Regardless of having an actual chest full of toys or recently acquiring your first ever sex toy, maintenance is necessary for aiding a positive relationship with your toys, and in turn, sex life. Refreshing your toy box can inform your understanding of what brings you pleasure and which toys simply need to be bid adieu! Toy maintenance isn’t just keeping your toys externally clean, but also entails smarter organizing methods, purging toys used with ex-paramours, and spiritually cleansing your toys. Discarding and cleansing items in your pleasure chest can invite new energy into your sex life, or just make a little more space for that trusty ole’ wand.
What kind of toys do you have and how can you tell if they’ve reached their shelf life?
Toys can be separated by how they are powered and the materials they are made of. Sex toys operate as battery-powered, rechargeable, or non-vibrating, and are made up of at least one of the following materials: elastomer, ABS plastic, silicone, glass, or metal. Battery-operated and elastomer toys are often the toys with the shortest lifespan. The batteries, if forgotten about in the toy will corrode, meaning they basically experience a mini-explosion thus making it inoperable. If that’s the case for your battery-operated toys… quite plainly, toss ‘em; they’re now full of harmful battery powder and cannot be fixed with a new set of batteries.
The signs for when to dispose of an elastomer toy are pretty apparent as they begin to grey or lose color and altogether have a pretty different feeling to their surface after time.
Elastomer toys or commonly recognized as cock-rings, finger-vibes, and masturbation sleeves are made of a porous material, meaning they deteriorate quicker than a pure silicone or glass toy, for example. Penis toys generally contain elastomers due to it’s flexible and insertable nature but unfortunately aren’t designed for longevity. The signs for when to dispose of an elastomer toy are pretty apparent as they begin to grey or lose color and altogether have a pretty different feeling to their surface after time. However, you can extend the lifespan of these toys by cleaning them accordingly, allowing them to fully dry, and dusting them with cornstarch to restore their softness.
How can one identify a broken or damaged toy? Contrary to popular belief, silicone dildos do indeed also wear-down and will need to be disposed of at some point. Although much slower than elastomer toys, the wear and tear can certainly be sped up by improperly cleaning your dildos or not at all. Note: It’s extremely important to clean, disinfect, and dry your toys well after each use! Using a dildo after a recent use without a proper clean can cause harmful reactions to the vulva. Haphazardly tossing a dildo in the dishwasher can cause openings on the surface of the silicone and deformities to the shape.
If there are openings on the toy itself, this can trap bacterias, dust, and unwanted liquids. You can also tell if a silicone toy is wearing out by the texture of it; it begins to have a “pilly” surface, has a “fissure”, OR if the color and shape begin to change. If the sex toy is glass or metal and has visible cracks, those cracks can not only trap bacteria but can cut the skin and seriously hurt either you or your partner(s).
The takeaway? If a toy has morphed in shape, a distressed texture or a battery has literally exploded on the inside of it, it’s a goner.
Now that we’ve deciphered the kinds of instruments of pleasure you do have and which ones have found a new home in their respectable trash bin, let’s look at how one can go about storing these toys.
How are you currently storing your toys?
How are you currently storing your toys? Are they kept in an actual designated toy chest of sorts? Are they alongside your underwear in a drawer? Do they have a home in a pillowcase? Have you managed a full-on DIY dildo receptacle?
First, let’s try and work with what we’ve already got in our homes. If your collection is quite small, this is far more manageable in comparison to the 300+ toys and gadgets the total sexpert or dungeon master may have, but improvise we shall…
- Under-the-bed storage containers. You know those long plastic containers on wheels? Those. A strong probability one or two are already in your home somewhere. They can be very discreet as they literally just roll under the bed and are big enough to protect your toys without touching each other. Great for larger toys like floggers, spreader bars, or all the above!
- Any type of reusable box(es); shoebox? paper box? Take the time to transform them into your new sex toy box. Easy to decorate, stack, and place strategically around your boudoir.
- Cotton or woven bins or baskets. You may have previously used them for filling with socks or bathroom utensils. These are perfect for storing medium-sized toys like rabbits, wands, and handcuffs, oh my!
