Dear Stella-

Sometimes my sex toys and lube irritate my skin. I've heard people lately discussing the harmful chemicals in our plastics, so are my dildos bad news?
Rubbed Raw

Dear Rubbed Raw-

They say love can be toxic, but making love does not have to be. It is true that some people are more sensitive to chemicals and ingredients put into lubes, toys, and other sexual aids than others. It is also true that the phthalates and other harmful toxins in the plastics and jelly-like materials that those soft skin like dildos and your favorite bed buddy are made of can slowly leach into your body and over time create cancers and other side effects like reproductive system damage and sperm damage. Phthalates are actually a whole family of toxins that are released

from these plastics with heat, age and agitation. Extended shelf lives can accelerate the leaching of toxins as well. Well with sex comes heat and agitation, and if you've found the toy that really hits your spot, you never want to give it up. There may be some of you out there with an old best friend who needs to be retired. Who would have thought that sex could bring with it such terrible health risks? Sex is supposed to feel good, masturbating is supposed to be pleasurable, but not when your skin itches and gets raw (ouch girl). Get yourself a good silicone or phthalate free dildo and go to town on it. There are many silicone, phthalate-free, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) free products and alternatives out there. Glass dildos, ticklers and vibrators can be had on the market these days, expensive but beautiful. Silicone is phthalate free, many toy shops are selling these types of toys more commonly.