Lube Review: LifeStyles Natural Lubricant

LifeStyles Natural Lubricant is reputed to be an all-natural solution for those of you who have moisture issues. But as we sometimes find with all-natural products, sometimes there’s a reason we prefer less-than-natural ingredients.

Condom Depot has done a nice little write-up about lube ingredients and I found all of the ingredients in this lube listed there. You can check it out if you’re interested, but the gist of what I discovered was that yes, the ingredients are natural. Does that mean you want them in your body? Maybe not, but that’s up to you.

Here’s an exact listing of the ingredients in this lube according to the label:

Di Water, Glycerin, Xanthan Gum (Corn Sugar Gum), Sodium Hyaluronate, Potassium Sorbate, Sorbic Acid, Sodium Chloride (Salt), May Contain: Citric Acid

For example, if you’ve had previous issues with glycerin causing yeast infections, than this lube isn’t for you. It has glycerin in it. In fact, it’s the second ingredient listed, which means there’s quite a bit of glycerin.

But if you haven’t? It’s otherwise a pretty body-friendly lube, made up of ingredients that are commonly found naturally. Although a lot of times, they’re synthesized too– not that that makes them worse. They’re still the same ingredients, and sometimes it’s easier/cheaper/less harmful to the environment to make them synthetically. This lube doesn’t have an organic seal of approval that I know of (unlike Blossom Organics), but it runs pretty close.

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So, on to the lube itself.

You know I’m a giant bottle nerd. And this lube has a really cool bottle. I mean, it has an O-ring and a concave shape for safe carrying when your hands are all lubed up. An O-ring! At 3.5 oz (100 ml) for $7.99, it’s one of the best lube bottles I think I’ve ever come across (haha) with an easy to lift notch from which to pour the lube.

But there is one giant downfall to this lubricant: the tackiness. One review I read on another site put it pretty succinctly, “You could use this for model glue.” That’s sadly accurate.

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“Oh no! I’m out of glue. What do I have lying around that I could use instead?”

It doesn’t start off that way. In fact, when you first apply, it’s just as slick and slippery as you’d want a lube to be. But it doesn’t last.

Such stickiness is only fixed by adding more lube, which, as is the natural cycle, creates even more stickiness. And that was no bueno for this lube-aficionado. I’m more of a one-time applier, which is why I love silicone-based lubes (like WET Naturals Silky Supreme) so much.

For oral though, this lube was pretty decent. It has a slightly sweet taste– barely noticeable, which makes it great if you enjoy your partner’s natural taste, and not at all invasive. There’s no smell, either.

Due to the tackiness, I would 100% not recommend this lubricant for anal sex. It will dry up far too quickly. And no one likes a tacky booty. Try one of those listed on our Five Best Anal Lubes and Sprays list instead.

Overall Rating: 2 Stars

Final Verdict:

I wanted to like this lube. I really, truly did– the natural label and the sweet bottle design made me a fan before I even popped the lid. But with the glycerin issue and the supreme tackiness? LifeStyles Natural Lubricant just wasn’t for me. But give it a shot. Maybe it’ll work better for you.

[Image via rgbstock.]

Sexiest Toy Kits and Gift Sets for Couples

Has your lover been spending more time on the couch, and less time on you? Feeling less lust and more lackluster between the sheets? Ready to knock it up a notch while knocking boots? Then perhaps it’s time to introduce one of our sexiest toy kits or gift sets for couples into your otherwise oh-so-predictable routine!spicyheadercorrect1.pngI’ve personally gone through our extensive sex toy inventory and hand-selected these fabulous kits and sets so you and your partner can reignite the passion and revive that stale bedroom. Use them together or put on a red-hot show! For full product specs, descriptions and pricing information, simply click on the product image that strikes your fancy or sparks your curiosity.

Sexiest Vibrating Dildo Kits for Couples:

The Make-Your-Own Vibrating Dildo Kit

make-your-own-dildo-kitsFeeling creative? Make a clone of your or your partner’s bone with this make-your-own dildo kit! Includes everything you need and it even comes with a bullet vibrator so you can turn this righteous replica into a buzzing boner! It’s sure to get a rise out of you both!