- Hanging toiletry bag. These are the perfect size for bullet vibes, plugs, and lubes. This is also a good way to keep track of which handy lubricants you have on deck and when you may need a restock.
- Bedside table with small drawers. This one seems like a no-brainer, but to make it feel more intentional you can line the drawer with a silk or cotton fabric to protect and create personal space for the toys. Silk can also keep toys from deteriorating less quickly.
- Soft cushion pouches for glass or metal toys.
- Over-the-door shoe racks as we’ve seen our Editor in Chief Zoe so cleverly utilize as a dildo and vibe organizer.
- Organza bags (ones received jewelry or small delicate items in) are perfect for toys such as c-rings, nipple pasties, or sex dice for example.
When it comes to going out of your way to purchase a storage unit for your toys there are many options, most of which are quite expensive as they come with features like moisture-proof, temperature managed and locks galore.
However, there are alternative options that one can seek that are still chic, discreet, and a well to do storage space for your precious goods.
- If you do not have the under the bed storage container mentioned above, Ikea sells storage boxes with lids for under $15
- Lockable suitcases or chests can be found anywhere from $30-100+
- The Joyboxx
- Any kind of “Seward” style trunk… think a traditional treasure chest. This is ideal for those with 20+ toys, from vibes and dildos to floggers and beyond!
- b-Vibe UV Sterilizing Pouch and Sex Toy Storage
In the same way you would cleanse your personal space or crystals, similarly, you can cleanse your toys.
Spiritually Cleansing your toys post break-up
Have you ever felt a weird disdain towards a toy that you and a partner once shared? Neglected a perfectly good orgasm-achieving toy to sit in your drawer collecting dust because of its affiliation with said ex-partner? In the same way you would cleanse your personal space or crystals, similarly, you can cleanse your toys. Cleansing and charging both objects and space are much to do with intention and less to do with the thing itself being charged. However, when we consider our sex toys, there lies a lot of personal power in amplifying these instruments of pleasure. Think of ‘cleansing’ as less of a physical, manual cleaning, but rather ‘cleansing’ on an energetic level. Cleansing disassociates items with their past frequencies and associations. You are psychically wiping the vibrational slate clean to attune it with your own energy, or that which is conducive to your objectives.
There are a few steps to cleansing your toys, but your method can be reimagined to your own personal beliefs, preference, or environment. Ultimately it’s about what achieves reclaiming your power back. Cleansing, consecrating, and charging are acts of purifying an object and can be done in steps or as isolated practices. However, these are thoughtful acts and should be done with considerate time set aside.
Cleansing in practice
- Smudge the toy with smoke from smoldering Sage or Palo Santo. You can either burn the Sage or Palo Santo and run your toy through the smoke or smudge in a circle motion around your toy(s).
- Soaking, dipping, or running your submersible* toy(s) in water – you could add this in part to your physical cleaning process.
- Moonlight cleansing – place your toy(s) near a window or some kind of opening that receives generous moonlight and allow them to bathe in the light overnight
- Give your toys a little crystal lovin’ – Selenite and Clear Quartz are known for being powerful cleansing crystals. You can leave your toy resting among one or both of these crystals if you have access to them.
With each act, state your intention, and invite sexual healing energy in abundance to your sacral chakra; your toy as the vehicle for this ritual. This step is considered, in a way, to be consecrating the toy. Consecrating is to declare or elevate the object as something sacred. This toy belongs to you! You can charge your toy by channeling your energy into it, however you see fit; dancing, howling (or moaning) in pleasure with toy in hand, or just thinking about your experiences. Your body is both an amusement park and a temple. Honor and worship the tools that penetrate those notions accordingly.
The process of going through one’s toy box shouldn’t pose as a daunting one but rather think of it as an opportunity to serve your sex life justly. Organizing, purging, and cleansing are all acts of self-care; a detox, if you will. Eliminating the toxins of your sex life, welcoming change, and making more room for that sex swing you’ve been eyeing up. Pleasure shouldn’t be put on the back burner, and finally reflecting on what truly brings you joy is radical self-preservation.