This article originally appeared in VICE US
As a bottom, the only thing more painful to think about than the 20 years I spent in the closet is anal sex without lube. The mere thought makes my skin crawl and forces me to conjure vivid images of the "pink sock" (defined by Urban Dictionary as being where "the colon is reversed and creates the deadly pink sock hanging out of the ass, this results in death.")
Nobody deserves to die from taking dick. Having dry anal sex is 100 percent avoidable. If you can afford brunch, you can afford to get lube airdropped by an Amazon drone before you fire up Grindr. And you have no excuse to use saliva—you're not a caveman.
But what if you're stuck in a bind? What if you can't wait for Amazon, and there are no sex stores nearby?
Throughout my many years of thottery, I'll admit I've sometimes resorted to stopgaps like Vaseline and olive oil in a desperate pinch, but using household products to grease things up is never a good look.
Walk into any drug store's "family planning" aisle, and you'll be confronted by a murderer's row of boring straight people lubes that are about as effective in a butt as peanut butter. Which makes sense—there's a huge difference between the physiology of the vagina and the ass, and most drug-store lubes were designed for the former.
That said, I was curious: Are there any popular drugstore lubes that can do the trick, or are they only good for emergencies? To find out, I went on lube-shopping sprees at both my local drug store and my local sex store, and tried out the five most prominent brands from each. I had sex using each, and after doing God's work, I come to you with my findings. Lube up, because we're going in.
1. WET ($5.00)
This cheap, condom-friendly, water-based lube is, in my opinion, a straight-up scam. Thick, gloppy, sticky feel, and a faint shampoo-like scent. It comes in a variety of flavors including unicorn spit donut-flavored, and "Boink n' Oink bacon," for those who enjoy getting their George Costanza on. Dries fast, so not ideal for anal sex, and I'd only recommend this for masturbating. Throwing this one away.
2. K-Y LIQUID ($10.49)
The manufacturer says this is "the #1 Doctor recommended" brand of personal lubricants. Apparently, this doctor is the straightest doctor on the face of the Earth. Design looks like something out of a Sears catalog in the 50s. This is the most basic of basic lubes you can get—a water-based liquid with a "natural" feel that dries up on you quickly. I've used the warming varieties before, and they will burn your ass. Stay away at all costs.
3. TROJAN EXPLORE ($7.49)
It's really hard to "free your pleasure" when you have to keep applying this stuff every other minute. While the squeeze bottle allows for easy application, this is the thickest water-based gel I found at the drug store, and "thick" isn't an adjective you want being thrown around when you're sticking things in the human body where they shouldn't go. Gets sticky, which only causes a mess. The website's description says it "plays well with TROJAN™ Vibrators." NAH.
4. PINK WATER ($13.99)
As a water-based lubricant "for women," I knew I was in trouble with this one. Faint, fresh candle-y smell. The bottle design is cute but very feminine, like something you'd find at Bath & Body Works. Feels like it was designed for a college freshmen who's pledging into a sorority and ready to lose her virginity. Another water-based lube with a nice glide but does dry out. Adding half a star for the added aloe vera and oat extract for moisture, and ginseng and guarana for better sensation, but this one's still made for the vaginas.
5. DUREX MASSAGE & PLAY ($13.99)
A two-in-one water-based massage gel and lubricant, this lube is better in theory than in practice as a multi-purpose product. Love the unique pill shaped bottle, which made it easy to use and apply. This one has a distinct smell, which I can only describe as similar to Jack Daniels Honey Whiskey or warm french toast, which isn't really my vibe when I'm fucking, plus it doesn't easily wash off, which is annoying. As a gel, it has a thicker clumpier feel and does require reapplication. Not satisfied!
1. FUCKWATER ($14.95)
"When spit and courage aren't enough," as this product's tagline goes, turn to FuckWater. This water-based lube isn't as bad as Wet, but it still has a sticky feel and does dry a bit after use. Scentless. Knocking half a star for ripping its entire brand aesthetic from Swiss Navy, but the name does make it a funny conversation piece. It has silicone varieties, which are better-suited for anal, but I'd rather go with brands that specialize in silicone.
2. GUN OIL ($11.95)
This lube was inspired by CLP liquid, an industrial lube used in guns—and also, apparently, by soldiers jacking off while deployed overseas. Its website says GUN OIL was designed by a Marine platoon leader "to elevate the vital expression of masculine fulfillment." It all boils down to a genius marketing ploy that plays on the fragile masculinity of gay men to sell sex products. And for lube like this, it's worth it! Has a rich, silky-smooth feel, with no discernible scent. Lasts a long time without reapplying and feels like nothing. Does the trick!
3. SWISS NAVY ($10.95)
The manufacturer wants you to "upgrade your love life" with SWISS NAVY, another silicone-based lube with the same rich, silky smooth feel of GUN OIL. This one lacks aloe as a moisturizing ingredient, which I'm knocking off half a star for, although I much prefer the push-release cap over those that click. Scentless. Basic. Fine.
4. ANAL GLIDE ($19.95)
For being the most expensive lube on this list and marketing itself as "Lover's Glide of Choice Worldwide," I was shocked that the pump on this bottle didn't work, so such a fatal design flaw warrants its poor rating. I couldn't get it out! And when I did, I realized it's petroleum-based, meaning this stuff basically amounts to Vaseline repackaged in a shitty bottle. For shame!
5. BOY BUTTER ($10.95)
"The finest personal lubricant on earth," Boy Butter is an oil-based lube made from coconut oil and an organic silicone blend, homogenized like real butter. I would describe this lube more like a perfectly textured cream that you can pull from the jar that goes on easy and slick. Plus it has a nice, fresh smell to it. I'd never used anything like it, and it was my favorite to use. Would give it a perfect rating if the word "butter" didn't conjure up images of Paula Deen that make my dick retract into my body.
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