Product Review: Pjur Woman Aqua

You know I love Pjur, but I’m not always a fan of water-based lubes. However, Pjur’s Aqua For Women still blew me out of the water.

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Right out the door, I love the style of bottle the 3.4 fl. oz Pjur Woman Aqua comes in. I wish more lube came with this type of applicator. It reminds me a little bit of Elmer’s glue (except there’s no point on the tip) or maybe of a Bingo dobber. I’ve never seen that type of applicator before, but it can almost be applied hands-free, which is awesome if you hate getting lube all over your hands.

Image via rgbstock.

Image via rgbstock.

I would, however, suggest opening it pre-coitus. The lid is twisty. I did not think it was, and while trying to open it with a hand already covered in, uh, moisture, things got silly pretty quickly.

I was prepared to not like the feeling of this lube either. If given the choice between water or silicone based lubes, you know I will always pick silicone. But for a water-based  lube, this stuff wasn’t half so bad. Best of all? It’s condom and toy safe, no matter what your toy is made of.

This lube goes on like water, and it stays like that the entire time. But where normal water would dry up or dry out your skin, it doesn’t get tacky when it dies. It stays silky smooth, much like a silicone-based lube like another Pjur favorite, Light Bodyglide.

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Image via rgbstock.

With no flavor or fragrance, you know this lube isn’t just going to feel nice on your skin– it truly is made for women because it won’t irritate the mucous membranes of the vagina. However, since it is water-based, we don’t recommend it for use for anal. Check out these lubes instead.

However, there is one thing to note about those ingredients: if you’ve had trouble with glycerin in the past, this is NOT the lube for you. Not only does this lube have glycerin, but it also have propylyne glycol, which we talked about in a previous review being a just-as-bad substitute for glycerin. These two ingredients probably help make this lube so soft and silky, but if you’re prone to yeast infections or if you’ve had allergic reactions to water-based lubes before, choose something else.

Final Verdict

If you’re looking for a great water-based lube that won’t be too intrusive, give Pjur’s Woman Aqua a shot. If you’re not adverse to glycerin, it could leave you soaking.

Overall Rating: 4 Stars

Buyer’s Guide: Best Sex Toy Cleaners

Using sex toys can be fun treat, but using a toy that hasn’t been cleaned properly can lead to health problems, which is no fun at all.

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As mentioned in Keep Your Dirty Stuff Clean and How to: Keep Your Sex Toy Like New, toy cleaners are the most effective means of ensuring your toy is free of any bacteria that can lead to problems down the road such as bacterial vaginosis or vaginitis. Porous sex toys can also harbor fungus and STDs, and cannot be boiled, so it’s particularly important to keep yourself and your partner safe from these potential health threats.

No worries though, because with these best sex toy cleaners it’s easier than ever to stay clean. So, pick your ideal product, wash up and have a happy and hygienic humping session!

Pjur Med Clean Toy Cleaner

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Safe for use on skin and on sex toys made from any material, Pjur Med Clean Toy Cleaner was created to eliminate those difficult to remove silicone-based lubes. It even works on fabric stains made from lube. Just pre-treat the stain with Pjur Med before washing. This spray bottle contains 3.4oz (100ml) of anti-microbial liquid cleanser. It has been tested against viruses, fungus and bacteria and is ideal for those who share sex toys and those who use the same toys for anal and vaginal orifices.

Ingredients: water, phenoxyethanol, cocamidopropyl betaine, chlorhexidine digluconate, PEG-7, glyceryl cocoate, dimenthicone, copolyol, newohesperidine, sorbitol.

Top Cat Antibacterial Toy Wipes

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These super handy wipes are the epitome of you cleaning convenience. Simply wipe throughly and toss the wipe in the trash, and you’re good to go. Top Cat Antibacterial Toy Wipes are also economical and great for outdoor sex and sex on the go, as they are also body safe, for easy personal cleanup afterwards. What makes these wipes different from others is they contain aloe, are non-irritating and are alcohol-free. Each compact and easy to store pack contains ten sanitizing wipes.

Ingredients: water, chlorhexidine, germall plus aloe, fragrance.

Before and After Toy Cleaner

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Before and After Toy Cleaner comes in a user-friendly 4oz. (118.29ml) spray bottle. As the name suggests, this sex toy cleaner is made to be used both prior to toy use as well as after. This spray doesn’t need to be washed off, as it is self-drying. Just spray it on and wipe it off. This eliminates germs, makes toys smell fresh and clean and it restores the natural suppleness of your toy. Since this spray does contain alcohol, beware that it will dry out the skin and is only intended for use on toys.

