DIY Sex Toys
DIY (Do It Yourself) Sex Toys are toys you can make using everyday items you can find at home or easily buy in stores. Buying sex toys can be too expensive for some people, and they can be hard to get if you don’t have a credit card or can’t go into sex shops to buy them. Using DIY sex toys can be a more accessible and more affordable way to explore different sexual sensations.
Table of Contents
- Insertion Toys
- Penetration Toys
- Dental Dams
- For the Rest of Your Body
- DIY Lube
- Safety Tips
Insertion toys provide different sensations for penises*. You can make one by finding a tube-like objet that fits comfortably on your penis and then lining it with a material that feels good for you.
- Cut the end of a banana and squeeze out the fruit.
- Put your penis directly into the peel, or use a condom like in the next method.
- You can warm up the peel in the microwave for added sensations (but be careful its not so hot it’ll burn you!).
- Throw the peel into the garbage or compost when you’re done.
This also works with hollowed out citrus fruits (e.g., grapefruit, orange, etc.).
Toilet Paper Roll Sleeve
- Grab a cardboard tube from a roll of toilet paper.
- Put a condom or latex glove through the roll and pull the cuff over and around the rim.
- Add lubricant inside the condom/glove and insert your penis.
- After you’re done, throw the condom/glove in the garbage and the cardboard tube in the recycling.
You can swap the cardboard tube for a tightly rolled towel or sock, and soak them in warm water to have a different sensation. Be sure to throw the towel/sock in the laundry when you’re done.
Penetration toys are toys that are inserted into a vagina* or anus*. You can use household items (hairbrush handles, markers, etc.), and even some produce (carrot, cucumber, banana).
Ideally these objects are smooth, durable, and comfortable for your to hold onto. Flexible objects are often easier to handle, and less likely to snap while inside of you. It’s recommended to use a condom on them to keep out unwanted bacteria. Items with flared bases are safest for inserting into your anus, otherwise objects can potentially get sucked up and be hard to remove from your butt.
Note: Remember to wash your sex toys if you plan on inserting it in more than one place (i.e., if you use it for anal and vaginal play). Bacteria from your butt can cause irritations or infections in other places. Putting condoms on your toys or in between uses can help reduce the spread of bacteria. If you’re sharing toys with other people, be sure to wash them or put on new condoms between each person.
Vibration toys can be used on any part of your body where it feels good, and there are all kinds of things that can be used as vibrators. Back massagers are popular, but handles on electric toothbrushes, hair clippers (without the blades in), or hand mixers (without the blades in) also work. There are apps that use your phone’s vibration function. Some people sit on the washing machine/dryer while it rumbles through a cycle.
It’s recommended to clean these items after use (or put a condom on them if possible), especially if you share them with family or roommates.
Not technically a sex toy, but still something you might use during sex, dental dams are barriers people use as STI protection for oral sex on a vulva or anus. Here are ways you can make your own:
Unwrap the condom, cut off the tip, and cut up the side so you can unroll it into a square. Voila, you have a dental dam.
Just rip it off the roll at your desired size. Using non-microwavable wrap is best (as microwavable plastic wrap has tiny holes which make it less effective for preventing STIs).
Cut the fingers off the glove, cut up the side of the glover where the pinky once was. You should be able to unfold the glove into a rectangle with the thumb in the middle. That’s your dam! The thumb can also be used for manual stimulation.
Note: These are all one-time use products. Throw them in the garbage when you’re done (not the toilet).
For the Rest of Your Body
Sexual Pleasure is about more than just stimulating your genitals. There are lots of ways to explore different sensations all over the body that feel good and can add to your enjoyment. Toys for this include feathers, clamps (hair clips, clothespins, chip bag clips), or using lotions or oils for sexy/intimate massages.
If you want to tie someone up/get tied up, try sticking to things made from cotton or hemp (rope, leather belts). Silk (neckties) or nylon (stockings) tend to tighten and restrict blood flow. Same goes for duct tape, which can also be very painful to remove. If you want to try spanking or slapping, check around the house for hitting toys (spatulas, wooden spoons, belts). Remember to check in with partners first before trying any of these toys or activities.
