Battle of the BabeLubes

April 21st, 2011

BabeLube Natural / BabeLube

BabeLube Natural / BabeLube
$12 (Natural), $8 (Regular) from Babeland

I think we all know that I am not exactly a lube connoisseur. Generally, as long as a lube doesn’t irritate me or have some characteristic that I cannot stand (such as being silicone-based), it will go in my nightstand and whichever I happen to reach for is fine. I don’t usually do comparison reviews but I figured it would be a good format for writing my review for BabeLube Natural, Babeland’s natural and “organic” version of its water-based lubricant.

There’s a major difference between ingredients. BabeLube actually has a shorter list but it includes chemicals like polyoxyethylene, sodium carbomer, phenoxyethanol and ethylexyglycerin. Glycerin, as you probably realize, is one of those ingredients that can cause irritation in some folks. On the other hand, BabeLube Natural’s slightly longer lists consists of purified water, plant cellulose, aloe babadensis, vitamin E, carrageenan, extracts of hibiscus, flax, green tea and sunflower seed, citric acid and potassium sorbate. The list definitely sounds more natural and I know both aloe and vitamin E are common in products that are touted as natural and a few lubes that I’ve heard of also include carrageenan.

In use, I found the BabeLube Natural to be slightly thinner but it still has a gel-like consistency and won’t drip all over when you’re applying it to yourself or a toy. Regular BabeLube is a bit thicker and I actually find it difficult to apply. Both lubes come in a squeezable bottle with a press-top cap and BabeLube doesn’t like to move. I have to take the cap off and stick a finger in or bang it around for a few minutes so it becomes mobile.

I did a quick rub test for both of these and the result was that, while BabeLube felt fairly slick, BabeLube Naturals felt even slicker and was longer lasting in terms of lubrication. As BabeLube dried, it became a little tacky but, once completely dry, I could not longer feel the tackiness and didn’t need to wash it off. BabeLube Naturals, however, was tackier and remained tackier for a while. Eventually you won’t notice but you may want to wash it off at first.

Because of its thickness and slickness, I’d opt for BabeLube Natural but I’d probably enjoy regular Babelube a little better for clitoral stimulation as I am quite bothered by tackiness around my vulva. Both are compatible with all sorts of materials and activities but neither is going to do you a lick of good in wet situations because they’re water soluble.

Babelube Natural

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Frolic

October 12th, 2010

Frolic

Frolic
$14.95 from TheirToys

Frolic is a water-based lube from the same company that makes Pink and Gun Oil. I decided to give it a shot because it’s attractive and water-based. The former isn’t a requirement but I definitely prefer water-based lubes over those that contain silicone.

The Frolic bottle is very similar to the bottles that Pink lube comes in. It’s a semi-opaque, white bottle with magenta text but the label uses a different font for the product name. Frolic states that is is a toy lubricant, especially for women and it is also glycerin-free. Glycerin-free lubes, lotions and potions are becoming increasingly common and, while I do not have any adverse reactions to the chemical, I know some people will appreciate that.

The ingredient list is fairly free of issues (as far as I know) and if you’re curious, includes:

  • water
  • hydroxyethylcellulose
  • sodium benzoate
  • patassium sorbate
  • propylene glycol
  • PEG-8
  • grapefruit seed extract
  • polyethylene polymer

I was curious how this lube differs from Pink Water so I looked up that ingredient list, too:

  • Water
  • HECPEG 45
  • Methylparaben
  • Propylparaben
  • Polyquaternium 5
  • Tetrasodium
  • Germall II
  • Sodium Benzoate
  • Aspartame
  • Polysorbate 20
  • Aloe Vera Extract
  • Ginseng Extract
  • Guarana Extract
  • Avena Sativa Extract
  • Sodium Hydroxide
  • Propylene Glycol
  • Citric Acid

As you can see, Frolic does not contain parabens like Pink Water. Pink Water also has many more extracts. The two still share the same pump style bottle, complete with a little cap to prevent accidental spills. I like the cap but it’s not super tight so it comes off easily and every time I take it off myself, my cats decide it’s a perfect play thing. I will probably never see mine again.

