You searched for kegel — Dangerous Lilly

Nov 072012
 

For those who have read the 50 Shades of Grey books (I, sadly, read the whole trilogy so that I could comment on it all with knowledge and then I lost the interest to even write the damn rant) you may remember that in a number of scenes, Christian Grey instructs Anastasia to insert a stainless steel (for everything with this damn idiotic man is gray/steel it seems) kegel ball for her to wear once while in public and another time or two during a spanking. It’s been awhile since reading the books though so I don’t know what they referred to it as, exactly. It wasn’t a Ben Wa ball. Those are generally the same theory as the larger Kegel beads on the market, which something rattle-y inside, but are much smaller and have no retrieval cord. As described in the book, the object Mr. Grey used was 2 steel silver beads linked with black thread. That just doesn’t work in reality.

The Stainless Steel Geisha Love Ball kegel exerciser similar to the kegel bead described in 50 Shades of Grey  The Stainless Steel Geisha Love Ball vs the Original Lelo Luna Beads

Shelley’s Toy Box asked me to review an item for them and at the time I chose this because I had actually been looking to see if this “fictional” sex toy existed anywhere other than the author’s warped imagination. While the Stainless Steel Geisha Love Ball isn’t exactly what Anastasia used, it’s about as close as you’ll find on the market I think. Heavy, cold and made in Germany, these are not your average Kegel exercisers. Shelley’s Toy Box has two styles….with one chain dangling down, or two. I don’t quite understand what the difference is between those, really. More weight hanging outside the vagina to offer resistance, maybe?

As with all steel toys, the kegel ball will be cold at first unless you warm it in your hand a minute, but it does warm up to body temperature very quickly and retains that temperature….the dangling chain and attached little balls are another matter though and they may retail some chill.

The Stainless Steel Geisha Love Ball is sadly not something I will recommend for anyone who actually wants a Kegel exerciser. The Luna Beads have everything over on this item – they are more noticeable during wear, they are easier to sanitize, they are more customizable with weight and just all around more practical. The Geisha Love Ball weighs 90 grams; the chains and balls attached take the entire thing up to 120 grams. Lelo’s Luna Beads can be used together or singularly; each pink bead is 28 grams, each blue bead is 37 grams. This means that the Geisha Love Ball by itself weighs more than two blue Luna Beads together….and unless you have well-developed PC muscles, it is not recommended that you start out with 2 blue balls. Also, the chain with the ball(s) at the end? The chain is fairly long, which is necessary for a retrieval method, but those damn metal balls present a new problem – unless you’re wearing jeans, the clunk of the balls resting inside your panties as you sit down on a wooden chair is noticeable. Even for me.

The description on the site also says that these beads, since they are all metal, will rattle inside of you more noticeably ….. yet they do not. I stood here and danced around and I could barely feel them even whilst trying to simulate the twist. So perhaps these might be good for a novelty item and best suited for BDSM play where the wearer must keep these inside while their dominant tugs on the chains? However at $90-110 each, it’s a little much for novelty.

Since these are stainless steel, they can be sanitized fairly easily. However, I do not recommend that you drop it into a pot of boiling water. As I discussed recently regarding Lelo Luna Beads, the item may sustain a little damage if it knocks the sides of the pot during boiling. In comments of that post, Elspeth told of her marvelous work-around – use a colander in the pot! This way the items never touch the hot metal bottom of the pot, or bang the sides and all is protected. This does matter even with a stainless steel item, as they are not entirely scratch-resistant. However, cleaning this chain is not such as easy task. In fact, it might be the design’s major flaw. That chain is very, very difficult to clean in between the tight links.

While the Geisha Love Ball looks a lot more bad-ass than the Lelo Luna Beads, I would still recommend Luna Beads over this any day.

Apr 052012
 

The Bedroom Kandi line’s Hold On To Me is a kegel exerciser set that is similar in execution to the Lelo Luna Beads. There are a lot of differences between the two products but a lot of similarities, namely, the ability to gradually increase the weight of the beads as your muscles get stronger. Both products feature 4 ABS plastic spheres/balls/beads, the ability to use one or two at a time, and a silicone “holster” for when you want to use two at a time. Since I do a lot of comparisons in my reviews it’s only natural that I’ll be doing a lot of comparing in this one to the Lelo Luna Beads because it is a product that has been around for years and so many are familiar with them. The Hold On To Me spheres are a lot more femme-y and girly looking whereas the Luna Beads look more plain. This is a type of product though that, for me, design is a far distant second to function.

 

While the Luna Beads are only 2 different weights (the pink beads are 28 grams each and the blue beads are 37 grams each) the Hold On To Me set contains 1 bead each of 4 different weights. All beads look identical, but there is gold paint on the outside to differentiate between them, like dots on dice. The bead weights are: 25 grams, 30 grams, 35 grams, 40 grams. A big different between the HOTM and Luna beads is the size. Luna Beads are 36mm while HOTM beads are only 30mm. 6mm might not seem like a lot but it matters. Users of the Luna Bead system who found that the beads were a little too big for comfort might enjoy the smaller size of the Bedroom Kandi Hold On To Me set. The holster for the HOTM beads is also more diminutive and a lot more flexible – this can be a good thing or bad. I personally found that this floppiness made the 2-bead set harder to insert than the more sturdy Luna Beads. Also, for the Luna Beads the retrieval cord appears to simply be cotton string but it is a nylon coated string. It doesn’t absorb fluids or stain, and it is attached to the bead itself. For the HOTM set, the retrieval cord is part of the holster – and it is very stretchy. In fact, it stretches out to double the original length. This is bad. You do not want stretch on a removal cord. Why?

It’s like a rubberband. Literally. The sleekness of the material combined with the small size and stretch is a recipe for disaster when met with slippery fingers. And your fingers will be slippery because in most women the use of kegel beads increases their natural vaginal lubrication. I had an issue with this and it resulted in a rubberband-like painful snap to my labia. Yes, you’re all cringing and crossing your legs right now as well you should be. I’m not the only reviewer who had this problem, Sada K did as well.

Another problem with the design is this “dot” system for designating the weights. The paint is on the outside of the plastic spheres, not the inside. And it does indeed rub off. I used my double set twice and washed them 4 times. You can see below that the gold painted dots are completely gone and the BK logo has faded considerably. Where did this paint go? What is it made of?? I don’t know, and it concerns me. Sada had this same problem as well.

