Written by sex journalist and expert, Gabrielle Kassel, for The Cowgirl.
Think playtime is done well all is said and everyone’s cum? Wrong! A sex-session isn’t officially over until the sex machine has been cleaned!
Fortunately, cleaning a sex machine is far easier than removing silicone-lube from sheets.
Below, your sex machine cleaning crib sheet.
PSA: Not All Sex Toys Can Be Cleaned
Before we dive into H-O-W to clean a sex toy, it’s important to understand that while all Cowgirl products can be completely cleaned, not all pleasure products can.
Lisa Finn, a sex educator explains: Sex toys can be broken down into two categories: Those made out of porous materials which cannot be cleaned thoroughly, and those non-porous materials, which can.
Porous, if you don’t know, is another word for penetrable. When pleasure products are made out of porous materials the natural, microscopic bacteria, fungi, and googly gunk can permeate the toy, she explains. “And that microscopic bacteria is able to stay lodged in the toy even if the toy looks clean.”
Porous materials include: Polyvinyl chloride (PVC), thermoplastic rubber (TPR), thermoplastic elastomer (TPE), jelly rubber, and latex.
As you might be able to guess, non-porous materials have no pores that bacteria can crawl into, and therefore can be cleaned completely and easily, says Finn. Phew.
Non-porous materials include: Silicone, stainless steel, glass, Pyrex, and ABS plastic.
As a general rule, Finn recommends opting for a sex-toy made out of a non-porous materials. (For the record: All The Cowgirl attachments are made out of non-porous, medical grade, body-safe silicone).
Yes, You Need To Clean Your Sex Toys and Sex Machine
This is true whether you’re the only one using the machine, or you’re sharing the machine with a million other pleasure-seekers!
That’s because cleaning the machine reduces the risk of:
1. Bacterial, yeast, and urinary infection
“Our bodies harbor natural bacteria that help them function optimally,” explains Finn. In the case of the vagina, for instance, this bacteria helps regulate the vaginal pH and ward off unwanted infections like bacterial vaginosis and yeast infections. And in the case of the anus, this bacteria supports the passage of stools and the integrity of the anal tissues.
But (and this is important!), “once that bacteria leaves our bodies, it transforms and becomes totally different,” she says.
So, if you use wind down with the machine on Monday and then go back for round two without washing it on Tuesday, you’re *not* simple re introducing your same bacteria to your bits. At that point the bacteria has transformed and could cause a bacterial, yeast, or urinary tract infection, according to Finn.
2. STI transmission
If you’re sharing the machine with another person (or other people), washing the machine is even more important. Especially if you are not fluid-bonded, meaning you have not already intentionally made the decision to go without barriers and swap body fluids.
Sexually transmitted infections can be spread via bodily fluids like cum, pre-cum, vaginal secretions, squirt, and ejaculate, explains Finn. If someone with a sexually transmitted infection that can be spread via bodily fluids rides the machine and then you use it, the infection could be transmitted.
Cleaning the machine properly between users can reduce the risk of transmission.
3. Intestinal chaos
Hepatitis A, B, and C, parasites like Giardia and intestinal amoebas, and bacteria like Shigella, Salmonella, and E. coli are transmitted through fecal matter, according to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention.
And that makes transmission of these infections a risk if the machine is used for anal play and not cleaned adequately between uses.
Exactly How to Clean The Cowgirl Sex Machine
If you’re reading this, chances are you’re ready to learn how to wash your sex machine. So let’s get your questions answered, STAT.
How To Clean The Attachments
To reiterate: All of The Cowgirl Attachments are made from non-porous 100% body-safe silicone, which means they assume you clean them correctly, you C-A-N get all-the-way clean. Luckily, it’s easy enough to do so.
“All you need to clean medical grade silicone is warm-water and fragrance-free soap,” says Finn. So, after use, pop the attachment off the base, bring it over to the sink and scrub-a-dub!
“You can also use a homemade solution made of one-part alcohol, and nine-part water to clean the machine,” she says. Or, you can spritz on a pre-made sex toy cleaner like Le Wand Intimate Organic Toy Cleaner and wipe it clean with a clean washcloth. All three options will adequately and thoroughly clean the toy. c
The Rawhide Attachment, Buckwild Attachment, and Wild West Attachment all feature little studs designed to provide clitoral or perineum stimulation while you ride. To clean between these nooks and crannies, Finn recommends using either a toothbrush or Q-tip. “That way you know you’re cleaning all parts of the toy that might come into contact with the body.”
When you’re done, dry the attachments c-o-m-p-l-e-t-e-l-y. “Any remaining wetness gives mold and mildew a place to thrive,” she explains. If you’re having a hard time drying inside the attachment, try a rolled up pair of (clean) panties, a Q-tip, or face towel.
How To Clean The Base
Encased in 100-percent vegan-leather, the base of the machine is easy enough to clean: Just wipe it down with a warm, damp cloth!
Will the base be fine if once or twice you use rubbing alcohol or a Clorox wipe on it? Sure. But Finn doesn’t recommend it. “Harsh chemicals and rubbing alcohol can degrade the integrity of the leather, and change the way it feels and looks,” she says.
You also shouldn’t try washing your machine in a bathtub or sink. Doing so would be like putting any other motorized or electronic device in a puddle or pool and will it will break.
After wiping the material clean, dry it with another cloth.
For The Record: Barriers Can Decrease The Risk Of Infection
If multiple people are going to be using the machine in a single session (yee-haw!) one way to decrease the risk of bacterial infection and transmission of STIs, is to use safer sex barriers.
You can use a new external condom over penetrative attachments like Wild West, The Buckwild, and Lone Ranger with every new rider, says Finn. For non-penetrative options, such as The Bareback and The Rawhide, a dental dam can be used (though it will have to be held in place).
“If you’re a latex barrier, be sure to use a silicone-based or water-based lubricant,” says Finn. The oil in oil-based lubricants can degrade latex, ultimately making the barrier less effective at warding of infection or transmission of infection.
How to Store The Cowgirl Sex Machine
Can you leave your sex machine out for all to oggle and compliment? Is that even a question?? Hell yes you can!
But if your machine is out, say, in the living room you’re going to have to clean it again before climbing on. “Dust, dog hair, and lint will all cling onto the machine if it’s out in the open,” explains Finn. And introducing all that dust and debris to your most intimate parts? Not ideal.
Want to avoid washing the machine more than once? Or simply want to keep it out of view from nosy household members and guests? Sore the base and silicone attachments separately, suggests Finn.
The silicone attachments, she says, should be placed in protective pouches. “A satin or silk storage bag will trap any lint, dust, or hair so that it doesn’t get on the toy inside.” And the base can be stashed in a dry, dark storage closet.
If you live with family or conservative roommates, you may want to store the base in a cardboard box—if you can avoid it, don’t. “Cardboard harbors bacteria, which increases the chances that mold and mildew will grow on the base if it’s wet,” she says. Better than cardboard is a BPA-free plastic container.