Have you ever used a homemade sex toy? Be honest. I know I have.
Let’s get real: DIY sex toys are all around us. There’s something awfully tempting about bringing home an electric toothbrush and going to town. And that cucumber you saw at the farmer’s market? Definitely fantasy-worthy. I mean, come on — there’s a reason we all know the innuendo behind an eggplant emoji.
Don’t forget about all the homemade male masturbators out there. Everything from the infamous grapefruit to vacuum cleaners to PVC piping *shudder* has been tried and tested by people out there.
So, yeah, it’s hard not to think about all the possibilities. You’ve probably even heard that saying about how anything can be a dildo if you try hard enough.
But is it true? Or rather, should you? Let’s take a closer look.
Why People Make Sex Toys at Home
There are a thousand reasons why someone might want to make their own sex toys.
Maybe you want to spice up your sex life on a whim, or you don’t feel comfortable getting them delivered to your house. Perhaps you just want to explore your preferences a bit before investing in the real thing, or you straight-up don’t want to invest in a toy at all.
Choosing, storing, owning, and paying for toys isn’t everyone’s jam. And that’s alright!
It’s easy to dig around in your fridge or bathroom cabinet and find something seemingly fun for below-the-belt play. There may be a bit of a thrill or novelty involved, but sometimes desperate times call for desperate measures.
And I partially blame that infamous scene in American Pie for the onslaught of DIY masturbatory items. That, and well, porn.
Plus, the internet is riddled with hundreds of suggestions for Pringles can fleshlights, wax butt plugs, and hairbrush handle dildos.
But it can’t be that unsafe if everyone’s doing this, right? Well...
Should You Make Your Own Sex Toys?
In short, no. Here’s an excellent rule to live by: if it’s not designed for your genitalia, it probably shouldn’t be going near there.
There are even some genuine sex toys out there that probably shouldn’t go in your body, so let’s consider where the bar’s at.
This is to say that a lot of thought goes into reputable sex toys. From design to material and everything in between, it’s about much more than just comfort. It’s about safety.
Homemade sex toys are inherently unsafe. Using household items for masturbation or penetration can cause infections, lesions, irritation, and tearing. So unless you want to wind up on the Sex Sent Me to the E.R., I’d shy away
Let’s Talk Butt Plugs
You may think that DIY vaginal penetration toys are the ones I’d caution against most — with UTIs and yeast infections existing and all — but nope. The scariest one? Butt plugs.
While it’s pretty much impossible to lose an item in the vagina (although it doesn’t feel that way when you can’t find the string of your tampon), it is very possible to lose something up the bum.
That’s why the golden rule of anal exists: never insert anything without a flared base. It’s a non-negotiable.
Toys with flared bases (think classic butt plug designs or realistic dildos complete with balls) won’t get lost in the anal cavity. And those without? Worst case scenario, the toy travels up through your digestive system. Yeah, it’s that bad.
So let’s stick to butt plugs that are meant to be butt plugs, shall we?
Was It Designed for Sex?
Before using a makeshift toy that wasn’t designed for sex, consider what its original purpose was. There’s a good chance you’ll learn a lot about the dangers of that item when you stop and think about it.
Take produce, for example. A lot of hands touched those bananas or zucchinis at the grocery store before they got to you. Oh, and they’re also likely covered in pesticides, fruit flies, and maybe even wax. Ew!
Alternatively, think about that electric toothbrush on your nightstand. Your clit is a lot more sensitive than your teeth. Hello, irritation and abrasion.
At the same time, consider if you’ll treat your DIY object the same way you would care for an actual sex toy. Probably not. For starters, you might not even be able to sanitize your homemade version properly. Plus, you’re more likely to remember to wash your Fleshlight than your cum sock — and I don’t want you to end up with a semen-induced ant problem.
What’s It Made From?
Materials are a huge concern when it comes to anything you’re putting in our near your genitalia. Even some products marketed towards vulval and vaginal “health,” like jade eggs, douches, steaming, or scented washes, can cause more harm than good.
So if even genital-specific items aren’t always safe, imagine what homemade sex toys can do.
Most household objects aren’t manufactured to be body-safe. As such, they could contain a whole slew of harmful chemicals or cause an accident mid-use.
I mean, aerosol whipped cream manufacturers aren’t anticipating you using the can as a makeshift dildo. Even spraying the sugary treat near the vulva or penis head can lead to significant issues. Yeast infection, anyone?
While you’re at it, skip the home remedy suppositories too. Yogurt-soaked tampons and garlic head shouldn’t be going inside you — not from that end, anyway.
Not to mention, some objects are fragile by nature. If you don’t believe my cautions, ask the guy who used a lightbulb for anal play and almost died when it broke.
