From Sexy Toys to Bedroom Essentials: How Vegan is Your Sex Life?

As vegans, we’re aware of many pitfalls in day-to-day life. From eating out to buying new shoes, there are hundreds of tiny ways that animal products can sneak into our lives if we’re not careful to avoid them. But what about our sex lives?

Sex toys are increasingly common place – more and more people are experimenting with adding some spicy props into their bedroom antics. There are myriad products available, from the familiar ‘rabbit’ vibrator and the ubiquitous silky scarf, to the weird and wonderful world of BDSM toys.

Adding some spicy props into your bedroom antics can be fun! Just make sure they are vegan...

So, what should conscientious vegans look out for? Which items should we avoid and where should we shop for sexy, cruelty-free goodies?

Keep on reading for the ultimate vegan sex life guide!

Non-vegan materials in our otherwise vegan sex toys

There are several animal based materials that are very popular for use in sex toys (particularly those on the kinkier end of the spectrum). In many cases, it is obvious when a product contains such materials: we know that items such as leather bondage cuffs, silk scarves and feather ‘ticklers’ are out, and for the most part we can avoid them.

But what about those animal products that sneak into our sex lives?

Do you know what your vibrator is made of? What about the ‘faux leather’ paddle? And have you thought about the ingredients in your personal lubricant and massage oil?

So what should we be aware of?

  • some latex condoms may contain casein, a milk protein that is often added in during the manufacturing of latex products.

    Latex

Latex is the most common material to make condoms and dental dams out of, and is becoming very popular for saucy bedroom outfits. Latex itself is a natural plant-based material. It’s elastic, soft and sensual, but some latex based items may contain casein, a milk protein that is often added in during the manufacturing of latex products, and which make the product non-vegan.

To be sure your latex is casein-free, check out the ingredient list where possible or purchase from vegan brands.

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  • Rubber

Similar to latex, rubber is a natural plant based material. It is used widely to make sex toys such as dildos and butt plugs, as well as kinky outfits and bondage restraints. It also sneaks in as a component in multi-part devices, perhaps as a seal or a stretchy ring. Like latex, it may contain casein and it may even contain gelatin! Another concern is whether it is vulcanised using animal based stearic acid – although this is an increasingly old fashioned process, it is still worth being aware of.

  • Glycerin is commonly found in personal lubricants and massage oils. Make sure your oil or lube is either Glycerin-free, or that the Glycerin is plant based

    Glycerin

Commonly found in personal lubricants and massage oils, this ingredient may have animal or plant origins. To be on the safe side check the ingredients list for ‘vegetable glycerin’, look for glycerine-free lubricants, or contact the manufacturer for the inside info regarding the glycerine’s origin.

  • Leather

Leather items such as suede floggers and leather collars are easy to avoid, but unless a manufacturer is specifically avoiding leather, they may include small amounts of it as detail such as a leather wrist loop or leather straps. Some ‘faux’ leathers are also made with leather fibres. If you’re not sure, check with the manufacturer and be sure to ask that they check with their supplier as well.

  • Fur & Feathers

Some fake furs and feathers are so realistic that they fool you. And some real furs can appear fake. Furry and feathery garments, restraints and ‘teasers’ are very sensual but it’s important to double check that they are not real!

  • Have you checked whether that cute candy bra is vegan?

    Silk, Satin & Velvet

These three are popular materials for lingerie and scarves. Satin and velvet are usually silk based but may be synthetic.

  • Dyes, polishes and additives

Many non-animal based materials, such as silicone, rubber, latex, ‘jelly’ (popular for making inexpensive dildos and other penetrative toys) and even metals such as stainless steel, sometimes have animal ingredients added to them in the form of dyes and other additives, or may involve animal ingredients in the manufacturing process. It’s rare to see an ingredients list on products that are not edible or cosmetics, so you may need to check with the manufacturer.

  • Flavourings

That edible body paint, the cute candy bra or the flavoured lube? The usual suspects tend to sneak in here – milk products, cochineal, shellac, gelatine and other edible animal ingredients. Check the ingredients list  and beware of the animal testing record of the company.

Phew! So, how can we veganize our sex lives?

If you want to try something new or replace an old favourite, there are a few ways to do it vegan style:

Buy from a vegan retailer: Online shops such as Vegan Kink and other vegan retailers will be able to certify that their products are cruelty-free

1. Buy from a vegan retailer

The easiest way of purchasing vegan sex toys is to buy them from a vegan adult store. A dedicated vegan retailer will have asked all the right questions and will only stock products they are confident are cruelty-free.

Why not check out Vegan-Kink, The Sensual Vegan, Goodkink and Justine & Juliette?

2. Contact the manufacturer

If you like the look of something from a mainstream adult store but are not sure if it’s vegan, contact the store and explain your concerns. They may need to contact their suppliers as well so it can take a while to get an answer but it is worth it for the peace of mind.

3. Make your own toys

DIY bondage with an old belt? A ‘perverted’ wooden spoon used as a spanking toy? Go ahead! Get creative, get crafty but be sure to think about safety as well. The last thing you want is to end up with restraints you can’t untie or a splinter in an intimate place! Dressing up is a great way to add some spice to your sex life and while there are many sexy outfits available to buy, why not try making your own?

5. Commission a toy

Can’t find what you are looking for? Why not commission something? There are great crafters worldwide who will do their best to make you the toy of your dreams, whether it is a luxurious hand blown glass dildo, a set of bespoke rubber bondage cuffs or a vegan whip.

Adding toys into our bedroom antics can be a lot of fun and extremely liberating. 

So go forth and have beautiful, fulfilling vegan sex! 

 Guest post by Az, Founder of Vegan Kink

My name is Az and I’m a genderqueer philosophy graduate living in the United Kingdom. I became a vegetarian while studying ethics at university and later became an abolitionist vegan once I realised that I could not justify participating in any animal exploitation, however ‘kind’. After some months of trying to work out what to do with my life post-university, I decided to open an all vegan online adult store called Vegan-Kink 

When I’m not working on my business, I can usually be found cuddling small, four legged, furry mammals, helping one of my partners run his business, going to raucous secret parties and playing computer games. Sometimes all at the same time. 

Vist Az’s vegan shop: Vegan-Kink, or follow her on Facebook or Twitter!
 

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