Everything’s Better Wetter: A Few Words About Lube! By Dish Stanley

Everything’s Better Wetter: A Few Words About Lube! By Dish Stanley

. 10 min read

Lube is a Toy Box favorite, but make sure to check the ingredients. The same standards for clean products that have infused other parts of the health & wellness industries are not as widespread in the intimacy products market.

What one thing was in a lot of the toy boxes? Lube. We’ll wait to say more on any particular lube brands until we collate more of the Toy Tester’s reviews, but I thought we’d slide into the topic of lube with a little precursor. It’s a highly subjective area, yet there a couple things most people should consider when considering lube.

Wetter Is Better (or Why Lube Is Liquid Magic).  Lube is like a liquefied Silk Sonic song as far as I'm concerned. It turns me on. It makes everything feel smoother, more intense and like we're leaning into something exciting.  One of my best friends is adamant about only one thing when it comes to sex.  (She's a fluid sort.) It’s better, and she has more orgasms, with lube than without it. Why? It’s silky and soothing, it’s fun, it can become part of a foreplay ritual (eg, a hand job that glides smoothly while applying the desired pressure), it can allow you to have sex longer (if you want!), and if you use it every single time it eliminates not only dryness but also (even more importantly) anxiety about potential dryness. (Because even if you are naturally well-lubricated, some day-to-day variation is inevitable.)

Consider this: I have another girlfriend who had never tried it because, she said, she didn’t need it. But she’s a game person and with some urging from me and another girlfriend (in a Sex And The City moment over brunch), gave it a shot. What’d she say?

“I’m wet enough that I didn’t think I *had* to have it. But the sex was wetter. Wetter is always better when it comes to sex. We’ll definitely keep using it.”

What’s In the Lube Matters
. I have some friends who aren’t particular about what lube they use - whether it is silicone-based, water-based or oil-based (though you don’t want to use most oil-based lubes with most toys because it degrades latex). They don’t notice or care about feel, consistency, smell, packaging.

I have become more particular.  That’s because (and I hate to be alarming) the more I learned about lubes, the more I realized that the “clean” movement that has spread through much of health and wellness-focused products has not extended as deeply into to sex products. There is toxic shit in a lot of lubes.  I try to avoid additives and chemicals in my food and other body/cleaning products, and I sure as hell don’t want them up my vagina. A lot of lubes have ingredients, like various forms of sugar, that whether or not you are limiting them in your diet, you sure as hell should eliminate from your lube.

I started taking the ingredients in lube seriously a couple years ago after trying a major brand’s “Organix” lube in a pinch and ending up with a yeast infection two days later. My doctor pointed out that many lubes contain forms of sugar, like glycerin. Sugars are a food source for microbes, particularly yeast. I checked the label on that lube and sure enough, it had “Xanthan Gum” in it, which I looked up and sure enough, it’s essentially sugar. So the lube was “all natural” but not healthy. That’s not sweet.

Now I use a few highly trusted brands (more on them when we publish our Toy Tester reports), check all ingredients, or go without my beloved lube.

What do I like in a lube? I like brands that use products that are formulated to be consistent with a woman’s natural pH. I like aloe (it’s soothing), and prefer water-based. I like to see “organic ingredients,” “unflavored” and “unscented” in the description, also “safe for toys and condoms”.

What ingredients do I avoid? Anything on this list: DEA, gluten, glycerin, glycol, parabens, propylene, sorbitol, hormones and sulfates. To learn more about lube ingredients, here is an article from SELF magazine with more detailed information. I can’t do a better job on it myself: 6 Lube Ingredients You Might Not Want to Put In Your Vagina.

So, lube up! But for you and your partner’s sake, check the label first.

Want to read more about lubes from our PrimeCrush Toy Tester project? Continue reading below.


We asked PrimeCrush Toy Testers to volunteer the brand they had already been and loved best. Out of 10 responses, only one brand got multiple (4) mentions, Sliquid. Personally, one of my straight-up favorites is their Sliquid Naturals H2O. It uses plant cellulose as a thickening agent, and for that reason it lasts. Like the Sizzle and Soul formulations, it is free of glycerin, parabens, gluten and sulfates and other harmful products and is also 100% vegan-friendly, non-toxic and hypoallergenic. Based on some of our Toy Testers' familiarity with Sliquid, we picked two different Sliquid formulations that were likely to be new to them: the Sizzle and Soul formulations.

Sliquid Soul Naturals is made with coconut and other organic oils. It can actually be applied to your skin topically to moisturize it as well as used as an intimate product. Like the Sizzle (discussed below), Soul is free of glycerin, parabens, gluten and sulfates and other harmful products and is also 100% vegan-friendly, non-toxic and hypoallergenic. I have a lot friends who use just coconut oil as both a moisturizer and lubricant, and Soul's "selling point" is that it is a luxurious step above for those consumers. Note that (as introduced in my ode to lubes below) because it is oil-based it can't be used with latex (toys, condoms, etc).

