Yup, in case you didn't know, crystal dildos are very much a thing. Sex toy companies like Chakrubs, which sells dildos, kegel stones, and butt plugs all made from crystals, believe there's no better way to revamp your personal energy than masturbating with this "healing" material.
Stones such as amethyst, quartz, jade, and obsidian are said to have ~special~ properties, like promoting prosperity, health, happiness, serenity, and love. But no scientific evidence has proven any of these benefits.
And as pretty and cool as crystal dildos might be, some experts worry that they're not totally safe. Crystal is a porous material, meaning any object made from it has lots of tiny holes that bacteria can burrow into.
That allows the bacteria to avoid the soap and water you think is making your sex toy sanitary, says , an ob-gyn and Women's Health advisor.
Then, whatever bacteria has hidden away will multiply, covering your dildo in gross little critters (think: mold, bacteria, and microorganisms) by the next time you want to use it. (This is precisely why so many sex toys are are covered in silicone-it's nonporous.)
"With more bacteria and/or mold, this can create a host of issues with vaginal infections and changing the balance of natural flora," Dr. Shepherd explains. "That may lead to irritation, infection, and inflammation in the vaginal spaces ." Yikes, that doesn't sound too fun.
Some crystals are naturally more porous than others, Dr. Shepherd says. Chakrubs admits this on their website too.
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The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) says that quartz, rose quartz, and amethyst are typically nonporous because they're single-crystal materials. But, they also note, the problem is that many factors can affect a stone's porosity.
The main one: Stones like these sometimes go through a process called "quench crackling," which can make them less safe as a dildo.
"Quench crackling means that the stones are heated and put into water, [and] this will cause fractures in the stone," says Nellie Barnett, manager of public and media relations for the GIA. "The stone is then put into a container that has dye. When it 'cracks,' the dye is pulled into the stone to change the color.
Sometimes, fractures are filled with a polymer that could make the stone safer to use on your body, Barnett says. But because the sex-toy industry isn't regulated, it's hard to know what manufacturing process a dildo has gone through.
That's why Dr. Shepherd recommends always using a condom if you plan to use a crystal dildo.
"Crystal dildos should be used with caution," she says. That doesn't mean you can never buy or use one; you just have to be smart about it.
Putting a new condom over the toy before each play session will protect you from any potential bacteria that may have taken shelter inside the surface.
Of course, some people say that covering the crystal dildo defeats the purpose of using it for its supposedly healing powers. But when it comes down to a matter of medical science versus unproven mystical theory, always go with the former.
Your clean, happy vagina will thank you.