According to Sally Turner, an advocate for women's rights and sexual health, the sex toy industry is buzzing with "positive vibrations", and the use and purchase of sex toys are spreading like wildfire.
According to studies done at Indiana University in the United States, 53% of women and 45% of men between the ages of 18 and 65 had used a vibrator, and the use of a vibrator is linked to better sexual function and more proactive about sexual health.
As sex toys become less taboo, research interest has increased in their use in recent years. Few studies have looked at how often people share, clean, and cover their sex toys, even though researchers and health educators have underlined the significance of sex toy usage in hygienic behaviours.
In light of the fact that sex toy use is becoming more prevalent, it's essential that we identify the health implications of hygiene behaviours associated with this practice.
A nationally representative survey of American women found that although 60% of them cleaned their vibrators both before and after use, approximately 14% had never done so.
Why is it important to clean your sex toys?
What goes on your vulva or inside your vagina or anus (including sex toys) can affect your health. Despite how pleasurable sex toys can be, if left unwashed, they can become a breeding ground for bacteria, leading to irritation and infections.
It is possible to catch an STI from a vibrator and other sex toys. While most STIs cannot survive outside the body for long, you should never assume that if you leave them long enough, they will disappear.
Sharing sex toys can undoubtedly lead to the spread of diseases like gonorrhoea, chlamydia, herpes, and HPV, according to a cross-sectional study of sex toy use, characteristics of sex toy use, hygiene behaviours, and vulvovaginal health outcomes in Canada.
STIs can also be transmitted through sex toys if they are contaminated with blood, semen, pre-cum, vaginal secretions, or any other bodily fluids.
The material your sex toys are made of, whether or not they are waterproof, and any additional characteristics can all affect how easily and thoroughly you can clean them.
Experts recommend that you wash your vibrator with soap and warm water after each use to reduce the risk of infections. Use gentle, clean soap without harsh chemicals that could potentially cause irritation
You can prevent STIs by following the advice of the National Health Service:
Keeping sex toys clean by washing them after each use.
Cover penetrative sex toys, such as vibrators, with a fresh condom each time they are used.
Have a separate collection of sex objects for each partner.