Ingredients: deionized water, cocamidopropyl, pg-dimonium chloride phosphate, benzyl-alcohol, disodium EDTA, fragrance.

Berman Center Toy Cleaner

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Berman Center Toy Cleaner is a antibacterial liquid which comes in a 6.28oz. (185.72ml) easy-to-use spray bottle. Perfect for those who prefer a larger volume of product for a less expensive price or for those would rather have an unscented sex toy cleaner. Unlike Pjur Med Clean, this spray doesn’t have any glycerin in it, so this is a better choice for those who avoid glycerin due to high susceptibility to yeast infections. Use this cleaner like a soap, by washing your toy with it and then rinsing it off afterwards.

Ingredients: water, cocamidopropyl betaine, benzalkonium chloride, phenoxyethanol.

The Logistics Of A Successful 69

Many get the idea of using the 69 position from watching adult films, but the reality can be a little more complicated, and sometimes far less sexy. If you want to make sure your 69 is going to be more than a D+, take a peek at these hints and tips!

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Hygiene

Obviously, with the where the nose and mouth are positioned, you’re going to want to make sure things are relatively tidy down there. Maybe 69ing isn’t the best position for that day you had to dash out for your date without a shower, but it can make for some great post-bathtime nookie.

Remember, while you’re 69ing, that your partner will be able to see and (most likely) smell your butthole. There’s no elegant or sexy way to say it. It can be difficult to orgasm with a nose full of smelly butt (unless you’re into that, and then, by all means) but it can also be a little unhygienic. Anal douches are safer to use than vaginal ones, but even just a quick wipe between the cheeks with a baby wipe while you freshen up is a great way to make sure things are kosher down there– and kill any harmful bacteria that might escape the butt fortress.

Vulva-having folks, I understand the temptation of the douche. I do, I do. Especially when you’re looking to have someone with their nose up your posterior. But stay away! Douching is incredibly dangerous and can encourage infection– something you really want to stay away from if you’re having an unprotected mouth on your vulva.

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That’s right– I said unprotected mouth. Because your mouth can transmit viruses and bacteria to the genitals just as easily. HSV-1, or cold sores, can transmit to the genitalia if you’re having an outbreak. And random bacteria from your mouth can cause infections. The best route is to use a dental dam if you’re eating out, or a condom if you’re giving fellatio. Why not even go flavored?

And bearded friends– it’s always a good idea to watch the womb broom. While the tickle can be a delight, a freshly shaved face shaken too vigorously can cause a horrifying beard burn on your partner’s genitals. Trust me on this one: no fun.

Position

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There seems to be a belief that the only possible position for a successful 69 is where someone (usually the smaller partner) is on top, ass in the air, and the other partner is on the bottom. It’s a good starting point, but some may find it uncomfortable, especially if they’re always on the bottom.

If this is too much, try lying on your side with your partner lying on their opposite side. Use pillows to prop yourself up properly so you don’t risk any neck strain.

And if you think you can handle it, there’s always the gold star, ten points to Gryffindor move: the legendary standing up 69. This may take a little extra bit of flexibility, strength, and most importantly concentration, but if you and your partner are able, it can be a new and exciting way to make love.

Have the partner who will be upside down kneel on all fours on a bed or couch, facing away from the partner who will be standing up. The standing partner should take their partners legs and place them over their own shoulders, then pull away from the bed. The upside-down partner can walk backwards off the bed until you get into the proper position or, if the standing partner is tall enough, even use the bed as support/to prevent falling. Remember, this is a grade A, 70’s porn star sex position, so don’t attempt it unless you’re ready.

Techniques

  • Don’t just use your mouth. Use your hands too. It can be exhausting to only do tongue work, and everyone knows that the best kinds of oral aren’t exclusively oral. You can even use toys. Penetrate your partner’s vagina with an nJoy toy while licking her clit. Use a prostate massager like the Dr. Joel Kaplan Prostate Massager on your man while you suck his dick.

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  • Sometimes, when your partner is doing too good of a job, it can be easy to forget your role in the action. You may need to take a break from what you’re doing to focus on your own pleasure before getting back to them– make sure your partner knows ahead of time so no one is disappointed.
  • With the above point in mind, alternate bringing one another closer and closer to climax but stop short each time. Do this several times, and then go to town for an exciting and near-tantric orgasm.
  • If one partner takes longer to orgasm than the other, let that partner receive pleasure first. Suggest that they take time before they begin pleasuring you to to relax and focus on their own pleasure so that they don’t become distracted once their own ministrations enter the picture.

