My husband was astounded by the number of phallic objects on the conveyer belt.
A few years ago, he volunteered to help sort junk at a recycling facility in Boulder County. As Colorado residents, philanthropy and recycling is a residency requirement, and/or punishment if you break the law. What brought him there isn't interesting.
What brought him home is.
He came home near tears. The old sex toys! The ratty, strange, sticky, damaged sex toys! They kept coming, he explained. At first, a doodad on the conveyer belt was novel. Funny, even. Then more. Baffling. More. Violating.
That's when we learned the hard way: You can recycle your ex's Magic Wand. Collection centers can sterilize naughty castoffs and, well, grind the rubber and silicone down into skanky dust (not the official term) to be remolded into new goodies.
After a new sanitary layer of silicone, that is.
After his encounter at the recycling facility, my husband might request two protective layers.
Indeed, sex without a condom isn't the only kind of sex that may make your lady bits cry. Your sex toys may be toxic. And not very alluring to the environment, either.
Increasingly more adult stores are offering nontoxic, green goodies (and I'm not talking about the color, not that there's anything wrong with a Hulkavater, which surely exists). This new buzz of pleasure contains no PVC, animal products or phthalates, which some people fear may be linked to reproductive problems, including low sperm counts. Still, the FDA reports there's not a "sound, scientific basis" for concern.
In respect for Oh-Mama Earth, green sex toys are also often made in the USA (with a smaller carbon footprint), sold in recyclable packaging and rechargeable, to reduce the number of batteries that end up in the landfill. You can easily find green sex toys online at eartherotics.com and ecorotic.com, just to name a few.
The local, handcrafted sex toy movement is growing, too. Etsy is bursting with handmade everythings -- from floggers, to ticklers, to bed restraints, to hypoallergenic, phthalate-free, printed-to-order, hand-polished vibrators.
Jonathan Kasemir, of Longmont, Colo., started making hand-braided whips last February. He started his business, RavenTiger Whips, in response to his then-girlfriend's request to experiment with BDSM.
"She wanted me to try whipping her, and I wasn't going to spend and arm and a leg to get one if I wasn't even sure I was going to like it," Kasemir says.
Today, he says he can play the drums using two whips. (Literally. That's not a euphemism.) In the last year, Kasemir says he has sold about 90 whips to Coloradoans, ranging from about $130 to $300 each, mostly via word of mouth, at social events and through BDSM social-networking sites. In fact, the demand is so great that he he has a two-month waiting list.
The whips, custom-tailored using parachute cord, take about seven hours to braid, he says.
Buying local has its benefits; Kasemir says clients enjoy picking the color, design patterns, weight, length, width and handle style. Plus, if something breaks, he can fix it for them. There's one more bonus of buying locally, Kasemir says.
"I even help people learn how to throw their whips when they order them," he says.
Read more stories about the weirdest city in the world here: Only In Boulder.
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