Please Never Reuse An Old Sex Toy With A New Partner Without Cleaning It First

by Sydnee Lyons

Vibrators, which I consider to be among the most basic of sex toys, can range anywhere from approximately $20 to hundreds or even thousands of dollars. In fact, if you're Gwyneth Paltrow, you probably prefer 24K gold sex toys that cost roughly about the same as a used car. If you have to get financing for your dildos, I can see how it'd be hard to part with one every time you got into a new relationship. This dilemma begs the question, can you reuse sex toys from past relationships with a new partner? Well, it depends.

While this boils down to both your and your partner's personal preferences, you should clean your sex toys regularly and properly regardless of whether you use them alone or with a partner. If you think this is awkward AF, know that giving yourself or your partner an infection from one of your toys will be a million times worse.

There are a few ways you can go about sterilizing your toys and most depend on the materials and mechanisms your particular toy is made of. Some toys, like those made of hard plastic, should only be cleaned with soap and warm water while others can actually go in the dishwasher.

You can even invest in products designed specifically for cleaning your sex toys. Choose from high-end products like the UVee (a self-cleaning storage unit for your toys) or a more affordable sex cleaner. Whatever you decide, it's always best to consult the packaging of your device (or Google) for more detailed cleaning instructions and precautions.

Once you're confident your toys are clean, you can determine — together with your new partner — if you feel comfortable reusing them or if you'd rather purchase all new toys. For some people, it's about sterilization. For others, it's about respect. Here's what 11 Redditors had to say about reusing sex toys from past relationships with a new partner.

It depends on the materials your toys are made of.

It depends entirely on the toy, and yes, cost is a factor. Metal or glass? I'm keeping it, period, no questions asked. Good silicone? Probably keeping it, depending on cost and ease of sanitation. Something cheap or potentially porous? Toss it.

- Signe

This person agrees but explains exactly why that's important and how you should go about cleaning your toys.

It depends on the toy. Vibrators and toys with moving parts are harder to sterilize completely. However, silicone, glass or metal toys that do not have any mechanical parts can easily be sterilized completely. This can be done by placing the toys in boiling water for about 3 minutes or by putting the toys in the dishwasher. Make sure before you do either of these things that you know exactly what materials these toys are made of. This cannot be done for jelly or rubber toys (which you shouldn't be buying anyway since they're porous and contain harmful phthalates that can give you cancer), only 100% silicone, glass, or metal toys.

- ahatmadeofshoes12

When in doubt, just ask.

Ask them... If you don't want to throw something out that you have spent money on, don't. Just when you get a new partner, have a talk about whether or not they are comfortable using them. Personally I don't really see the problem. They would have been cleaned, so what's the big deal. Female, straight.

- BigFatCatInTheSky

Maybe new couples should purchase new toys together?

I would not be cool with a man using a sex toy with me that he used with another woman, especially any kind of penetrative toy. Even if was glass or metal and could be sterilized. It would just ick me out. When breaking up I just write off sex toys. Especially because every relationship has its own dynamic and I prefer for most toys to be bought for us as a couple based on the mutual interests we share.

- 925Copper

I guess that's not a bad idea.

It's convenient to have toys be in the ownership of the person they are being inserted into, for this reason. They can pack 'em up and bring them along at the end of the day.

- angrybeets

This... is an interesting question.

Wait, so if girls feel like they should get a new toy just because it's been inside someone else, does that mean I need to get a new penis for each girl just because it's been inside other girls before?

- WhereAreMyMinds

Here's a similar take on the issue but with more context.

It used to make me uncomfortable and I also replaced all of my toys with new partners (if we shared them), but not anymore. There was a similar thread a few weeks/months ago, and someone asked how a toy is different from the mouth/vagina/penis/anus and I think that's an apt point. I think in some ways it's similar to lingerie, I used to toss that stuff too because it was bought with someone particular in mind. But if my partner would enjoy it too, what difference does it make?
For those uncomfortable with the association of previous experiences, I would also ask if it makes them uncomfortable that their partner is good at sex act x. Because the reason they are good is likely because they learned while with someone else. So this (the association) plus the above (the physical sharing) make me firmly have no issue with it.
However, while this is my perspective, if my partner is uncomfortable with me keeping and continuing to use toys/lingerie from a previous experience I would toss it/them. Generally I like to have discussions about this sort of thing (ensure it's not about stigma, or some sexual hangup, etc.), but I think there are far more important issues to tackle than this one.

- sunflowerdress

For this person, it's out with the old and in with the new.

I think it's good policy to find new toys for the new relationship.

- Fixation9

I can't say that I disagree with this.

Straight Female. Anything that has been inserted in another ladies bits can stay the hell away from me thank you very much! I wouldn't use my ex boyfriends cock rings on a new bf so I would expect the same courtesy.

- orchidkat

This guy has a clear-cut strategy.

This is why I, as a heterosexual male, don't own my own sex toys. If she has a vibrator or dildo she wants to use, that presumably she's used with previous partners, that's fine by me. Happy to help out. But if she wanted me to use a fleshlight that someone else has used, I'd get turned off immediately. I assume it's the same for girls using toys used by other girls, and so I don't have any toys that I keep. I have once bought a vibrator with a girl I was dating, and she got to keep it when we broke up. No hesitation on my part, I didn't even think of keeping it.

- WhereAreMyMinds

As long as it's hygienic, this person (and most others) doesn't mind.

My vibrator was expensive. I'm never throwing it out, unless it breaks. I personally do not care where my toys or my partners have been as long as they are clean. Why bother? You know what else was over your SO's ex's dick or vagina? Your SO's genitals. Can't throw those away. I feel sex toys should be treated the same way. All that matters is hygiene (and efficacy, of course). My sex toys don't belong to any one relationship or partner. It's not as if it's been "tainted" by giving me pleasure. just because that pleasure happened before my current relationship.

- Watts_Minor

Remember that just because one partner doesn't mind reusing sex toys doesn't mean all of your partners in the future will feel the same way. Before introducing toys in the bedroom, be sure to find out what your partner is comfortable with.

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