The spheres look quite a bit different in the online photos than in person. Online they appear to be mostly magenta but in reality it is a clear ABS plastic sphere with a magenta colored weight inside that rattles around. When reading about how the Lelo Luna Beads work, they specifically state that you don’t have to do anything, that it is basically a passive exerciser. As the weights “vibrate” (they don’t really, it just sorta feels that way) and rattle around inside the plastic outer ball, that whole motion is tapping your kegel muscles, making them contract slightly without intervention. I can confirm that is true because one time I just stepped right up to using both of the blue Luna Beads for a few hours (stupid) and the next day my kegel muscles were sore. Like “too many sit-ups” sore. Except, ya know, not my abs. Some people don’t like that obvious rattling feeling of the Luna Beads; those people would perhaps appreciate the Hold On To Me spheres better. The plastic sphere is smaller but the size of the weight appears to be the same so you don’t get that somewhat-pronounced rattle that the Luna Beads produce, the HOTM is more subtle. So subtle that for me it didn’t really do anything. I tried the 2 lighter weight beads at first and then the next day the 2 heavier ones and I never felt the “whoa too much” soreness.

However, the manual never claims that the spheres will work that way. The manual actually tells you to do active kegel exercises while wearing the beads. Which, to me, defeats the purpose. Other kegel exercisers that you are meant to work against are larger, more solid, somewhat like a dildo. You clench around it, and well….I don’t know how they work exactly, I’ll be honest. But I know that you don’t insert them up inside the vaginal canal completely, like you do with balls/beads/spheres. So judging from the manual, the whole thing seems very pointless. I did do kegel exercises while wearing these and couldn’t discern that they were helping me in that way. And it’s not like you have to walk around all clenched up lest they fall out.

Speaking of the manual and instruction, I ran across some very troubling information in the exercises section. OhMiBod/Bedroom Kandi was actually recommending that if you’re unsure how to clench the PC muscles, you repeatedly stop and re-start the flow of urine while on the toilet. Repeatedly. As an exercise, not as a “training” guide to familiarize yourself with how and where and what to clench. That is not healthy! I can remember hearing from Ducky Doolittle (whom I consider to be the kegel master, she knows more than the average doctor) that it is problematic because it can cause infection and it can also bring about “overactive” bladder, which is the opposite of what you want! I immediately emailed BK via OMB about this, and heard back from Brian, founder of OhMiBod. According to him there was only a small run produced and many of these went to reviewers and such so a change in the manual is possible; he said they would change that part, I hope they do.

Finally, my biggest problem with the HOTM product is the material. It is stated that the black holster is silicone. I questioned Brian on this after I performed a flame test (which failed spectacularly) and he has held fast to the statement that the material is silicone, food-grade. I questioned if it might be a blend and he claimed that he consulted the lab paperwork to find that it was not a blend. He also tried the flame test himself and says that he did not have the results that I did. I don’t have proof of this, but he came off as a fairly honest individual. However, I took the item in question with me to MomentumCon knowing that there would be retailers and manufacturers present. I showed my holster to them and no one hesitated to say that it didn’t appear to be pure silicone. You can see the destruction of material in the photos below, but a video and more in-depth post will be published very shortly is up explaining the flame test and showing various results.

UPDATE: As we go along, we learn more about the various types of silicone. We’ve learned that these results actually ARE in line with how certain silicones behave. I now do believe that the material is, in fact, pure silicone.

All in all, I’m not a fan of this product and I can’t recommend it. Silly name aside, the material safety issues and ineffectiveness of the weighted balls leaves me cold. The color scheme is pretty (to me, but then I love black and magenta). The box and packaging is nice and reminiscent (at first) to a cross between Njoy and Lelo. Except that it’s not. When you first open the container you see the spheres all nestled in a cloud of black satin. This is achieved by a cardboard riser with holes in it that are just barely big enough for the spheres to lay partially in but not fall through. They’re held in place firmly, though. Too firmly. In fact I had trouble pulling the ones in holsters out (that damn stretchy cord) so I had to remove the whole thing and push them out from underneath. After that the magic was lost and I tossed that part. However if you’re willing to forgive it, it would make for a decent travel case – albeit large – because they wouldn’t rattle. They do include though a satin drawstring pouch for travel.

I really think that the idea of gradually increasing the weights is ingenious and so I’ll continue to recommend the Lelo Luna beads instead. 

Dec 292009
 

Alas, my holidays are tinged with a cold. Oddly, the last 2 New Years Eve I’ve been sick or coming down with it that night. Actually, not just the last two in a row, but others before it too. This time it hit the week prior, and my chest cold sunk its hooks in two days before Christmas. It’s mostly a chest cold with some head cold symptoms sneaking their way in.

What does this have to do with Kegel exercises?

I’m coughing a lot.

Today, especially, I’m sneezing a lot.

It happens more often to me when I sneeze than cough, thats when it is the most obvious. Yup, a lil squirt, a lil leak. The pee-sneeze. Or sneeze-pee. It’s something that’s apparently more common in pregnant women or women who’ve given birth before. I suspect that mine is perhaps weight related? Either way, I need to get back to using my Lelo Luna Beads.

Articles about this will tell you do to 15 minutes every day of Kegel exercises. I like the Luna Beads because you don’t have to *do* anything. Just having them inside of your vagina does enough. It’s the weights in the beads that move, and as they roll and gently tap your PC muscles, they exercise those muscles. There are more vigorous Kegel exercisor tools, called “barbells” which are weight things that could resemble a plain non-sexually shaped dildo. With this you actively use them, you insert them a little and draw them inside your cunt by squeezing the PC muscles which pulls the barbell in. I’ve not tried any of these, but that mainly because I Know Myself. I’m lazy. I’m forgetful. I’d much rather use the Luna Beads for a few hours a day. I like the Luna Beads better than the Smartballs because with the Luna Beads you can change up the weights. One bead, two beads, two sets of weighted balls gives you 5 configurations. Do the different weights make a difference? I thought so. I went too quickly to the heavier beads because they didn’t feel that different – the next day I was a little sore. Went back to the lighter weight ones and built up to the heavier ones (the blue).

From what I have read online, the type of incontinence that comes as a lil drib when you cough sneeze or laugh is usually treatable and reversible by doing Kegel exercises.

 Posted by at 10:15 pm
Oct 122017
 

CN: mental health, grief, weight/loss and physical health issues

“This is a call to all my past resignations, it’s been far too long.”

Every time I draft a post like this I wonder “Should I really publish this? Does it really belong here?” but then I remember that at the end of the day this is MY blog. A blog. A personal space to write whatever the fuck I want and I do not have to be perfect and be “on-brand” with every post. I never have been so why start now, right? Being authentic online is not something everyone does because, hey, we like to appear that we’ve “got this” but I’m just tryin to be me.

You may have noticed a distinct lack of posts this year, but it ebbs and flows. I’ve written half as much as I did in 2016. I’ve already discussed mental health issues earlier in the year but they don’t seem to be letting up. I’ve spent my year dealing with anxiety worrying about my partner’s mental health and our jobs. It’s eaten away at me. My depression is likely a symptom of my overall terrible mental health.