 The Private Reserve Gift Set

privatereserveFor the partner who wants to be treated like a Princess, this top-of-the-line gift set was created to please even the pickiest of private parts. This Spicy Gear exclusive includes these premium-quality, pulsating toys: a LELO NEA clitoral vibrator, a Vibratex Pixie textured vibrator and a Decadent Indulgence 3 rabbit-style vibrator.

Ultra Thin Waterproof Teaser

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Made for getting wet, this waterproof sex toy set is wonderful for couples who are way into hot tubbing or having steamy shower sex. The varying tips keep things fresh and new and the thinness in girth is perfect for warming up or finishing off.

Sexiest Cock Ring Sets for Couples:

Top Cat’s Junior Fantasy Fun Kit

jrfantasy-pkIf you can get past the tween-vibe coming off of this sex toy kit’s packaging, you’ll quickly realize this sex toy set is strictly for adults. A multi-speed vibrating egg, an erection ring, a vibrating dildo and a plethora of interchangeable sleeves– oh my! This penetrable kit is great for those who like a bit of everything, or for those who aren’t quite sure what they like. Why not find out together?

Berman Center Aurora Kit

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With eight speeds of vibrations, two sizes of bullets and a super stretchy cock ring, this kit provides a highly customizable experience. Wear ring with or without bullets or face it up or down for brand new sensations for you both. If you’re both tired of spending a lot of money to use and toss out those one-time-use-only vibrating rings, this could be a life changing alternative.

LifeStyles a:muse His & Hers Pleasure Massagers

amusehh2012Want to get your motors running? This super affordable and crazy fun couples’ sex toy set is ready to go, right out of the box. Simply take out the fingertip massager and vibrating ring, switch them on and they’re rearing and ready for action! Vroom vroom! Read a product review here!

Sexiest Glass Sex Toy Sets for Couples:

Spicy Glass Gem Kit 1

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Feel these cool, slick and non-porous glass toys on your skin and you’ll be hooked. This easy-to-keep-clean gift set is great for mutual masturbation and temperature play. Includes the four dildos pictured above, which are various sizes, shapes and they have different levels of textures. Two have o-rings for easier grip and removal.

Spicy Glass Gift Set 2

spicyglass2-lgSimilar to the first glass set, but less colorful and with more curves. These gorgeous, gleaming glass dildos are designed for vaginal or anal penetration and are perfect for prostate massage. Talk about a gift that won’t cause a relationship rift, this glass gift set is your best bet for spicing up that dead bedroom– in a big way, for both of you.

Sexiest Toyless Kits for Couples:

 Private Dancer Pole Kit

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Dying to dress up and demonstrate your seductive dancing skills in the privacy of your own home? Are your ceilings less than nine feet tall? Then you’re in booty-shaking business! Comes complete with feather boa, garter, play money and an instructional DVD and can be installed permanently (screws included) or used temporarily and then stored away.

Lover’s Prisoner Kit

loversprisoner-modelTake charge of your dwindling sex life by making your consenting partner into your own personal love slave! Designed for domination and control, this attractive and high-quality leash, collar, wrist/ankle restraints and whip set will put them in their rightful place once and for all– underneath you.

Pink Kink Kit

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Made from real leather, this collar, blindfold and whip set for couples will surely tickle your partner pink! Pink butt cheeks, that is! A spectacular set for those couples looking to experiment with light bondage and power play, plus it comes in a ready-to-gift, pastel pink drawstring bag.

How To: The Dance of the Double Dong

The Darth Maul of Dildos. The Double Ender for your double ends. No matter who you are or who you’re in a relationship with, the double-ended dildo can be used by anyone who enjoys penetration in the anus or the vaginal canal. And don’t think that double the dildo means double the cost. A few have even made our list of Toys Under $20!

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Alone

Some forms of the double D (like our Double Ender) can be used alone for double penetration. These dildos have to be very flexible, and so some materials don’t work well for this purpose. The FeelDoe, for example, would not work for this purpose, although it is an amazing toy to share with a partner.

