What is ISO3533:2021 and What Does it Mean for Sex Toys?

What is ISO3533:2021 and What Does it Mean for Sex Toys?

Everything you need to know about ISO3533 for sex toys

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever put up your ass? As a sex worker, it could be stranger than the normal butt plug or partner’s dick but you’ve hopefully never wound up at the ER.

Plenty of people do get stuff stuck up their butt, though. In the UK, between 2010 and 2019, 3,500 went to hospital with stuff up their rectum they couldn’t remove – 85% of them were men.

It’s because of this trend of losing stuff up your bum that a Swedish doctor decided to revolutionize sex toys. Kind of. We’re getting into the full story, looking at:

  • The reason behind international sex toy standards
  • What the new sex toy standards are
  • What the changes mean for you, your orgasm, and your content

So you’re up to date on all the dildo news.

Why are there new international standards for sex toys?

It’s got something to do with butts, clearly.

A Swedish doctor called Martin Dahlberg noticed an increasing trend in surgeries to remove stuff from asses. He actually got together with some doctor buddies and did some research.

From 2009 to 2017, 85 Swedes went to the hospital with stuff they couldn’t pull out of their backside. Interestingly, 59% of the objects were mostly:

  • Cans
  • Bottles
  • Candles
  • Eatables

While the other 41% were sex toys.

What’s more, the doctor found himself performing removal procedures including surgery on the same person more than once.

Not one to accept such problem, the doctor approached the Swedish Institute for Standards. Surprisingly, there were no rules, regulations, or guidelines about sex toy design at all, let alone anything that would prevent anal losses.

Since the sex toy industry is worth a staggering $33.64 billion globally, it was ripe for some standards that every company making sex toys could play by to make sure the fun was the safe, non-surgery-needing kind.

What is the ISO3533:2021 for sex toys all about?

A panel of 75 experts got together to make your sex safer and the International Standards Organisation published new guidelines for toys designed to go near a vulva, penis, anus, or any other sex organs.

The rules cover things like the design of the toy, the materials used, and the information you get as a user. They’re designed to minimize risks, as long as you’re using the toy in a reasonably foreseeable way.

Here are the things the ISO3533:2021 covers, briefly:

  • Mechanical hazards, so you should be able to turn off a toy easily if it starts to malfunction
  • Vibrations standards, so you can’t come to harm with vibrations that can cause pain or damage
  • Electrical safety, meaning you won’t be able to electrocute yourself – unless that’s the point of the toy
  • Surface temperature – you don’t want to burn yourself, imagine blisters down there?
  • Wireless design, so there is user shut-off even if someone else is controlling your vibe through a remote
  • Surfaces, corners, and edges, so there’s a flared end to stop stuff going up your butt and not coming out again
  • Materials that are unlikely to cause allergic reactions – again, blisters on your bits?
  • Packaging information, so it’s clear the type of fun the toy is – and isn’t – designed for

No one’s trying to be a killjoy and take away your orgasm, just help you not cause harm to yourself.

Who has to follow ISO3533:2021 sex toy rules?

The rules put in place by the ISO aren’t the law and they can’t take anyone to court for not following them. However, they are internationally recognized and, in most industries, they’re accepted as the best way to make stuff or operate.

The famous sex toy manufacturers like Lovehoney and Adam & Eve already make their toys to a super-high standard. Adding ISO3533:2021 to the manufacturing process isn’t hard and they’ll probably want it as a badge of acceptability.

The smaller sex toy makers who just want to bang out orgasm-givers, don’t have to follow these rules.

Who is ISO anyways?

ISO is an international body that’s made up of national bodies that make the rules on business and manufacturing standards.

These standards can cover a whole bunch of things, most of which you’ll never worry about but they cover things like processes in food factories and how medical appliances should be made.

Lots of countries will use the standards laid out by the ISO to form the basis of national laws and regulations. Put simply, the organization is made up of experts and everyone trusts them, even you – but you probably don’t know it.

What does ISO3533:2021 for sex toys mean for me?

You don’t need to trash all your dildos – worry not!

Your sex toys aren’t suddenly illegal and they’re not going to burst into flames when you put them inside you.

What it does mean is that if safety is important to you, ISO3533:2021 is something you can now look for. If you’ve been plagued by poor-quality dildos, vibrators, and butt plugs in the past, you can feel more secure when you buy a toy with this certification.

It’s important to note that the standards don’t cover medical stuff that you might use in sex play. It also doesn’t cover stuff that doesn’t go near your ass or genitals, so your leg restraints or nipple clamps don’t have these standards yet.

Finally, your lube isn’t covered by ISO3533:2021. There are lots of things you need to consider when choosing the right lube, so check out our guide for full details.

What are the new rules for sex toys?

The new rules for sex toys will make your kinky, vibey, massaging fun safer. You’ll know the materials won’t harm or cut you, you’ll always be able to unlock a restraint or stop a remote control, and you won’t get burnt by an overheating vibe.

Your current toys are still cool to use – but look out for ISO3533:2021 on new toys you’re buying so you know they’re good quality.

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