The people behind XLube – a powder-based lubricant that you mix in your own home – contacted me recently and asked if I would like to try out their new product. The idea of the product really piqued my curiosity and so I agreed.

Lube is one of those things in life that I have a love-hate relationship with. It’s pretty much a necessity for use with most sex toys, but I really resent having to pay money for it. The top name brands always seem grossly overpriced, and frankly I’d rather put that cash towards a new toy than something that’ll just evaporate or be washed away. When I heard about about XLube I was immediately drawn to this rather novel concept. While I may have been able to make a single 250ml bottle of Super Slik last for 15 months, there are limits to even my own frugality. The idea of having a product that I could mix up myself seemed like a brilliant solution to the lube dilemma; just imagine how many years it would take to get through 18 litres worth of the stuff.
XLube is simply a refined Polyethylene Oxide powder, and all you need to do to make it is add some hot water – approximately one capful to 500ml, unless you would prefer it to be thicker – sounds easy, right? It comes with a simple instruction sheet, along with a link to a video online showing you what to do.
The first time I tried mixing up the lube things didn’t go exactly to plan. As soon as I added the water to the powder lumps began forming, or shall I say a lump. The whole mass of powder seemed to suddenly congeal, with the outer layer forming into a firm clear jelly, while towards the centre the product remained as a powder, being visibly white and trapped inside. Immediately I thought I had done something wrong, and I suspected that the water had been too hot, despite having only come from the tap. The sight reminded me of an occasion when I had accidentally added hot water to gravy powder, and the result similarly had been one large lump.
I decided to abandon this first attempt and try again with a more luke-warm water, but regrettably the results were much the same. Vigorous mixing whilst adding the water had resulted in a collection of medium-sized lumps floating on the surface of my jug. Again they had the powder trapped in the centre, and as they amassed together they took on the appearance of frog-spawn. I tried to break up the lumps, but this was not an easy task as they were prone to slip away as I attempted to crush them against the sides of the measuring jug. The outer jelly surface was also tough and resistant, and I soon lost patience. This time I decided to leave the mixture and see if the lumps would dissolve of their own accord. Over the next two hours I periodically returned to stir the mixture as per the instructions, and noticed that the powder inside the lumps had gradually turned clear, but the lumps themselves had remained throughout, so I decided to leave the mixture overnight and covered it. The next morning I discovered that something transformative had happened to the lumps, sadly it wasn’t that they had dissolved, but instead they had melded into a single sheet of jelly sitting atop the rest of the liquid. I broke the sheet up with another vigorous mixing, then re-covered the solution and left it alone for the day. Returning at the end of the day I discovered that the lumps were still present, and had again risen to the top like the cream in an old-fashioned milk bottle, forming a thick gelatinous membrane. I squeezed the lump between my thumb and forefinger and it felt like a dried-out liquid glue which failed to reassure me. After 20 hours I concluded that leaving it any longer would probably not make any difference, but just to be safe I decided to give it another mix leave it over night once again. By the next morning, to my admitted surprise, when I checked it the final lumps had actually gone completely, only 36 hours after I began making it.
Aside from any lumps, the resulting lubricant that is made up has some very unusual properties. It’s not at all a viscous fluid like you might expect; if you tilt the container that it’s within it simply moves from side to side like pure water. It doesn’t flow slowly like a gel, or exhibit any of those attributes. Playing around with a small quantity reveals that it’s unexpectedly gloopy, and it feels a lot more slimy than it does slippery. The whole fluid clings together in globules, like mucus or egg-white. When I tried to pump some out of my bottle it just hung there from the nozzle looking like a runny nose, or a strand of egg-white hanging from kitchen apparatus designed to separate a yolk. Rubbing the lube between two fingers and then pulling them apart leaves long strands of the lube hanging between them which don’t break of their own accord. On one occasion I managed to get a particularly long strand running from my fingers to the nozzle halfway across the room. There’s definitely a gluey quality about the lube; it has a tackiness to it by default which only becomes stickier as it dries out and thickens, which happens within a reasonable period of time. Leaving it to dry completely on the skin creates a gummy residue that can be scraped off. Cleaning the hydrated lube up is a bit of a nuisance; simply running your hands under a hot tap won’t wash it away like with a typical water-based lube. It forms a slimy film all over the surface of the skin which you need to rub off with a cloth. For this reason I really wouldn’t like to get it stuck on the inside of a Fleshjack, though it should be fine on the outer surface of a more durable toy. 
Overall I have to say that I’m disappointed by this product, in part because I had high hopes for it, but also because it’s from a British company, and the man who I’ve had contact with seemed genuinely nice. The problem is that the lube is just a hassle to make up, what with the time involved waiting for lumps that never dissolve, and then once it is finally ready the result doesn’t justify that hassle. It just didn’t feel like a lube to me, and it wouldn’t be my preferred choice. 
As it stands I tend to think of XLube as being like the emergency ration of lubricants; if you inadvertently run out of your favourite lube and can’t readily replace it, then it’s handy to have some powder around to whip up something to use in a few hours, but you’re not going to be making it by the batch to use every day.
I still love the concept, but for me the formula needs some tweaking before I can recommend it. My thanks to the XLube guys for sending it to me to test out.
If you’d like to try XLube for yourself then you can buy it from UberKinky, or Esmale where you can get an extra 10% off by using the code “INCEND10” at the checkout.

