A lubricant (or short: lube) is a substance which makes sex more slippy. It reduces the friction between skin and skin, or between skin and the rubber of a condom. Lube can subjectively amplify or attenuate the sensibility of your erogenous zone (you feel that’s more horny or less horny). If you feel an unpleasant pain while fucking, you can apply some lube which will ease the pain – much more efficiently than spit would.
Regarding safer sex, lube reduces small tears or injuries at skin and mucosa, thereby helping to prevent the transmission of infections (HIV and STI – sexually transmitted infections). Spit as a lubricant used with a condom may itself carry viruses or bacteria and transmit them despite the use of a condom. This concerns for example syphilis and gonorrhea (but not HIV).
Lube from a shared container, e.g. in darkrooms or at sex parties, may contain pathogens from previous users. Lubricant dispensers or your own tube are the better solution here. Incidentally, in combination with a condom, the lube always belongs onto the (suitably sized) rubber and never under it, so that slipping off is avoided.
If you are into spit instead of lubricant, be aware of slightly higher risks and act accordingly. The most important thing here is that you get tested for STIs every three months, treat STIs and inform your sex partners immediately.
Most lubricants are water or silicone based. This is important so that the latex barrier is not attacked and thus the condom does not tear. If you don’t use condoms, you can also use vaseline or olive oil instead (preferably all without any additives). You can find commercial lubricants in different qualities (and prices). Those supposed to be especially adapted for anal sex are often much more expensive than conventional ones. Whether it actually has better properties that justify the higher price, you can only find out yourself.
Although we live in times of ecological awareness and self-care, the ingredients of lubricants are rarely discussed at all. This may come as a surprise, especially with a product that is used directly in and on our most receptive and vulnerable body parts! Some of the standard ingredients – such as preservatives – are at least worthy of discussion. We know little about what glides in our lubes. A seal of approval or standardized quality labels are missing. And organic lubrication products are not common. So what to do?
For this we need raw materials that are not fatty, so that condoms are not attacked. Thus, Coconut fats (oils), vitamin E oil, almond oil and many essential oils, etc. must be ruled out (but are often mentioned in recipes). We also do not want paraben, nonoxynal-9 (sperm-killing, mucosal irritant), benzocaine, or lidocaine (both topical anesthetics in the condom coating, which are intended to delay orgasm as a coating).
We have developed the 2002 Lube recipe from Homo Elektrik. You can make it completely from organic ingredients:
First, boil water and let it cool down. Then, in a hygienically clean vessel (rinse it with boiling water), stir glycerol and fluid lecithin together (with a hygienically clean spoon/stirring staff) and carefully add xanthan while stirring at the same time. Continue to stir the mix until xanthan has dissolved lump-free. This can take several minutes. Now add up to 70ml of water until the desired consistency has been reached. The gel becomes more liquid by adding more water. If you prefer gel with oily properties, add pure jojoba oil. It does not attack the condom (chemically it’s actually a wax) and you can use it on its own. For a slightly animal-aphrodisiac aroma of our gel, we experimented with real sandalwood oil (white sandalwood, Santalum album). We only need to touch a tiny amount: one drop is enough. Incidentally, quantities produced in advance can (and should) be frozen without any problem.
You can find all the ingredients in the health-food shop, internet shop or pharmacy. Use only organic products! Make sure they do not contain any other ingredients. All substances listed above may cause contact or skin allergies under certain circumstances. Essential oils added for smell or taste may irritate the mucous membrane (such as tea tree oil), some attack the condom beyond. Disinfectants do not belong – even in small quantities – to lubricants!
We also do without preservatives for our recipe, so we store our mixture in the refrigerator and prefer to stir in a small supply more often.
Ready is our non-exclusive D.I.Y. lube: vegan, fair, organic, water soluble for safe condom use and with or without condoms slipping well – Love Lazers’ contribution for more fun and understanding in an otherwise very delineated scene. Making lube yourself is really fun!
PS: The Love Lazers are currently writing a text on contemporary condom use. It will appear in autumn 2018
Photo from the “2012-2018 Series” by Fennec Jackal (Paris). Merci.