Are Crystal and Gemstone Dildos Dangerous?
In this research piece, veteran journalist Natasha Ivanovic explores the harm and danger in the use of non-body safe gemstone sex toys. If you are keen to find out the hidden dangers of crystal dildos, carefully read this article. She talks to Dr. Wendasha Jenkins Hall, as they venture into the underexposed hazards of earth stone sex toys.
Dildos, vibrators, anal beads, and butt plugs; these words, once seen as taboo are making its way into mainstream language. Right now, we’re experiencing a sexual revolution, and it’s only getting bigger. Though there was a time women’s sexual excitement was being diagnosed as hysteria, our understanding of pleasure and intimacy has passed Freud’s outdated theories, placing our ideas of sex on an entirely different playing field.
As we evolve as a society, our ideas about sex have pushed the adult toy industry into full gear, with new toys being created daily to achieve different sensations and pleasures. Today, women and men are breaking barriers and overcoming taboos, and the numbers are here to prove it. Around half of American adults exploring their sexuality through the use of sex toys in either partner or solo sex.
Dr. Wendasha Jenkins Hall, founder of “The Sensible Sexpert,” tells Kiiroo in our interview, “I feel that people are becoming more aware of their sexuality. They are starting to ask more questions about themselves and the world around them. They are starting to seek new experiences and explore aspects of their sexuality that were once repressed.”
As people become more aware of their sexuality, it’s created a sudden boom of popularity in the adult toy industry. Men and women no longer need to create handmade dildos from vegetables in their fridge or mimic a dildo from the Stone Age; now the options are virtually endless and discreet. But as the sex toy industry continues to expand, this begs the question: are all dildos made of the same quality?
The reality is there’s a huge issue with the production of adult toys, which most consumers aren’t aware of. With it being a $15 billion industry, it slips into a dangerous loophole, which avoids all regulation and testing. “Here in the US, sex toys are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) because they are not considered medical or therapeutic devices; they are classified as novelty items.”
Through this loophole, manufacturers are able to avoid mandated testing. However, most consumers aren’t aware of this lack of regulation. Considering over half of American adults use sex toys, this presents a serious issue. When buying a vibrator or dildo, one assumes it’s safe for internal use. “The FDA only regulates items that are label and marketed as therapeutic devices—this allows many toy manufacturers to avoid FDA oversight.
Because of this, there are sex toys on the market that contain dangerous materials—ie. ‘jelly’ rubber, rubber, and PCV—or are made of porous materials such [as] TPR and elastomer.”
Sex toys made with jelly plastic, for example, contain potentially dangerous phthalates, which are a group of chemicals that make plastics more flexible. If contained in sex toy materials, they can leak out, and seep into the body. The health effects of low exposure to phthalates are relatively unknown.
However, studies have found the exposure to phthalates in consumer products to affect the reproductive system of male laboratory animals. Male animals were found with a greater risk of infertility and decreased sperm count. Through these scientific findings, US congress placed a permanent ban on three types of phthalates greater than 0.1 percent in children’s toys.
However, there was no ban placed on phthalates in adult toys, and this is frankly shocking.
Kiiroo holds its devices to the highest standards in body safety. We strongly advise you to always research the body safe aspects of pleasure products before you purchase anything.
Your Handcrafted Etsy Gemstone Sex Toy can be very harmful.
But, unfortunately, phthalates are just one of the potential dangers in adult toys. Over the past couple of years, there’s been a surge of popularity with handcrafted gemstone dildos. Producers incorporate the traditional use of healing crystals with sex toys and market it as a new-age approach to intimacy and self-connection. By using the idea of balance and internal healing with sex toys, consumers flock with curiosity and excitement to these handmade toys. Yet, remain uninformed of the potential health hazards which go unaccounted for.
Healing Crystal Dildos: Are They Really Safe?
Of course, most of us have heard of healing crystals. Oprah cleanses her aura and chakras through a healer; Kim Kardashian used calming crystals to heal from her traumatic robbery in Paris. Though healing crystals have been used for centuries as alternative medical techniques to cure and protect the body from diseases, their use in the sex toy industry is relatively new.
The philosophy of healing crystals is based on Asian culture and the concept of life-energy. Traditionally, trained healers place healing crystals on an individual’s body to align with the seven chakra points: above the head, on the forehead, throat, chest, stomach, gut, and genitals. By using healing crystals, healers believe it restores energy and balances the body. Yes, this sounds amazing, do they actually heal?
When it comes to healing crystals, it’s very subjective as “it’s dependent on one’s belief in the spiritual and healing properties of crystals,” Dr. Jenkins Halls states. “There is no scientific evidence that supports the existence of crystal energy and its healing properties. In fact, scientists believe it's just the power of suggestion at work,” which is true. Plenty of scientific evidence shows the power of healing crystal’s placebo effect it has on users.
Christopher French, a professor of psychology at Goldsmiths, University of London, conducted a study on healing crystals and patient's experiences with real quartz crystal and fake crystal. French’s study illustrated how strong a person could experience a placebo effect, “if people believe that a treatment will make them feel better, many of them do feel better after they have had the treatment, even if it is known to be therapeutically worthless.”
Acting as a placebo effect doesn’t necessarily make healing crystals bad. When used externally, placebo treatments can be quite effective in treating patients. As Dr. Jenkins Hall explains, “to say that crystal dildos don’t heal would be invalidating to those who swear by their therapeutic properties. Either way, if someone is connecting to an object that allows them to elevate themselves, increase their sexual power, and manifest great things in their lives, then I can’t deny their experience.”
