There’s a great deal of confusion about materials in the world of sex toys. This will be an attempt to demystify the jargon. Please bear with us as it evolves.

 
 
 


Dimethicone


Flame Test


Lighter Test

aka flame test
This test involves holding a standard cigarette lighter flame to the surface of a toy and observing the results. Before Dildology, the lighter test was used as an at-home method to verify whether a product was silicone rubber. FTIR results from the Jimmyjane Hello Touch, which failed the lighter test, have cast doubt on the effectiveness of this method of identifying silicone rubber products, as the Hello Touch was determined to be pure PDMS.


Methyl Group

CH3 – The most common side group for silicone polymers. PDMS is composed of silicon, oxygen, and methyl groups.


Oxygen

Element number 8, abbreviation O. Forms a chain with silicon which is the backbone of the group of polymers called silicone. Two oxygen atoms form a molecule with silicon to create silica, the raw material of most glass.


PDMS


Phenyl Group

C6H5 – A side group for silicone polymers. Polydiphenylsiloxane is composed of silicon, oxygen, and phenyl groups, and was the first substance to be called "silicone."


Polydimethylsiloxane

aka dimethicone
aka PDMS
The most common kind of silicone rubber. PDMS is composed of silicon, oxygen, and methyl groups. Depending on the length of the polymer chains and the extent of cross-linking, it can have a wide range of physical properties. Some PDMS products will fail a lighter test.


Silica


Silica Gel

Synthetic, porous silica. Comes in pellet form. It readily adsorbs water. It is not a polymer, and is not typically used as a material in sex toys.


Silicon

Element number 14, abbreviation Si. Forms a chain with oxygen which is the backbone of the group of polymers called silicone. Forms a molecule with two oxygen atoms to create silica, the raw material of most glass.


Silicon Dioxide

aka silica
SiO2 – It is found in nature as sand or quartz, and is frequently used to make glass.


Silicone

A chain of silicon and oxygen atoms with methyl, phenyl, vinyl, and/or trifluoropropyl groups attached at the sides. These polymers are chemically cross-linked with each other in a process called curing to form silicone rubber.


Silicone Elastomer


Silicone Rubber

aka silicone elastomer
Polymer chains of silicone which have been chemically bonded to each other in a process called curing or vulcanizing. Depending on the side groups of the silicone polymer, the cross-linker, and the curing process used, silicone rubber can have very different properties.

Fun fact: An object that is 100% cross-linked silicone rubber is technically one single molecule.


Trifluoropropyl Group

CH2CH2CF3 – A less common side group for silicone polymers. Used in combination with methyl groups in fluorosilicone rubber to achieve greater resistance to temperature and chemical interaction.