Search Browse On This Day Map Quotations Timeline Research Free Datasets Remembered About Contact's juicy guide to sexual lubricants

Fri 6 Jul 2007 In: Safe Sex View at Wayback View at NDHA

It has always surprised me that NZ supermarket shelves present a meagre offering of sexual lubricants. Generally all that's on show is a few tubes of KY, a staple for its availability at pretty much any retailer and even dairies, sitting high above the condoms and soaps and hairdyes, out of reach of children and delicate sensibilities. Why should gay men use good sexual lubricant? For a start anal parts don't produce the quantities of natural lubricating fluids that vaginas do. This can be uncomfortable to say the least. More importantly, we must use condoms for anal sex to stem the transmission of HIV - and condoms need to be generously lubed to stop them tearing. I've heard of everything from Vaseline to moisturiser to margarine being used as lubricant for masturbation and sex; even toothpaste, which reportedly burns. In pre-homosexual decriminalisation times in the UK, home-made recipes for lubricants used to circulate. But, assuming you don't want to get out the Kenwood and mix up a batch of your own special recipie, I've been asked to examine which are the best lubricants readily available on the market - and which are a pain in the arse. My dutiful orgasmathon begins with my editor handing me a bag of lubricants from the NZ AIDS Foundation's samples cupboard. I take the bag home to my boyfriend with some glee. "We get to test all these lubes,' I say eagerly, excited about this steroid injection to our sex life, 'And then we have to write about it,' he adds glumly. No, he's not excited. Suddenly the range of silver foils and bottles seems indomitable and I don't yet even have a full selection. I arrange a visit to the head office of Eroxxx adult stores. Lucy greets me warmly. 'It must be fun doing this article,' she enthuses. I tell her I've recently broken up with a boyfriend, and that I'm suddenly free to test with abandon. She leads me into the warehouse stockroom. 'Eros was our most popular,' Lucy tells me, handing me some sachets, 'but after a hiccup with the supplier, Gun Oil is taking over in popularity stakes.' Later, it's not hard to see why. I leave with more slippery samples and a great sense of admiration for people working in an industry that is just so pleasantly real. So what ingredients are used in lubricants? A quick glance at KY gives us "glycerin, hydroxyethyl cellulose, chlorhexidine gluconate." A whole gamut of preservatives! I decide not to delve deeper into the chemical wonderland of lube ingredients and to just get on with trialling them. But thankfully most are environmentally friendly. Screw adding carbon credits to your screw. Intriguingly, KY was used to give the appearance of slime in Ghostbusters, Alien and Predator. Indeed, with some of the great products available from Erox, D-Vice and The Den, find yourself a place where no-one can hear you scream. Regardless of which product is chosen, this experience shows that it is so important to play with your sexual partner(s) at the time – life is short, play hard. Start with a massage with one of the less viscous lubricants and then knock yourselves out with a tube of Wet Stuff or a tub of Crisco. Water/saliva Possibly the most annoying lubricant for how quickly it dries, and not solely recommended for beginners of anal sex as it's not particularly effective with condoms and delicate male parts can be damaged, which is uncomfortable and increases the chance of STD transmission, particularly HIV. Baby oil I never liked baby oil. There's something chalky about it that remains after use. Better for massage but definitely handy in a fix for a wank, but NOT to be used with condoms as it can damage them and lead to breaking. Eros Eros seems to be naturally warming and holds heat. However, it is strangely hard to wash off. Eros is definitely condom friendly. Wet Stuff Wet Stuff should be so much more readily available than it is. Why KY is so popular remains a mystery – perhaps it's a heterosexual thing – but Wet Stuff is truly one of the best lubricants on the market for a reasonable price. The range includes Gold, Vitamin E, Lite, Plus, Aloe Vera, Slippery Stuff, Secrets, Flavoured, Gold, Warming, Silicon Body Glide. It's a little sticky afterwards, so better for fun when you have plenty of time to get messy, or plenty of time to clean up. Wet Stuff Gold is undoubtedly the best, but Vitamin E is also up there as one of the better products. It's a shame that the products must come with a foil seal – and this extends to most products, and the seal is usually under the heavy cap. I'd recommend removing these foils at first purchase. Like those annoyingly difficult-to-open condom packets, nothing removes the pleasure like having to fiddle with a tiny piece of foil that usually takes teeth to open – which is potentially dangerous to do with condoms, but rest assured Wet Stuff is condom-friendly. Ansell Lifestyles Wet Stuff's boring sister. Ansell looks and feels like a medical supply, but does the trick. Less glutinous than KY. Condom-friendly. Sylk I'm unsure