Imagine this—You’re hosting a dinner party (fabulous individual that you are). You get your cutlery out, place it all elegantly, greet and serve your guests. It’s a huge success.
Aaaand then you bin your knives, plates, forks, etc. because other people have used them, so you couldn’t dare hazard to use them again yourself.
It sounds absurd, doesn’t it? After all, your cutlery is designed for reuse. It’s not going to soak up other people’s saliva (or retain the remnants of the meal), and it can be easily washed and reused, no matter who has used it prior to you.
Cutlery goes into other people’s bodies. It encounters their fluids. Yet we wash it and share it without issue.
So, why not sex toys?
Sex Toy Swaps
Among certain communities on the net people are doing just that—sharing, trading, and reselling their sex toys with all the enthusiasm of someone handing off a tv boxset to a friend. The act is friendly, casual, and usually, comes with some comment on the toy’s quality.
Second-hand sex toys may make you cringe but, as long as they’re the right kind then there’s really nothing wrong with it at all.
And, if it bothers you then it might be worth asking ‘Why?’
Is it because it enters a person’s body?
That’s hard to imagine. As I said, a fork is just as penetrative as a fuck in terms of entering the body, but you wouldn’t hesitate to trade cutlery with those close to you (even *gasp* your own parents!)
If not this then perhaps it’s more the innate emotional attachment between sex, intimacy, and the object itself;
It may feel wrong because sex is seen as a ‘private’ affair and that products associated with it should be private too.
But I say boo to that!
The Benefits of a Secondhand Sex Toy
There are so many reasons to embrace the second-hand sex toy trend.
The first of which is obvious: Free sex toys! At least sometimes, if you have generous friends, or fancy doing a swap system with a local or trusted online group.
Not having to financially invest in sex toys gives you the freedom to explore your toy preferences without a potentially costly commitment and makes toys more accessible for those who wouldn’t normally ‘splash out’ on a sex toy.
But, even when money changes hands, second-hand sex toys (like most second-hand items) tend to be cheaper and therefore much more accessible for those who want to try luxury products but can’t afford them at full price.
Sure, occasionally you’ll be missing the storage bag or the manual, but is that really a big hassle when you just got a $150 sex toy for $45?
One of the best things about secondhand sex toys is that they come with something you won’t get from a sex shop—the honest and trusted experience of someone who has used the product and can tell you exactly why it did or didn’t work for them.
Being able to have a candid discussion with someone else about the product will give you a very good idea of whether it will work for you (and thus is worth trying). It also helps break the stigma, not just around secondhand sex toys, but sex and sexuality in general.
Opening your mind to secondhand sex toys is like opening up as a sex positive individual, and who could complain about that?
The Do’s and Don’t’s Of Secondhand Buying
That being said, there is a right and a wrong way to go about purchasing second-hand sex toys. Safety is always the primary concern, and you will want to make sure you protect yourself when making your next thrifty sex toy purchase. Here are my advised Do’s and Don’t’s:
Do…Get A Non-Porous Toy
Silicone, metal, ABS plastic, glass, some woods, and stones. Porous sex toy materials can retain fluids and therefore aren’t suitable for trading (or buying). If anyone tries to give or sell you a used porous sex toy (Jelly, TPR/E, Latex, most sleeves etc.) then always decline, not matter how tempting it may be.
Don’t…Meet A New Seller In Private
Especially if you don’t know them in any other capacity or have no friends who can vouch for them.
Sex toys can be shipped, usually for very little. The shipping fee is always worth it.
And PayPal lets you cancel your payment if the toy does not arrive or finds your home in a damaged state.
Do…Sterilize The Toy
A good toy cleaner, antibacterial soap, and water or (if compatible with the toy) boiling, a bleach solution, or the dishwasher.
Do not boil toys with batteries and sensors in them. Apply common sense to cleaning your toy when handling electronics and motorized products.
No doubt the seller will have washed the toy themselves before they handed it over, but oversights can happen and, either way, it gives you the reassurance needed.
Even a brand new sex toy should be washed before first use, so treat a secondhand one no different.
Don’t…Give The Seller Negative Feedback If You Disliked The Toy
You got your secondhand toy with high hopes but were woefully disappointed, despite your seller implying you might like it. That’s fine.
Everyone’s body is different and it can (and will) happen. Just don’t take your frustrations out personally on the seller.
When you buy a secondhand sex toy (or any sex toy) you’re buying an experience. As long as the seller is open and honest with you then you really can’t blame them for how you personally felt during toy use.
Feel free to share how it felt for you but never make it personal. Respect is important in all aspects of life.
And That’s All For Now!
Have you ever purchased a secondhand sex toy? If so, what was your experience like?
Do you have issues with the idea of a used product?
Let us know on Twitter. We’d love to hear your firsthand thoughts on second-hand sex toys.