Give Lube Premium Aqua Gel

The very generous people at Give Lube kindly sent me a couple of bottles of their product to review, so many thanks to them, and without further ado…

Read the review after the jump!

Give Lube comes in two varieties, the water-based Premium Aqua Gel, and also a silicone-based Silicone+. Both are dermatalogically tested, CE marked medical lubricants. As well as being colourless, odourless and unscented, they’re free from parabens, glycerin and oil, are suitable for all types of sexual activity, and contain added aloe vera to nourish the skin.
The Premium Aqua Gel is available in three sizes: mini, midi, and maxi, which are 30ml, 100ml, and 250ml respectively. All come in lovely discreet bottles, which can easily be slipped into a bedside drawer, bathroom cabinet, or luggage if you want to take it travelling. As it is a water-based lubricant it’s completely safe to use with all your favourite sex toys, and condoms.
The lube has a lovely consistency, it’s not too thin and watery like the Gun Oil H2O, but it’s not thick like a gel either. It spreads easily and provides a good coverage, but without dripping everywhere and making a mess. Rubbing a drop of it between my thumb and forefinger, I was actually surprised that I was feeling a water-based lube, because it just felt so smooth and slick. The near-frictionless gliding action I experienced made me really curious about how it would feel on the genitalia, and I ended up testing it earlier than I intended

I’m not one who typically uses lube for masturbation, but the Give Lube actually felt great when applied to the penis, and I found that I only needed a small amount to achieve that effect. There was something incredibly natural about it; there wasn’t an awareness of being covered in lube, everything just functioned how it should, but enhanced. In the past I’ve found that certain lubes can slightly decrease the sensation from masturbation, but that wasn’t the case here at all. It also seemed very gentle to the skin, and almost soothing, which must have something to do with the pH-optimised formula and added panthenol.

For the most part the Give Lube was not sticky or gummy at all; it was only for a couple of seconds before it dried completely that I noticed a slight tackiness to the touch, which is actually very impressive. Once it had dried it left behind no residue, but as soon as I went to wash my hands I felt it reactivating with the water, so I had to put this to the test. It pleased me to find that if you add a little water to the lube at any point during use, it will return to its original state, so you can extend your use of it without having to use more product. It’s also very easy to clean up, and rinses away with running water.

Without adding any additional water to reactivate it, I found that the duration time for the lube during masturbation was comparable with other high-quality brands. When used with a Fleshjack I was also impressed by the lube. It provided a comfortable gliding action between the Superskin sleeve and the penis, and again I didn’t need to use that much. Normally with a thicker generic lube I’d need to put a couple of pumps into the cavity, but I found just a small drizzling of the Give Lube through the orifice was sufficient. The lube lasted a long time within the central canal of toy, and I didn’t need to apply any more there during my time using the toy. I think this is down to the lube being relativity thin, which is something I like when using a Fleshjack. Personally, next time I might be tempted to add a couple of drops of water into the Fleshjack along with the lube, just to dilute it slightly and create more of that wet feeling that I enjoy. The only area where I found that the lube did start to dry, was along the lower third of the shaft of the penis, which spent more time outside of the toy and exposed to the air. The tight anal opening of the Fleshjack did start to tug here, and I had to add a dab more lube, but if I had thought to bring some water with me I could have just added a drop to the area to reactivate the lube there. I’m more than satisfied that Give Lube and a FleshJack are a good combination, and will be using them together again.

Testing the lube with insertable toys, I found I actually needed to use less lube than I expected. I experimented with my Tantus Tulip butt plug, and with a little squirt of lube spread across the toy, and some on the body, it slipped in like a charm. There was no friction or dragging as it was inserted, and once the lube was inside the body it felt completely fine – again its presence wasn’t really noticeable as being anything foreign. The lube didn’t adhere to the surface of the silicone toy as well as I might have hoped, and left a patchy application, like water on the bonnet of a freshly washed car, but it wasn’t really a problem for a toy of that size. I won’t criticise it for this, as whenever you’re intending to use anything larger than that, you’re always going to want a thicker specialist anal lube.

