How to Make Your Own Sex Toy: Should You?

I’m a big fan of pervertables for kink. That is, ordinary items that can be misappropriated for sexy purposes. Think wooden spoon spankings, clothes pegs on nipples, and so on. But when it comes to things to use on your genitals, how to make your own sex toy – and even whether or not this is a good idea – is not quite so straightforward.

I understand the temptation of making your own sex toy. Toys can be expensive. If you live with family, have little privacy, or live in a place with strict laws, they can also be difficult to get hold of. That’s why I’m not going to tell you not to do it. Instead, I’m going to give you some quick safety facts and show you some ways you can go about making or improvising a sex toy while minimising your risk of harm.

Making Your Own Sex Toy: Safety Considerations

Overall, most people have a very poor level of understanding when it comes to the things that are and are not safe to use on their genitals. This is for two main reasons:

  1. Sex education sucks almost universally so unless you were lucky enough to have very switched on parents or go to an incredibly progressive school, you almost certainly weren’t taught this stuff.
  2. The sex toy industry is almost entirely unregulated. This means that manufacturers can lie, both about what materials they’re using and about the safety profile of those materials, and there is little recourse to call them on it when they do.

So with that in mind, be very very cautious about what you use as a sex toy. All kinds of items and materials can harm your body. This can run the gamut from physical injuries (for example, from using items with sharp edges) through to infection (from using items that aren’t properly sterile or are made of porous materials which can harbour bacteria.)

Quick Safety Tips

Follow these tips to keep yourself as safe as possible if you’re going to experiment with homemade sex toys:

  • Only use items that are smooth and free from sharp edges
  • Never use anything sharp, pointy, or that may have splinters
  • Never use anything breakable (such as glass items)
  • Avoid highly porous materials
  • Put a condom over anything you are going to insert into your body
  • If you are doing anal play, always always always make sure your item has a flared base or a large handle so you can retrieve it easily
  • Don’t use anything electrical in the bath, shower, or near water
  • Do not use items that have already been used for other purposes (such as used electric toothbrushes) and keep the item for sexual purposes only – or retire it – once you’ve used it as a sex toy
  • If you use food items such as vegetables, do not eat them afterwards but throw them away
  • Only ever use your own items as sex toys, never something belonging to someone else

How to Make Your Own Sex Toy: 3 Ways

Cast Your (or Your Partner’s) Genitals

Making your own sex toy at home is relatively affordable thanks to the invention of genital casting kits such as Clone-a-Willy and Clone-a-Pussy. These kits typically cost under $50 and allow you to make a replica of your or your partner’s penis or vulva. The finished toy will be made of silicone, so it will be body-safe and should last for many years with the right care.

Bonus: it’s a fun and surprisingly hilarious date night activity.

Learn How to Work With Body-Safe Materials

If you want to make your own sex toy, you can always turn it into a project or a new hobby by learning how to actually work with body-safe sex toy materials and make things to a good standard.

For example, you might learn how to mix and pour silicone and make your own toy moulds. Or you could take up woodturning and make beautiful wooden sex toys (don’t forget to glaze and seal them properly with a body-safe finish!) on your lathe at home.

Repurpose Safe(r) Items

Fortunately, there are several household items you can use as a makeshift sex toy that are unlikely to cause you any harm. The following are likely to be okay with some basic safety precautions:

  • A new, clean electric toothbrush (use the non-bristled end)
  • A vibrating back massager
  • An electric showerhead
  • Smooth handles of items like hairbrushes (as long as they are clean and covered with a condom)
  • Some vegetables, as long as you wash them and cover them with a condom (check carefully to make sure there are no rough or spiky bits first)

Let the Professionals Handle It

If you want something designed perfectly for you, it’s time to hand things over to the professionals. Yes, there are companies out there who will make you your very own personalized sex toy based on the specifications that you request.

Freely Toys, based in Montreal, offers a unique “custom adult toy” builder where you can make your own sex toy design and then they’ll create it for you. This can include choosing the shape, curvature, size, colour, base style, and even the firmness of your toy. At the time of writing, there are 52 basic designs for you to choose from and then customize. So no matter what you’re dreaming of, they can probably make it for you! Of course, they also have a range of pre-made designs for you to choose from.

Freely’s custom platinum silicone toys are of the highest quality and made using 100% body-friendly materials. So you’ll know you’re getting value for your money as well as a safe toy that you can use with complete peace of mind.

Thanks to Freely Toys for sponsoring this post. All writing and views are, as always, mine!

Lovehoney Sex Toy Advent Calendar Door #13: Wrist Restraints

Update 04/03/22: this product is seasonal only and has been discontinued. Individual components may still be available.

We’re over half way now! It’s Day 13 of the Lovehoney “Best Sex of Your Life” sex toy advent calendar, which I’m unboxing and reviewing day by day.

Door #13: Wrist Restraints

Lovehoney wrist restraints for bondage

Behind Door #13, we have a set of black ribbon wrist restraints. They seem to be a slight variation on the Lovehoney Oh! Silky Bondage Restraints (RRP £8.99).

They’re… glorified ribbons, honestly. Each one has a little loop at each end to make restraint easier and is decorated with a red and gold Lovehoney heart, but other than that they’re just black ribbons of the sort you’d find in any craft store.

Lovehoney bondage restraints

Tying people up with silky items like ribbons, ties, and scarves is a divisive subject amongst kinksters. Some say it’s fine, but many educators believe it’s dangerous. This is because these materials can easily tighten when pressure is applied, making them harder to untie if you’re using knots or even cutting off circulation if they’re left on for long enough.