Lubricant/Lube reduces friction, and can help make sex acts feel smoother and more comfortable. Here are some DIY lube options:
- Use 100% pure aloe vera, available at most pharmacies, drug stores, or from your own plant if you have one.
- Avoid store-bought aloe vera gels with alcohol.
- Pure aloe vera is also compatible with condoms, as it has no oils that can break down latex!
Coconut Oil/Avocado Oil
- Can be a great option for masturbation.
- Ideally using organic, unrefined, no sugar oils are best.
- Cannot be used with condoms, as oil-based lubes break down condoms and reduce their effectiveness.
- Can cause urinary tract infections (UTIs), especially if people are prone to them. Peeing right after sexual activity can help to reduce this!
DIY Water-Based Lube Recipe
- You can make your own lube by mixing 1 cup of water to 4 teaspoons of corn starch.
- Slowly bring the mixture to a boil in a saucepan on a low-medium heat. Stir frequently for about 30 seconds and remove from the stove. Remember to let the mixture cool until it is comfortable to use on your skin.
- You can use this lube with condoms!
It’s recommended to test out homemade lube on different parts of your body other than your anus or genitals. This is in case you experience irritation or have an allergic reaction to the lube.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing and using DIY sex toys:
- Avoid using objects with sharp edges or pointy bits.
- Avoid using anything that could possibly shatter, splinter, or break off inside of your body.
- Avoid using electric toys in or near water (bath, shower, etc.).
- True to use condoms, gloves, or other plastic/latex coverings.
- Try to inspect your sex toys prior to use. Look for breaks or racks, pinch points, or anything that looks like it has the potential to hurt you.
- For electronic items, look at the batteries for corrosion and check the chord or charging point for damage or exposed wiring. If you notice any kind of damage, it’s always safer to throw your toy in the garbage and get/make a new one.
If you get an injury from one of your DIY sex toys, or if one of your toys gets stuck in your body, it’s recommended that you see a clinician.
Talking to a health care professional about a sex toy accident can be embarrassing, but to them it’s likely just another day on the job. Being a little embarrassed is generally safer than ignoring a medical problem, only for it to get worse. Remember, what you ask or get treatment for should remain confidential between you and your clinician.
How you clean and care for your sex toys will depend on what they’re made of and what you’re using them for. A big part of this is if your sex toys are made of porous materials.
If the material is non-porous (like steel or glass): bacteria, viruses, dirt, and other potentially harmful things will only stay on the surface and are easily cleaned away. These toys can often be washed with mild soap (non-scented) and used again in the future. Remember to properly dry off your toys before storing them.
If the toy is porous (wood, most plastics): substances will be absorbed and stay within the material. It doesn’t matter how much you clean it, there will still be dirt, bacteria, etc. You may only want to use these toys for a limited number of times (maybe even just once) before throwing them out. Using latex barriers on these toys can protect them and you, especially if you share toys with other people.
Sex toys are ideally stored in a cool, dry place (away from vents, windows, or radiators). Try to store you sex toys separately. If you put them in the same box, try to separate them into their own bags (breathable fabric, not plastic) or wrap them in cloths. Using plastic or sealed bags can encourage bacteria to grow.
Try to periodically clean out the drawer or box that you store your sex toys in. Remove batteries from electronic toys so they don’t drain as quickly or leak and corrode the sex toy.
Here are some other pages and sites for more information on DIY sex toys and sexual pleasure:
- Teen Health Source – Exploring Self Pleasure
- Teen Health Source – Making Sex Feel Good
- Teen Health Source – Sex Toys
- Scarleteen – DIY Sex Toys: Self-Love Edition
- Scarleteen – DIY Sex Toys: The Partnered Edition
If you have questions about this topic, feel free to contact one of our peer educators. [Link]
*We know that these aren’t the words everyone uses for their bodies (eg. trans folks), and support you using the language that feels best for you.
art by Janet Mac