Sex

8 things you should never masturbate with

Don't risk it.

By Carina Hsieh

When your coin is running on E and your hand just isn't doing the work for you anymore, sometimes you have to get creative with masturbation techniques.

Unfortunately, there's a lot of misinformation out there! Just search "things to hump" and you'll find tons of anecdotal suggestions ranging from using food objects in your vagina, to sticking a penis in furniture.

Creative? Sure. Safe? Not always.

Luckily, Dr. Dana Rice, a urologist in the Washington DC area and founder of the UTI Tracker app, Dr. Sherry A. Ross, OBGYN, and author of She-ology: The Definitive Guide to Women's Intimate Health. Period., and Dr. Kurian Thott, a gynaecological surgeon, are here to break down some of the risks that can come with getting creative with your sex toys.

Below, a few of the more creative suggestions found on the internet, and what the docs have to say:

If you have a vagina

Dr. Sherry says that the best materials for sex toys are made of silicone, since they're easy to clean and don't increase your risk of vaginal infections. That being said, here are some household objects you should refrain from masturbating with:

1. Hot dogs

Dr. Rice says bacteria can easily be transferred from raw or uncooked meat into the vaginal area. Masturbating by inserting hot dogs into your vagina isn't a huge risk for UTIs but it can potentially put you at risk for vaginal irritation or infection, which could wind up irritating your posterior bladder wall or urethra.

2. A cucumber, carrot, or any other phallic fruit

Dr. Rice says that bacteria can be transferred into the vagina and cause irritation this way. And don't forget about pesticides or chemicals used to preserve any fruit!

And if you've heard of the urban legend where a woman masturbates with a carrot, tears her vagina, and dies because of an air embolism travelling to her heart — don't worry. Dr. Kurian Thott explains that the story is nothing to worry about. "...it's just a myth that anyone would get an air embolism via an open laceration in the vagina, big or small." He explains, "Most air emboli are due to deep sea diving. If it occured during an injury, it would require a prassurised source to be of any significance or life-threatening, i.e. during injection of an IV contrast during a surgical procedure."

3. Plastic or glass bottles

With any bottle, you run the same risk of transferring bacteria into the vagina like with foods. Dr. Sherry adds that she's also heard of patients who've had to go to the ER for a glass bottle lodged too far up their anus or vagina. With glass bottles, the glass breaking is also a risk you should be aware of. Glass in general seems like asking for trouble, TBH.

4. Markers

Dr. Rice says that firm objects like markers worry her. "It is possible that vigorous masturbation can tear or irritate urethra and vaginal tissues." You'd also be at risk for the cap coming off and getting stuck in your vaginal vault (the expanded part of your vagina at the top).

5. Broomstick

As Dr. Rice points out again, something firm like a broomstick has the potential for injury. Wood is problematic for a few reasons: it's porous, which means it has potential bacterial risks, and is also likely to splinter (can you imagine getting a splinter up there?).

6. Curling Iron

Please please please make sure it's turned off! Dr. Rice also says that if the curling iron is too wide, it could place pressure and irritate your urethra.

7. Tools like screwdrivers, flashlights, etc.

Obviously, the sharp edges of these tools could cause injury or tears. Dr. Rice says she has seen batteries and caps from flashlights coming off and getting dislodged in the anal cavity, so this is also a possibility in the vagina.

Things can't get "lost" in your vagina, like things can in your anus (flared base, people!), but the experience of bearing down over a toilet and fishing something out of your vagina is probably an experience you can live without.

Dr. Sherry also points out that any tools that might be found in your garage should be cleaned extra thoroughly of any oil, dust, and insect or rat droppings. "Dangerous microscopic bacteria from the garage can live on these types of tools so you need to be extra careful." Sounds like a nightmare.

8. Candles or soaps

Overly scented candles and soaps can definitely put you at risk for irritation or an allergic reaction. Dr. Thott mentions that even using soap for external, clitoral stimulation could be problematic. It's best to avoid soap, scented, or otherwise near the vaginal opening or the vulvar area.

In general:

Dr. Sherry says, it's important to realise that while many of these DIY sex toys are easily accessible and free, they will definitely increase your risk of a bacterial, yeast, or bladder infection.

If you suspect you have a UTI or other infection, see a doctor. Dr. Rice says oftentimes patients will confuse urethral irritation or vaginal infections with a UTI since the symptoms can be similar. The only way to know for sure is to do a urine culture.

Going to see a doctor for an appropriate fix is the best thing you can do. You don't want to contribute to any drug-resistant superbug UTIs do you?

As for anything else not covered in this list? Dr. Rice says her general philosophy is that, "if it heats up, glows, is flavor ed or smells it does not belong in a vagina."

~Bonus~ If you have a penis:

1. Carving a hole out of a bar of soap and fucking that

Dr. Rice says that one concern with soap is that it could dry out your natural oils to the point of leading to dry or peeled skin. When skin is dry and peeled like this, it can make you more susceptible to infections or disease transmission.

2. Melon

Red flag! Dr. Rice says she would be concerned with the potential for urethritis—inflammation and irritation to the urethra, which is different from a UTI. "While many people associate urethritis with bacterial infections," She says, "there is a potential that juice or fruit product could enter the urethra and cause urethritis."

3. A pie

"Men are much less susceptible to UTIs than women due to the urethral length difference," Dr. Rice says. But what about the sugary filling? "If there were filling pressed into the urethra repeatedly from thrusting, then the patient would be at risk for a UTI or urethritis, however I can not specifically say it is secondary to sugar content."

4. A woman's open toed shoe

Given how dirty shoes are, is there any chance of developing athlete's foot or transferring a foot fungus to your privates? Dr. Rice explains that athlete's foot and jock itch are actually two colloquialisms for the same type of fungus, so if a shoe was contaminated with fungus, there is always the potential for spread. You'd be especially at risk if there were any tears or abrasions on your penile skin as well. "I would have to recommend only clean, non-worn shoes for this type of activity."

Via: Cosmopolitan US