May 142013

Everyone knows regulation in the sex toy industry is practically nonexistent, right? We all accept that as fact. We have to do all the material-sniffing and toy-burning for ourselves. We have to use condoms on things because we quite literally have no idea what they contain. Is this how things are destined to be forever? I used to think so, but not anymore.


Dildology is a brand new non-profit organization run by Dangerous Lilly, Crista Anne, and Val Orenda that will send sex toys to labs to have them independently tested. With this, there will finally be some accountability within the industry, and we’ll have a much better idea which manufacturers to trust — and which to side-eye.

Unfortunately, testing is not cheap. To the tune of $200-450 per toy. To remain unaffiliated and unbiased, Dildology won’t be able to sell advertising space, so they’re relying on donations.

I avoid sketchy sex toy materials like the plague, but that doesn’t stop them from being out there and tainting consumers constantly. Here’s what Crista experienced when she worked as a manager and buyer for a chain of adult stores in the south:

Battery testing thousands toys before they were sold, my hands and arms were constantly covered in mysterious rashes. The fumes off shipments of cheap toys gave me migraines. My customers would bring back toys they had just opened that had an intense odor, akin to opening a dozen shower curtains. Tell me horror stories of toys that caused a burning sensation when used, breakouts, battling chronic yeast infections from subpar toys and lubricants.

This is much more common than people realize, and it’s not going to stop unless we take the initiative. So, peeps, raise your glass dollars and donate in memory of:

Different donation amounts come with perks, such as discount codes, “Dildologist” merch, and the honor to choose the next test product.

Donate ahorita and read the other blog carnival posts here (there’ll be tons more as the month progresses). Donate because they’re testing the PVC Deen Peen next. And I can’t wait to find out what the fuck is in that thing.

  • Oddkin

    * Not being able to trust even your local sex toy shop salesperson because even they are not on the up and up on bad materials.

    A while ago I went to my local Le Duc and the saleswoman, while very aware of natural lubricants, had no clue about the lack of checks in the toy industry. She presented an obviously jelly toy to me as ‘soft, pthalate-free silicone’, probably because she trusted what the packaging read.

    She truly believed that the packaging was true because pthalate-restrictions are so strict on childrens toys, so why not on sex toys? I told her about Jennifer Pritchetts story and about the phtalate percentages of the toys she had tested. About how the suppliers scoffed at her concerns. About the grease oozing from the toys, and she seemed legitimately surprised.

    Hopefully the efforts of Dildology will educate not only consumers, but salespeople as well so that they can take a stand and educate their customers.

  • Sherry

    Hell yes! Finally.

    It’s shameful that sex toys have escaped this kind of scrutiny, when baby bottles and toys with phtalates and such have been under fire for years. And there has been paraben free and vegan friendly cosmetics available for quite some time now. It’s so important that customers are informed and that they know to demand better quality from toys and lubricants.

  • Yes, we really hope to. Once we can get more items tested, we’ll be letting retailers put our “Seal of Verification” sticker on toys that have been tested. We would LOVE to have people like you initiate education with these stores, see if they’re open to it and such. You’re right, we parrot what we’re told because we’re accustomed to everything else we buy being truthful about ingredients.

  • Thank you, Piph 🙂 I really appreciate you taking the time to do this.

  • Skade

    Yup, we could really seriously need some more awareness about this.
    Those chemicals have some very nasty and serious effects :X

    I’ve tried multiple shops here in Denmark and when I refuse buying a jelly/what-the-hell-is-that toys they get all defensive about how they have no nasty side effects and such XS

  • She trusted the marketing materials. Before Dildology, I spent years working as a clerk, manager and buyer for adult stores and the education for store workers just doesn’t exist. I feel for her, cause I remember being her. I’d love to do a project to help educate adult store workers, but I believe Metis Black is cooking an idea up along those

  • Thank you so much Piph. You know how much I adore and respect you.

  • Oddkin

    There’s no doubt in my mind that she trusted her suppliers and the information on the packaging, because in general we like to trust that information about the things we consume are truthful. ESPECIALLY in the Netherlands where I live, where regulations on pretty much everything are very strict and trustworthy.

    Except for this industry, so I bear her no ill will, I completely understand why she didn’t know and she was a very genuine and sweet lady who generally knew her stuff. It’s just that because she’s the saleswoman that it’s a problem that she, as an educating figure, is unaware as well, because how many more are?

  • ✬SℭƘş℩ℯ ⅅ℩ơ✬

    Does this include male toys? They get very little attention and I’ve attempted buying them for past partners and so many bad experiences that I’m scared to ever buy another and fear there is no such thing as a safe male masturbator at this point.
    I don’t trust any of them

  • Of course. If you look at their Wiki, they plan to test the Cal Exotic Head Honcho, as well as cock rings and anal beads.

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  • Whitney M

    I can honestly say that I had never heard of the horrors of phthalates till I started reading your blog. I just grabbed a suspicious dildo I bought 4 years ago out of the draw for inspection. Sure enough it still smells overpoweringly of plastic. I guess that’s going in the garbage, but I do think it is for the best.
    Now I’m worried about the expensive California Exotic vibrator I just ordered. I guess I assumed that a well known company wouldn’t create something dangerous, but now I’m starting to believe the opposite.

  • Unfortunately, big companies like Cal Exotic are the ones that WILL peddle the toxic toys. They have no qualms.

  • Tmcaurinus

    Epiphora, do you have any idea what’s going on with the Dildology site? I tried to join and post on the forum, but never received any email confirmation, and the site appears to not have seen any action in a long time.

  • They’re on hiatus. The people who run it are dealing with some life issues at the moment.

  • FieryRed

    I know how that goes.

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