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Customer Service: (888) 289-8423
MSNBC just posted a new Sexploration column, written by Brian Alexander. The column explores green sex toy options (something that we've covered at length on this blog here, here and here) and discusses the controversy around phthalates. Overall, I think the article is great - it points out both sides of the issues on phthalates and talks about how different sex toy shops (including Babeland!) handle it. He interviews Carol Queen from Good Vibrations and our own Anne Seamans! There are a couple of things that I wished he had addressed, however:1. Brian states that some of the cheap toy makers are having to adapt because of a new concern about phthalates:
"[M]ost big manufacturers are offering silicone versions of some toys, in addition to glass, metal and elastomer rubber (something like the neoprene in wet suits) that are phthalate-free."
What this article doesn't mention, however, is that many of these companies also dress up phthalate toys with "silicone" labels. They look and feel a little different but when you open them up, they still off-gas and that is something that silicone should never, ever do. I worry about these toys because consumers shopping at more "traditional" (icky) sex toy stores might not know about these tricks and think they're getting something they're not (and paying for it too). At Babeland, we try to do as much research on the material of a toy as we can so that we can clear up these issues for customers.2. The column also talks about the price differences between silicone/glass/etc toys and materials containing phthalates (usually Jelly Rubber) and states that phthalate toys are cheaper:
"Phthalate-containing materials are used... because they are cheap. Toys using them tend to be on the low end of the price scale. Silicone toys can be expensive by comparison because they can be difficult to manufacture and the material costs more."
While I do agree that the sticker price of a phthalate-containing toy is much less expensive, in the long run, I actually think it probably evens out. As Alexander himself states, silicone toys are nearly indestructible. That means you might spend $70 or $100 on a toy but you'll spend it once. If you're buying Jelly Rubber, chances are you'll come back for a replacement at least once if not more times because the material breaks down over time. Sometimes, you really do get what you pay for.3. This brings me to my last point. I'm all for cheap sex toys. I know not everyone's wallet is flush with cash (certainly mine is not) but I also feel strongly that of all of the places we're going to cut corners to save a few bucks, our sex lives should not be one of them. These are orgasms we're talking about here people! Don't skimp! A good quality toy will give you pleasure for years to come. You'd invest so much more than that in getting the perfect pillow or frying pan - why not a sex toy?Brian concludes by mentioning, and I agree, that one of the best things about this new awareness is that it's largely consumer driven. Babeland has tried to help by providing you with what we know, but as you speak up, sex toy companies listen. So, keep demanding better quality and lower prices and it will happen. The sex toy industry makes billions of dollars per year - they can spend a bit of it on figuring out how to keep us happy and healthy.photo by Kim Carney / msnbc.comnd I agree, that one of the best things about this new awareness is that it's largely consumer driven. Babeland has tried to help by providing you with what we know, but as you speak up, sex toy companies listen. So, keep demanding better quality and lower prices and it will happen. The sex toy industry makes billions of dollars per year - they can spend a bit of it on figuring out how to keep us happy and healthy.photo by Kim Carney / msnbc.com