When we know how shady many sex toy companies can be and how they can say whatever they want about their product without the need for truth in advertising, people naturally get skeptical regarding the true safety of glass sex toys.
I figured out how to run the test at home, cheaply, and then proceeded to spend more than a few dollars buying various brands to test. I have always received questions about the relative safety of inexpensive glass sex toys and I can finally give you some more in-depth answers. This piece is to inform and educate, not scare you. If you are worried about the glass sex toys you own after reading this, please contact me.
Send me a link, send me photos, etc. Pyrex Means Nothing You probably associate the name Pyrex with tough glass — glass that can stand up to a drop, that can be boiled, etc. Sometime in the s Corning and their Pyrex name were bought out by a Chinese company called World Kitchen. I ran the glass test on some Pyrex branded items I own — the new Pyrex measuring cups showed rainbows in the parts.
The lid from my s CorningWare casserole dish was completely clear on both the polariscope and polarimeter. A lab flask from the 60s was also showing clear on both tests. So when you see glass companies bragging about how they use Pyrex glass?
If you want glass brand names that mean something look for people talking about Simex or Schott glass, which are used for medical purposes. Since Pyrex is no longer borosilicate this presents a bit of Pinocchio situation. So what are they really? But annealing does strengthen glass and make it able to withstand some abuse. My Fucking Sculptures soda-lime glass dildo may not be able to withstand boiling water but it definitely is hardy and break-resistant because FS makes their pieces carefully and properly.
It is both theoretically and actually impossible to remove all stress from any glass, and especially so with objects that vary in thickness, shape, and color. It makes them VERY hard to break up to a certain point way beyond that of annealed glass, but at which point they break into a zillion pieces. Do note that as stressed out as they are, car windows and drinkware never break themselves!
Someone has to do it for them. So, having said all that, yes, our dildos do have some stress. We do anneal them in a longer cycle than most anything else made in our studio, because they are relatively thick. We anneal them in the upper part of our oven, which provides more evenly controlled heat. There are other issues going on, too.
Hard or soft, the skilled and careful glassmaker has to keep whatever object is being made fairly evenly hot throughout the sculpting process, thus taking a lot of the stress out of the glass before it even reaches the cooling oven. Design plays a part, too. That butt-plug ring you mention should never have existed in the first place, and more subtle things are prone to break as well — abrupt changes in thickness or angle can be interesting features in metal, for instance, but doomed in glass.
Factory production of course is riddled with risks- harried or unskilled employees, quotas, deadlines, budgets- all of which increase chances for error, or worse. We avoid all that by having 2 people sometimes a third make everything. Next, I want to share with you what Standard Glass told me: Looking for strain with a polariscope is not just as simple as rainbow or no rainbow.
Yes, totally clear is a good sign. But there are varying levels and intensities of coloration, and reading them is something that takes training. Think about tempered glass, like is used in skyscraper windows. Tempered glass has a controlled pattern of stress put into it during manufacturing. It is very flexible and durable, and takes immense amounts of bending from wind, earthquakes, etc.
However, once the tempered glass reaches its limits, it blows up into little square chunks like auto glass does. This would be bad for a sex toy, but is an example of how complicated strain is. You might try going to your local university and seeing if they have a scientific glassblowing lab in the chemistry department somewhere.
Down there, there will be someone who knows quite a bit about polariscopes and glass. They will likely also have a much fancier polariscope with graded dials, one that can let the user rate strain in ranges and give a better idea of its stability. Everything we make goes through a computer controlled cooling process in a large, well calibrated, custom kiln. Color is also a source of stress. At our shop, our color is made in New Zealand, is tailor made for our clear glass and our process, and is tested at their factory.
Stick with older, more trusted brands. Pay a fair price. Cheaply made glass sex toys are still unlikely to break while they are inside of you. When a cheap toy has a stress point thin necks, like butt plugs or handles there is a greater chance that it will break at this spot.
As it gets used and handled over time the stress inside the glass gets worse until one day it falls off your bed onto your carpeted floor and breaks in half. Or a chip forms on the base of your plug. Sadly, as is the case with porous materials versus body-safe materials, there will always be a large number of people unwilling or unable to buy a properly made glass sex toy. Pastel blue, pink, lavender and maybe glass with small shots of color running through will all work well in the test.
All you need is a computer monitor and a circular polarizing lens — I used this exact one in part because it was a lot bigger than my existing camera lens 1 my c-polarizing lens that I use on my camera is some mm, fairly small and in part because it was cheap. It seemed to work best when the room was dark with no overhead light. It also worked best to have a totally blank, bright white screen, so I used this webpage and F Depending on which way you look through the lens you are creating either a polarimeter or a polariscope.
The polarimeter shows color where there is minor to moderate stress, but it requires a degree to figure it out. When you hold the lens and rotate it, the -scope side should at some point black out the monitor, as shown in my photos below. According to Crystal Delights , showing any stress is bad. If I test items that I know are made to withstand drastic conditions vintage Corningware Pyrex casserole lid and a lab flask they show zero stress. I know you need choice How to Evaluate the Results This is pretty much the one time in life where rainbows are bad.
This means the piece is holding on to a lot of stress at various points and can break easily. It can be fine for a few years and then one day break easily — Sunny Megatron described this to me with a dildo that was great for a couple of years and then one day it took a light fall 2 feet from the bed to the carpeted floor and it broke.
Conversely, a properly annealed glass sex toy could be dropped from a few feet onto a hard surface and probably suffer no damage.
Standard Glass has said the same. Annealing means that after the hot glass piece is done being created, it is put into an oven which is brought up to a certain high temperature, over degrees Fahrenheit, and then slowly cooled at a precise rate. Is Painted Glass Safe? According to Ryan at Luscious Playthings: Jane told us about someone who boiled a red Icicles dildo and the water turned red!
It sounds like they were using some sort of luster or paint. Someone else commented here about the color flaking off during boiling of their Pipedream Icicles. And what about metallic coatings? How hardy and body-safe are they? It would take lab tests to find out the material they are using combined with extensive wear tests to see if it rubs off like the metallic coating on Lelo items. Another question has been about leaded glass — is the cheap stuff riddled with lead?
Not a single item in my possession tested positive for lead. Only one glass thing in my house did test for lead, but that was a decorative ornament. I used the 3M Lead Check swabs.
There is one major design I cannot recommend: The style with a pull-ring at the end. The following story is true: An employee of Nitecap Megastore on Staten Island shared the photo with me. She purchased this to use on her partner, after finally working through his skepticism on trying prostate stimulation.
The piece in question had been handled with care on her end and this happened the first time they used it — the pull ring broke while it was in his ass. The lacerations he would have sustained internally could have been life-threatening. Other tips for deciding if a glass piece from an artist is truly their own, or not: One of the most common designs was originally?
SSA Glass called it the Amethyst. But when I look through their shop and see generic designs that feel familiar, I move on. The irony here is that their pieces are the exact things they warn you against. I fucking hate this company and would like to see them disappear from the internet for good, along with the owner David Mattocks.
I fully trust every product from Crystal Delights. I even tested an item from them myself and it was perfectly clear with no visible stress. You can buy direct from CD, or purchase select pieces at SheVibe. Sadly, Fucking Sculptures closed their doors in the autumn of They currently sell on Etsy , and used to have a few styles that were sold by GoodVibrations under a different name. It has been noted that with the thick pieces it would be pretty damn difficult to get rid of all stress from annealing.
I tried not to let the bumps affect how I feel about their piece overall.