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Many double-ended dildos come with different sized heads at either end (like the Art Deco AC/DC Double Dong, pictured above), so it is like getting two dildos in one. If you don’t know if you want a larger or a smaller dildo, a double-sided dildo is a great way to try out both experiences.

But the toy can also be used for single penetration, too. For those of us who also enjoy the image of a penis being stroked, stroking the outie end of a double dildo while pleasuring yourself with the toy in the vaginal canal or the anus can be a huge turn on. So even if you aren’t ready to take the DP plunge, you can still enjoy either end of the double-sided dildo.

With a Partner

Whether you’re begging for a pegging or going pussy-to-pussy, double-sided dongs are one of the most satisfying toy you can use with a partner. But they can also be one of the more difficult toys to get the swing of.

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The problem tends to be in getting the positioning and rhythm right. This can be a bit of a challenge, especially if the dildo is not rigid, like the nJoy Pure Wand (pictured below).

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If you’re struggling to get into the right rhythm with your partner and the double-sided dildo, the answer could be a harness. Use a normal strap-on harness (like the one in our Crotchless Panties with 7″ Strap-On Dildo), but thread one end of the dildo all the way through and into the orifice of your choosing. This should help you hold the toy in place for more acrobatic love-making.

You can also use a double-sided dildo for oral. One partner rides it while the other uses their mouth. This may also take some exact positioning, as well as some suppression of the gag reflex.

Lube It Up

No matter how you’re using this toy, make sure you have lots of toy-safe lube on hand.  If the toy is 100% silicone, glass, or steel, a silicone lube like ID Millennium is a great idea. If not, we recommend and aloe-based lube, like Blossom Organics. This won’t hurt your toy (or any condoms you might be sticking on that toy) and it feels comfortable and cooling on the butt.

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Also, if you are using your double-ended dildo in a butt, make sure to keep it clean. Some toys can be porous and hold on to bacteria that shouldn’t be shared between couples. Using a condom will prevent your anal toy from becoming a real bummer.

Lube Review: Blossom Organics

I love natural lubricants. For the most part, they seem to treat my vagina a lot nicer than some of those all-too-common pharmacy brands. You may remember my love affair with the WET Naturals products, for instance, including Silky Supreme (silicone-based), Sensual Strawberry (flavored), and Beautifully Bare (water-based).

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Blossom Organics is specifically formulated for women who have trouble with vaginal dryness during sex. And it works. This is one of the number one recommended lube on the market for menopausal women.

We carry Blossom Organics in a 2.5 oz squeeze tube, not unlike your favorite hand moisturizer from Bath and Body Works. While I like some application designs better, this one gets the job done pretty well, and keeping it standing on its head will keep your lube flowing until the last drop. We also carry it in 1 oz. and 4 oz. bottles as well as travel-sized 3ml sized lube foils (sorry, they’re only available in a quantity of 144 pieces).

All of their products are considered to be aloe-based, not water-based. Aloe-based lubes aren’t one that you see on the market a whole lot for some reason– they don’t seem to be as popular as water or silicone. However, they really should be. Personally, I prefer them to water-based lubes because they don’t get tacky. They feel like an excellent moisturizer, even after some vigorous friction.

For my sensitive skin, aloe-based lubes feel better, last longer, and are more comfortable. Because of that cooling effect aloe has, I even like to use them during anal, while I would never use a water-based lube for anything going up my butt. This also means that they are both condom and toy-safe.

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This lube has almost no smell, as well as a slightly sweet taste to it which wouldn’t make me opposed to using it for oral sex. In particular, since it is so vagina-friendly, this lube would be perfect for cunnilingus. It’s not overwhelming, it will still let you taste her (if you enjoy that), but it can provide a slightly sweet edge.