The pump is incredibly easy to use and makes using lube much less messy than other bottle styles. Frolic really isn’t a messy lube to begin with, though. It’s one of the thicker lubes I’ve used–not quite a gel but significantly thicker than ToyFluid or Hydra. Frolic stays where you put it and I love that in a lube. Eventually, gravity will put it down but you don’t have to worry about lubing up your toy and having it all drip down on your hand before you can put the cap back on the bottle.

Furthermore, Frolic feels pretty damned silky on the fingers. It’s surprisingly silky for a water-based lube. It perhaps feels a bit more synthetic than some other water-based lubes I’ve used but it dries without being surprisingly sticky.

It’s hard for me to say how long Frolic lasts as I’ve only used it with toys despite the claim that this is more concentrated than other lubes. I do love that I can use it with any toy, even my silicone ones (as that collection is growing). My toy sessions never last as long as sex did and I don’t thrust as much as I find the right spots and press but one pump of Frolic has been sufficient for every session thus far.

The Pink website says that the grapefruit seed extract has anti-fungal, anti-bacteria and anti-viral properties. I don’t know if I buy it but if that’s true, awesome! A lube that does double duty is a-okay in my book.

My verdict? Frolic really lives up to its name. I’ve been using a lot of thinner lubes with sex toys and they just don’t cut it. Frolic does and I can see myself reaching for it frequently.

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Wet Synergy

June 4th, 2010

Wet isn’t the first company to develop a water-silicone hybrid lube but they’re definitely advertising theirs more than other companies (say, Pink). I jumped on the offer to try the new products because they sounded interesting and Wet sent me two bottles: a “regular” version of Synergy and a tingling type.

Each bottle contains 1.9oz of product and is quite tall and narrow with a press-top for dispensing the lube. The regular version has pink detailing against black and silver while the other bottle has teal details. The bottles themselves are cute.

I tried the regular lube first and was pleased to see it was thicker than any silicone lube I’ve ever had. It’s slightly gel-like but definitely not solid. Texture-wise, Synergy feels like a silicone lubricant and doesn’t get sticky like water and lasted well after I was done. I don’t mind silicone lubes with toys–although, most of my toys are also made of silicone so I don’t have that many I can use with it. It’s also scent-free.

I have to be honest, though, I do not like the feel of Synergy for PIV sex. It feels too plastic-y. I never minded condoms but silicone-based lube feels like a physical barrier and reduces my pleasure. Of course, silicone-based lube leaves an interesting feel on your flesh, after use, and that is also true for Synergy.

The tingling version of Synergy is really, really effective. I mean, use with caution. I went a little overboard with it because I wasn’t thinking and my vagina damn near froze off. Toy play seemed to increase the sensation and it was a good 10 or 15 minutes of consistent tingles before it started to fade away. It also seemed to make me negatively sensitive and tender, maybe because of the peppermint, which you can definitely smell during use.

Overall, my experience with tingling Synergy was just a little too much. I think I might be extra sensitive to some cooling/tingling lubes and I would definitely recommend you try out just a bit before diving right into this bottle. I usually do but my mind was elsewhere.

Wet Synergy does contain one ingredient that some folks prefer not to see in their lubes: glycerin. Besides peppermint, the ingredient lists are identical and read as such:

  • glycerin
  • aqua
  • dimethiconol
  • sodium polyacrylate
  • dimethicone
  • cyclopentasiloxane
  • trideceth-6
  • peg/ppg
  • dimethicone
  • pentylene glycol

Because I do not especially like the feel of silicone lube for intercourse and most of my toys are silicone, I probably won’t use Synergy frequently. I guess I just prefer water-based lubes and while I did enjoy the fact that this product is thicker than standard silicone lubes, it doesn’t deviate enough for my liking.

If you’re interested, you can request a sample directly from the Synergy website–which is pretty neat! Synergy is not yet for sale in most places so I’m not sure how much it will cost. Wet products are usually fairly reasonable, however.

