We’re Tatiana and Jordan, back for our second attempt at being cast in the SATC reboot. We had so much fun with last month’s sex toy edit that we thought we’d come back this month with an ode to our unsung hero: lube. Admittedly, at first, we had no idea how we were going to come up with enough to say on the topic. This initial brain freeze is a testament to how profoundly the both of us had taken this aspect of sex for granted earlier in our lives. Neither of us had put much thought into the differences between kinds of lubricants. We were accustomed to just stuffing our bags with the free single-use packets at the health center in college, and hadn’t matured much since then — grabbing whatever drugstore bottle jumped out at us first.
Our foray into the DTC lube space has been so much more fruitful than we could have imagined. Now, with the convenience and freedom of shopping for our stuff online, we’ve been able to do a deeper dive into the wonderful, slippery world of lube. Our sex lives (and pH balances) are all the better for it.
JORDAN: Lube, lube, lube…
TATIANA: The unsung hero of sex in my opinion.
JORDAN: Absolutely. I actually remember visiting this sex store in Berkeley with my friend when we were like, 19, and one of the customers saw us wandering around. She asked us how old we were and then said, “Remember, lube is your best friend. Always use it, even if you think you don’t need it.” And then just fluttered away. It was so prophetic. And I totally did not listen to her at all. It always comes back to what we do and don’t see in porn, but I remember when I was younger feeling like I was just always supposed to be immediately and overwhelmingly wet, and stay that way for the entirety of a sexual interaction. Like, it would be embarrassing for me to ever need lube during sex.
TATIANA: Gone are the days of being embarrassed for needing lube. No more. Lube used to always feel like either a sign of defeat, or something exciting you were adding into the mix. Like a CVS Fire & Ice lube that ends up almost sending you to the ER. Imagine all of the time you would have saved on mediocre sex if you had just listened to your Berkeley guardian angel! But it’s okay. We’re older and wiser…
JORDAN: And drier. Half-kidding. I get that biologically it’s harder to get and stay wet as you age, but I feel like there’s also a psychological shift for me. When I first started being sexually active, even being around another human was just inherently kind of arousing. Now, my expectations are just higher, and I’m way more in touch with what actually turns me on and what’s needed to get there. And I’m more able to admit to myself when something turns me off or crosses a boundary.
TATIANA: Definitely. There are other things that you end up taking on with age as well –– I do have an IUD, which is said to affect things down there. Then of course one day, there’s menopause. And a million things in between. But I agree that it’s definitely psychological as well, because I can certainly get there, it just takes a little bit more effort.
JORDAN: Yep. And lube can help for those in-between moments, too.
TATIANA: Well, let’s get into it shall we?
JORDAN: Let’s do it.
Best To Use With Toys & Protection
JORDAN: I used to think that water-based lubes were what you used if you were infection prone (based on absolutely no research, to be clear), but now, thank god, have come to learn that it’s not that simple.
TATIANA: Wait what? Water-based lubes aren’t good for down there?
JORDAN: Previously, I thought of all water-based lubes as the same, but many of the CVS-y ones –– the KYs and Astroglides –– contain glycerin or glycol, which yeast loves. There are also more organic/natural ones that are way better for that. Like aloe, which we’ll get to later.
TATIANA: That makes sense that you wouldn’t think more into it, “water-based” just sounds more natural. This is a good lesson to us all: READ THE INGREDIENTS.
JORDAN: Exactly. But a pro of water-based lubes is that they mimic the feeling of natural wetness better than a silicone would –– my boyfriend prefers water-based for that reason. His favorite of the bunch was actually Champ’s Water-Based Lubricant.
TATIANA: I loved that one. I also feel like Champ products make good gifts for a more masc man that you’re trying to ever-so-slightly chic up. We’ve talked a lot about how packaging for these products might be really important for people who are self-conscious about having stuff out on their table. With so many DTC options, brands and consumers really have a chance to meet their perfect match. Champ is such a good understated boyfriend brand. It’s slightly gendered, but not in an aggressive or offensive way. Champ knows its market and is speaking to them.
JORDAN: 100%. Now, onto the biggest pro of water-based lubes: versatility and compatibility! I think this is the main reason to reach for water-based. Safe to use with latex condoms, dental dams, gloves, and most other materials of toys, including silicone!
We’ve talked a lot about how packaging for these products might be really important for people who are self-conscious about having stuff out on their table. With so many DTC options, brands and consumers really have a chance to meet their perfect match. Champ is such a good understated boyfriend brand. It’s slightly gendered, but not in an aggressive or offensive way. Champ knows its market and is speaking to them.
TATIANA: Right! The one thing I will say about water-based lube is the drip factor, which is fine during sex in my opinion because mess is the whole fun of it. But when it comes to solo-play, I usually want something a little tidier.
JORDAN: Especially since water-based lubes evaporate quicker. If I’m gonna have to reapply, I don’t want to accidentally dump out half the bottle each time. This is why I’m so obsessed with Cake’s Toy Wonder. It literally is a non-drip lubricant specifically for toy play. It completely does not drip, look.
TATIANA: OH my god, it’s the Dairy Queen Blizzard of lube.
JORDAN: LOL. YUM.
Best For Marathons And Butt Play
JORDAN: I’ve honestly been sleeping on silicone lubes. Now that I’ve accumulated all of these products from our Sex Talks, many of my toys are silicone –– and therefore very much not compatible with silicone-based lube. So now, out of habit I’ve just been opting for other kinds instead. But I recently used Champ’s Silicone-Based Lubricant during sex and, wow. It was really nice to not have to keep reaching for the bottle. I forgot how long-lasting it is.
