How to make your sex life healthier and more eco-friendly

Sexologist and relationship expert Dr. Carlen Costa suggest her favourite green products for the bedroom.

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A couple having sex in bed, kissing
Photo, iStock.

Good news! When it comes to intimacy, we’ve evolved beyond plastic. When having sex, you should still be able to make ethically conscious, ecologically sustainable decisions, and now you can. There are many non-toxic, vegan and sustainable products made to enhance your intimacy and sexual health. Read on for a few of our favourites:

Ethical condoms
1. The Australian brand Glyde produces condoms that aren’t tested on animals and are made without any animal by-products.
2. Hailing from the U.K., French Letter condoms pride themselves on being ethically conscious. Part of their proceeds ensure the rubber-plantation workers receive fair wages.
3. Sir Richard’s condoms are vegan and have a paraben- and glycerin-free lubricant. You can donate one condom to a developing country for each one you purchase.
4. The Japanese company Kimono produces the thinnest and strongest vegan condoms.

Rechargeable toys
When looking to purchase a rechargeable toy you must ensure it’s waterproof, rechargeable, and phthalate-free. Phthalates are chemical compounds used to control the flexibility, transparency, durability and longevity of plastics, but they’ve also raised concern about potentially causing cancer and infertility.
We recommend: Jimmyjane, LELO, and WE-Vibe are leading the pack in innovative — and safe — products.

Jimmy Jane rechargeable vibrator
The Jimmyjane rechargeable vibrator

Solar-powered toys
The key with these toys is they don’t use batteries, which are very wasteful. With a solar-powered charger, they’re also a great option for a lengthy trip and often don’t weight as much as battery operated options.
We recommend: Micro-Kitty and Moonbat are both great options.

Glass sex toys
Glass was green before green was cool. The best features of using glass is that it’s hypoallergenic and you don’t fall victim to deterioration or odour accumulation.
We recommend: Companies like Dreamtoys Glassworks has a great variety.

Lubricants
The vast majority of lubricants are made from cheap, synthetic ingredients and contain chemicals originally designed for cars or oven cleaners. When choosing an eco-friendly lubricant, look for plant- and water-based ingredients that are all-natural, organically certified and paraben-free. You should also be on the look out for glycerin or high-fructose content to avoid the risk of contracting an uncomfortable infection.Our bodies absorb chemicals through the skin up to eight times faster than if you’d ingested that compound orally, so it’s important to choose organic massage oils as well that are paraben-, synthetic colour- and fragrance-free.
We recommend: Sliquid Organics makes a great natural lubricant that’s blended with certified organic botanicals. You can also make your own. Naturally processed oils such as olive, coconut or grape seed are great lubricants. Click here for a homemade sex oil recipe.
Buyer beware: Oils can weaken latex and increase the risk of breakage, so if you’re lubing up, use a polyurethane condom which won’t break down in the presence of the oil or use another barrier method such as birth control.

Cleaning your toys
This is an important step (done post-sex) to avoid any built-up bacteria that may cause infection. Some conventional cleaners contain chemicals like nonoxynol-9, a detergent that can cause cervical abrasions and strip away rectal lining so it’s important to know what you’re using. You should clean your sex toys the same way you would a baby toy — as naturally as possible.
We recommend: Stainless steel, glass and silicone toys can be cleaned with regular soap and warm water or equal parts white or apple cider vinegar with a couple drops of tea tree oil. Hard plastic, leather or vegan leather toys can be disinfected with isopropyl rubbing alcohol, and non-electric toys can also be boiled for a short time or run through the rinse cycle in your dishwasher.

Follow the link for more on how to maintain optimal sexual health