I thought for sure that attending Woodhull’s 2017 Sexual Freedom Summit would revitalize me, and the blog. But it didn’t. That same month was the 20th anniversary of my father’s death. Why is it that this anniversary hit me so hard when other years the date passed by without my even noticing? I’m not sure yet, but it wrecked me. For weeks I couldn’t stop crying. I’ve tried talking with psychics and mediums for some relief/closure, but that has opened up another can of worms. There’s really a lot more to it than that but this paragraph is all I have it in me to write about this topic.

I’ve spent a good part of this year worrying about, being anxious about, so so much: a family member, my partner, a few good friends, my health. I’ve spent a lot of time worried over politics. There’s been impatience and spinning tires. Worry. Anxiety, Tears. Anger. “Where’s the good stuff?” you’re probably asking. Well – I don’t know. I mean, it happened. There’s also been love, laughter, and support. But there’s also a big disconnect for me.

I’m currently trying, for the 15th attempt, to lose weight. My health hasn’t been good and frankly I’m worried about dying young but that could just be my health anxieties taking over. I have a few diagnosis reasons to have some concerns and that’s why I’m working so hard, again, and hoping it sticks this time. But as usual I’m being hard on myself. I’ve lost 20 pounds but that’s not good enough; it’s a drop in the bucket; it happened too slowly, etc. #noadviceplease

I haven’t been able to write, lately. That last post was something I’d actually written months ago but never published. The thought of writing a review, for the most part, makes me want to retreat. Maybe a real good salt-report hate-on review would get my attention but otherwise it’s hard. And my list is growing. I have some Blush Novelties items and a Sola vibrator that deserve attention, but I know they’re understanding. I have those new Je Joue Bullets. I have a bunch of Kegel exercise products I need to write about but I’ve been having a weird disconnect with my vagina this year and penetration/insertion isn’t on my top 30 list of things to do. Hence my using and reviewing things like the Funkit Cashew plug hasn’t happened yet. Because of the way I write my reviews, with many comparisons to other, similar items it’s been hard to deal with writing about the O Wand, those Je Joue bullets, etc. I have a lovely Doxy 3 to tell you about, and a confounding Hot Octopuss Queen Bee to figure out. There are even items I have some interest in (or feel an obligation to) but I’ve refused to be sent anything anymore until I can get through this review queue to mitigate guilt a little. 

My depression and overall mental health made me skip my blogging anniversary this year. I will admit I’ve had a few passing thoughts lately of “maybe I’m done?” but I don’t know what to do with that. A psychic told me that “this” is my career – that thing you do for passion and love, that thing that drives you. She told me I’m good at this career and that it needs to evolve. But, according to her, that evolution needs to involve me disclosing to my immediate family and being more “out”. I don’t think I have the courage for all of that, though. And really, evolve to what? Being an educator is HARD. I’ve seen the hustle and the struggle from so many of you. I don’t want to put myself through that – frankly I’m too damn old and cranky for all that. But what else is there that is “next” from this?

Instead of writing I’ve put what I could into other things – supporting friends, building a new/old project, fostering a little more community, and attempting to course-correct my poor health. So this is where I’m at. I don’t know when the next review will be, I don’t know how good it’ll be. But this confession had to be written and that’s that. Please, don’t feel the need to comment. I know folks mean well but hearing “hey it’s your blog, you can write when and what you choose” is more harmful than helpful in some odd way. This is the State of the Union and well…..we’ll see what’s next, I guess. I have things I want to accomplish here but it all somehow seems too hard.

 Posted by at 9:29 am
Dec 252016
 

Due to something that was an experiment-turned-Big-Thing1, I wrote more frequently this year than I have in recent years. I’m branching out a little with this list to talk about sex toys I loved, loathed, wanted to love, and hope to love. Sometimes though I couldn’t pick one item so there’s also a few companies I want to highlight – good AND bad.  This post won’t be my only 2016 round-up though, so stay tuned for more.

Stand Out Sex Toys of 2016

Womanizer PRO40Womanizer PRO40 – The PRO40 didn’t get it’s own review, but it was part of the Womanizer vs Satisfyer comparison post. Despite me liking the PRO40 the best of all of them, I couldn’t be bothered to do a full review since, by and large, it was the same thing as before with some seemingly minor changes. But oh, the changes they were. A lower price! Waterproof! Up and Down buttons! No rhinestones! It’s the same technology as all other Womanizer versions, but it is cheaper. The motor is better than the Satisfyer Pro 2 but perhaps a little less finessed than the Womanizer W100 or W500. I first tried the Womanizer W100 last fall and was blown away. This year this type of sex toy has become my go-to clitoral sex toy. Yes, even more than the Tango. Seriously.

TengaIrohaKushiTenga Iroha Kushi– It’s squishy. It’s cute. The vibrations are fairly rumbly and have enough power to get me off. And that tip is super-pin-point in the best way. I wasn’t in love with the first line of Iroha squishy vibes, but I’m a convert now. I love the seashell look and shape, and my reservations about the grooves were erased when I saw how easy it is to clean. I’ve tried the whale (Yoru), but didn’t like the shape at all. If the shape and color of a red bird appeals to you more then try the Tori– I think it’ll be just like the Kushi.

NudeImpressions1Blush Nude Impressions 01 – I’m not a fan of Blush overall so it was hard for me to put this here. Really hard. But I couldn’t help myself with this darn good, affordable vibrator. It’s waterproof. It’s rechargeable. It has a strong suction cup. It’s silicone (of course). The vibrations are fairly strong and rumbly – it’s no We-Vibe Rave but for the price range and qualities, I think it gets overlooked. It can be used in a harness. It’s butt safe. It’s good for g-spots. It’s even good for external stimulation. Should I go on?

Favorite Sex Toy Companies of 2016

funkit2Funkit -This year I was blown away by the designs of Funkit. Yes, the first thing I focused on was the clear silicone and swirls of pigment but then I noticed the designs. I noticed how hard Kenton was working to perfect the designs and the lengths Kenton will go to to ensure that everything is as high-quality as possible. At first there were just a few dildos and a plug, but now there are paddles and hand-sex rings and even ball gags. Fancy a certain color combo? Funkit can abide. Shevibe is now stocking a few select colors/models from Funkit (including the rainbow “Crista” design)!

crownedjewelsCrowned Jewels -In a world rife with counterfeit stainless steel sex toy designs the originality and beauty of Crowned Jewels stood out.  Offering up stainless steel alternatives in either titanium (anodized for extra awesomeness) or aluminum alloys, these lightweight metal designs can be especially great for folks who worry that the heft of Njoy steel is too much. While their designs, for now, are a bit on the short and slender side, bigger (and better?) things are coming!  I’m excited to see the direction this company will take and their future designs.

wevibesyncpositionsWe-Vibe – “Wouldn’t it be awesome if there was a g-spot vibrator with the motor of the Tango?” is probably something many many folks have said over the years. So We-Vibe listened, and created the Rave. Then they listened to the many complaints and downfalls of the typical rabbit vibe, and fixed that too by adding the motor of the tango. And making a unique and powerful clitoral arm. Nova is my number 2 favorite dual-stim sex toy (the L’amourse Denia is the top, but it was on last year’s list). And even though the flagship We-Vibe, that c-shaped couples vibe, has never been something I needed or loved, I have to give props to their new Sync. They fixed the “fit” issue so that it would accommodate the genitals of more people2, and made the motor more rumbly and powerful. It’s not perfect, of course – the Bluetooth doesn’t work when surrounded by flesh because of the position of the antenna3. Because of that it’ll probably never work for me, or others with large full labia, but who knows – maybe they’ll listen, and change that, too. I continue to look forward to their future vibrators! 