TATIANA: The slip! Unmatched. It’s perfect if you’re having a particularly long session. Also, really vital if you’re doing anything anal. I think I prefer the feel of water-based lubes though, so I’ve been really digging Cake’s Tush Cush. It’s a hybrid, so it’s both silicone and water-based, which is great because you get the long-lasting effect of silicone but the natural feel of water-based lubes.
JORDAN: Totally. The Champ one is slightly more gel-like and sticky, but seems way easier to clean off than Tush Cush. Clean-up is a huge thing for me, I hate when lubes stain my sheets.
TATIANA: True, that’s another thing about silicone-based. It doesn’t come off with just water, so not the best for a quickie or if you’re feeling too lazy to wash off afterwards. Great for shower sex though… just be careful of the extra slipperiness.
Best If You’re Infection Prone
JORDAN: There was a point in time where I was getting either BV or a yeast infection every time I had penetrative sex. I used to think it was a latex allergy, but it 100% must have been the lubes I was using.
TATIANA: The health center packets.
JORDAN: The health center packets! But yeah, aloe-based lubes are a more organic subset of water-based lubes. They’re hydrating and pH balanced, so they’ll be much less disruptive down there.
TATIANA: I really don’t get yeast infections, so I hadn’t paid attention to organic vs. non-organic before, but maude’s Shine Organic is my favorite lube. I will use that every single time. It does absorb pretty quickly, which happens with aloe and water-based lubes. I just love the way it looks on my bedside, and the pump bottle is so much more convenient than any other lube bottle I’ve used.
JORDAN: Speaking of which, I’m so mad we missed out on The Sex Gel by Nécessaire. I can’t tell if it’s fully discontinued or just on a hiatus. I’ve heard whispers about it coming back….
TATIANA: Ugh yes, RIP. Love Nécessaire.
JORDAN: Ok, but now that I actually look at ingredient lists, I think I can only go aloe-based from now on. Unless I like, desperately need to have sex in the shower or underwater. I’ll make a few exceptions.
Best For Solo Play
JORDAN: Also known as, best for going through a hippie phase.
TATIANA: Best for if you run out of lube and have to grab something from your kitchen. I have a jar from Whole Foods on deck, but have been meaning to try out Public Goods Coconut Oil too.
JORDAN: Coconut oil is actually pretty polarizing in terms of whether or not you can use it as lube. Oil-based lubes in general are definitely difficult for infection-prone people. I had to learn that the hard way. But it lasts pretty long, while feeling a lot more natural and smooth than silicone. Think velvet to silicone’s satin. How’s that for an analogy?
TATIANA: Hot. I know that they’re very much not compatible with latex. I’m more likely to go oil-based when I’m with a long-term partner that I’m comfortable not using protection with. Or with more topical stuff, like around the vulva rather than inside the vagina.
JORDAN: I’d say best for a slow, intimate masturbation session. Self-care Sundays.
TATIANA: This brings us to the product we were most excited to try: Foria’s Sex Oil with CBD. The reviews of this stuff made it sound completely life changing for people. Someone said it made their vagina feel like “a soft, warm hug,” and that that feeling lasted for 30 minutes post-orgasm. Do you have any experience with CBD?
JORDAN: Not much, but as a weed smoker I’ve noticed how intensely THC impacts my orgasm, so I was definitely intrigued to see what this would feel like. Back to a conversation we had during our toy talk, making a long, intentional ceremony out of masturbating is a relatively new phenomenon for me. This stuff is such a perfect and luxurious addition to that.
TATIANA: Yes, completely agree! As you know, I’m not huge on smoking weed, but have definitely had some of my best sexual experiences when THC was in the mix. So Foria felt like the perfect in between for me and quite frankly...it was. I wasn’t able to use it with a partner since it’s incompatible with condoms, but honestly, it felt like CBD was my partner that night — it was that good.
I’m not huge on smoking weed, but have definitely had some of my best sexual experiences when THC was in the mix. So Foria felt like the perfect in between for me and quite frankly...it was. I wasn’t able to use it with a partner since it’s incompatible with condoms, but honestly, it felt like CBD was my partner that night — it was that good.
JORDAN: It’s so funny because we felt nervous that we wouldn’t have a ton to say on lube besides that we love it. But then we started doing more research than we’ve probably ever done.
TATIANA: The amount of tabs I had open… was out of control.
JORDAN: Okay, so. Favorites?
TATIANA: Honestly, I know I said that maude is my ride-or-die, but trying all of these lubes has made me realize that it’s a great idea to have different types on hand for different situations.
JORDAN: Every time we get done with one of these, I feel like I’ve learned so much. I truly used to not give a sh*t about what lube I was using. But you’re so right, there are so many different types of sexual experiences to have with so many different types of people, and each type can be perfect in its own way depending on the context. So basically, lube is like… shoes?
TATIANA: Ok, we’re definitely getting on SATC now. We couldn’t help but wonder…
Thanks for coming to the second installment of Sex Talk, a series where we dive head-first into the ever-growing world of DTC sex products. Next month, we’ll explore the most important aspect of a fulfilling (and safe) sex life—protection. Grab your new toys and lube and we’ll see you there.
DO try this at home
For Toys & Protection:
For Marathons & Butt Play:
Champ’s Silicone-Based Lubricant
For the Infection Prone:
For Solo Play: