Acrylic -- Not Just for Nails

When you think of acrylic, you probably think of Plexiglas, household knick-knacks -- photo frames, decorative vases and the like -- and, yes, fake nails. Do you ever think of sex toys? Well, you should.

An affordable and durable material, acrylic has been used in many different ways over the decades, but only recently have manufacturers gotten creative with sensual shapes and uses of acrylic -- yes, we mean sex toys.

Because it's easy to mold, acrylic can be formed into practically any shape, making it an ideal substance for phallic-shaped toys. While the most popular toy shape is long and curved at the end, for G-Spot or prostate stimulation, acrylic can also be rounded into bead-like shapes, S curves, and wands with different shapes on either end, used for vaginal or anal play. The shape, of course, will go a long way toward determining how you use your acrylic toy: the beaded and realistic shapes will lend themselves to in-and-out movements, while the curved, but totally smooth, toys are more for spot stimulation.

Another unique characteristic of acrylic is its optical quality, which is phenomenal -- equal to the best optical glass -- making partner play more interesting. Plus, acrylic toys are just that much prettier. Most of them could be left out in your living room and no one would be the wiser … unless, of course, your guests work for a sex toy company!

The other upside to the sleek, smooth texture of acrylic is its quick clean up -- just use soap and water, making sure to steer clear of any moving parts. But because most acrylic toys are dildos, not vibrators, you can usually immerse the entire toy in soapy water or wipe it down with alcohol without worrying about ruining any electronic parts.

If you have an allergic reaction to latex or rubber, try acrylic: it is practically hypoallergenic, making it great for even the most sensitive of folk. But no substance is 100% safe for everybody -- so, please, if you're ever using any sort of toy and it causes irritation or an allergic reaction, stop using it immediately!

Because it is a type of plastic, acrylic is hard and cold, so if you're not a fan of rigid toys, then acrylic is probably not for you. This same hardness makes acrylic toys very durable, however, which means your toy will probably last a lot longer than most. You can also warm some acrylic toys by running them under hot water or nuking them for a few seconds in the microwave. Please only do this if your toy specifically says it may be heated or chilled. At a certain point, acrylic is actually flammable, so if you'd like to avoid being picked up for arson, we suggest you refrain from performing any extreme experimentation.

If you're looking for an affordable toy that will last -- and enjoy the smoothness and rigidity of plastic -- then acrylic is right up your alley. So to speak.

by Trisha Hurlburt