You don’t need to spend a fortune on some naughties for the bedroom. For a good time, as little as fourteen Rand for a large English cucumber could turn your sex time between the sheets into an adventure. United Kingdom-based sex expert Pippa Murphy of condoms.co.uk partnered with fellow Brittan Dr Deborah Lee of well-known online wellness retailer Dr Fox Online Pharmacy to unpack some obvious and more unusual household items that can be used as sex toys and some of the safety aspects concomitant to play. Murphy said: “It’s a perfectly sensible idea to use household products during sexual activity,… You don’t need to spend a fortune on some naughties for the bedroom. For a good time, as little as fourteen Rand for a large English cucumber could turn your sex time between the sheets into an adventure. United Kingdom-based sex expert Pippa Murphy of condoms.co.uk partnered with fellow Brittan Dr Deborah Lee of well-known online wellness retailer Dr Fox Online Pharmacy to unpack some obvious and more unusual household items that can be used as sex toys and some of the safety aspects concomitant to play. Murphy said: “It’s a perfectly sensible idea to use household products during sexual activity, people have been doing it for centuries. However, it’s important to know which items to avoid, and what rules you should follow to avoid an injury. An electric toothbrush The same vibration capabilities that keep your teeth clean can add some purr to your sex pleasure. Said Murphy: “When you insert it into you, make sure to use the non-bristled end and only turn it on once it’s inside”. Dr Lee recommends using a different toothbrush for brushing your teeth. A tablespoon If you place the rounded bottom part of a tablespoon on your clitoris and rub it in a circular motion, you’ll find yourself getting sexually stimulated super quickly. Place it in the fridge or freezer for 10 minutes before you use it, you’ll find yourself getting even more revved up for sex, solo, paired or in a “moresome”. Murphy said it’s important to remember to sanitise the piece of cutlery first and then to put it aside, and not use it at mealtime again. Fruit and vegetables, such as aubergines, bananas, carrots, and cucumbers Fresh eggplant on wooden background. Picture: iStock Said Murphy : “There’s a reason that people use bananas to teach people how to put condoms on. The same can be said for aubergines, carrots and cucumbers, which along with bananas, resemble a penis and, therefore, can be used for penetration”. Dr Lee and Murphy recommend that this kind of sex play should include covering the fruit and veggie props with a condom to protect the vaginal wall from coming into direct contact with the vegetable’s outer surface, as these can be covered in bacteria and fungi, which can cause an infection. Ice cubes Ice is a fantastic toy the pair said. It can be used in foreplay by being slowly run over your partner’s nipples, then down the torso towards their intimate areas. Also placing a cube of ice in your mouth prior to giving your partner oral sex can be a game changer. Then, wrap a condom around the ice cube. It can then be inserted into the vagina for increased sexual pleasure. Do not do this without a condom as the coldness of the ice could cause painful burns inside the vagina. It can be incredible, but be careful. A hairbrush A hairbrush, believe it or not, can be a fun tool for penetration. That is, using the non-bristled end, of course. And make sure it has a rounded handle-end. Also, dress it up with a condom for safety and do not use a wooden handled brush, but stick to plastic or rubber. It’s always safety first, said Murphy and Dr Lee. Before you play, make sure that you de-risk the sex exercise. Said Murphy: “The vagina is a delicate part of the female body, with a finely tuned bacterial ecosystem. It can be easily traumatised, or a local infection or allergy could develop. The rectum and anus are not designed for sexual intercourse, and insertion of objects into the anal canal risk causing an anal tear, a local infection, or an allergic reaction.” Taking precautionary measures, said Dr Lee, is therefore important. She said: “Always choose something with a smooth surface and rounded edges that cannot cause any damage. In addition, use an object you could cover with a male condom that will not weaken latex or cause a condom to split and avoid wooden objects, as these are porous, hard to keep clean, and could splinter”. Dr Lee also noted that choosing items you will be able to remove after sex is important. What goes in, must come out. Solid objects are a good option, and spreadable food like peanut butter, she said, is not. Sanitising these fun household toys are as important. Dr Lee lists a few critical items: Photo: iStock Use a damp, soapy washcloth If the product is water resistant, you can use a damp, soapy washcloth to clean it. Simply apply some anti-bacterial soap to the dishcloth, submerge it in water, drain the washcloth and then scrub for 20 seconds. Just make sure to pick a mild, unscented soap so that you don’t mess with your vagina’s PH balance and cause an infection. Never put the item in a dishwasher Whatever you do, never put your sex toy in the dishwasher. For a start, this is likely to damage any electronic items, such as a toothbrush, but most scarily, the dishwasher leaves a residue that could cause an infection in your vagina once you use it again. Always let the item air dry Once you’ve cleaned your sex toy, place it on a clean paper towel and allow it to air dry. This is the best way of preventing lint from getting stuck to the item and causing a potential infection. However, it also allows the nooks and crannies to fully dry preventing a build-up of mould. Finally, if your sex toy is battery-operated, make sure to leave the battery case open when air drying. Hold off using it for at least 24 hours Some studies show that even if a sex toy is washed, some viruses can remain on it for up to 24 hours after cleaning. With this in mind, please exercise caution by not using your item for this length of time.