Former Associate editor Margret Aldrich on the hunt for happiness, community, and how humans thrive
Could your dildo be dangerous? Many sex toys contain toxic chemicals, including plasticizers that can lead to infertility, hormone imbalances, and other health problems. In Germany, the Green Party is making moves to clean up the country’s goodie drawers.
The party has reason for concern. “Phthalates and other plasticizers are highly regulated in children’s toys,” reports Jess Zimmerman for Grist, “but adult toys—which are, after all, designed to get all up in your mucus membranes—can have all the plasticizers they want.”
The German Greens demand that their government come up with a plan of action to protect its citizens—20 percent of whom report using sex toys—from the toxic plasticizers in dildos and vibrators, says Spiegel, and they have published a paper called “Sexual Health as a Consumer Protection Issue” to outline the issue. Thus far, the German Ministry for Food, Agriculture, and Consumer Protection has offered few concrete solutions. In fact, it refuses to even use concrete terms like “dildo” or vibrator,” referring only to “erotic items.”
There are a handful of non-toxic, green-focused sex-toy shops in the United States, with the Smitten Kitten—based in Minneapolis, but with a healthy online presence—at the forefront. Owner Jennifer Pritchett is working to make sex toys safe for all. She says:
The Smitten Kitten is proud to say that we pioneered the eco-friendly and non-toxic movement in the adult retail industry. In 2003 we were first ever non-toxic sex-toy shop. Likewise, we founded the first ever community advocacy organization and adult industry education organization, The Coalition Against Toxic Toys. [The Smitten Kitten is] a big part of my life and an ever growing positive influence on the sexual health and vitality of our community as a whole.
So, before you get up close and personal with a new “erotic item,” consider the manufacturing methods and materials used. Go green, then go wild.