Sex toys and products

DIY Sex Toys: When It’s a Good Idea (and When It Really Isn’t)

Published: APRIL 17, 2020 | Updated: FEBRUARY 11, 2022
Sure, you might save a few bucks—or have fun with your handicraft skills—but some sex toys should always be store-bought.

Many of us have spent a good chunk of the last two years at home—and if the increase in traffic to our site shows anything, many of you are experimenting with new sexual adventures.


And during these adventures, you may consider putting together your own sex toys. But the reality is, while it may be tempting to try and save a few bucks—or have fun with your handicraft skills—some sex toys should always be store-bought.

READ: Scared to Buy Your First Sex Toy? Here's What to Do.

So how do you figure out the all-important differences between do-it-yourself-safe sex toys and the ones that could injure you or those you play with?


Well, sit tight, put your tray tables into the upright position and keep your arms and legs inside the vehicle—because we're about to get into the various when's and when-not-to's of making homemade sex toys:

Ask Yourself: Where Am I Going With This?

The first big question you’ve got to ask before getting your tools out is how and where your toy will be used.

Because if you’re thinking of something that will be used on a person rather than in them, your options are much larger; and the risks are way lower.


So let’s start by getting into precisely why putting a foreign object into the human body, whether it’s—orally, anally, vaginally, or any-other-hole-ally—can be problematic (if not outright dangerous).

Despite that people have been inserting all matter of things into their orifices for as long as people have had orifices, using the wrong shape or the wrong material can have serious repercussions.

READ: Sex Toy Safety: A Guide to Materials.


And by "serious," we mean everything up to—and including—allergic reactions, tearing with subsequent serious blood loss, toxic shock syndrome, life-threatening infections, nerve damage and exposure to potentially lethal carcinogens.

In other words: Never make your own insertable sex toys. Period. End of sentence.

Besides, sex toy manufacturers have spent decades—and hundreds of millions of dollars—perfecting their products, so these days there's practically zero chance of anything nasty happening when playing with them.


Still want to give it a try? Before you do, ask any EMT or hospital emergency room staffer. Chances are, they’ll happily regale you with story after story of people who tragically felt shoving this, that or the other into themselves was a good idea.

What About 3D Printing?

It’s a pretty safe bet sometime in the not-too-distant future we’ll be able to push a button—or politely ask Siri and Alexa’s grandchild—and, before you can say, “Gosh, I’m really horny,” out will pop a steamy hot sex toy—ready, willing and able for you to use energetically.

READ: Quiz: Which App-Enabled Toy is Right For You?


But tomorrow is not today. And even if you’ve got a state-of-the-art 3D printer on your hands, alongside the testimony of someone on Reddit, the technology is anything but safe for at-home sex toy making.

That includes using a printer to make a mold into which silicone would then be poured. Call us cautious—but why chance an emergency room visit on a Maker or Instructables dildo or butt plug when you can pick up non-reactive, professionally-made so easily?

So, OK, if making your own insertable sex toy isn’t a good idea, how can you satisfy all those make-at-home sex toy urges?

On, Not In

The best solution is to try your hand at making toys for the outside of the human body—like clothespins for nipple play, paddles for spanking, along with other BDSM staples.

But these sorts of homemade toys also come with their own set of risks—in addition to many of the ones we’re already mentioned for insertable objects.

Fortunately, though, most of these can be largely avoided by paying careful attention to materials and finishes.

For instance, when talking paddles, stick with non-exotic, non-treated wood, and water-based, non-Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) stains.

Meanwhile, clothespins can be a delight to modify and tweak to your creative heart’s desire. Tweak their mechanisms, attach weights to them…they’re practically perfect in every way for homemade sex toy play.

READ: Pervertables: The Ultimate Guide to Using Household Items as Sex Toys.

Right behind paddles, canes or light striking toys can be a blast to make and use. Classic or not, bamboo is not recommended because it tends to splinter, which—more times than not—will lead to unexpected and unhygienic blood splattering.

Stick with a non-VOC stained dowel and perhaps wrap it in non-reactive tape, so that kind of thing is far less likely to happen.

And whatever you make, remember there’s no way to completely sterilize any homemade or store-bought wooden toy—so never share them with other people. (This is why it’s common for dominants to have several paddles/canes/similar safely designed and built homemade toys and give them to those they’d used them with—er, on.)

Bondage Is A No-No

On the subject of BDSM, bondage gear should absolutely be our list of things that should never be made at home.

As we at Kinkly have repeatedly said, bondage is an extremely dangerous activity; and using equipment not designed, built and perfected by a highly skilled practitioner is asking for problems—including the possibility of permanent injury or death.READ: How to Stay Safe in an Online BDSM Community.

Making Your Own Fun

Can you make sex toys? Definitely! In relative safety, feel free to try your hand at crafting paddles, canes, clothespins and so forth.

For anything else, the world’s full of excellently designed, superbly engineered and thoroughly tested sex toy manufacturers out there with products that’ll do the job better than anything you could whip up in your workshop.

So do yourself and those you play with a favor—and stick with sex toys you know are body-safe.

M. Christian

M.Christian is an author who has been published in science fiction, fantasy, horror, thrillers, and even nonfiction, but it is in erotica that M.Christian has become an acknowledged master, with stories in such anthologies as Best American Erotica, Best Gay Erotica, Best Lesbian Erotica, Best Bisexual Erotica, Best Fetish Erotica, and in fact too many anthologies, magazines, and sites to name. M.Christian's short fiction has been collected in many bestselling books in a wide variety...

Latest Sex Positions