As a society, we’re shifting our views and practicing the art of self-care, which includes self-pleasure and sexual exploration. No one wants to deny a person the experience to increase healing and positivity in their lives. Whether it’s scientifically proven to heal people, external use of healing crystals are a common practice and considered safe. Many people mentally benefit from using them, but using healing crystals outside of the body is much different than using it as a sex toy. This begs the question: when it comes to internal use of healing crystals, are they body-safe?
Unfortunately, this isn’t a widely discussed topic in the adult toy industry. Unless consumers take the extra time to research about body-safe materials, many don’t know the side effects of a crystal dildo or health vibes dildo and how it affects the human body. As Dr. Jenkins Hall continues, “there is lots of information advising against the cutting and ingestion of these stones. The International Gem Society also states that crystal healers should “avoid putting these gems in their or their patients’ mouths.” Also, some crystals are not particularly toxic but are soluble in water or acid. Some crystals even rust!”
Is your "Healing" Jade Yoni Egg poisoning your Vagina or Anus?
The Hidden Harm in Gemstone DildosNaturally, this isn’t to say all gemstones are toxic. But as adult toys remain unregulated, the popularity of crystal toys such as the yoni wand, massage stone, and crystal dildo creates concern about consumer safety.
As Dr. Jenkins Hall goes on, “the main concern is the porosity of certain crystals—natural quartz, rose quartz, and amethyst are non-porous. However, some crystals contain pores that can absorb and trap bacteria, making cleaning more difficult. Further, most natural stone sex toys are not sealed. The current sealants out there aren’t body-safe as they’re made for sealing floors, walls, countertops, and furniture made of natural stone.”
When purchasing a sex toy, most consumers aren’t concerned about the material used; it’s assumed there are health and safety regulations implemented within the industry to protect consumers. When we look at trends, we rarely question their validity. Instead, we question why we haven’t purchased the item yet. The rose quartz wand or jade yoni egg, for example, are toys that promote internal healing and balance, and while we’re focusing on self-care, these toys sound like they’ll hit the spot. However, in reality, consumers simply don’t know if these toys are body-safe and how they can negatively affect the body.
As we know, the vagina contains a plethora of good bacteria, which keeps everything in balance. As products such as the crystal yoni wand or yoni egg are porous, they’re difficult to clean. By placing porous objects in the vagina, it disturbs the balance of bacteria, potentially causing Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS), inflammation, or bacterial vaginosis.
In addition to disturbing the bacterial balance in the body, certain gemstones are radioactive and are highly toxic when internally used. Amazonite Jade, which is used in the jade yoni egg, and Amber, for example, are highly toxic as they contain traces of copper and lead, which can lead to long-term health effects. But unless a consumer takes research into their own hands, this information isn’t openly presented to them, nor advised against them.
You may have thought the risk is purely on the consumer; however, lapidaries who manufacture a crystal dildo or massage wand face major health risks that we cannot ignore. A lapidary, an individual who cuts, polishes, or engraves gemstones face major health hazards such as the inhalation and the intake of dust. Though most people are unaware, a single dose of rock dust can have long-lasting effects and health problems, specifically with the lungs. When you know the risks on both sides, you start to ask yourself, who’s paying the price? In reality, it looks as though both consumers and lapidaries are coming out short-handed.
When it comes to taking responsibility, this really is a chicken and egg argument. The production of crystal dildos is based on demand. As long as consumers are interested in purchasing a handmade sex toy, whether it be a rose quartz yoni egg or handmade dildo, it’ll continue to be produced. And as long as consumers are unaware of the industry’s lack of regulation, they remain open to abuse. So what is a consumer supposed to do? What do they look for when buying an adult toy?
As Dr. Jenkins Hall suggests, “people should first look for toys made of body-safe materials. Here in the US, this is particularly important considering that the sex toy industry is not regulated. Body-safe materials include silicone, glass, abs plastic, metal, finished wood, and sealed stone.” If consumers are struggling with finding body-safe toys, she suggests following this rule of thumb: “if you can’t put it in your mouth, it shouldn’t go in the vagina or anus.”
As Kierstyn Smith of the National Women’s Health Network states, the adult toy industry is a walking paradox as it’s “over-regulated legally and under-regulated for safety.” There’s no evidence of this changing anytime soon, as governments have yet to recognize the lack of regulation to be an issue, so the responsibility falls into the consumer’s hands. The only steps they can take is to research products and focus on purchasing toys from reputable companies which test and regulate their products.
Lastly, Dr. Jenkins Hall suggests, “people should look for a product that suits their sexual needs and preferences. Everyone is unique in their needs and wants. Not everyone is seeking penetration; some may desire strict clitoral stimulation. Some people are looking to explore anal sex. Others may be in search of products that are suitable for individuals with chronic ailments. It’s easy to get caught up in shiny, new thing on the scene, but one should ask ‘is this the right toy for me, right now in my sexual journey.’
Stay away from Toxic and Porous Materials!
As the trend of the handmade dildo continues, consumers continue to put themselves in a potential health risk unknowingly. Until regulation is implemented, trends like the crystal dildo will, sadly, continue to flourish within the adult industry. Whether healing crystals balance the body or not, one thing is clear; they should stay out of the bedroom. You should never introduce objects containing heavy metals into your body.
Find out more about Dr. Wendasha Jenkins Hall here.