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Kissable ice cream – strawberry

February 24th, 2010

At first, I confused California Fantasies with California Exotics but it’s a lesser known manufacturer which made the Kissable Ice Creme in strawberry which I had a chance to try. This cream is really a multitasker which promises to cool and lubricate while allowing your partner to taste its flavour when he or she goes to town on you. This product does succeed in a lot of ways, I am happy to say and the 2oz squeeze tube is pretty sizeable. It reminds me of a hand cream tube and there is a lot more product than any other sensitizing product I’ve tried.

Let me start by saying that this is not a lubricant. It’s a thicker cream which will quickly rub into the skin and while the taste remains, it has virtually no lubricating properties. It may moisturize but my vagina doesn’t really need that, I don’t think. Plus, the ingredients list contains both alcohol and sugars which can cause irritation for some which leads me to believe that this product would better be labelled as a sensitizing cream than a lubricating one.

The ingredients, as listed on the tube are:

  • de-ionized water
  • caprylic/capric triglyceride
  • octyldodecanol
  • glyceryl stearate
  • PEG 100 stearate
  • Emulsifying Wax
  • polydimethyl siloxane
  • decamethyl cyclopentasiloxane
  • cetyl alcohol
  • tricethanolamine
  • glycerin
  • sodium benzoate
  • diazolidinyl urea
  • potassium sorbate
  • polysorbate 20
  • hydrogenated collagen
  • methylethyl cyclohexyl
  • propanediol
  • flavor
  • carbomer
  • disodium EDTA
  • sodium PCA
  • Sodium Saccharine

It’s a long list and was painful to type up. While some of the ingredients I recognize, I wouldn’t mind if there were simply less and if there were fewer salts and sugars to boot. While cooling products usually contain some sort of menthol as the active ingredient, I am not sure what it is in the Kissable Ice Creme that makes it work.

As a sensitizing cream, Kissable Ice Creme passes with flying colours. It feels cool immediately and grows slightly cooler but not so much that it makes me uncomfortable like other cooling products I’ve used. It doesn’t quite tingle but I can feel the area to which it is applied growing more sensitive. This is a positive attribute when used on the clitoris but I would like to remind you that this product is also intended to be kissable which means your mouth, including lips and tongue, will become extra sensitive, too. Depending on your personal preferences, this may not be a positive thing. I find it a bit interesting but not necessarily distracting. I did not experience any amazingly powerful or easier orgasms while using this cream but my awareness was definitely heightened.

The Kissable Ice Cream is flavoured and scented. It’s definitely sweet and more of the unnatural strawberry “flavour” as opposed to tasting like real strawberries. The taste will grow weaker as it is licked away (although, the thick cream does stay in place well) and it does seem to have a bit of a sugary aftertaste. It’s not horrible but it is a little.. different. Fluids and a person’s natural taste may alter the sensation, of course. The scent is very sweet as well and gives you a good indication of how it will taste.

It does remove cleanly with licking or washing without leaving residue and even when it’s on your fingers, it feels creamy and soft without being greasy. Because it is thick, it stays where you put it and you do not have to worry about it dripping on your linens or carpet but, as it is water based, I do not think it would stain anyway.

In fact, since I bought it to use as a sensitizing cream and not a lubricant, I can’t really say that are a lot of strong negatives about the Kissable Ice Creme from California Fantasies. It does what it says in a noticeable but not overpowering way and I like that it does not smell or taste like mint because I am not a fan. Not everyone will love the taste (although there are also Cola and Colada flavours available) but I found it to be decent in the limited quantities I’d be using for play time anyway. I would like to see an ingredients list which isn’t quite so terrifying but I haven’t experienced any adverse reactions and do not intend to use it internally so I am really pretty satisfied with the Strawberry Kissable Ice Cream.

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Pink Lube

January 7th, 2010

You may not know it but I like pink, like the colour. And sort of the musician, too, but that’s not related. I first heard of Pink Lubricant years ago but I’m not sure where. The attractive bottles drew my attention and it stayed drawn for some years but I don’t use a lot of lube so I never needed to buy it. However, I decided it might be the right time to try it out when Babeland offered it up for review.