If you want to use these restraints for a light BDSM or roleplay activity like tying your partner to the bed, that’s probably fine if you follow some basic safety protocols:

  • Tie them loosely. You should always be able to get at least two fingers between the ribbon and the skin.
  • Don’t use them for any kind of weight-bearing activity (the bound person shouldn’t pull hard against them, either).
  • Keep a pair of safety shears to hand in case you need to cut them off.
  • Never, ever leave a bound person alone. No, not even for a minute.
Lovehoney bondage restraints for kink and BDSM

Honestly, though, if restraint is your thing just get some proper cuffs or some bondage rope and learn how to use it safely (via online tutorials, books, peer rope sessions, or classes with reputable teachers).

This one’s a miss for me. Packaging up lightly branded basic ribbons as “bondage restraints” (and dubiously safe ones at that) just doesn’t sit right with me.

The Best Sex of Your Life advent calendar retails for £120 but contains around £370+ worth of products (most of them better than these!) You can also get 10% off your entire order of anything at Lovehoney by using my code “coffkink10” at checkout.

Thanks to Lovehoney for sending us the Best Sex of Your Life couples’ sex toy advent calendar to review. All views are our own. Affiliate links appear in this post and shopping through them helps to keep the site going!

My Kink Safety Philosophy: Why I Practice (C)RACK

I always listen to Loving BDSM Podcast the day it comes out (Fridays), usually on my way to work. They’re always insightful, frequently hilarious and often make me think.  Today’s episode was all about the different safety philosophies within the kink community. Kayla and John discussed why they personally practice SSC – Safe, Sane and Consensual. As always, they’ve got loads of great things to say and I highly recommend you take a listen.

As I was listening, I realised I’ve written about safety tips for kink, but I’ve never actually written about my own personal safety philosophy before.

In kink, the three safety philosophies you’ll mostly hear cited are:

SSC: Which states that everything we do must be Safe, Sane and Consensual.

RACK: Which urges us to practice Risk Aware Consensual Kink.

And PRICK: Which asks us to take Personal Responsibility (in) Informed Consensual Kink.

Each of these has their merits and I will never knock anyone else’s safety philosophy as long as it’s based around the cores of safety and informed consent. Personally, though, I practice RACK. Let me tell you why.

What is “safe” anyway?

Very little in life is completely safe. We take risks in our life every day. It would be absurd to think that sex or kink could be completely free from risk.

I take a risk every time I use a sharp knife to chop vegetables. I take a risk every time I get in my car (driving, when you think about the size of the machine you’re in and the speeds at which it moves, is fucking terrifying). And I definitely take a risk every time I let someone spank me, string me up in ropes, or get into edgy and emotionally fraught places in my psyche. (Yes, not all risk is physical. Mental risk is just as real).

Risk Aware, for me, doesn’t just mean knowing the risks are there but taking active steps to reduce them. We know driving is dangerous, so we wear seatbelts, don’t drive drunk, and don’t text while we’re driving. And in kink, it’s exactly the same.

Being risk aware means letting a partner know about any physical issues I might have that could impact our play, and keeping an eye on them during. It means letting my partner know about a pinched nerve or pins and needles in my hands. It means, when I’m Topping, getting proper education on the acts I want to do to another human being and not playing beyond my competence level.

So: nothing we do is, or can be, completely safe. Even vanilla missionary position sex with the lights out carries some degree of risk. By being informed, we can meaningfully mitigate risks to the best of our ability.

Who gets to define “sanity”?

I, like approximately 1/4 of the adult population (conservative estimate,) suffer from a mental health problem. Does that mean I’m incapable of doing kink responsibly? No, absolutely not. As a person with mental health conditions, I find classifications of “sanity” to be intensely problematic.

As long as I’m aware of where my mental health is at, and can communicate that to a partner, it’s generally reasonably safe and completely healthy for me to play. Which… circles us back around to that risk aware piece, doesn’t it?

At best, sanity is nebulous and difficult to define. What feels “insane” to one person might be “average Saturday afternoon” for another.

My unease with PRICK

PRICK is a fine philosophy, in so far as it goes. But it makes me feel a vague uneasiness whenever I hear it, and today I finally put my finger on why.

I’ve been involved in various ways in anti-sexual-violence activism for 6+ years. The phrase “personal responsibility” has been thrown at me and so many of the survivors I know more times than we can count. In those instances, unfortunately, it is taken to the extreme of meaning that you are ultimately responsible for everything that happens to you.

This means that a generally good philosophy (“look out for yourself, take responsibility for your actions and the impact they have on yourself and others around you”) has been co-opted and twisted to mean “if someone harms you, it’s your fault”.

It’s not that I’ll never play with someone who practices PRICK, but I would need to make damn sure that their meaning is closer to “we are responsible for taking care of our own and each others’ safety and wellbeing to the best of our ability”. That’s what a good philosophy of personal responsibility would look like.

Sadly, I just know too many people who say “personal responsibility” when they mean “if you get raped, what were you wearing how much did you drink why were you out late how did you not know that guy was a rapist?????

It all comes back to consent

Whichever you practice, you’ll notice that the one thing all these philosophies have in common is consent. Consent is at the core of everything we do. However, it occurred to me today that there is one key ingredient which none of these philosophies explicitly address…

The missing piece

Kayla and John so often come back to the importance of communication in their discussions on Loving BDSM. I often find myself nodding along, and am in absolute agreement with them that effective communication is at the core of everything we do. You cannot have safe(r) kink and sex without communication. You cannot have a good relationship without communication! And I don’t think we can meaningfully discuss good philosophies of safety without also discussing the importance of strong communication.

Therefore I present to you my new philosophy, adapted from RACK, which you are all welcome to use if it speaks to you:

CRACK: Communicative (&) Risk Aware Consensual Kink.

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