And we all cringed a little. While they were cute (sometimes), it didn't seem right to put a vibrator or a dildo into something that's shedding bits of yarn all over it, then promptly stick it in an orifice directly after. Wouldn't scraps of fiber get all up in there? And the more we got to talking about it, the more we realized we wished we knew a little more about storing these magical instruments of pleasure. Someone copped to wishing she could do more than store this one in a ziplock plastic bag, something she dubbed the least sexy storage solution ever.
We called in the experts. Here to answer our vibrator storage questions are Clare from Smitten Kitten, Carol from Oh My! and Dr. Queen from Good Vibrations. While I had conversations with everyone separately, there were a few vibrator storage themes that came through in everyone's responses to my questions:
Silicone Toys vs. Lint: the Never-Ending Story
When Dr. Queen told me, "I so agree with you about the fuzz, FYI," it confirmed all our suspicions. Clare said "Silicone toys, if they really are silicone, are great because they are non-porous and can be kept forever. Because of these qualities, the real concern with storing them is whether they will collect lint or dust where they are. Silicone seems to attract pet hair and lint like no other so keeping it in a sealed container, as opposed to your sock drawer, is a good option." Lint came up as the main perpetrator of bad toy storage over and over again. Giving your toys a quick rinse before you use them could cut down on this problem.
Squeaky Clean for Happy Holes
Everyone, and I mean everyone, said you should clean your toys before storing them.
Clare: If they do get some lint build up, you can easily wash them off with soap and water. If you are wanting to sterilize the toy, you can put it in boiling water (for non-motorized toys) or wipe it down with a 10 to 1 water to bleach solution (for motorized toys).
Carol: If you are in a dorm room and you are too tired to get up and wash the toy you can use a cleaning wipe or spray put out by the sex toy industry.
Clare also assured us that every toy is a little different, and that the Smitten Kitten and other fine sex toy retailers have individual care and cleaning instructions for all their products. You wouldn't clean a Vixskin dildo the same way you'd clean a Spareparts harness, for instance.
Perfect Toy Storage
"I like clear Tupperware containers because you can see what is there but don't have to worry so much about lint," says Clare. I quite agree, most of my storage solutions have come right from The Container Store. Lucky for their employees that no one ever asked me what I'm going to do with the three tiered plastic chest of drawers. While I have the most in common with Clare's suggestion, the more whimsical among us may prefer Carol's: "I store my toys in old suitcases. I confess they are willy nilly but all quality materials so no issues there. If one is going to pay good money for a wonderful object of pleasure, then take good care of them; wrap them in silk or put them in silk bags." Carol also threw something out there for the staff member who stored the vibrator in a plastic bag: "I know people who put it in ziplock bags after cleaning!" Just make sure they're dry first! Really, the main point with silicone toys is keep them as free of dust and dirt and lint as you possibly can.
With some softer toys non-silicone toys, Carol says that if you store them touching each other, they'll melt. I encourage everyone to check out the Coalition Against Toxic Toys, a non-profit run by Smitten Kitten, as many "jelly" toys are actually unsafe for use. Don't believe me? Dr. Queen has some pretty hilarious toxic toy stories: "I once saw a dildo of the type that is barely sold any more, one of the phthalate-laden ones, that had been left on a car dashboard in the sun. Not most people's first thought for storage in the first place, I realize, but it pretty much melted the item, and that is clearly a VERY bad storage fail. My other favorite unfortunately storage story also happened with the old-school "mystery rubber" sorta-kinda-realistic dildo: left lying on the colored Sunday comics, it picked up the ink and could never be washed off again. While I realize this might inspire some readers to try a new art project, I wouldn't recommend inserting the resulting Sunday Funnies Dildos into body cavities, at least without a condom."
Dr. Queen echoed Carol's love for suitcases: "I like to store toys in their own little suitcase. I have one decoupaged with pictures of panties, which is pretty appropriate! But there are also chest-style toy storage boxes that are being sold these days that are very nice, and there's a little suitcase, too, that makes a perfect overnight bag. Often these storage options have compartments or elastics built in to separate one toy from another, which is a good idea."