does fall from a great height onto a hard surface, it might break in two or a chip might come off. In that case, unfortunately, you have to throw it away. I know a lot of people with glass sex toys, but I don’t know anyone for whom that has ever happened. So you buy a glass dildo for life.
- Not porous. Anyone who reads this blog regularly knows that I am a big fan of non-porous sex toys. Porous sex toys can quickly become a source of bacteria and especially if you share your sex toy with others, that is highly undesirable. Glass sex toys are not porous and therefore very hygienic. They will not take on any odour or colour. They are also very suitable if you are allergic to certain materials, such as rubber, silicone or plastic.
- Easy to clean. Glass sex toys are extremely easy to clean. Because they can stand heat, are resistant to chemicals and are not porous, you can easily wash them under the hot tap with some water and soap. What’s more, you can put them in the dishwasher next to that oven dish that is made of the same material. You can even sterilise them by boiling them out.
- Any type of lubricant is OK. Mixing different chemicals is asking for trouble. You can make a whole study of the effects of silicone lubricant on silicone sex toys. With glass, you don’t have to worry about that. Just use the lubricant you have at home, whether it is water-based or silicone-based. Whatever feels right to you.
- Works of art. You can almost always leave a glass sex toy lying around on your bedside table or mantelpiece without a problem. Most glass sex toys, which are not modelled on a realistic likeness, are true works of art. Your unsuspecting mother-in-law will think you have brought modern art into the house.
- Warm-cold-warm-cold. This material has a low coefficient of expansion. This means that it can withstand heating and cooling extremely well. And that’s a good thing. Unlike your boyfriend, your glass sex toy is suitable for temperature games (unless you have an oven-proof boyfriend). Just hold your glass dildo under the hot tap for a while before playing with it. The heat feels great (be careful not to make it too hot?). But a cold dildo can also be very pleasurable. The tingling sensation of an ice-cold dildo that has been under the cold tap or in the fridge or freezer for a while is especially pleasant if your clit has been oversensitive from previous orgasms. Make sure you rinse a dildo from the freezer first, so that it does not stick to the skin.
- Glass feels nice. Glass is hard, heavy and smooth. These properties make it very suitable as a sex toy. If your glass dildo has the right shape, it is very suitable for stimulating your G-spot. Many people who have a glass sex toy say it is their favourite toy that never gets boring.
Why do people think glass sex toys are not safe?
Glass sex toys of good quality and made of safe materials are expensive. This is partly due to the high melting point, which makes them more difficult to make. However, sometimes you see very cheap glass sex toys (less than €25). And yes, then you have to be on your qui vive. Because with cheap glass sex toys, the following can happen:
- With good quality glass sex toys, colours are incorporated during the manufacturing process. This means the colour is in the glass, not on it. With cheap glass sex toys, the colour is sometimes painted on the dildo. This can cause the paint to come off and get inside you. You can test this by rubbing it with a scouring pad, or by putting it in boiling water (the colour will come off and colour the water).
- Some cheap glass dildos you can find on the internet are not made of the strong borosilicate, but of ‘normal’ glass. This is much less strong and actually not suitable as a sex toy. Unfortunately, the descriptions on the internet cannot always be trusted. The fact that it says that it is made of borosilicate (or even that brand names such as Pyrex are mentioned) does not say everything. If something looks too good to be true, it probably is. Unfortunately, the quality of the material is very difficult to test, unless you have a polariscope at home (a device that allows you to detect imperfections in gemstones and glass) and understand glass. Buy your glass sex toy therefore at a trusted address or buy glass sex toys of a good brand (such as Icicles).
- Cheaper glass sex toys are not made from a solid rod that is made into a shape by heating and annealing. These items are cast in a mould and are often hollow inside (or subsequently filled with another coloured or liquid material). If a glass dildo is not solid, it is fragile and should not be used.
- A butt plug should have a flared end, which prevents the thing from disappearing all the way inside you. Glass buttplugs should also have a similar shape. The part between the bulge that goes into you and before the flared part that keeps it from flopping all the way into you should never be too thin, because then it could break right there.
- A good borosilicate glass sex toy is made through a process of annealing (heating) and tempering (cooling). This hardens the glass. Cheaper glass sex toys are only made by heating them. If the material is not tempered, it is less strong. It is almost impossible to determine what the manufacturing process was like, but assume that cheap is probably expensive. Check the description to see if the glass is ‘tempered’.
However, there are also cheap sex toys made of glass that are very safe. It is very unlikely that such a dildo will break while it is inside you, no matter how strong your pelvic floor muscle is. What can happen with cheaper glass sex toys is that they can break over time (perhaps after a few years) if they suddenly drop to the floor or are forcefully knocked into something. It is unthinkable that even a cheap toy will spontaneously break, or break during normal use.
What should you look for when buying a glass sex toy?
A glass sex toy is an asset for life. Everyone should have at least one. If you are planning to buy one, please note the following:
- Design: The properties of boron silicate make it very suitable for use as a sex toy. However, the design can negate these properties. If the toy has sudden variations in thickness or has a sudden kink, this may indicate a weak spot. Bumps and ridges on the outside of a glass dildo are not a problem.
- Material: Only buy glass sex toys made of solid boron silicate or other glass material that has been hardened by annealing and tempering.
- Colour: Glass dildos with colour in them for €17? If you put them in anyone at all, it would have to be in their rear end. Making a glass dildo with different colours of glass is not an easy (and therefore expensive) process. You can boil a glass dildo to sterilise it. If you boil out a coloured dildo (in a pan of hot water), coloured glass should not stain (the water should remain clear). If the glass has been painted afterwards, the colour will come off.
- Check: When you unwrap a new glass sex toy, make sure there are no chips or irregularities in the glass. Otherwise, send the thing back immediately (and ask for your money back or a different one).
- Address: Buy your glass dildo or butt plug at a trusted address, where you have clear return conditions and guarantees. All goods for his money.
Our favourite glass sex toys
Of course, we also have our preferences. Let us list them for you:
The Icicles No. 38. This is a glass dildo with a flogger attached. WOOP! This is a real winner. Elegant, luxurious, and handcrafted with amazing attention to detail. The whip is made of bull leather that feels very soft. Therefore, you can play softly with it, but also deal heavy blows. The glass handle is hand-blown and as a glass dildo is very suitable for G-spot stimulation. The beautiful texture provides extra stimulation. The dildo is 17cm long and at its thinnest point it is 3cm in diameter. It weighs 442gr.
The beads of the Icicles No. 66 are very effective. The balls go from small to large, so you slowly get used to the size. The spheres provide extra stimulation for the G-spot in women and P-spot in men. Very suitable as anal beads. This dildo is 12cm long in total and at the thickest point, the diameter is 3.5cm. Available in transparent and black glass.
The Icicles No. 48 is a very fine butt plug with a penetration depth of 7cm. The pink glass dildo has cute flowers on the bottom. The pointed top makes the glass butt plug easy to insert. The round shape provides extra sensation and the narrow neck ensures that the butt plug stays in place. A sweet looking glass butt plug that gives an even more wonderful experience when heated or cooled with water. Read our review of this product here (Dutch).
And our all time favourite is perhaps the Icicles No. 18. This luxurious handmade glass dildo will leave you breathless. It is sleek, unique and made to play hard. The Icicles No. 18 dildo has a curved, firm shaft with convex curves and stimulation nodes. Both the side where the flower is located and the side with the pointed curve can be inserted.
Also read this article about glass sex toys.
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