The Sticky World of Lubricants

“Made with natural ingredients.” I read once in large letters on the packaging of lubricant from a brand that I won’t mention. After reading the list of ingredients, however, I discovered that apart from Aloe Vera extract, the remainder of the ingredients list consisted of substances with long and unpronounceable names. I doubted that they were natural.

I consider myself to be quite a connoisseur where erotic products are concerned. But when it comes to lubricants I must confess that I’m quite lost. It’s something that I don’t use personally or, rather, it’s something that I haven’t needed to use.¬† Another thing that doesn’t convince me is the fact that many lubricants are scented. I don’t like the message that conveys: it’s as if it’s necessary to camouflage our intimate aroma.

Despite my prejudices, when I had the opportunity to delve further into the world of lubricants, I tried to do so with an open mind. After acquiring numerous lubricants of all kinds: water based, silicone, scented, unscented, warming, cooling, stimulating gel and more, I decided to study the ingredients in more depth.

Something that caught my attention was the phrase “glycerine free” which can be found prominently on the packaging of more expensive brands of lubricant. Its importance suggests it is an undesirable ingredient. I found this intriguing because glycerine is the main ingredient in the majority of the lubricants that I have.

As I investigated further, I discovered that many independent experts recommended that it’s best to avoid lubricants with this ingredient. For example, Dr. Mary Marnach, a specialist in obstetrics and gynecology at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, noted that glycerin is broken down into sugars and promotes the fungal infection Candida and possibly even bacterial vaginosis. I ¬†found other opinions that contradicted this, but they were few and far between. The more I discovered about the safety issues of lubricants, the more my concerns grew about their osmolarity, PH, and other ingredients that could be potentially harmful.

It seemed that the more I tried to learn about the sticky world of lubricants, the more confused I became. I ended up even less convinced about their safety than when I started. It also depends on what you intend to use them for. Instead of dismissing them from my own sex life, I decided to expand my imagination and use them for other things.

After all, a lubricant not only serves to relieve vaginal dryness but may also be used externally. For example, to stimulate a man manually or with your feet (foot-job). Some long-lasting ones can even be used for a massage. A stimulating gel is also great for nipples. I’ve also found that you can use the silicone-based lubricants as hair serum.

I know that someday in the future, during a moment of passion, my body will not respond as I wish. When, and if, that happens I will have to resort to lubricants and use them for their intended purpose. When this happens, I can only hope that there will be lubricants that suit me and agree with me and not just be crap that sells. And, above all, I hope that the words “made with natural ingredients” printed on a package, happen to be true.

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Translation of ‘El mundo pegajoso de los lubricantes‘, published in El Pais.

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