DoxyvDoxywideDoxy – While I love the Doxy Don (it used to be the Skittle), I don’t use it much these days. And while I appreciate the Doxy Wands, I never use them because I’m not a fan of broad stimulation or vibrations that aren’t deeply rumbly.  So why are they here? Because they are a stand-up company. Their products are high-quality, their customer service is superb and they’ve managed to hire a stellar manager for their US-based operations; Ruby is an amazing human. AND they sent Girl on the Net to us for Woodhull’s SFS16. Doxy has a few products coming down the pike for 2017 that I am 98% certain I’m going to fall in love with, so be EXCITED.

Problem Child Sex Toy Companies of 2016

lelohex22Lelo fell out of my favor years ago but it’s been getting worse. They started the year with a useless piece of fabric called the Penis Tuxedo, and took up the rest of the year on their even-more-useless condom, the Hex. They partnered with Charlie Sheen, a celeb known for abusing women, to act as their spokesperson and liaison to breaching Civilian Land as they try to fancy themselves a condom maker and sex toy maker. The promotion of a condom that can break and users don’t even know it broke is dangerous, ironic (Sheen is HIV+) and plain stupid. Any sex educator who promotes the Hex as a good condom has earned my distrust, and I’m done recommending Lelo products, period.

tracys-dog-burnTracy’s Dog – I loathed the company for a long time based on the brand name and the fact that they only sold their products on Amazon. Then I saw that they were including fake lab test reports on suspect dildos sent to reviewers; they lied about the lab tests and lied about the material. So when I was searching for a cheap, clear sex toy to use in my clear silicone post I couldn’t resist the purchase of the Tracy’s Dog rabbit, especially since 90% of the Amazon listing called it silicone. It’s not. I wouldn’t recommend buying anything from this brand; there are other brands to support instead, and Tracy’s Dog doesn’t have anything truly unique.

meoMEO.de – What happens when a sex toy retailer puts out a line of house-branded Njoy steel knockoffs, sells house-brand silicone lube mispackaged as water-based lube4, and labels a TPR-headed wand vibrator as silicone because they believe silicone is a “concept”? “We mainly use the concept of “silicone” in the German-speaking world. Our customers understand the term “silicone” a plastic, which is soft and moldable.” I get mad. Other bloggers get mad. And I realize that I can’t recommend them to my readers.  I don’t have a way to test which grade of stainless steel a company may be using and if it’s truly the most body-safe choice, so when I see something priced much lower than njoy, it is highly suspect in my eyes. MEO isn’t the worst ever but have made enough mistakes to cause me concern.

Worst Sex Toys of 2016

Fiera Arouser for HerFiera Arouser – The Fiera “don’t call it a sex toy” Arouser was only given to me for review by the company because I demonstrated the apparent ability to make them feel that I wouldn’t be mad in my review that it didn’t give me orgasms, because it’s not for orgasms, and also because I’ve been dealing with a very low libido. It’s a $200 (or $249 depending) item that is meant as a “warm up”. By combining some suction and light vibration, this sex toy is supposed to basically get you in the mood for sex, or something. But it won’t give you an orgasm, they don’t want it to, and insist that’s not the point. Your husband should give you the orgasm – and please read that bit with the incredulous sarcasm that is in my head. Also, the silicone head has to be replaced every few uses and they’re about $5 each.  It is gendered, hetero, and frankly – insulting. Try literally any other sex toy to achieve the same results. Yes, sex toy, because that’s what this IS.

JimmyJane Intro 4 and 6 with the Form 4 in the backgroundJimmyJane Intro Collection – I tried to give it a chance. I even psyched myself up and expected to enjoy it – rather than expecting to hate it like most Jimmyjame products I’ve tried and verbally (or literally) lit aflame. And boy was I sorely disappointed. I said in the review that I don’t hate the Intro pieces but I’m far from loving them, however as time has marched on I’ve gotten more salty over it especially after reading more about the Intro 2. There are plenty of other affordable sex toys that are better than anything in the Intro Line so please, do not waste your money on these buzzy, half-ass vibrations covered in lint-attracting silicone with some strange shapes.

missvvMiss VV’s Mystery / Miss On The Go – I couldn’t even give this one a proper review because this crappy product requires an app to be useful. And the app never worked for me, an Android user with the latest Samsung phone. First, the app claimed my Bluetooth wasn’t compatible5, and then the app just kept crashing. They don’t anticipate a fix for months, apparently. Good fucking thing I didn’t actually pay for this! To boot, the kegel exerciser is painful to wear as there is no “bend” or give in between the two sections. And that tail! So long! I couldn’t keep it in my pants. Even more strange was the fact that I kept getting notifications on my phone saying that “pillowprincess has canceled the invitation to play”. This means that someone supposedly was allowing me to chat with them and control their useless vibrator. How could this happen though with an app that has never worked? Maybe it’s the Ashley Madison syndrome – not enough users, so bots are available to control or be controlled to make you feel like the experience isn’t totally worthless.  And at $169, with buzzy, weak vibrations, Miss VV’s (real) Mystery is that someone thought this was a good idea. Raise a glass to yet another crowd-funded failure, folks.

Sex Toys of 2016 I Expected to Love More

tantusrumbleTantus Rumble – I wanted to love it, because Tantus. The body design is wonderful – ergonomic and lightweight, with removeable silicone heads for easy cleaning and sanitization. The let-down lay in what many of felt the name implied: rumbles. We admittedly all expected powerful, strong and rumbling vibrations due to words used in marketing. What we have are more gentle vibrations that are somewhere in between buzzy and rumbly. I can recommend it for folks who like broad stimulation and gentle-to-moderate vibrations, but for myself I just don’t love it.

vibratex mystic rechargeable wandMystic Wand Rechargeable – With a motor that felt just a bit buzzier than the original and construction problems making my wand not safe for further use, I was underwhelmed. Even if the silicone were glued on better, the vibrations are just not as amazing as the battery-powered version. It’s such a disappointment because otherwise I adore the body design. Another lightweight, ergonomic wand – albeit with vibrations more powerful than the Tantus Rumble.

swanwandSwan Wand – Fellow lovers of rumbling vibrations urged me to try the Swan Wand, and my few sessions with it left me a little disappointed. The larger end is the rumbly end and boy is it powerful and rumbly, but it’s too large for me to insert. No problem, it could just as easily be an external, broad stimulation vibrator – except I don’t prefer broad stimulation. The Swan Wand is dual-sided and nice, and it clearly is a favorite of many bloggers….just not my favorite. But I don’t hate it, either. I hope to get my full review up soon. The lovely Nashville-based Friction sent it to me and if you are in the Nashville area, contact RoseMarie!