Six Habits For A Happier, Healthier Vagina

A healthy vagina is a happy vagina. Whether you’re using it for sex or just interested in keeping things down there running as smoothly as possible, here are some easy tips to keeping that all-important part of your body healthy.

1. Drink lots of water.

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I sat down, wrote that, and went and refilled my water bottle. Water is essential to a healthy body, and it’s essential to a happy vagina. Water keeps your body’s tissues healthy by flushing out dead cells and bacteria, moisturizing healthy cells, and improving blood flow. Peeing more is just a simple side effect compared to the awesome, healthy vagina you’ll begin to experience after adding more water to your routine.

2. Watch what you eat.

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And I don’t mean this in a, “The only healthy is skinny!” kind of way. I mean it in a, “You are what you eat,” kind of way. Because that’s the absolute truth. Processed foods, carbonated beverages, and the like do not make for a happy hoo-hah.

If your pH balance is all messed up, it can lead to a smelly vagina or even a discomfort or pain. A messed up pH can interfere with how well your body deals with the microorganisms living in your natural flora. Something too acidic can kill off necessary bacteria; something too basic can make it difficult for that bacteria to do its job.

But if you can’t quit those tasty snacks completely, you can still add these foods to your diet for a boost in vaginal health:

  • Yogurt: You may have heard of the age-old cure for a yeast infection– shove some yogurt up there. Well, probiotic yogurt is actually incredibly healthy for the vagina. It encourages the growth of healthy bacteria and yes, it can even be inserted for direct yeast infection relief.
  • Nuts, seeds, and vegetables: pine nuts, sunflower seeds, chia (yes, that chia) seeds, okra, leafy green vegetables, and so much more! All are great ways to keep your body full of essential vitamins, like Vitamin C, which can combat vaginal dryness.
  • Cranberry juice: Cranberries have long been touted as the best remedy for a UTI. And there’s a reason for that. They’re great for killing off bad bacteria and encouraging the growth of good bacteria, particularly in the kidneys and urethra.
  • Fermented foods (like kimchi!): Healthy vaginas have a naturally acidic pH level of 3.5-4.5. If your pH balance is off, fermented foods can give you a healthy addition of acid to set it right again, without all the unnecessary sugars and carbs from things like soda (which can encourage the growth of yeast, cause stress to your kidneys or end in urinary tract during infections).
  • Spicy foods: This, of course, is our favorite here at Spicy Gear. Spicy foods, like cayenne, ginger, and even garlic increase both libido and can help with vaginal wetness. Just make sure not to indulge too close to a lengthy anal session!

3. Get lots of sleep.

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Are you feeling sick? Weak? Just flat-out icky? Now let me ask you this: are you getting enough sleep?

Probably not. When we’re not getting a recommended 7-8 hours of sleep each night, our immune systems get all out of whack and we start to fall apart. If your vagina’s not in tip-top shape, if you’re not feeling as sexually motivated as you would like to be, and if you’re just feeling down right gross, adjust your sleep schedule, get rid of the caffeine, and take a nice, long nap.

4. Masturbate. Lots.

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We’ve written about the health benefits of masturbation before, but we can’t stress it enough. Not only is it great for helping you manage stress, helping you fall asleep, and become knowledgeable about your sexual needs and desires, but it can also just flat out help you get to know the status of things down there.

You know what things feel like when you’re healthy. Masturbation gets you comfortable with touching your own body, so when you’re not healthy and you’re wondering what’s wrong, you can give it a feel before consulting your medical professional.

5. Use body-safe toys and lubricants.

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We can’t stress this enough, which is why we strive to bring you the best info possible on body safe products. This includes knowing what products are best for you personally, even if others don’t have reactions to them. These articles can help you on your way to safer play:

6. Have safe sex.

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We aren’t saying that sex is mandatory for a vagina. We’re saying that if it’s something that you enjoy doing, make sure you’re doing it safely so that you can enjoy it for years to come. Remember, you can’t tell just by looking at someone if they’re infected with an STD. Get tested frequently, and make sure your partners are the same– no matter their sexual orientation or gender identity. Anyone can be infected with an STD.

For the best ways to stay safe, check our list of the Spiciest Condoms on the Market.

[All images courtesy of rgbstock.com]

Lube Review: Pjur BodyGlide Woman

Normally, I loudly and proudly tout the wonders of silicone-based lube and of Pjur brand products, in particular. But, I’m willing to admit when something isn’t working as it should. After trying Pjur BodyGlide Woman all I could say was, “How can a lube be so dry?”