The larger bottles of Pink lubricant are packaged in glass and look much like perfume. The 1.7oz bottle I received, although not glass, still looks pretty classy with its frosted plastic. “Pink” is written, prettily, across the front of the bottle in pink lettering. There’s a line which says “silicone lubricant for women” but the bottle is fairly bare and sleek. I like it but it’s less discreet than the glass style. The bottle is pump style with a small cap over the pump to prevent spilling and the whole thing comes wrapped in plastic (yay). I’ll be honest here.. Between unwrapping the plastic and using the lube, I have no idea where the plastic cap went. So, it would be useful if I could find it but I can’t and I have no recollection of taking it off. Chances are, the cats go to it and it’s under some piece of furniture because it’s small and fun if you’re of the feline variety.

Now, my experience with silicone lubes is really limited. I’ve used 2 including Wet Platinum and the one included in Wet Together. The former experience was down right dreadful as I experienced some sort of reaction but the latter was fairly nice in lubricant properties (not so much as a sensation product, though!). Reviews of Pink are generally pretty high and I figured, maybe silicone lube really is worth it.

My first impression was a bit odd. I guess I was expecting the lube to feel like water based lube does, you know, wet. It didn’t. It felt sort of greasy and I kept pumping at first because I have no idea how much was in my hand. The next thing I noticed was how incredibly thin this lube is which is standard for silicone lubes; although, I do prefer lubricants which are slightly more gelatinous in nature. Also, the pump could jut out a bit more, like a long lotion pump does, because now it just sort of dribbles down the side of the pump/bottle. You have to tip it to avoid that.

So I wasn’t a huge fan of this on my hand but, to be honest, it’s quite slick and has much more staying power than water based lube. A little goes a long way and it doesn’t get sticky as is dries out. Plus, my hand isn’t my pussy – and I don’t want it to be. For actual toy or penis penetration, this lube did work decently. It made it quite frictionless but it feels less natural than water based lubricants seem to feel. It was as if there was a thin layer of incredibly slick plastic inside of me; sure, it reduces friction but I felt as though something was between my husband and myself. I’ve never even felt that way with condoms.

With toys, this was definitely less noticeable. It didn’t feel quite so.. barrier-like which is great but I’m not going to pay $15 for silicone lubricant for toys alone, you know? I really wanted this for actual intercourse. Plus, the parent company makes a water-based lube for use with toys.

To be fair, Pink Lube is not horrible. I did not experience irritation with it like I did Wet Platinum and, besides silicones, the only ingredients are Vitamin E and aloe vera which seems to make it pretty healthy to me. I just really didn’t love the way it feels which is entirely personal preference. Maybe I’m just not built for silicone lubes (are there any which feel.. not so silicone-y? LOL). It is worth a try, however, if you do like silicone based lubes.

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Wet Together Ultimate Pleasure Gels

December 5th, 2009

      Like the Wet Together Couples Lube I just review, the

Ultimate Pleasure Gels

      are meant to enhance each partner’s experience in a way that proves ultimately pleasurable when combined. This new product takes the concept to another level. Like the lube, the pleasure gels offer a tingling sensation for her but the male product differs slightly as it is meant to be prolonging instead of simply pleasurable.

That’s not the only difference. Wet Together Ultimate Pleasure Gels have stepped away from the pink and blue branding which perhaps makes it a bit more politically correct but doesn’t make a whole lot of sense at this point in the game. Because the original products were pink or blue, the red, gold and black colour scheme could be confusing. Furthermore, there’s less room for experimentation because the prolonging pleasure gel is really intended for a male to use it. I have to say, I’m not a big fan of the scheme anyway; it’s sort of gaudy and unattractive. The two .5 tubes of gels – black for him and red for her – are quite plane and lack the colourful, translucent fun of the lube bottles and are remarkably smaller.

But, packaging doesn’t break a good product (or make a bad one but that’s another rant for another day). Unfortunately, I am still not a fan of the tingling formula in these product pairings and it seems like both product and packaging are not for me. The pleasure gel felt identical to the lube and shared the same minty scent, which is definitely noticeable, and slightly sweet taste; it went on cold and while I liked that, it intensified into a distracting and uncomfortable tingling sensation when the area was stimulated. It felt like it took away from clitoral pleasure and I had to ask my husband to stop.

