There’s obviously a million different lubes out there. They fall into generally three categories: water based (such as KY Jelly and Astroglide), silicone based (Wet platinum or Gun Oil) and oil based (petroleum jelly or baby oil). Water based tends not to last very long, but is a good choice with condoms or silicone based toys as the other types tend to disintegrate those items. Silicone based lasts really long and based on the Amazon reviews, are well regarded (Gun Oil had 90% positive reviews, and a review score of 4.6/5.0 for example). Keep in mind that silicone based lubes typically have dimethicone as a primary ingredient, which is similar to plastic but in liquid form . Other ingredients may include glycerin, hexamethyl disioxane, docosamethyl decasiloxane, tocopheryl acetate and others. I don’t know what half that shit is, it may be ok with you but it’s obviously formed in a lab. Water based lube, by contrast, uses primarily cellulose (methyl or carboxymethyl), glycerin and paraben as a key ingredients which may also result in irritation for some women. The methyl cellulose is used in everything from artificial tears to mild glues, though is (usually) non-toxic and nonallergenic. Adding in “warming sensation”, flavoring and other stuff further chemically enhances these ingredients.
And using synthetic petroleum based oils such as petroleum jelly or mineral oil inside your special lady friend’s vagina is not a good idea.
Obviously with my post title, you know where this is going. We’ve tried a variety of water and silicone based lubes and haven’t found really any that we both liked, and some that my wife absolutely hated (called some “sandpapery” in texture). And they’re usually expensive. We’ve found that the best lube we already had stocked in our kitchen in a large 54 ounce container and that was Extra Virgin Coconut Oil.
This isn’t exactly a secret, but many may not yet be aware of this natural lubricant. Dr. Jen Gunter states:
the oil provides a thicker coating than silicone, water, or gel based lubricants it is often preferred by post menopausal women who are not using estrogen or women with increased vulvovaginal sensitivities (such as women with vulvodynia, a vulvar pain syndrome).
First, it is an oil, so it has many of the positive properties that non-water based lube has, meaning it lasts a long time and doesn’t need to be reapplied and is fun for playing in the water (think hot tubs or swimming pools if that’s your thing). It does have a light coconut scent to it, so that may turn some people off, but it’s not like the coconut oil fake scented sunscreen you’ll find. It is solid at 75 degrees or less, so if you’re storage location is not that warm, you’ll have to warm it for a second before it melts. Coconut oil is very shelf stable and retards bacterial growth which are both good things.
We’re not the only fan of this as a lubricant. The Curezone forum here has a longish thread discussing this (click on the number next to the root thread to expand fully). Some women anecdotally even think it helped with yeast symptoms.
Married regular couple (with kids) Sex Bloggers Dick and Jane (who are great by the way and should be added to your sexy married couple blog roll if you don’t mind more overt sexual discussions [definitely NSFW] but also get into general marriage talk) talk about coconut oil.
For those concerned with how it may interact with latex or silicone toys or condoms, here is what I’ve found: First there hasn’t been a whole lot of testing done so what’s out there has been anecdotal. Most sources I’ve read says that like silicone and oil based lubes, you can’t use coconut oil with latex. However, it does sound like the properties of this natural oil are different than synthetic oils and silicone based lubes. Take this review of Trader Joe’s Coconut Oil as Lube for example:
Even though Trader Joe’s Organic Virgin Coconut Oil is an oil, I was happy to find that it was fine on my Silicone. After leaving a test patch on my sample block of silicone it wiped away cleanly with no side effects. Of course, this is the exact opposite as what happens if used on latex: the latex will break down. I had to use non-latex condoms while testing the coconut oil in bed.
If you’re using it with toys (which we haven’t yet), a good scrubbing with soap and water should do the trick after you’re done playing. If you remember, fats and oils are insoluble in water, but the tiny soap bubbles encase the oil molecules making it soluble and able to be washed away with water.
Finally, the cost per unit is much less than other lubes, especially if you’re already using coconut oil for cooking (which I recommend, but you can do your own research on food benefits of a good fat like this). A 54 oz container of coconut oil from Amazon works out to $0.50/oz vs. $1.75 per ounce for 16 ounce bottle of Gun Oil (not taking shipping into account for either). A quick look at other brands of silicone lube shows the cost are at least twice as expensive ranging in price from $1 to $3 per ounce, meaning for cost conscious as well as the health conscious, coconut oil is the hands down winner for natural feeling lube.
[POST UPDATE: December 2013] I wanted to pass on some more personal anecdotal info on the compatibility with toys. We’ve used it with some of ours and didn’t have any issues with damage or anything. We just clean them after each use and all is well. Happy Humping!
A further analysis on coconut oil along with comparability with condoms is located here in Part 2.
EDITED: Not unexpectedly I got some stuff wrong here. Read the comments below from someone in the condom industry for some additional information and corrections to my original post above.