Sex Toys I Look Forward to Trying in 2017

cravebulletCrave Bullet – I got to feel the vibrations when I visited Sexplorations in October, and liked it but I need more use time. I know that the world doesn’t really need another bullet, and I know it can’t best the Tango but something in me needs to try it. Despite the higher-than-Tango price tag on some colors. Hell I’d also like to try other Crave products, like the soft Crave Flex or Crave Solo – although the $139 price tag on the Crave Solo has kept me away all this time and it may prove to keep me away for good.

funkitFunkit CashewCashew is their plug, which can be for vaginal or anal use but I think it was designed to be a vaginal plug. I’m lazy and usually don’t like to thrust dildos anymore so a plug sounds dandy. Ages ago I used a particularly short and curvy wood dildo as a vaginal plug and loved it; then I tried a plug version of the defunct Jollie and hated it because it lacked an exterior base, so removal was a real bitch – it was like a silicone potato. But the Funkit base reportedly won’t get in the way, much, keeping the path for clitoral stimulation open while giving an easy out. The blue-green color of Cashew is at Shevibe now! Bonus!

bswishBswish Wand – Historically I’ve hated every Bswish thing I’ve tried; their motors were always weak as fuck as super buzzy. But the buzz on the street is that the wand is equal to or slightly better than the Mystic Wand so I’m intrigued! Given the price point on this, $31.99, I’m having conflicting feels. I can’t judge anything by the required 4 AAA batteries, since my beloved-and-now-departed Mystic Wand also took batteries.

lumberjillLumberjill Leisurecrafts – Soon to be stocked at Shevibe, I’m interested in trying out more wood sex toys. The designs of Mr Dick Carver have proven to be unique and interesting, without looking anything like Nobessence or, worse, a table leg. Wood is an amazingly beautiful material that is safe when coated properly, and no…..no splinters. It’s probably the least-understood and appreciated safe sex toy material. When coated in a permanently-slick waterproof coating, wood is as slick as glass but les fragile.

 

Hopefully you’ve found things to buy, things to avoid, and know where to spend your holiday money now. Did you have a favorite (or awful) sex toy this year that is notable? Let us know in comments!

  1. It turns out that by offering my RSS subscribers the chance to win not one $50 gift card, but three $50 gift cards, with the link to the gift card entry page only published in the weekly RSS newsletter, I felt compelled to write enough to have at least 3 RSS newsletters go out per month. Many years I would have months in which I only wrote a single post, but not 2016
  2. but like any sex toy, it won’t work for everyone
  3. on the side, under the serial numbers – if that spot is not “seeing the light of day”, Bluetooth won’t really work well and for me and my labia, that will never happen
  4. Causing toy damage with users – they recalled via emails
  5. if the latest phone isn’t compatible….then what is??

The Big Lube Guide

 

LubeGuide

This page is all about something you don’t see me talking about much here – Lube. Just because I don’t review it and don’t use it much, doesn’t mean it’s not super important for most people. I happen to (usually) produce enough natural lubricant on my own and so it’s not something I use very often. I also don’t use sex toys anally, so there’s that. Anal activities **require** lube, and lots of it. For many people with a vagina, irregardless of arousal, they need lube – whether it’s just how their body is, or it’s a side effect of a medication they’re on, or it’s part of their health issues OR the sex toy they’re using is particularly textured. It’s normal to use lube!  But not all lube is created equal. In fact, I’m sorry to tell you that most readily-available commercial lubes SUCK.  Plus, the best lube for sex (vaginal) may not be the best lube for anal sex and may not be the best lube for masturbation. Chances are pretty good that if you’re using a quality sex toy made from body-safe materials and you are experiencing irritation and burning anyways, the irritation and burning is coming from your lube. Whether it’s bad for you, bad all around, or it went bad. Yes, lube does expire! And most of us aren’t about to make yam lube, either, so I’ve gotta help you find the best commercial lubes out there that won’t poison your genitals.

Explain it Like I’m 5 – What’s Osmolality?

LUBE-OSMO-QUICK

We’ve got three situations – the best is if the lube is iso-osmotic – meaning your cells and the lube sit there next to each other, happy, making each other better. They’re content. If the osmolality is low, i.e. hypo-osmotic, then the lube is like my Italian best friend’s mom – eat, eat! It’s feeding the cells too much water, and at some point they will burst. When does this matter the most? If you’re trying to conceive. Hypo-osmotic lubes would kill the lil swimmers. The most common situation is when the osmolality is high, i.e. hyper-osmotic. It’s the vampire situation – the lube comes in all charming at first and things seem okay. The lube feels really slippery, which is great! But it’s slippery because it’s drinking the moisture from your cells. When they have no more to give, they are dead and dry. The outer layer of cells will slough off and leave your mucus lining very vulnerable, like standing in a snowstorm without winter gear. STI transmission can increase and at-risk people are at greater risk for infections – this is the same group of people who need to use more lube than the average person. Diabetics, those with a compromised immune system, those undergoing treatment for cancer, etc. If your partner has Herpes, you’re doing everything you can to avoid transmission – consider the lube, as well. Stick to iso-osmotic lubes.

Molality is defined as the amount of substance (measured in mol) of solute, divided by the mass (in kg) of solvent, (not the mass of the solution). In other words, it’s the measurement of the mass of the stuff that’s dissolved in a liquid.

Osmolality is a variation of molality that only takes into account solutes that contribute to a solution’s osmotic pressure, and Osmotic Pressure in this instance is the measure of the tendency of a solution to take in water by osmosis.

Unfortunately we’re largely left to guess when it comes to osmolality because only a small handful of lubes have been tested. In addition to those listed in this chart I found a few extra listed here (including Probe brand which seems to be pretty close to iso-osmotic) and I also contacted the makers of System Jo lube who say that the Agape version is at 350 and the new version of H2O (which will be released in October) will have an osmolality of 200 (current is 800).  We can make educated guesses on the osmolality by knowing a few things: that certain ingredients cause the osmolality to increase. So by avoiding those ingredients we can have a better shot at a lube that plays nice with our body. Of course, you can also avoid this by using coconut oil or silicone-based lubes. We don’t know how osmolality affects hybrid lubes (which are water-based with a little silicone added) because no one has ever tested them. Do they suddenly get to skip the rulebook because of the small amount of silicone? Maybe? But to stay safe, pick hybrids with very few ingredients.

