There is a booming sex toys market in Nigeria as the growing populations seek unnatural ways to satisfy sexual desires more sex toy shops are springing up across the country. The market was even made more popular following an ugly incident involving a lady and a Nigerian senator in a sex toy shop.
What are sex toys?
A sex toy is an object or device that is primarily used to facilitate human sexual pleasure, such as a dildo or vibrator. Many popular sex toys are designed to resemble human genitals and may be vibrating or non-vibrating. Sex toys are most commonly sold at a sex shop, but they may also be sold in a pharmacy/chemist store, a pornographic DVD store, a head shop, or a department store. Today’s sex toys are available in almost all countries including Nigeria for males and females.
Studies conducted at Indiana University in the USA found that 53% of women and 45% of men aged between 18-65 years had used a vibrator, and that vibrator use is associated with improved sexual function and being more proactive about sexual health. In women, sex toys can be helpful in the treatment of menopausal symptoms such as vaginal atrophy; vulval/vaginal pain, and tightness (due to vaginismus, vulvodynia, lichen sclerosus, gynae cancer treatments, and surgical interventions; neurological conditions such as multiple sclerosis; lack of arousal, and low libido). While sex toys can help men with erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, lack of libido, and post-surgical problems. According to therapists, constriction rings can help a man maintain his erection for longer, making it firmer, and also delay ejaculation.
According to the experts, because sex toys are often made from low-grade materials and plastics, they can have a negative health effect on people. A study around plastic, consumer watchdog, found that poor quality plastics may be endocrine disruptors.
This means that they can mimic the body’s natural hormones and cause a whole host of health problems – from infertility to breast cancer. According to the experts, because sex toys can sometimes be made from low-grade materials and plastics, they could have a negative health effect on people. There is growing scientific evidence that even at these lower levels of exposure, phthalates and BPA may be causing problems such as infertility, obesity, breast cancer, prostate cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.
About 83 percent of sex toy injuries result from getting something stuck in or on the genitalia, according to reports, it is usually a dildo or a vibrator. To play safe, use a sex toy that has a flared base, or a string that helps retrieve it. In addition, overusing a device like a vibrator can cause chronic numbness in your sensitive parts. One study by the Kinsey Institute at Indiana University found that more than half of all women have used a vibrator, and nearly one in five of them have experienced side effects like numbness and pain.
Penis rings are typically worn around the base of the penis and used to prolong an erection (the ring constricts blood flow out of the penis). Injuries from penis rings are relatively rare, accounting for only about 2 percent of sex toy injuries. But they can be particularly unpleasant and can cause gangrene if they get stuck too tightly for too long.
Doctors and public health practitioners also warn that women need to take care when choosing a vibrator, in order to minimize the risk of contracting an infection. Generally, sex toys are safe if you use them responsibly and keep them clean – otherwise, sex toys can pass on sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and infections passed on through the blood (blood-borne infections).
You can avoid STIs by:
- keeping sex toys clean – wash them after each use
- covering penetrative sex toys, such as vibrators, with a new condom each time they’re used
- not sharing sex toys
- having a different set of sex toys for each partner
Sex toys can pass on:
Chlamydia: Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by a bacteria called chlamydia trachomatis. Usually, it doesn’t cause any symptoms and can be easily treated with antibiotics. However, if it isn’t treated early it can spread to other parts of your body and lead to long-term health problems
Syphilis: Syphilis is a bacterial infection usually spread by sexual contact. The disease starts as a painless sore, typically on your genitals, rectum, or mouth. Syphilis spreads from person to person via skin or mucous membrane contact with these sores. Syphilis develops in stages and symptoms vary with each stage. The first stage involves the painless sore on the genitals, rectum, or mouth. After the initial sore heals, the second stage is characterized by a rash. Then, there are no symptoms until the final stage which may occur years later. This final stage can result in damage to the brain, nerves, eyes, or heart.
Herpes: Genital herpes is a common sexually transmitted infection caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). Sexual contact is the primary way that the virus spreads. After the initial infection, the virus lies dormant in your body and can reactivate several times a year.
Bacterial vaginosis: Bacterial vaginosis is a type of vaginal inflammation caused by the overgrowth of bacteria naturally found in the vagina, which upsets the natural balance. Women in their reproductive years are most likely to get bacterial vaginosis, but it can affect women of any age activities such as unprotected sexual intercourse, sharing of sex toys or frequent douching can increase a person’s risk. In some cases, there are no symptoms. In other cases, there may be abnormal vaginal discharge, itching, or odor. There is an increased risk of bacterial vaginosis in women who have sex with women who have a history of sharing sex toys, or whose partners have bacterial vaginosis.
Shigella: Shigellosis is an infectious disease caused by a group of bacteria called Shigella. Most who are infected with Shigella develop diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps starting a day or two after they are exposed to the bacteria. Shigellosis usually resolves in 5 to 7 days.
Avoiding blood-borne infections
Do not share any sex toy that may draw blood from the skin, as this type of sex toy can pass on blood-borne infections. Take care when using penetrative sex toys, particularly if there are any cuts or sores around the vagina, anus, or penis and blood is present, as there’s an increased risk of passing on infections such as:
- hepatitis B
- hepatitis C
- HIV and AIDS
- Cleaning sex toys
How you clean a sex toy depends on:
- what the sex toy is made of
- if the sex toy uses batteries and has parts that cannot be washed
- Sex toys should come with advice about how to clean and store them. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.
For reusable sex toys, make sure you wash them thoroughly with warm water and soap after each use.
You should also wash them between:
- using them on different parts of the body, such as the mouth, vagina, and anus
- 1 person and another
- Check sex toys regularly for any scratches or breaks in the surface material where germs could be present and spread, as this can increase the risk of infection.
- If you’re allergic to latex, do not use sex toys that are made of, or contain latex.