Oh, and on that note, beware of anything pointy, sharp, or generally not smooth. Abrasion, irritation, and microtrauma can occur in no time — especially when you’re repeatedly thrusting with it. So maybe also skip anything that your penis can get stuck in, okay?
Even if your DIY toy seems okay at first, it might hurt you over time.
Some materials like jelly rubber, PVC, or rocks (hello, jade eggs) have tiny holes in them. These are called porous materials, and they can harbor bacteria no matter how much you sanitize them. As a result, they never really get clean. Heads up: sharing porous toys can also transmit STIs. So t’s best to pair these materials with condoms.
Can You Make It Safer?
I know, I know, if you’ve been using your trusty electric razor as a vibrator since you were a teen and have never had an issue, you’re likely rolling your eyes while reading this.
So while I don’t condone homemade sex toys, I know people will still use them. If that sounds like you, listen up. Here are some ways you can make your DIY toys a lot safer:
Here are some of the 31 different erogenous zones that many people overlook or quickly move past:
- Use a condom. They’re not just for partnered sex! While condoms can’t prevent all potential harm from a DIY sex toy, they’re a good place to start. It adds an extra layer of protection between you and the object — especially for hard-to-clean items.
- Sanitize everything. Clean, clean, clean! Like any sex toy, you should be cleaning your item before and after every use. If it’s an object that’s safe enough to boil, opt for that method. If not, a little warm water, mild unscented soap, and some scrubbing will do the trick.
- Use lube. The vagina naturally lubricates itself, but sometimes you need a little extra help. However, you don’t get that luxury with anal play — lube is absolutely necessary. Plus, lube can minimize your chance of microtears and increase pleasure. So lube it up!
- Only use anal toys with flared bases. We’ve gone over this one already, but I can’t say it enough. If you’re inserting anything up the butt, it has to have a flared base, so it doesn’t get lost.
- Check the object for sharp pieces. Before you do anything with your makeshift toy, double-check it for sharp, pointy, or rigid bits. Otherwise, you may experience some serious pain. Regardless of what you’re using, if it’s uncomfortable or painful, immediately stop.
- Avoid putting objects inside your body. This is a tricky one. When you think of sex toys, you’re probably thinking of insertable things like dildos, vibrators, and buttplugs. However, if you find a DIY toy you can’t help but explore, try to keep it outside of your body. Leave penetration to body-safe toys. Instead, consider if you can stimulate yourself or your partner in other non-penetrative ways. Get creative with it!
Household Objects Safe for Sexy Times
Alright, I’ll level with you because there are some household objects that get the green light. Still, these aren’t makeshift toys you’ll be putting inside your body — or putting your body into. As I said, it’s best to save that for the reputable sex toys designed for that use.
But there are some ways you can get creative in the bedroom using items you already have on hand.
- Neckties. If you’re into bondage, this one’s for you. With your partner’s consent, try using neckties to tie them up (or have them tie you up). Wrap their hands together, or tie each one to your headboard for some dominance play. Still have some extras lying around? Put another tie in their mouth for a DIY mouth gag. Or turn it into a blindfold!
- Pillows. Pillows may be the ultimate sex accessory. They’re great for humping — for people of all genders — and double as a fantastic prop. Place one under you wherever you need some lift and support. It’s perfect for adding some comfort and accessibility to all of your positions. Maybe keep one reserved just for sex, though.
- Showerhead. If you’re a clitoris owner, there’s a good chance you’ve used water pressure to get you off. That showerhead can do toe-curling things! Just be sure to keep the water on your vulva and not inside your vagina, and definitely don’t insert the actual showerhead anywhere.
- Belts. If you enjoy spanking and want to level up your pain — I mean, game — head to the closet. Straps add a good amount of sting to a spanking, so make sure your partner is down. They also make perfect handcuffs, harnesses, and leashes.
- Ice. Temperature play can be spine-chilling, literally. Running an ice cube down their body or stimulating their erogenous zones with a freezing mouth can build layers of excitement. Level it up by blindfolding your partner first!
- Wooden spoons. Much like a belt, wooden spoons add some spice to your spanking. Why not try each one out to see which sting you best prefer?
- Skin-safe soy candles. Do you have some soy candles lit to set the mood? If they’re safe for skin and your partner is game, drizzle some of the warm melted wax onto their skin. Be careful, though! You’ll want to maintain communication and avoid any sensitive areas on your partner’s body.
Your body deserves better than homemade sex toys. Spending a little extra cash is always worth it if it means maintaining your health and safety. DIY toys are never worth the risk — even if your partner thinks seeing you masturbate with a cucumber would be the hottest thing in the world. However, you can bring some household items into the bedroom to spice up your sex. Just don’t insert anything that isn’t meant for penetration, okay?