if this product is still on the market, but I recall several years ago buying one of these ridiculously small bottles of 'natural' lubricant (Kiwifruit extract, if I recall correctly) and being overpowered by one of the most foul smelling substances ever. Condom-friendly. Blue Boy An Erox-store product, Blue Boy is somewhat understated. It does not offer anything hugely innovative or unique and sandwiches in between Wet Stuff, Ansell and Durex in its viscosity. Condom-friendly. Durex Durex's condom-friendly range is also available in supermarkets alongside KY, a development assisted no doubt by their near-monopoly on the condom range. Durex's range is great and a definite competitor the mainsteam market. The warming liquid is fun, but oddly warms better when blown on – which could be fun but means it's not so worth it if you're buying a lube primarily for anal sex (but don't let me stop you). Condom-friendly. PROBE My favourite of all lubes, thus far only available from D-Vice. PROBE resembles a biological substance uncannily. Creepy as that sounds, PROBE is hugely, exorbitantly expensive, but is well worth it. It dries best of all the lubricants listed here and is easily re-activated with a bit of saliva or water if it begins to dry out – which is its main downfall, as dry it does, and suddenly. Condom-friendly. KY It's the smell of KY that gets me. It's almost as if there is some property within it that seeps into your hands like a sponge and fills the room like an aerosol scent. It also dries irritatingly fast, and although it can be re-activated with spit or water, that has the unfortunate property of diluting it. That may be great for the company's profits but means if you're going to use KY, you may as well use PROBE or Wet Stuff – far more fun and better value for money. Condom-friendly. KY Warming Jelly Oddly, all the warming lubes tend to need to be blown on for best effect, which is great, if a little beside the point. KY Warming Jelly is a lube for straights, as shown by those hideous television ads where overweight, middle-aged baby boomers stuck in a middle-class rut hide behind newspapers instead of having sex, until their local New World stocks this expensive product. Not even remotely recommended. Condom-friendly. Man Slide Vaseline meets Gun Oil (below), and Blue Boy's older brother, but marketed not to the Twinks but the Bear and Leather types. Condom-friendly. Gun Oil Gun Oil is definitely up there as one of the better products. It's incredibly pleasurable, thicker more oily than Wet Stuff but still thin enough to serve as a great sex and masturbation product. If you're prepared for your box of sex toys or bedside drawers to become covered in a greasy patina, then this is your product: well worth it, loads of fun. Condom-friendly. Leather Leather and Gun Oil are practically indistinguishable. Leather also doubles as a great massage oil (which in turn leads to more fun). "During Operation Desert Storm," claims the website, "Marines jacked off with actual military-issue gun oil while hunkered down in the trenches of Kuwaiti battlefields." If that doesn't make you want to buy it, then you'd be advised to look to the lubes above. Leather is odourless and dries quickly. Condom-friendly. Crisco While we're on the subject of leather, Crisco is the class clown of the products. In a leather costume. Crisco is long famous for fierce bottoming and fisting, and while it can definitely be used outside of that, it's perhaps best-suited there. Of course, its real use is vegetable shortening, but where's the fun in that? In other words, it's probably edible, although in the situations I've used it no one wanted to. Great for fisting, if you like that sort of thing, but it's NOT condom friendly. Stroke 29 One of the surprise products, I had seen its like on the shelves but had been put off by the price. Stroke 29 is NOT condom-friendly and is designed specifically to be used for wanking. And, surprisingly, it's well worth it. With a texture like moisturiser, Stroke 29 is eponymous for its purpose: apparently at the 29th stroke, the heat causes the substance to take on the feel of 'human tissue'. It doesn't really, but it's great nonetheless. And I lost count, but it's well below 29 strokes before it happens. At first application it's like cold cream, by the end you won't be disappointed. Bear in mind it's expensive and better for a night in by yourself than two+ participants. Jack Jelly Jack Jelly is too expensive to be practical, being thick and requiring more and more for pleasure (and again, it's NOT to be used with condoms). It's highly similar to Vaseline, but similarly hard to clean off. Brad Schmidt - 6th July 2007    

Credit: Brad Schmidt

First published: Friday, 6th July 2007 - 2:22pm

Rights Information

This page displays a version of a article that was automatically harvested before the website closed. All of the formatting and images have been removed and some text content may not have been fully captured correctly. The article is provided here for personal research and review and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of If you have queries or concerns about this article please email us