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Granted, I’ve used copious amounts of lube before, especially when using water-based ones, but this was ridiculous. I literally used half of the 30ml (1.02 oz) bottle and still felt like I hadn’t used any at all. It also comes in a 100ml (3.38 oz) bottle, which I instantly regretted not taking home with me. I literally just keep pouring it in, with no results. How mystifying! At this point, I dubbed this the Houdini of lube.

This is the exact opposite with the experience with ID Millennium, another silicone-based lube I reviewed recently, which only required a few drops for an entire romp. This time, it was almost as if my vagina had a lube forcefield surrounding it, repelling the Pjur away from my goodies like magnets of the same pole.

Somehow, despite this lubes disappearing act from my vagina, it had no trouble coating my inner thighs with a nearly impossible to remove, oily film. Even after showering, using ample amounts of shower gel, and shaving with Intimmo Total Body Shave Kreme by WET, this lube still lingered on my skin. This lube defies all logic! Does not compute!

Pjur BodyGlide Woman only has three ingredients: cyclopentasiloxane, dimethicone and dimethiconol, which makes it body-safe and condom-safe. My partner and I paired it with a non-latex LifeStyles SKYN. There is no fragrance or taste to speak of, and this lube is safe for ingestion. It’s safe for daily use and can be used with non-silicone toys.

Despite the slew of ingredients that this personal lubricant doesn’t contain, like parabens and glycerines, the -free list on the package is just silly, and slightly pandering as well I might add. No other Pjur brand lube feels the need to specify, on the bottle, that it’s fat-free. Really? Ugh.

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As if women expect lube to contain fat and are grateful that, at long last, they have found one which does not. Seems kinda misogynistic, Pjur. It’s like labeling an apple as made for women and advertising it as being fat-free. It is a total shame considering how much I adore their other high quality products like Analyse Me and Pjur Backdoor Relaxing Anal Glide.

The bottle design for this lube is also sub-par. The cap takes four full rotations to open, which became an issue since I was constantly trying to put more of it on. I prefer one-handed application, which this design did not allow. It’s also an opaque white bottle, with a vague grey logo, as opposed to their clear or black bottles with bold graphics for their ‘manlier’ products.

Overall Rating: 2 Stars

Final Verdict:

It’s faintly better than no lube at all, but it certainly doesn’t compare to any other type of Pjur lubricant. Next time I’d forgo the Pjur BodyGlide Woman and get the gender neutral Pjur BodyGlide Original instead.

Product Review: WET Naturals Silky Supreme

I’ve been waiting ages to review this product because I love it. It’s silicone, it’s all natural, and it’s by WET. What’s not to love?

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The WET Naturals line is a truly great group of lubes. Their Beautifully Bare is one of the few water-based lubes out there that not only works spectacularly, but is glycerin and paraben-free. Even their flavored Sensual Strawberry is glycerin and paraben-free, meaning it’s one of the few vagina-safe flavored lubes on the market. And unlike other glycerin and paraben-free lubes (looking at you, Astroglide), these lubes don’t use other just-as-bad fillers to replace glycerin and parabens.

Silky Supreme is no different. If you love silicone lubes and you have sensitive skin, this lube is going to rock your world. It goes on like water, but it gives you that wonderful, long-lasting feeling that you’ve grown accustomed to with silicone.

To relieve some of the scariness of the ingredients listed on the label, I decided to take a look into each one and figure out exactly what it was that made this lube so heavenly.

  • Cyclopentasiloxane: A form of liquid silicone found in many different beauty products including sunblock, hair conditioner, and deodorants. It works as an emollient, which softens the skin so that it doesn’t feel tacky once the lube dries.
  • Dimethiconol: Another silicone emollient, which adds to the silky feeling of the lube. Also repels water.
  • Cyclomethicone: A body-safe silicone agent which also helps with the silky, soft feeling of the lube.
  • Phenyl Trimethicone: Another form of silicone which most often is used to prevent a foam from forming when a silicone liquid is shaken. This is another ingredient very commonly found in hair and skin care products.
  • Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E Acetate): Vitamin E mixed with acetic acid. The acid helps keep the vitamin E longer, but in some people, a reaction to the acetic acid can cause dermatitis. If anything’s going to bother you in this bottle, it’ll be this. If you have sensitive skin (like me), you may want to try a sample first before committing to a bottle.

Even with my sensitive skin, I found this lube to be very unobtrusive and it even helped my perpetually dry skin feel soft and unirritated. It could be that the amount of tocopheryl acetate is simply too small to make a big difference, or it could be that I don’t have a problem with that particular ingredient. Who knows? If you react to other lubes, I’d still recommend giving this one a try. It could be your miracle solution.