LUBE-Osmolality

Second you need to consider pH.

pH results are easy to come by – you can buy pH test strips yourself and test out your lube (or your mucus) at home if it’s not on this list below. The pH of the vagina can range from 3.5 – 7 depending on where you are in your cycle, if you have an infection, if you’re pre/post menopausal, etc. Post-menopausal women tend to have a higher pH. Higher pH is also associated with bacterial vaginosis but it can also be the normal course of cycle for you. Anal lubes need a higher pH so a lube that is good for your lower-pH vagina could really sting when used for buttsex.

Let’s go back to the vagina though for a minute. If you’re trying to conceive, you need a slightly higher pH as well to be friendly to sperm. Lubes with a low pH can sting and burn. Lubes with a higher pH than the vagina can bring on yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis OR just feel itchy (butt or vag) without the infection. Notice how Replens, once again, seems to be unfriendly to the very group it is targeted at? That’s considerably lower than it should be. The pH numbers below are less disconcerting, overall, versus the osmolality ratings but you should still refer to this chart. In addition to the glory of Sliquid there are other stand-out brands, but we have lubes that ranked super high in osmolality ranking right on target in pH. But that doesn’t make them okay because the next factor is….

LUBE-pH

INGREDIENTS! READ YOUR LABELS!

Sometimes there are so many scientific words in the ingredients list that we don’t even know what they are. Are they safe? Will they burn, are they a known irritant?

There are a lot of problematic ingredients and this goes way beyond parabens. In fact, it’s been suggested that parabens might not be the Big Bad Monster – studies about the effects of parabens have been done by feeding mass doses of it to mice…naturally, they’re going to experience bad side effects! You may never use enough lube to rack up enough parabens to cause cancer but some people are allergic to parabens. Of course, paraben is also a xenoestrogen, but a weak one. Xenoestrogens can have a feminizing effect on masculine bodies and masculinizing effects on feminine bodies. The other top two ingredients to avoid are glycerin(e) and propylene glycol. Both of these greatly increase the osmolality of the lube (making it a lube to avoid) and both can cause sensitivities (and for some, yeast infections). Other lube ingredients are listed below and any of them can cause irritation in addition to: increased STI transmission; killing off of the good bacteria; increase of bad bacteria; allergic reactions.

AVOID: Glycerin(e), Propylene Glycol, Nonoxynol 9, Chlorhexedine Gluconate, Petroleum Oils, Polyquaternium-15, Benzocaine, Sugars & Sugar Alcohols, Ureas

Why you should avoid Benzocaine. It numbs you, which is not really a good thing. I am unsure if the numbing creams for premature ejaculation will transfer the numbing agent to the vagina, but benzocaine is an irritant. Benzocaine used for those experiencing painful sex or those wanting to make anal play less scary is just a bad idea because pain is your body’s way of saying HEY STOP. You can end up with injuries, microtears to the delicate tissue, and major problems.

A note for Celiacs or those with extreme gluten-sensitivity: Avoid “Oat Beta Glucan” which is found in Sutil. I contacted the company about that ingredient (because not all oat is contaminated with gluten, but some super sensitive people react to oats no matter what) and they have confirmed that there is gluten present in that lube. When I was trying it out I also licked it and it made me ill for a day, so it’s enough gluten that if gluten makes you sick even in tiny quantities, avoid this lube. Avoid Vitamin E (tocopherals) unless the company can assure you they are not derived from a gluten-containing grain. These can also be derived from soy, for those with soy allergies. Sliquid’s Organics line uses Vitamin E and this is what they have to say about it:

Our Natural Tocopherols are extracted from wheat germ, sunflower, and safflower oils. One thing to keep in mind (and you can find this info on http://glutenfreedietitian.com and other sites) is that refined oils are exempt from allergen labeling by the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act, and the European Food Safety Authority, because the refining process renders them virtually free (undetectable) of allergenic proteins. Consuming refined wheat germ oil is still not recommended for anyone with a gluten allergy, however, there is still another refining step where the Vitamin E (tocopherol) is extracted from the refined oil. 

Add to that, the amount of Natural Tocopherols in any one bottle of Sliquid Organics is less than 5%. For a highly sensitive person, or someone who just wants to be extra careful, we would suggest the Naturals line from Sliquid. In fact, for anyone with any food allergy, we recommend Sliquid Naturals, just to be safe.

Note: if your lube is paraben-free it can go bad much more quickly. There are preservatives that are natural but they don’t seem to do quite as good a job as paraben preservatives. Keep an eye on the color of your lube and the odor. If it’s off, toss it. Try to avoid pump bottles (air = bacteria) or sticking your finger in the lube bottle.

RESEARCH YOUR INGREDIENTS:  Lately I’ve been looking into various lubes when someone has mentioned that they caused burning/irritation, and I’m finding even more weird and suspect ingredients. I usually just Google the individual ingredients and read over the first few results. Some sites will make something sound worse than it is, some will whitewash it. Some will confuse you. I mean why would you put an abrasive agent that’s normally found in toothpaste, in a lube?  But there it was, in a System Jo arousal gel (and shamefully, System Jo doesn’t publish ingredients so thank goodness for reviews).

UNDERSTAND SENSITIZERS: If in your research you find that an ingredient is referred to as a “sensitizer” it means that the likelihood a person will react to these ingredients depends on how much they’ve used them – sensitivity it cumulative and increases with use. This means you can find yourself not reacting at first, but reacting after your 2nd or 3rd bottle or even 4th or 5th use of the first bottle. UREAS are one example of sensitizers, and you’ll find these in a lot of cosmetic ingredients (so they’re a common irritant to sensitive-skinned people).

LUBE-Irritants

What about the FDA? What about lubes that make medical claims?

A bunch of experts were polled on their thoughts about the FDA and lube. Most said “oh, absolutely, we welcome the FDA, the FDA knows best!”. But as Sarah Mueller pointed out – the FDA doesn’t always know best. They approved Nonoxynol 9, after all, and it’s been shown to INCREASE STI transmission! The FDA testing process doesn’t actually test how a lube will affect human genitals! They test it on rabbits – their eyeballs and vaginas. In fact it really does seem like the FDA cares about two things: that you pay your fee (which can range from $20,000 to $300,000) and that you either do animal testing or go to much length to prove you do NOT need animal testing. So what if you wanted only lubes that are FDA-approved? Well let’s consider that the awful KY Yours-And-Mine duo (hideous ingredients) is FDA approved. Surgilube is FDA-approved.

