Can Sex Toys Retain Bacteria?

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Betty Dodson

Hi, Betty,

I have been using sex toys for many years. I am currently not with a partner. Recently I got more than one uti without having the typical painful uti symptoms. There were no symptoms at all. The most recent uti developed into severe sepsis and I was hospitalized for over a week and lucky to survive. A friend suggested perhaps it could be from a sex toy that somehow retained bacteria.

Now I am really concerned about trying to self-pleasure again. Do you have any suggestions?


Dear E,

The absolutely safest sex is masturbating with a sex toy. Unless you store your toys unwashed in a dark drawer where little germs can grow. Always make it a practice to wash your toys with soap and warm water, dry them, apply cornstarch and keep them on a window sill that has ideally has sunlight.... the perfect disinfectant.

As an avid user of toys, I have never had any problem. But then I display my toys out in the open on my bedside chest. And I alway clean them again just before I use them since they have been sitting out in the open.

Sorry to hear about your semis and hospitalization. But don't let this awful experience turn you against your toys. Just keep them clean.

Happy Orgasms,

Dr Betty

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