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It’s hard to trust in a product to be certifiably organic, especially since that seems to be the hip label to put on all the lubes recently. But Blossom Organics is truly organic. Per their site:

“Organic” marketing claims ARE regulated by both the State of California and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The CALIFORNIA ORGANIC PRODUCTS ACT – COPA 2003 prohibits the retail sale of any cosmetic product labeled as “organic” unless that product meets the criteria of 70% organic content, excluding water and extracts. What does this mean? If you are reading a product ingredient listing, the first ingredient cannot be water or propylene glycol. The first ingredient MUST be certified organic which would make your lubricant mostly organic ingredients; not just a small amount of aloe or a few botanical extracts. Each organic ingredient also must meet the strict USDA NATIONAL ORGANIC PROGRAM guidelines and be certified by a USDA approved agency. Naturally pure, organic ingredients are the mindful choice for healthy well-being and Blossom Organics is formulated to meet these strict organic regulations.

Normally, I do a run-down of all the ingredients in each lube I review. But Blossom Organics was nice enough to have this on their website. They also have a lot of information on vagina-safe lubes that I would recommend checking out, although do take it with a grain of salt since this they are obviously trying to sell their product.

If you’re looking for the short list, though, know that it is free of alcohol, glycerin, silicones, parabens, petrochemicals, dyes, artificial fragrances, and flavorings.

Final Verdict:

If you’re wary of silicone, but you want to avoid water-based lubes, I’d really recommend giving Blossom Organics a go. The aloe in the product will leave you feeling refreshed, comfortable, and best of all, moist. This lube is both condom and toy-safe.

Overall Rating: 4 Stars

Best Rabbit Vibes

The most highly coveted and most popular of all sex toys are rabbit vibrators. Why? Because they’re simply adorable and they simultaneously stimulate the G-Spot, A-Spot, U-Spot and the clitoris. What’s not to like about that?

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Like other dildos and dongs, rabbit vibrators come in a wide range of sizes, prices, shapes, colors and materials. Therefore, it can be extremely difficult to narrow down which of the hundreds of rabbits out there are made to suit your particular fancy.

This overwhelming amount of rabbit vibes prompted me to create this best rabbit vibes buying guide. Read on to discover which of Spicy Gears’s rabbit vibrators made the cut and made me want to breed like a rabbit on espresso!

SpicyGearLogoBest Penetrative Rabbit Vibes:

Just click on the product image for full product information.

Original Jack Rabbit Vibrator

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Current Cost: $32.99

I used my first rabbit vibrator in college, and it was a life-changer. This is that vibrator, the Original Jack Rabbit. Often imitated, but never completely duplicated, this is the innovative product that began the ravenous rabbit consumption craze in the 90s.

iVibe Wireless Rabbit

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Current Cost: $111.99

If you want a fancier rabbit, with a wireless remote that has a digital display, look no further than the iVibe Rabbit. This phthalate-free vibe has metal beads for light temperature play and the advanced motorization allows for individual control of the bunny’s movements and the shaft’s vibration, for that ever-customizable experience.

Dream Maker Lunar Rabbit

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Current Cost: $69.99

Ready for a rabbit vibe that really lights up the night? The Dream Maker Lunar Rabbit has a gorgeous multi-colored light display that illuminates the naughty bits in a discotheque fashion. This product is a wild party in and of itself, and it’s always ready to spring into action whenever you are.

Wireless Strap On Bunny

wirelessstraponbunny-lg Current Cost: $22.99

We all love hands-free masturbation, and this is precisely what the Wireless Strap On Bunny has to offer. Like a cross between a Sybian Sex Machine and a traditional rabbit vibrator, you can hop on and ride this hands-free rabbit vibe whenever the mood strikes.

Pure Red Silicone

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Current Cost: $44.99

Perfect for those with a latex allergy, the Pure Red Silicone rabbit is a non-porous alternative to jelly rabbits. It’s fully waterproof, but just be careful when using personal lubricants, as silicone lube and silicone toys don’t play nicely together and can cause damage to your toy.

 

Best Non-Penetrative Rabbit Vibes:

Want to try your new rabbit as soon as you get it? For the ultimate in convenience, add batteries to your cart!

