It had happened a few times; my boyfriend and I would be going at it, and it was hot. Then after a couple minutes it was… hot. My vagina; it was washed over with a stinging, burning discomfort that I still can’t accurately describe. Like if you ran a hair dryer over an open flesh wound, or your hands were raw from climbing the monkey bars… in my vagina. It concerned me and made me worry that I might lose all enjoyment in sex, but it didn’t happen every time so I tried to push it out of my mind.
And then I had a go with the Tantus Tsunami – one of my first 100% premium silicone, body-safe dildos that I knew for a fact I could trust. On this solo run I used some U-Lube Silk and right after my orgasm I felt it again – the heat. I fretted once more before making the connection in my head: could it be my lube?
Another fap session the next day with my Sliquid confirmed it – there was something up.
I had bought a small bottle of U-Lube Silk back when I couldn’t afford to restock my favourite Sliquid Organics Silk, and I was pleasantly surprised that it had many of the same pleasing attributes that I had liked about its more expensive counterpart. So much so that I wasn’t too upset when Lustco started sending vats of U-Lube products (by Forta); U-Lube Luscious, U-Lube Glide, and a larger bottle of U-Lube Silk all made it into my collection.
Being a sex blogger with a pulse and a clue, I had obviously read all about the word on body-safe toys and the dangers of toxic ingredients, and in that same breathe I would see a quick mention of “and lube” without much further discussion on the topic. Remembering this brief afterthought, I Googled “toxic lube ingredients” and found my short answer about what not to use, but was surprised at the lack of mainstream results from relevant bloggers. Is lube safety actually treated as an afterthought? Lube is a substance that stays inside you even after the toy has been taken out, and it’s burned within me well after sex, so lube safety certainly shouldn’t play second fiddle.
I’m not an “all-natural” enthusiast – I drink diet soda and eat more Kraft Dinner than vegetables – but it took my vagina being on fire to realize that yes, these ingredients can and will have a negative effect on you.
Keep sex hot, metaphorically. These are the ingredients to avoid in your lubes & other sexual aids, for safety reasons and/or to avoid allergic reactions and irritation.
- Propylene Glycol
- Nonoxynol 9
- Chlorhexedine Gluconate
- Petroleum-based ingredients & petrochemicals
- Sugars & Sugar Alcohols
- Benzocaine & benzene derivatives (ex. sodium benzoate, methyl, ethyl, propylparaben, benzoate of soda)
I discovered that many U-Lube products contain quite a few of the trouble ingredients (phenoxyethanol, glycerin, propylene glycol, polyquaternium 5) and immediately knew that I’d never go back to unknown lube brands. Body-safe toys made good clean sense, but I now wish that there had been more publicizing of well-known lube brands being unsafe or even just unpleasant (KY, Astroglide, etc.)
Your lube should list its ingredients clearly, and if it doesn’t, run. I’ve said before that I love my Sliquid and I didn’t know how lucky I was that for years this was the only lube I’ve known.
There are plenty of body-safe blogger advocates, but none quite like Dangerous Lilly, who has guides on body-safe toys, sex toy care, and most importantly in this case – The Big Lube Guide. I highly recommend checking out her guide on the good and the bad in the world of lube and reading up on the best options for you.