Another troubling fact: If your lube is FDA-approved then you DO NOT have to list your ingredients. Anywhere. This spells trouble for those that are high risk or have allergies. Just consider Surgilube – they say it’s proprietary so they won’t tell you even if you ask because of allergies. Just because it’s FDA-approved doesn’t mean it’ll be iso-osmotic, a good pH or free from common irritants. The FDA-approval process for lubes needs a major overhaul before I think it’s something Good For The Public.

STI Prevention Claims

Something I’m seeing a sharp increase in is lubes containing carrageenan, and the lube companies making claims about STI prevention. There have been some studies on this and they’ve had positive results, but a lot more research needs to be done. I would, for now, be wary of these claims. Just because a lube with this ingredient, for this claim, is FDA-approved does not mean it can prevent the spread of an STI. They’re not stamping a seal of approval or efficacy. One such FDA-approved lube is called Divine 9 / Carraguard, from Carrashield Laboratories. They make some grand, yet vague, claims on their website that might lead you to believe that they’ve proven that their lube can prevent the spread of certain STIs but you have to really hunt and read for the truth:

The excellent results in the NCI laboratory studies have led to the launch of three large scale human clinical trials using Divine 9. These are the only three human clinical trials in the world on HPV prevention using a topical gel and Divine 9 is featured in all three. While no conclusive evidence exists yet that Divine 9 with CarraShield will block HPV in humans, the results of the NCI tests were compelling enough to justify multi-million dollar investments in these three Phase 2 human trials. CarraShield Labs will provide updates as the data collection continues. At this time CarraShield Labs makes no medical claims about Divine 9 and provides this information strictly for educational purposes. 

So they’ve gotten it classified as a medical device and gone for FDA-approval to give the idea of something grand and medicinal, but the tests aren’t conclusive and there haven’t been enough tests, or tests on humans. The human tests aren’t concluded, I believe.

Basically, anytime you see a lube making any claim that it can help prevent the spread of any STI, don’t believe them. The large-scale clinical trials and conclusive results are not here yet. When they happen it will be major news.

LUBE RECOMMENDATIONS:

First I want to say that osmolality and pH and ingredients don’t play a role in pure plant oils like coconut oil, or silicone lubes. We don’t know what role they play in hybrid lubes (which can be really awesome – there’s not really enough silicone in a hybrid lube to fuck up most silicone sex toys, but it’s enough to give that slippery, long-lasting appeal). Check the ingredients on the hybrids and avoid the bad stuff if you’re sensitive. Unfortunately, even some of these good lubes can irritate very sensitive people sometimes. While the amount of citric acid in lubes like Sliquid is small, sometimes it’s enough to irritate someone.

I understand that most people don’t want to buy their lubes online but unless your local drugstore carries Good Clean Love (some do) or Sliquid (rare) the brands I’d recommend are going to be found online. This isn’t the most accessible, I know, but for many people it’s necessary. If you care about what’s going in your body and strive for non-porous body-safe sex toys, consider overhauling your lube kit, too. I would recommend the following lubes based on ingredients, pH and known/assumed osmolality:

Water-based Lubes:

All Sliquid brand (and their Organics line) are good on the osmolality, pH and ingredients lines. Organics line can have aloe which can present issues for some and all Sliquid has a small amount of citric acid as a preservative. Only the most sensitive would be bothered by it. Try:

  • Sassy for a thicker anal lube and H20 for a thinner lube – Both of these are free of aloe
  • Sea also has aloe; it contains carrageenan which MAY help prevent the spread of HPV, plus other oceanics-ingredients to help with inflammation and dryness
  • Sliquid Pack to try out various types
  • • While I prefer that you shop for lube at sex toy stores, Amazon does carry Sliquid if you just need to purchase lube and not sex toys.
  • Lovehoney US and Lovehoney UK carry some Sliquid lubes, but not all.
  • Smitten Kitten carries a few of the Sliquid Organics lubes
  • • The Organics Line1 has some organic ingredients and all of them contain Vitamin E and Aloe, amongst other natural stuffs.

Good Clean Love 2 is a good brand, also, for pH and ingredients. Definitely check out the Almost Naked variety. I’ve got a review here! Love the stuff!

Smitten Kitten, a progressive queer-and-female-friendly shop based in Minnesota, carries brands that many other sex toy stores don’t.

  • Hathor Aphrodesia  – they have Sutil which sells like hotcakes; it is much longer-lasting than most water-based lubes on the market3. The regular H.A. has some interesting ingredients like Horny Goat Weed which can contribute to bad taste. Note: Sutil contains Oat Beta Glucan, which is a gluten ingredient. Company has confirmed there is gluten in the lube.
  • WaterSlide which could be really great for those sensitive to most ingredients – it’s a thin, slippery lube with nearly no taste.
  • Aloe Cadabra which rates well on taste, too.
  • Southern Butter’s Bliss On is rated well by SK. There is some alcohol in it, but so far no one has reported irritation.
  • Smitten Kitten’s curated sample packs. Each pack contains 5-6 lube samples from different brands, all of them true, body-safe lubes. They’ll also send you their Lube Info pamphlet.

SheVibe carries:

  • Probe is good on both osmolality and pH and is formulated to feel more like natural vaginal lubrication
  • Coconu has a water-based lube that looks good
  • Blossom Organics looks decent, but contains Vitamin E and I can’t get an answer on the source so those with soy allergies and gluten limitations should steer clear

Goodvibes has their own  Please brand. The Liquid and Gel are the water-based.

I found another option through Amazon. Astroglide makes a Naturals lube that is shockingly free of any crap ingredients. I don’t know where it falls on the osmolality scale; sensitive folks should pay attention to the ingredients4 for anything they might find irritating.

YES brand is under FDA scrutiny and a sort of “lockdown” for import into the US while they wait on becoming FDA-certified. But I’d heard so much good stuff about this brand that I had to locate it. You can find it on Amazon and according to YES, it should be genuine YES brand lube. How they’re doing it, I don’t know; the seller must be partnered with a European seller. You can find YES brand at Lovehoney US and Lovehoney UK, because all Lovehoney US orders come from the UK.

Hybrid Lubes

These are awesome because they combine the toy-safety of water-based with just a littttttle silicone (how much varies between brands). Now since silicone doesn’t affect osmolality or pH, and there haven’t been studies on hybrids, we don’t know how hybrids fare on osmolality or pH. So for that reason I still say to avoid osmolality-raising ingredients and irritants. I used to enjoy Wet’s Syngery lube but it has ingredients I can’t recommend. Spunk lube seems to have some popularity but it contains every ingredient I tell you to avoid! Plus there are multiple silicones in it and they’re high up on the list, which means it may not play as nice with silicone toys. These three are the only ones I can find that meet my requirements for safe ingredients.