The box says the user will experience a “gentle warming sensation within 5” minutes but that is pretty much the opposite of my experience (intense, cooling and tingling). It also suggests that the product will last 20 minutes. Luckily for me, the sensation faded after 5 or 10 minutes. Perhaps unlucky for you, if you are a big fan. Regardless, they were long and unpleasant minutes for me. Regardless, it’s not what the box suggests. Lastly, the pleasure gel For Her is supposed to enhance natural lubrication but I’m not sure if this is true. In fact, at one point, I felt embarrassingly dry. If there are any lube enhancing properties, I’m sure they’ll entirely negated by the uncomfortable feeling of the product.

If you are ingredient conscientious, the box lists a whole slew of them for both products. For Her contains:

      • Glycerine
      • Propylene Glycol
      • Benzoic Acid
      • Sodium Benzoate
      • Hydroxyethylcellulose
      • Tocopherol
      • Aloe Barbadensis
      • Camellia Sinsensis Leaf Extract
      • Niacinamide
      • Mentha Piperita Oil
      • Water
      • Xantham GumEupatorium Rebaudianum Bertoni LeEaf Extract
      • Phenoxyethanol
      • Ethylhexylglycerin

I am glad to say that the prolonging pleasure gel for him was a big success. I believe the instructions say to apply it just under the head of the penis but I forgot to look and applied the clear gel all over. I couldn’t feel a warming sensation; in fact, when I asked, he said he felt normal but it was obviously something wasn’t normal – in a good way! He definitely was able to last longer and move in ways that would normally cause him to orgasm nearly instantly. In fact, long after the tingling gel had ruined my experiment, I had to ask him to finish up otherwise I am sure he would have lasted longer.

Despite its lack of sensation, my husband loved the gel for him. It doesn’t seem to numb the penis like so many prolonging products which detracts from the pleasure of sex. Even if it helps a man last longer, it doesn’t help sex be an enjoyable act. This gel has really made us consider similar products but it would be great if it were manufactured and sold separately, in a larger container than the 1/2 oz tube.

The ingredients in the Pleasure Gel For Him are:

      • Glycerin
      • Propylene Glycol
      • Benzoic Acid
      • Sodium Benzoate
      • Hydroxyethylcellullodr
      • Tocopherol
      • Aloe Barbadensis
      • Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract
      • Arginine(L)
      • Mentha Piperita Oil
      • Water
      • Xantham Gum
      • Eupatorium Rebaudianum Bertoni Leaf Extract
      • Phenoxyethanol
      • Ethylhexylglicerin

As you can see, the ingredient lists are nearly identical save for Niacinamide and Arginine(L). which I can assume are the active ingredients to cause tingling and prolonged erection, respectively. There is plenty of glycerin in these, which can cause reactions in some women. L’arginine itself can be a controversial ingredient, too.

Even if I had liked the tingling sensation (I know I am not every woman and some will surely enjoy the tingling affect of the pleasure gel For Her.), I don’t think these products have the potential to work together as well as Wet Together Couples Lube simply because there doesn’t seem to be anyway for the pleasure gels to combine for greater effect. They seem to be meant to be enjoyed because they are each in use by a partner.

Wet Together Ultimate Pleasure Gels are not intended to be lubricant; although, they are latex friendly. Wet suggests using Wet Together Ultimate Pleasure Gels with other wet lubricant and there is a sample of Wet Together Lube included. Because they are both sensation products, I would be hesitant to use all 4 products together, especially if you haven’t previously used the products separately. It could get quite intense.

Ultimately, this pair includes a really strong product that I hope Wet continues to make and perhaps focus on by itself. Because my experience was so consistent with the Wet Together products, I would probably not invest any further in the line (were there new additions) unless there were some changes. I do think it would be interesting to see how the pleasure gels could be better adapter to lesbian or gay couples as the prolonging and tingling gels obviously work better in some situations.