Rabbit Finger Vibe

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Current Cost: $17.99

This Rabbit Finger Vibe will have you shimmying your cute cottontail in no time flat. It’s stretchy enough to accommodate a variety of finger sizes and can easily be used for manual sex with your partner or for masturbation. Remote control allows for variation in speed.

Rabbit Keychain Vibe

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Current Cost: $9.99

An inexpensive and fun gift for you or your lover, this little portable Rabbit Keychain Vibe is suitable for traveling, sleepovers and for any spontaneous and ultra discreet trip to O town. Great for bachelorette parties and for use as party favors!

Reckless Rabbit

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Current Cost: $15.99

Turn your partner or favorite non-rabbit dildo into a rabbit vibe with this dandy little Reckless Rabbit! Complete with those ears that rub clits the right way and a bunny tail nub for additional outer anal region contact. This vibrating cock ring traps blood flow for a longer lasting erection, comes with remote control and can be used with or without the protection of a condom.

Rabbit Wiggle Wand

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Current Cost: $14.95

Abracadabra! Now you really can pull a rabbit out of a hat, with the Rabbit Wiggle Wand. This flexible wand is intended for clitoral stimulation, but the wand makes it a cinch to reach other nerve-rich places as well, like the nipples and anus. Instant sexual satisfaction, ta da!

Reproductive Healthcare: International Options

With the prevalence of Crisis Pregnancy Centers, it can be difficult to know who out there is willing to pull for your reproductive health and rights. Here in the US, Planned Parenthood is our go-to for solid information, sensitive staff, medical procedures, and contraception counseling.

But what about those places in the world where Planned Parenthood doesn’t exist? We decided to look into some international organizations that are dedicated to providing reproductive care world-wide.

Marie Stopes International

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Next to Planned Parenthood, Marie Stopes is probably the best known name for sexual healthcare. Marie Stopes, the person, founded the very first birth control clinic in Britain in the early 20th century and her clinics have long been a staple in the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Australia. And contrary to popular belief, she was never an advocate for abortion, thinking that proper education and preventative birth control were a better way to go.

Marie Stopes, the organization, has offices in all of the countries below:

Marie Stopes

When you go to a Marie Stopes clinic, you can expect services in the following:

  • Family planning (long and short-term contraception, including condoms, hormonal birth control, vasectomies, etc.)
  • Maternal and newborn health resources (quality and affordable care for women and babies, education on how to care for a baby, advice on contraception for the future, counseling for families)
  • STD testing and prevention (HIV testing, testing and treatment for viral and bacterial STDs, prevention for vertical transmission between mothers and babies)
  • Abortion and after-abortion care (where the law allows)

Planned Parenthood International

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While Planned Parenthood is an American staple, they do have an international arm which functions in other countries and are continuing to look for more places to expand to. Currently, though, you will find them in the countries below:

Planned Parenthood International

Planned Parenthood was founded around the same time as Marie Stopes, by Margaret Sanger, who was later arrested for providing information about contraception to the public. Today, Planned Parenthood continues to cause plenty of controversy in the US by being an advocate for women’s health.

At Planned Parenthood International facilities, you can find the following services:

  • Family planning (long and short-term contraception, including condoms, hormonal birth control, vasectomies, etc)
  • Maternal and newborn health resources (quality and affordable care for women and babies, education on how to care for a baby, advice on contraception for the future, counseling for families)
  • STD testing and prevention (HIV testing, testing and treatment for viral and bacterial STDs, prevention for vertical transmission between mothers and babies)
  • Abortion and after-abortion care (where the law allows)

Pathfinder

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For half a century, Pathfinder has existed under the mission of bringing healthy sexual practices to people all over the globe. They are particularly well-known for suing the US government to end the Global Gag Rule, which prevented US-run companies from providing family planning assistance to other countries.

Pathfinder

Unlike Marie Stopes and Planned Parenthood, Pathfinder does not run clinics nor provide assistance themselves. Instead, they work with local groups to provide these services and set up clinics of their own, by making sure their programs are safe, positive, and conducive to the needs of the local community. If you contact your local Pathfinder representative, they will be able to tell you how to access these resources from their partner clinics.