Plant-Based Oil Lubes

Naturally there’s good ole plain coconut oil – please be sure you get the right kind though! It has to be unrefined, virgin coconut oil – don’t get the liquid/fractionated. Read this guide for all the ins and outs of using coconut oil.  I feel that pure coconut oil is perhaps the best starting point for vaginas stretching out into the plant-based oil lube world, as we know that coconut oil is low-comedogenic and anti-microbial (can help with infections). There’s also Sliquid’s oil blend to consider or YES brand oil blend available at Amazon or Lovehoney US / UK. Also look at The Butters, soon to be in a retail store near you, I hope. I don’t recommend Coconu because of their sham marketing which says that silcone is practically toxic. They also hide the fact that their lube will destroy many sex toys materials and get you quickly on the road to this mess.

Please note that oil lubes are not good with most condoms/protection – only nitrile and polyurethane condoms. Also to note that oil lubes should never be used on porous material sex toys like most male masturbators, TPR, PVC, etc. It’s safe with pure silicone, metal, some wood, glass, hard plastic and ceramic.

LUBES AND CONDOMS

I’m working on having this section fleshed out a little better. It seems that most condoms are using a silicone-based lube. What if you don’t want that? What if you can’t tell what type of lube they are using? My best bet right now is to tell you to find nonlubricated condoms and pair them with your own lube that you know isn’t irritating to you. SheVibe carries Atlas brand; Smitten Kitten carries Trojan Enz.

Even though I go over this elsewhere, I’ll say it here: If you choose to use plant-oil based lubes (coconut oil, etc) then you must use polyurethane condoms. You can also use the nitrile-based FC2.

FLAVORED LUBES

Flavored lubes (or conversely, totally taste-neutral lubes) that are completely safe, pH good, osmolality good, etc etc are going to be hard to come by. I hear mixed things on the Sliquid Swirls to be honest. It seems to be very much YMMV because what one person thinks is as tasty as a Jolly Rancher, the next is ready to puke. This is a section I will be working on, both sides of the coin.

FISTING POWDERS

J Lube and X Lube are just a few fisting powders I’ve heard about. Basically it’s a powder, you add water and mix it up. The result is a thick gel which is economical and plentiful. J Lube was made for birthing livestock; it contains a lot of sugar and is not safe for vaginas. X Lube claims not to use sugars, but I’m not really sure about their ingredient which is listed as PEO. Wikipedia says PEO and PEG are the same thing – polyethylene glycol….a petrochemical we’re to avoid.  I’m waiting on more information before passing a judgment.

Vaginal Tightening/Shrink Creams and Gels

I’m putting this here because I haven’t yet done a whole entire post on it. These aren’t a lube, but they’re often sold with lubes. These can be dangerous, or just won’t work. They often work by doing one of two things (or both): Drying you out on purpose or creating a mild allergic reaction. Inflammation = feeling “tighter”. Yet as you can imagine, this does a real number to your mucous lining and overall vaginal health. It increases your risk for infections and the spread of STI. It increases your risk for microtears of the vaginal wall, even. In short, it’s never a good thing. A dry vagina is not a good thing. If you want to improve vaginal health overall, buy some kegel beads. I’ve also seen herbal “teabag” like things you shove up in the vagina like a tampon and frankly, anything like that…even if it’s natural…can have adverse affects you’re not expecting. It can throw off your pH, lead to infection, you can have an allergic reaction, etc. Herbal doesn’t mean safe (unless it’s the FORIA THC “tampons” for menstrual cramps – that one is legit).

FINAL TIPS

If you see a gynecologist, try taking along your own lube because chances are pretty good that they’re using either KY or Surgilube, both of which are vagina poison. The doctors aren’t trained to know this stuff. If you have ever experienced dryness, irritation during sex, etc after a check-up then this is why. And when you do bring your own lube tell them why! Point them to badvibes.org to educate them on the dangers of the crappy lubes they’re using.

Tips to soothe the burn of an irritating lube or a lube that is incompatible with your pH: I finally sleuthed out some tips and present them here.

Irritation with some chemicals can build over time; you can be fine for awhile with the lube you have or an ingredient in your favorite lube and then one day…you’re bothered by it. It happens.

If you have a vagina, you’ve read by now that your vaginal pH can change over time, or where you are in your cycle. It can be a good idea if you’re particularly sensitive to lubes to occasionally test your own pH and the pH of your favorite lube.

LUBES TO AVOID

KY is a hated brand. It contains an ingredient commonly found in mouthwash. That’s right, an antiseptic. This is irritating AND not necessary! Astroglide, yikes. Polyquaternium-15 promotes viral activity and is found in four different Astroglide varieties.  ID Glide has never been a favorite of mine, the ingredients are crap and the osmolality is high. Pjur makes great silicone lubes, but their water-based leaves a lot to be desired. Same with Wet brand.

Don’t buy lubes (or anything else that is a topical for your genitals) that don’t publish their ingredients. In my research I’ve been looking for brands/varieties to recommend and have had to leave them off the list because I can’t find the ingredients. System Jo, Spunk lube, XR Brand’s Tom of Finland lubes or Passion lubes (basically anything by XR brands), and many more. Some reviewers published the Spunk lube ingredients but there seems to be a little variation.  I can’t see why any company would avoid publishing the lube ingredients, but it raises a red flag for me.

Resources and other great lube articles:

* Graphics, charts, and research courtesy of BadVibes.org / The Smitten Kitten
* Interview with Sarah Mueller with even more tidbits about her lube research
* Lorax of Sex breaks down the types of lube
* Sexational! explains osmolality
* Lube osmolality study

Special thanks to Smitten Kitten for providing a graphic for the Big Lube Guide button that appears in the menu area on my site, @2016 Smitten Kitten. All graphics/charts contained on this page with the Smitten Kitten logos are used with the permission of Smitten Kitten and are courtesy of Sarah Mueller’s work for The Smitten Kitten, as presented in a Lube Workshop session at Woodhull’s 2015 Summit. You can see the entire slideshow here: WOODHULL2015

 

  1.  Organics Natural Ingredients Purified Water, Plant Cellulose (from Cotton), Aloe Barbadensis*, Natural Tocopherols (Vitamin E), Cyamopsis (Guar Conditioners), Extracts of Hibiscus*, Flax*, Green Tea* & Sunflower Seed*, Citric Acid (Citrus Fruits), Phenoxyethanol (Rose Ether)
  2.  Ingredients: Organic Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Xanthan Gum, Agar, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Citric Acid, Natural Flavors
  3. Sutil is formulated with regenerating hyaluronic acid for dry and sensitive skin, including the genital area. Hyaluronan has the ability to bind large amounts of water to provide increased lubrication, enabling optimal regeneration of the skin.
  4. Ingredients: Purified Water, Xylitol, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Potassium ascorbyltocopheryl phosphate (Vitamins C & E), Pectin, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Phenoxyethanol.
 Posted by at 4:47 pm