Safety Tips for Playing with Insertable Toys
Vibrators and dildos, butt plugs and anal beads are all great fun—until what goes in doesn’t come out.
Luckily, you can take simple steps to ensure your insertable toy is safe for your intended use, and avoid unnecessary and awkward trips to the emergency room.
What to do if something gets lost in your vagina
It isn’t really possible to lose a toy inside a vagina. This is because the cervix acts as a predominantly one-way door between the vagina and uterus, and there’s no way that a toy can make its way through the opening.
However, a misplaced item inside the vagina can cause infections or even perforate the vaginal canal and bladder. That’s not something anyone wants to happen, so you need to know what to do.
First instruction: Stay calm.
Anything in the vagina will likely work its way out in minutes, with the help of gravity. Use clean hands to gently explore and, if you (or your partner) can touch it, you should be able to carefully pull it out. Breathe in and out, and try to grab it on the exhale.
You can also lie down for several minutes to relax your muscles or perform squats to assist gravity. However, don’t panic and be too rough, because if you’re not careful, you run the risk of scratching your vaginal walls, which may increase the risk of infection.
What to do if something gets lost in your anal canal
Unlike the vaginal canal, the anal canal doesn’t stop, and it leads to the colon. This means a lost toy in the anal canal can keep going all the way to your rectum, where fecal matter is stored before defecation.
The rectum has a vacuum-like pressure, which keeps the anal canal clean and poop-free when you’re not on the toilet, but this means a toy can get sucked up and remain out of reach.
Same first instruction: Stay calm.
Anal toys can be trickier to retrieve. Tense muscles will only make the toy more difficult to find, so relax and don’t panic. Clean your hands thoroughly and, using a lot of lube, begin to see if you can reach the missing toy. You can also try putting a leg up on the toilet seat and bearing down like you’re going to poop to see if you can move the toy closer to the “exit.”
If you can’t touch it, stop trying. Endless attempts could push it up even farther out of reach, and that doesn’t help anything. If you’re unsuccessful, it’s time to bite the bullet. It cannot wait until morning, because the object is not going to magically appear. It’s time to visit the emergency room.
Please do not avoid seeking help out of fear of embarrassment. Believe me, the doctors in the ER will have seen much more interesting and way stranger things in their day.
Choosing safe toys
Let’s start with a basic rule: Never insert household objects. The risk of perforation and possible complications from bacterial infection is far too high. The same goes for food. Chocolate is sexy to lick off someone, yes, but it’s absolutely not safe to put inside your body.
For the safest option, choose vaginal toys that are intended to go inside the vagina. If it’s something you have not acquired yourself, check it first and approve it before it comes anywhere near your body. Cock rings, for example, are a common toy that gets stuck inside the vagina, so if your partner is wearing one, check to make sure it fits properly.
For anal toys, a flared base is essential to keep a dildo from getting past the sphincter and fully lodged in the rectum. You’ll find that some are designed with a reinforced pull cord or ring for easy removal when play is over, and that may be a good idea depending on your intended use.
As a general rule, never insert anything that wasn’t strictly designed for anus insertion, not even vaginal vibrators or other sex toys. Again, more lube means items are less likely to get stuck and cause tears or infection.
Beyond getting stuck, consider other safety factors when purchasing and using insertable toys.
Keep your toys hygienic by cleaning them properly after use, as described by the original manufacturer. Dry them fully after each cleaning—bacteria love damp areas to grow on—and store each toy separately in a clean and dry space.
Be aware of the materials that go into the making of your toys; especially look to avoid harsh chemicals in plastics or jelly rubbers, as they can damage your body. Instead, choose a toy that is body-safe and nonporous, so it can’t trap bacteria. Silicone, for example, is a great choice, but other materials, such as glass, also may be perfect for your intended use.
Always purchase toys from reputable sex-toy companies, and make sure the companies list all the materials they used in the toys’ manufacture.
Finally, be mindful of what’s in your lube. Water-based varieties are your best option, and never use silicone lube with a silicone toy, because the combination can cause materials to break down. I know you don’t want to hear this, but please read the manufacturer’s instructions that accompany the toy.
Sex toys are great fun, and there’s no reason to be afraid of using them. They may be toys, but you should instead use them in a grown-up way, so you avoid rookie mistakes that might require professional medical assistance.