Header by Rory Midhani Feature image by shutterstock Happy masturbation month! Solo or partnered, lube is a great way to reduce friction and enhance wetness. You can also throw them any TSA-compliant liquid baggie and still have room for toothpaste.
Totally normal and not gross! You can really never have too much of the stuff. One of the earliest recorded instances of lube is the use of olive oil to lather up leather dildos in Ancient Greece. Today, there are a wide variety of commercial liquids, creams, gels and oils available.
One item notably missing: The FDA has stated that it will accept in vitro testing for toxicity assessments, but there currently exists no approved in vitro test for vaginal irritation and sensitization. While not foolproof, applying medical device standards helps to keep to dangerous products off the market. Among other things, we can see that it has a shelf life of at least two years, and has passed compatibility testing for condoms made of natural rubber latex, polyurethane, and polyisoprene.
In comparison, Love Liquid Personal Lubricant is not compatible with polyurethane condoms, and only demonstrated a shelf life stability of 9 months at the time it wrote the FDA in February Both products passed biocompatibility testing, though.
One downside to FDA regulation is that it does create an additional barrier for smaller companies to enter the market, as manufacturers bear the cost of all required third party testing. Benzocaine and other numbing ingredients should also be avoided. Plus, benzocaine is an irritant. Compatibility with different condom materials, if using.
Osmolality of water based lubes ie. Allergens, irritants and things that feel yucky to you. This is specific to you and your body, but many people have difficulties with warming and cooling lubes. Feel free to use products that include them. There is so much bad sex information out there! When you hear new information that seems questionable, look it up. Read widely, think critically, and if something sounds questionable, look for another source.
Now go forth and lube! Notes From A Queer Engineer is a recurring column with an expected periodicity of 14 days. The subject matter may not be explicitly queer, but the industrial engineer writing it sure is.