Sustainability is all the rage - with organic foods, biodegradable straws and reusable cups now more readily available. But what about sustainable…sex toys?
Sex toys are overdue an environmentally friendly overhaul! Vibrators, dildos and butt plugs are often made from unsustainable materials, such as plastics and silicone, which deteriorate over time and do not biodegrade. The rapid market of click-and-buy consumerism encourages us to impulse-buy the latest products and throw them away when something new comes along. So what do sustainable sex toys actually look like?
We were lucky to sit down with Adele Brydges of Ceramic Sensual Tools. We chatted about sustainability, what eco sex means to her and how her products can enhance the user’s relationship with sex and sexuality.
Ceramic Sensual Tools
What are Ceramic Sensual Tools?
Essentially sex toys, but sexy toys redesigned to give pleasure in and beyond the bedroom. Beautiful to look at and lovely to use for both intimate pleasure and massage. They are made from porcelain, which believe it or not, is strong, durable and adapts quickly to temperature to add some subtle sensations through temperature play to the mix.
What led you to create this range?
I wanted to create something that removed some of the shame associated with masturbation. I’m passionate about design, ceramics, beautiful natural materials and pleasure. When I begun designing 13 years ago, it was all still pretty crude plastic and silicone designs in gawdy colours. I felt the market didn’t cater for people like me. I enjoy using nice, well designed objects crafted from good quality natural materials but the market seemed to be a sea of ‘disco-dick' vibrators. There was nothing I connected with that made self-pleasure feel like a sensual experience.
Not everyone is into vibrators either – many of the products on the market focus on getting you off as quickly as possible, but for me pleasure is a journey. I wanted to make tools that were approachable, helped you gain confidence in exploring your body, your likes and dislikes, created with attention to detail in natural, body-safe materials and small quantities. It was very important the tools were beautiful to look at, something that you wouldn't mind leaving on your bedside table, as well as enjoyable to use and celebrated sexuality and pleasure in their own way.
What makes your practice sustainable?
Small batch production, conscious sourcing and long product life-cycle - as in a forever if you treat it right… Porcelain is non-porous and doesn’t degrade over time unlike plastics and silicone. I’ve had to make challenging decisions in some areas but I feel that I've made the best and most informed choices that I can while supporting my values as an individual and designer-maker.
How might your products change the user’s relationship to sex and sexuality?
Sexual health is more than a physical state, it encompasses mental, social and emotional wellness too so I hope that my products encourage users take their pleasure seriously and make time for play. Beyond self-pleasure, couples often feel less threatened introducing my products into their sex life as they feel they enhance intimacy and encourage discussions on what feels good. The fact that they are designed to be attractive as well as functional helps to minimises the sense of shame a lot of us have around performance and introducing pleasure products to your sex life.
Do you see your product as a luxury item?
Yes, I do. There are many factors that make these products luxury to different audiences but for me, it’s the time factor. My products aren’t bling, but the making process takes about a week end-to-end and when it comes down to it, time is our greatest luxury.
What does “eco sex” mean to you?
To me, eco sex is education and responsible consumerism. Making intentional purchases that have minimal impacts. Is this a product for life? Does its longevity outweigh any other impacts? Consider all the options and make the best choice possible based on what is available to you and fulfils your needs. You may not be able to make the perfect choice every time but you can make an informed decision and a little effort goes a long way.
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