International Women’s Health Coalition

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The International Woman’s Health Coalition works with many smaller companies the globe over to find innovative solutions for women’s healthcare. Much like Pathfinder, their main programs help grassroots campaigns in countries that don’t have decent access to sexual health care start their own programs and be successful. Currently, they have programs in the countries below:

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But they have previously funded over 80 other programs in a grand total of 25 countries. Your local health clinic may be a part of their network already!

Know of Any We Missed?

If you know of any other sex positive reproductive health groups, please let us know! We will add them to the list!

Lube Review: AstroGlide Diamond Silicone Gel

On most days, you won’t find a discerning lube user shouting from the rooftops about the magnificence of this very well-known brand of personal lubricants. But, could AstroGlide’s brand spanking new Diamond Silicone Gel formula be the gleaming diamond among their usual, “Dang, this is so sticky and runny,” rough?SpicyGearLogo

 

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Over the summer, Spicy Gear Girl reviewed another recent lubrication development by AstroGlide, their Glycerine and Paraben-Free formula. While it only received a two star rating from her, we were both impressed at this seemingly stagnant brand for picking up on body-safe and vagina-friendly trends and noting the major consumer shift towards non-toxic sex toys and more natural and less harsh lubricant ingredients.

Speaking of natural ingredients, this is the first name brand commercial lube I’ve seen to capitalize on the exploding, “Coconut oil is the best lube ever!” craze, by mixing a small amount of fractionated coconut oil into this otherwise pure silicone lube blueprint. As you can see from the ingredients listed below, the majority (first three) components are varieties of silicone, while the fourth ingredient is coconut oil.

Ingredients: Dimethicone, Cyclomethicone, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride (Fractionated Coconut Oil)

Now, this is where it gets tricky. Technically, this is a latex-safe lube. Morally, I think it’s wrong to label it as such, as I take latex-safe labeling extremely seriously.

Diamonds may be the hardest substance on Earth, but it doesn’t take 14 carats of bling to rip through a paper-thin piece of superheated latex. This lube was made and approved for sale in the U.S.A., and is marketed as latex-safe, but the World Health Organization and the United Nations stand by their 2011 rulings that oil, including coconut oils, significantly degrade latex condoms.

Despite the minute ratio of oil in this lube, I strongly feel as though it does increase the risk of condom breakage, even when present in such small amounts. Personally, due to my uncomfortableness with this oil content, I chose to reduce my anxiety about STD/STIs and unwanted pregnancy by being overly cautious, and refused to use this lube with a latex condom.

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As a result, I used this premium feeling no-drip formula with my Pyrex Don Wands Glass Wand instead of with my partner (we didn’t happen to have any non-latex FC2 or lambskin condoms around, both of which are safe for use with oil-based lubricants).

What were my masturbatory findings, you ask?

This is a super high quality, long lasting, premium, no drip, waterproof, odorless, colorless and tasteless lube. But, it will definitely leave a stain on those sheets, destroy your less than 100% silicone sex toy and/or clog those acne-prone pores, so watch out, and be sure to pick up some Pjur MedClean to get any stubborn silicone off of fabrics and skin.

This lube only comes in one size, which is 3 oz (88.72ml). It’s moderately priced at $14.99 and comes in a toothpaste-esque container which resembles a squatty, unopened tube of Crest. I think AstroGlide thrives on this nonthreatening Walgreens-vibe of package design– so sterile, medical and professional. To push the medicinal quality of the product even further, they go on to specify that this shelf-friendly product is preservative-free, hormone-free and non-irritating.

Overall Rating: 3 Stars

Final Verdict:

I was uncomfortable using a lube containing coconut oil with a latex condom, fearing that my partner’s diamond-tipped drill bit could puncture the oil-weakened latex too easily. Contrastingly, during solo play with my awesome glass dildo, I could relax and enjoy using this thick, smooth and natural feeling AstroGlide Diamond Silicone Gel without a care in the world.