The only negative I can point to is that the lube does taste slightly bitter, due to the aloe vera, which is something to bear in mind if  you’re going to be using it for oral sex. I stress the word “slightly” because it’s not that strong, and it’s only noticeable initially. Ultimately it will come down to a matter of taste; personally I enjoy Campari and take my Manhattans on the dry side, so the taste doesn’t bother me, others might not react to it at all, and for a few with a very sweet tooth it may be bothersome.

One thing I really love about Give Lube, is that it’s a local British company, based in Bristol. Personally I’m very into localism, and I try to support companies as close to home as much as possible, and with a fantastic product like Give Lube you really can feel good about doing so. So many of our sex toys and lubricants originate in the United States – you only have to look at how proudly Doc Johnson, for example, stamps “Made in America” on every box – so it’s nice to get behind people looking to pioneer something in the U.K.
Another thing that really impressed me was something they told me before sending my free sample. Following consumer feedback about the consistency of the lube, they made adjustments to the formula to increase the thickness. I find it very reassuring when a company is actually listening to its customers, and striving to satisfy them with its product.

Overall I’m incredibly impressed with the Premium Aqua Gel, and I can fully recommend it as my new favourite lubricant.

So thanks again to Give Lube for the samples, and check out my review of the Silicone+ right here.
Give Lube can currently be purchased from SexToys.co.uk in Maxi, Midi, and Mini.

It’s also available from SexShop365 in those same sizes, MaxiMidi, and Mini.

Look out for Give Lube on Facebook and Twitter.

Gun Oil H2O

I was looking for a new water-based lube to try out recently, and being a big fan of Gun Oil’s signature silicone product I decided to grab a 5ml sachet of Gun Oil H2O last time I was ordering toys.

Read the review after the jump!

In terms of how slippery and long lasting it is, the Gun Oil H2O has to be the best water-based lubricant I’ve tried thus far.

Unlike a lot of water-based lubes it isn’t very viscous, instead having a thin watery consistency, which seems to add to its performance. I found it worked exceptionally in combination with a FleshJack, with one small application at the outset being all that was required. The only downside is that it’s not ideal for use with things such as butt plugs, as it doesn’t stay where you apply it, but thankfully Gun Oil produce a gel-style variant to take care of that.
As it’s water-based it’s not a problem to rinse off both yourself and your toy once you’re done, and can easily be cleaned from any fabrics it may come in contact with, without leaving a mark.
One thing I will say about the sachets, is that they’re very difficult to open. I resorted to scissors, being unable to tear into it, so if you were looking for a sachet to pop alongside the condom in your wallet, just in case of impromptu sex, then I’d bear that in mind. There’s nothing like prolonged fumbling to kill the mood, after all.

U.K. readers can buy Gun Oil H2O from SexToys.co.uk, Nice ‘n’ Naughty, or Esmale where you can get an extra 10% off by using the code ‘INCEND10’ at the checkout.

Gun Oil Silicone

This silicone lube is Gun Oil’s original and signature product. The story goes that during Operation Desert Storm in the early 90s, U.S. marines would take the oil from their guns and use it to masturbate, as it was the only lubricant that wouldn’t break down in the scorching heat of the Persian Gulf. From there a commercial idea emerged, and Gun Oil® was born.
Read the review after the jump!

Gun Oil Silicone is a lubricant primarily designed for use during masturbation, as silicone lubes can have an adverse effect on many types of sex toys, including silicone toys and FleshJack inserts. It is completely condom-safe though, and so can be used during sex.
The lube has quite a thin runny consistency, and a greasy feeling to it which is quite different to water-based products. I found that a couple of pumps of it were more than enough, as a small quantity easily spread over a wider area. The lube is very slippery and long lasting, as unlike water-based lubes it won’t dry out through the moisture content evaporating or being absorbed by the skin. Depending on how long you intend to draw out your personal play time, typically you won’t need more than one reapplication in my experience.
As someone who generally doesn’t use lube for masturbation I found that this product provided a nice change of pace, and encouraged an experimentation with different techniques, all which resulted in a very enjoyable experience.
After use it can be a bit troublesome to clean up, as you do need to use soap and water everywhere it’s come in contact with, to fully remove all the residue. It does leave the skin with a pleasant moisturised feeling though, probably due in part to the vitamin E and aloe vera in the ingredients.
It is quite expensive considering the small size of the bottles, but when you factor in how little you’re going to use on each occasion, it works out to be more reasonable.

Gun Oil is available from SexToys.co.uk, Nice ‘n’ Naughty, and Esmale – where you can get an extra 10% off by entering the code ‘INCEND10’ at the checkout.