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Wet Together Couples Lube

December 3rd, 2009

His and hers lubes are so of all the rage these days. KY did a fair job applying attractive colours to their Yours+Mine lube and, then, advertising the shit out of them. A little more recently, Wet introduced their take on his and her lubes: Wet Together Couples Lube. Packaged in pink and blue bottles, Wet Together pairs water with silicone based and tingling with warming properties to further stimulate sexual arousal and satisfaction. Besides the colours, which really are quite striking, these 2fl. oz bottles are nearly identical.

They both say “Wet Together” on a shiny, silver label with the ‘o’ being fashioned into the respective gender symbol and, on the back, you can peel away the label for additional information. The are press-top style which is easy to use and generally easy to control the amount you squeeze out.

The colour coding of this product makes it easy to tell “how” (or who to use it on) to use it but it also makes it clear that this product is intended for a very specific and heterosexual market. I guess because these types of products tend to be marketed toward the tamer sides of sex and sold in drug stores, I see the point but I’m not totally down with promoting the idea of gender-specific colours, either (is there a better term for this?) and it leaves other couplings out in the cold. Of course, you can certainly ignore the implied suggestions and use each lube separately or put the warming on her and the tingling on him. If you’re a rule breaker like that. 😉 We didn’t, at least not on the first try because I wanted to try the product how it was intended.

For Her is a silicone based lubricant meant to tingle (cool). The clear lube is thin and slick with a medium strong minty scent. When applied internally, I definitely noticed a cooling sensation. It comes with a short ingredient list which is chock full of silicone so use with silicone toys is not advised:

  • Dimethicone
  • Cyclopentasiloxne
  • Dimenthiconol
  • Phenyl Trimethicone
  • Tocopheryl Acetate
  • Peppermint Extract

Cold was definitely something I felt when For Her was applied on me. It reminded me a bit of Intimate Organic’s Discover Gel but I’m not entirely sure if I found the sensation to be pleasant this time. What I can say with absolute certainty is that there was an increase in sensation from pairing the lubes during sex and that the motion of sex (stroking/thrusting) increased it until a “maximum” point. I’ll be honest and say that the first time we used Wet Together, the sensation became so much that it was distracting and I just wanted it to be over and done with so I could rinse off the lube. It could be that we simply used too much so I would advise starting slow, with just a tiny dab.

On the other hand, For Him is a water based lube whose only ingredient is listed (on the bottle) as glycerin. I’m not sure on that one. The box also lists Tocopheryl Acetate but I cannot help but find it strange that “aqua” isn’t even in the ingredients list. Of course, as glycerin is sometimes a culprit when it comes to irritation, proceed with caution. In fact, that’s not a bad idea with any sensation giving product (as you will see, I did learn). For Him is also thin and clear with a sweet taste and not much of a discernible scent. At least, it’s hard to tell after smelling For Her. It is meant to warm and I could easily feel it doing so before I was done applying it to my husband and he seemed to generally enjoy it.

There was a definitely silky slickness to the lube because of its silicone contents and definitely lasted as long as we needed it do. Focusing on lubrication properties alone – and not sensation – I was fairly pleased. I’ve definitely tried worse and this may not be the best lube ever (TM) but it worked. It’s probably not as slick as silicone lube alone but there was a noticeable difference over water based lube. By itself, the silicone lube (Her) is pretty slick and doesn’t get sticky as is dries; it just leaves that sort of tangible “layer” on the skin which needs soap and water to come off. The water based (Him) has a nice texture that becomes a little tacky as it dries but not nearly as much as some water based lubed I have tried. The combination seems to reduce or perhaps just overshadow the less desirable qualities of the water based lubricant, feeling mostly like silicone.

I am not entirely sold on Wet Together Couples Lube as a set. Perhaps I am just a bad example of a “Her” when it comes to trying “his and hers” style lubricants but I didn’t find the tingling to be pleasurable, especially when combined with the warming lubricant to create a more intense sensation. I found myself thinking “is it over yer?” and that’s not how I like to enjoy my sex. However, I feel that the combination produces a solid lubricant which makes sex quite comfortable and, because my husband did enjoy the warming sensation of For Him, we may use it again when we want a warming lube.

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