Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Astroglide Liquid: a solid lube without any gimmicks

Posted By on Tue, Nov 27, 2012 at 6:00 AM

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A few years ago when my wife and I were dating, we made a condom run to the drug store. Because we felt it a waste to just buy condoms, we classed-up our purchase with Skittles, a tabloid magazine, and some Astroglide. Until then we had only experimented with personal lubricant in the form of the sample tubes you get at places like Planned Parenthood. We had no great need for lube, but with a name like Astroglide and a price cheaper than most of the generics, it was an easy sell. Aside from rounding out our purchase, the lube allowed us to transition seamlessly from eating Skittles and gawking at celebrities in bathing suits to jack-hammering sex without any of the obligatory foreplay.

Since then, we keep a bottle of lube handy for a variety of reasons: in case she wants to skip foreplay for a quickie; because I said something stupid and she is finding it difficult to get aroused; for "experimenting"; for the rare occasion she wants to use her sex toys for penetration as opposed to just clitoral stimulation; or if I'm in need of some "me time."

We've experimented with a variety of lubes and found that they are all basically the same. Like condoms, the less noticeable the lube, the better. For us, an ideal lube doesn't have a scent, doesn't gunk up, doesn't have a taste, and is easy to clean up. Basically, a good lube serves its function and does nothing else. We've tried gimmicky lubes that offer warming agents, are flavored, or have "natural" enhancers, but the benefits of these novelty lubes are minimal at best. Beyond that, each new chemical added to give the lube a unique selling point is another foreign chemical entering your body that can cause unsavory consequences, like yeast infections.

When we buy lube, our go-to brand is Astroglide Liquid. While slightly more expensive than the gel form, liquid lubricants don't gunk-up or congeal like gels often do. Also, water-soluble lubes rinse off easily, they don't stain your sheets, and they are compatible with condoms and most sex toys. Also, Astroglide Liquid does not have a weird smell or taste.

Astroglide Natural is a water-based liquid lube that I found indistinguishable from the original formula. Given a choice between the two, I would probably choose Natural, as it is marketed as being free from glycerin, paraben and alcohol — which I guess could cause problems, though we've never had an issue with the original formula.

Personally, I despise oil based lubes. They are not water-soluble, which means you will probably have to shower to get it all off instead of just giving yourself a sponge bath in the sink. Also, most silicone-based lubes will leave oil stains on your sheets and clothes. This means if you are using the lube for a "nooner," you will definitely need to have a spare set of work clothes handy in your shagging wagon. Silicone lube also destroys silicone and rubber sex toys.

Often, silicone lube is marketed as ideal for water-play and anal sex. However, most silicone lubes degrade condoms — this can be particularly troubling during anal sex, which carries the greatest risk of transmitting HIV. Plus, if there is any santorum, you would much rather this watery mixture of anal lube be easy to clean up, as opposed to trapping unsavory particles on your sheets in a matrix of oil.

Having said that, Astroglide X is a silicone lube marketed as being compatible with latex condoms. While I didn't spill any on my clothes to see if the oil would leave a permanent stain, I can confirm that after use, I had to vigorously scrub my junk with a loofah in the shower to remove the grease.

When buying lube, stick to the basics. Avoid the gimmicks and go with a water-soluble liquid like Astroglide Liquid or Natural, which does not pretend to taste like apple-pie, or "warm" your junk, or increase your stamina. When it comes to using lube, more is better. But, when it comes to buying lube, less is more.

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