Sex comes with risks, and sometimes accidents happen. Taking good care of your sexual health is important, especially if a larger concern exists. Sexually transmitted diseases are more common than you think and often genuinely not a big deal as far as long-term health and transmission prevention is concerned, provided you take the right precautions.
Using sex toys does not need to end when you have a STD! Proper hygiene is always important with sex toys, and even someone who is not infected with an STD can cause infections if they are not cleaning properly. If you think you have used your toys while infected you do not need to toss them out, and it’s unlikely that they will spread it back to you. After a proper cleaning they should be fine.
I used (a) sex toy/s while I was infected, what do I do now? The good news is that most bacteria from STDs can’t live outside of the body for very long, so risk of the toy reinfecting you is very low. Toys that are not inserted into the vagina are even less likely to pass it back. You will still need to clean your toys thoroughly, because not all will disappear with time. Using a toy cleaner such as JO Toy Cleaner will remove the nasty stuff, and should be used after every use regardless of STD status.
Jo Toy Cleaner is a foam, which allows you to see your covered areas easier for a deeper cleaning. You will want to get into every nook and cranny to be sure that there are no spots missed. If you feel like you still need a deeper clean, any silicone toys can be thrown into your dishwasher or boiled for about five minutes.
I am infected now and want to use my sex toys, can I? This will likely depend on the type of STD that you have, and you should consult your doctor first for any that are more serious. However, for STDs such as Herpes or Chlamydia, yes you can use your toys! But you should also consider what area they are designed to be used on and what material they are made of (anything porous should be avoided).
Again, you will want to be sure to thoroughly clean them afterwards if they can not be inserted into the vagina. Any vaginal toys will need to have a condom thrown on them to reduce contact and risk of infection to the toy. Any condoms used on the toy cannot be low quality, as the lower quality condoms often have small holes that can carry the bacteria or allow it onto the toy. The LELO Hex Condoms are great as they are designed to be highly durable without losing pleasure.
Bacteria needs specific standards to continue living so it’s likely that most will die off anyways, but to ensure that nothing is being left behind you need to dry your toys after cleaning and store them in a dry area. Bacteria lives much better in areas that are wet, but dry can be much harder to live in. After using condoms, thorough washing, and storing in a dry space it is unlikely that the toys will be infected during later use.
What are the risks with a non-insertable toy? If I only use non-insertable, do I still need to take all of these precautions? While a toy that is not inserted is less likely to spread infections, it can still become pretty nasty after use and host the bacteria. In short yes, you should still take all of these precautions, and while the risk is lower there is still a good chance of you becoming reinfected with one depending on the situation. A non-insertable toy would generally be massagers or suckers, whereas an insertable would be something along the lines of a dildo or vibrator. A toy such as a butt plug may not be as high risk as a vibrator, but should still be properly cleaned and stored just in case.
If you only have vibrators and want a different toy to pass the time and reduce risk, the Womanizer is a toy designed to only stimulate the clitoris. It’s super powerful, with eight speeds and patterns to try out it will probably become your next favorite. The toy is waterproof, so you can do a deep clean on it afterwards, but will only need to really focus on the suction part of it, which is small and made of silicone so it’s easy to clean up.
My STD has left my skin more sensitive and/or with small wounds but I want to use toys, what can I do? In case of anything too serious, consult your doctor about using any products. Besides using toys that will not directly contact any wounds, you can try some different lubricants. JouJou has a few for sensitive skin, but if you are into more natural lubricants, Defense Protection Glide is both natural and anti-bacterial. Some of the ingredients are claimed to help wounds, and the lubricant in all is meant to be more soft on the body.
All in all, a STD or STI does not exactly mean the end of fun. While there are some more precautions to be even more aware of, with the right care and methods you can still use your toys with low risk.
Article by Sara at JOUJOU