Sliquid Sizzle Naturals is similar to an arousal gel in that it is infused with food-grade menthol. It is a water-based lubricant intended to create a zing as you start things up.  It goes on cool, but warms with friction. Like Soul it is toxic-free and natural. Because it is water based it is good for use with toys. Note that it is not as thick as the Sliquid Naturals H2O mentioned above. (For more on arousal gels, scroll down.) When we asked our Toy Testers what they thought of the Sliquid products here's what they said:

Would you recommend the SLIQUID Sizzle & Soul Lubes to other CRUSH Readers?

4 out of 4 toy testers said “Yes.”

Here are some specific comments on Sliquid Sizzle & Soul:

  • Worked like a lot of lubes. Effective but the Soul didn’t stand out. Also, I don’t normally use lube to masturbate but the warming sensation felt great. Seemed like we needed to use more than other lubes (Soul).
    - “CJ”
  • I enjoyed them both equally and for different reasons. I love that both products are free of parabens and other unwelcome chemicals. Sizzle has a wonderful cooling effect when first applied and then warmed up once we got started. This is an amazingly great feature. Truly. Fun to try. A simple way to mix things up. My partner and I enjoy a bit more friction, and at times, Sizzle was too slippery. Sliquid Soul, on the other hand, has the perfect texture for us. It feels delicious. It is oil based (cocoanut) so not for use with latex products, but is non-staining so feel free to spread it around! My partner and I have a lot of fun together in many aspects of life. Being a toy tester has created even more playfulness. Thank you, Dish!
    - “Dixie”
  • I really loved them both. I looooove knowing that they are non-toxic. And for a non-toxic straight-up lubricant, I could see the SLIQUID Soul becoming a regular. But you can't use it with products, and for that I use the water-based Sliquid H2O Natural. It lasts longer. I have to say, I’d never tried a “warming” lube and it felt good. They feel similar to us in terms of slipperiness and thickness. They feel great. I would say that they are not quite as “natural” feeling as the Beloved serum {reviewed below}, but they are both probably longer lasting. The warmth of the Sizzle will be great on a cool night. Thanks, Dish!
    - "Kay (57)"
  • Liked the SLIQUID more than some other lubes we've tried. We were overzealous using SLIQUID Sizzle the first time and found a little goes a long way. My (male) partner liked it as much as I did. Now, need to get more. Sliquid Sizzle is more than enough to shoot you over the edge…multiple times!  It definitely helps you sizzle:)  
    - “Andrea”

BELOVED Intimacy Serum & Moisturizer

This intimacy serum is brought to market by Founder Sara Gold, a woman of a certain age who discovered that moving into her "change of life," as she puts it, brought on a change in her hormones that resulted in dryness. After searching for a lubricant that was both safe and made with high-quality, natural ingredients while also being packaged in an attractive, discreet bottle suitably sophisticated for "us," she decided to create a product herself.

Beloved Intimacy Serum & Moisturizer is a luxurious product that combines lube with a moisturizer and mimics the feel of a woman’s natural wetness. It is intended for those looking for a sensual and natural consistency and because it is intended to mimic natural wetness, it feels less greasy, sticky, slick, and thick than a lot of lubes. It comes in an attractive “serum” holder that looks more like an upscale facial moisturizer than a typical lube. And it is completely free of bad ingredients, of course. (Like every lube we recommend, it has none of the toxic stuff in it.) When we asked our Toy Testers, here's what they said:

Would you recommend Beloved Intimacy Serum to other CRUSH Readers?

4 out of 4 toy testers said “Yes.”

Here are some specific comments on Beloved:

Tell us whether you enjoyed your BELOVED Intimacy Serum & Moisturizer.

  • A product I didn’t know I needed has become one of my favorites. The slip and feel of BELOVED are startlingly natural. The light consistency and natural feeling of wetness made this a perfect product for daily moisturizing, which I thought was a weird thing at first, but is now a normal ritual. Oh, it’s also great for play! I tend to prefer oils when with my partner, but BELOVED pairs nicely with my toys:) My elegant container of BELOVED Intimacy Serum & Moisturizer isn’t hidden away in some drawer, it’s sitting proudly on my bedside table.  
  • Well, it’s so pretty. I love the container. So that’s the first thing I noticed. I really liked it; so lovely. I love the feel of it - very natural, not too slick or thick. As I said, really lovely. What I realized after using it is that in terms of lovemaking, it is best for nights when I just want a little bit of lube - a little bit of extra wet. I will use something thicker and more long-lasting for a “Saturday night” (eg, a big sex night). But honestly, my partner and I have a lot of nights where it is just a kind of nice little quickie and I don’t want or need all the goo for those nights. Beloved is perfect for that. Highly recommend it! I have been using lube more, and I have you to thank for that, Dish. It really is better. I’ve also never thought there was much difference between lubes - and I never paid attention to lube ingredients. So I thank you very much for your “Wetter Is Better” piece. I liked knowing that Beloved (as well as the other lubes you sent us for testing) were non-toxic.
    - “Kay”
  • I love this. It is not tacky. It is so natural. I haven’t tried a lubricant that feels so natural. I would say it is not a typical lube in that it is for adding some extra wetness for some lovely intimacy rather than a situation where you have a night of porn sex in front of you. But honestly, most nights I am *not* spending the night doing porn sex. So I’d rather use this on a day-to-day basis and pull out the thicker lube on occasion.
  • Good… Pleasure to use but guess I was somehow expecting more… something.
    - “Harry”

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