Author Tom Wells takes a look at the world of sex products and how to find out if they really are vegan.
I went vegan about four months ago. For the most part, it’s pretty simple: check the ingredients on products and when in doubt ask and do research. But when it comes to certain products, it can be hard to know what truly is vegan and what is not. We’ll get to that.
Veganism is taking many countries by storm. Sales of plant-based meats and dairy alternatives are skyrocketing as many consumers look for healthier and/or more ethical diet alternatives.
Shoppers all over are wanting to make more conscious decisions regardless of diet. This can include checking whether products are manufactured in a cruelty-free way i..e not involving animal testing or animal derivatives.
But what does this have to do with sex? Well, vegan quality standards can apply to other products including sex toys.
This post will provide a little guidance for checking whether sex products such as condoms, toys, and lube is vegan.
What is vegan sex?
Vegan sex really means vegan sex products. This could include the use of condoms, lube or sex toys. Veganism extends well beyond food production. Definitions of veganism vary – there is no one-size-fits-all. For some vegans, the definition primarily refers to removing any animal-based products from their diet. But for many, this definition equally applies to all products. In consumer products such as cosmetics, this mainly refers to animal derivatives being used in the ingredients or animal testing being conducted on the product.
Disclaimer: if you are ever unsure about whether a product is vegan or not, it is often best to check directly with the producer. You can read more of the legal nitty gritty here.
How can you tell if sex toys are vegan?
So how can you tell if a sex toy is vegan? Well, it’s not always that straightforward. Currently, most sex toy brands do not include the information on their packaging, and there isn’t a consensus on what exactly constitutes a vegan sex product. Often it is best to ask the brands directly, and while it can be tricky to find clear information from some, one brand that is committed to eco-and animal-friendly manufacture is Womanizer.
Here is their legal statement on their latest releases, Womanizer Premium 2, Classic 2 and Starlet 3:
WOW Tech Europe GmbH hereby confirm that we are the manufacturer of the Womanizer Premium 2, Womanizer Classic 2 and Womanizer Starlet 3 (the “Products”) and that the products are manufactured without the use of animal products. Specifically, the products do neither contain animal ingredients nor animal by-products, and the manufacturing process does not involve the use of animals. In compliance with ISO 3533:2021 – “Design and safety requirements for products in direct contact with genitalia, the anus, or both” the products are tested for biocompatibility according to ISO 10993 using In Vitro methods on lab-cultured animal cells and not In Vivo methods, on living organisms.
The rarity of Womanizer’s transparent vegan-friendly production illustrates the difficulty of assessing vegan products within the wider sex toy market, where there is very little regulation. Where in the supply chain do you stop? Often products labeled as “vegan” only look at one stage of the manufacturing process. Raw materials that are used later in the process may have used animal testing, and certain raw materials need to be used to comply with safety and hygiene standards.
How to tell if condoms are vegan?
So what about condoms? Condoms are made from latex which usually comes from the rubber tree. So far so good. But there are two main areas to watch out for:
Often latex is softened by something called casein. Casein is a derivative of cow or goat’s milk. So using these type of condoms would support the dairy industry which is not vegan. Look out for vegan-approved labels and when in doubt contact the manufacturer.
The other major area to check is animal testing. Unfortunately, many condom manufacturers still use testing on animals. Most vegans would object to this.
The same logic applies to vegan lube as to condoms (see above) You need to know if there were any animal derivatives used in the manufacturing process and if animal testing was used. Once you have established that, you can be sure that your lube is vegan.
Can a vegan diet boost sex drive?
So now you are all brushed up on vegan sex products but what about the rumors that a vegan diet can boost libido?
Everyone who tries a vegan diet has an individual response. But many people including researchers have noticed positive effects. Foods like cayenne pepper, dark chocolate, fruits, leafy greens, sunflower seeds, beets can all boost circuclation, and when it comes to sexual health, a holistic view of the body, including mind, body and soul wellness can only help matters. Additional health benefits of a vegan diet can include higher energy levels, reduced cholesterol, better circulation.
Disclaimer: before trying a vegan diet, some find it useful to consult a dietician or trained professional.
Happy vegan sex shopping!