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Image via rgbstock.com

Since this lube is made with silicone, it’s one of our recommended brands for using during anal sex. Pair it with any condom you’d like, and this lube will stay safe, slick, and on it for the length of your love-making. Just keep it away from toys listed as silicone if you’re not sure that they’re 100% silicone. When in doubt, do a spot test. Not sure how to do a spot test?

And one final thing I really liked about this lube? Normally, it’s a gigantic hassle to get lube out of my bedsheets, especially if it’s silicone. And you know your girl likes to use lots and lots of lube, meaning all over the sheets. Well, that was not the case with Silky Supreme. I simply sprayed some toy cleaner on it (Pjur Med Clean, to be exact) and threw them in the wash. All my stains (and worries) vanished in a simple load of laundry. How about that? 

Final Verdict

I love WET Silky Supreme. It’s silky, and it doesn’t bug my crazy sensitive skin. It’s everything I want in a lube, and it’s all natural.

Overall Rating: 5 Stars

Smegma: What Is It?

Being concerned with the health and safety of your genitalia doesn’t end with buying non-toxic toys, toy cleaner, body-safe lubes and using barriers during all sex acts– you also need to be aware of the importance of daily personal hygiene.

At the risk of sounding like a sex ed film from the 1950’s, I can’t stress the fact enough– genitals need to carefully and meticulously washed. Particularly, the clitoral hood, labia minora and the tip area of the penis that is covered by foreskin. Why, you ask? One little word– smegma. But, what exactly is smegma?

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Smegma (a.k.a. dick cheese or clitty litter) is a naturally occurring, soft, white, cottage cheese-like substance that is very thick and oily in nature. It consists of dead skin cells and secretions from the sebaceous glands. The purpose of smegma is to provide natural lubrication for the retraction of the clitoral hood or foreskin.

However, if left uncleaned, not only will this substance look incredibly unattractive, it will also smell like a thousand dumpsters filled with vomit. It can also seriously impair normal sexual function (and not just because the offensive odor will cause your partner to run to the hills, teary-eyed, with a clothespin on their nose if you even suggest oral). Remember, toys aren’t the only thing that need to be kept clean!

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Although smegma is designed to help with the movement of the extra skin surrounding the clitoris or head, if it is left unchecked it will dry into a yellow crust which essentially glues the extra skin down to your most sensitive area (head or clit). Not fun. In extreme cases, it can lead to phimosis, which is the inability to move the extra skin away from the head or clitoris, leaving these areas completely covered and unable to protrude during arousal.

Many people with phimosis complain of the intense pain involved in the process of deep cleaning the dried up smegma from the area. The best way to do this is with warm water, like in the shower or tub. Q-tips may be very helpful in the cleaning process, and for those with a vagina, a hand mirror can be very helpful. If you’re unfamiliar with your vagina, learn about your vaginal topography here and watch women see their vagina for the first time here.

Gradually, more and more of the foreskin or hood will come loose, but it may take a process of a few weeks of retracting the foreskin or pulling back the clitoral hood and cleaning what is able to be exposed. Each day you should be able to pull the skin back further and carefully clean more of the dried and crusty smegma away using warm water. It typically comes off in small flakes over time.

The best way to avoid this, altogether, is to shower or bathe daily, taking great care to expose the clitoris or head and carefully wash with warm water until there is no white secretion left on the area. Do this, and you’ll never have to worry about phimosis caused by smegma. Plus, you can get your jollies in the shower afterwards, through hands-free masturbation– so ridding yourself of smegma is barely a chore at all.

In fact, circumcised males are the only people who do not have to make this procedure a part of their daily grooming habits. Currently, there is much controversy over whether or not smegma is worth circumcising infants over. Obviously, it is a deeply personal choice made by parents. Either way, it’s essential to throughly teach all children how to stay clean and free of smegma.

When beginning to groom themselves, young uncircumcised boys need to be taught how to clean themselves this way in order to avoid having phimosis due to ineffective hygiene practices. Likewise, female children also need to be informed of the proper way of removing the smegma around their clitoris and labia minora in order to have optimal vaginal health.

Sadly, many teenagers discover their sexuality only to find they cannot retract their foreskin or clitoral hood because the smegma acted like an adhesive and attached the layers of skin which should slide around. If left uncleaned for years, the help of a doctor may be necessary for the removal of the built up smegma. If this is the case with you or your partner, please visit a physician.

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And remember, when it comes to smegma, us humans are not alone. Other mammals have smegma as well, most notably male horses who do not breed. They get what is called a smegma bean that must be removed regularly in order for the urinary tract to remain clear and healthy. Luckily, we have hands, Q-tips and showers, instead of hooves. So really, there is no excuse for us to have any awful smegma build up.