Sex can be made so much better when lubricants and enhancers are involved. They can transform a session of partner-play or even solo play from ‘oh!’ to ‘ohhhh yesss!’ Condoms are included in this post, as they are my chosen form of contraception, (more about that below). To me, lubricants and ‘essentials’ such as condoms can only make for a better sexy-time.
I know lots of people will say that condoms ruin the moment, and dampen sensations. But I do not wish to use hormonal contraception anymore (I did so for more than 10 years). Even when I was on hormonal contraception, I still used condoms, as I was paranoid about becoming pregnant before I was ready to. They also protect against STIs so the benefits of using them outweigh the ‘inconvenience.’ The condoms I’ve included below are some that I’ve found to be decent in terms of quality, affordability and maintaining as good sensations as possible.
Lubricants and Essentials
Doc Johnson Ultra Lube
This lubricant is thick and water-based, making it suitable for use with a range of toys (including silicone toys). Used copiously it is fine for anal play as well. Ultra lube washes away easily, though not so that it can’t be used in the shower! There is no unpleasant smell, nor taste. Moreover, it’s suitable for vegetarians, so it can be used for oral sex without making you, wretch. The 170ml bottle has a flip-top cap which makes dispensing very easy. The label is very bold, though, so no hiding what is contained within!
Doc Johnson Ultra Lube is available from Lovehoney for only £8.99.
Lovehoney Passion Fruit Flavoured Lubricant 100ml
Another water-based lubricant, that is safe to use with toys and with condoms too. It contains no glycerin or parabens (the latter is a preservative that has been linked with cancer, and was formerly used in a range of cosmetic agents and toiletries). It is also vegan-friendly.
The taste is pleasant and reminds me of summer holidays when I’ve used it on my other half, akin to licking a tropical ice lolly albeit minus the ‘ice’ element. The bottle’s flip top opening is easy to use with no leaks or drips. The consistency of this lubricant is not too sticky, and it lasts a decent time before having to reapply. It’s a bit runnier than the Doc Johnson Ultra lube (which is not flavoured), but it is a good value option compared with other branded flavoured lubricants.
It can be bought from Lovehoney for £7.99.
Nature Lovin’ Lubricants – Koala – Strawberry Margarita
This kitsch and cute Koala-shaped bottle of Strawberry Margarita lubricant were purchased from Star Sex Toys USA, for $16.43. It is water-soluble and compatible with latex, rubber and plastic according to the label on the back. I’ve used it with condoms and it seems perfectly fine. I’m not so sure about its compatibility with silicone-based toys since it contains Dimethyl Polysiloxane. Admittedly, I inadvertently used it with a couple of silicone toys before reading the ingredients. Touch wood, they seem to be intact and don’t show obvious signs of degradation, though I’ve never seen what silicone-based lubricants actually do to silicone toys. Perhaps that can be a scientific experiment for when I want to have a silicone toy clear-out (!)
In terms of the flavour, I’m not so sure I can taste strawberry margarita. It has more a generic ‘sweet artificial’ taste, which isn’t gross but it’s not really my ‘cup of tea.’
It doesn’t state that it is suitable for vegetarians. I would guess that since it contains carrageenan (an extract from red edible seaweeds, used as a thickening / gelling agent) it would be veggie-friendly. I stand corrected if I am wrong. With Wimbledon on its way, it would make an interesting combination with some aerosol cream, for a slightly different ‘mixed doubles’ game :p
System Jo H2O Sweet Pomegranate flavoured lubricant
A wee 30ml bottle of this fruity lube was procured from Orgasmic when it was in the sale. Normal price is £5.99 (or £12.99 for 150ml). The lube is safe to use with condoms and sex toys (including silicone toys) and is smooth without feeling sticky. The taste is really sweet, and it actually reminds me of Calpol! For the more health / safety-conscious users, this might not be a lubricant to try as it does have glycerin (not a sugar, but can be converted to sugar inside the vagina, which may not be ideal for women prone to yeast infections). I find this not to be an issue personally, but forewarned is forearmed as they say!
Tracey Cox Orgasm Gel
I got the Tracey Cox Orgasm Gel in a 3 for £10 deal, and I have also gifted a forum friend with this gel too, as I like it so much. The gel gives a nice tingle without being overpowering, numbing, or too sticky. I think I orgasm quicker when I use the gel, though the orgasms are not necessarily stronger.nThe bottle lasts ages too, as you only need a tiny pump for good results. Get yourself some Tracey Cox Orgasm Gel at Lovehoney for £9.99.
Fifty Shades of Grey Foil Packets
As someone who has always used condoms for sexual intercourse, I’ve used a few different brands and I found these condoms to be as good, if not better than, top branded ones. The packaging is mainly aimed at followers of the erotic novels, but I found it tasteful enough. The ‘packets’ themselves are easy to get into and have a decent amount of lubricant coating to make them comfortable without making them too slippery to unroll.
In terms of fit, they are generously sized and tapered to allow them to cover my other half’s manhood sufficiently well without feeling insecure or too tight. They don’t have any texturing, but they are thin enough to allow decent sensations to be felt by both of us. Although they’ve been discontinued at my usual retailer, they are available elsewhere, so they can be purchased here.
Quote code LUVBUNNY20 to get 20% off orders at Kinky Desires.
Durex Intimate Feel (12 pack)
These condoms feel nice, they glide on well, and are thin enough to allow all sensations to be felt, whilst keeping you secure with their high quality. With the extra lubrication, they are good for extended play sessions. When I first reviewed them they were more expensive than other Durex condoms I’d used, but the price has come down to make them more competitive against other brands.
Durex Intimate Feel condoms can be bought from Lovehoney for £9.99.
Luwi Latex-free insertable condoms (4 pack)
I was selected to road test these female sheaths. They came promptly and discreetly packaged. The sheaths come in a cardboard sleeve; a bit smaller than for a pair of tights or stockings. Luwi packets are blue/purple and are about twice the size as male condom packets. I was expecting a large-ish sheath. I was not disappointed in that respect. The sheath resembled a plastic poly-tunnel made for the vagina, with two rings connected by the ‘tunnel’ sheathing.
Instructions on the packaging informed me to squeeze and insert the smaller ring, and the larger ring would sit outside my vagina. My other half then had to aim his erection for the middle of the sheath and slide in. The ring inside my vagina did not feel the most comfortable fit and it was quite awkward getting the positioning right the first time, meaning that it felt like my partner’s penis had ‘short sheets’ to ‘bed down’ in.
A bit of rearranging rectified the issue slightly, so we were able to continue testing. The sensations weren’t as good as with male condoms. The sheath just felt like it was swamping him, and dampening my arousal too. Luckily the ejaculate was all captured, otherwise, another little bunny might have been made. It did not seem to feel any easier to use on repeated trials; I just don’t think it’s a good enough design; it’s not tapered and seems too cumbersome. It didn’t make me feel particularly confident with the appearance of it hanging out of me either.
All in all, we felt a bit underwhelmed by the Luwi, after hoping for good things. It’s a nice concept to enable women to take the barrier contraceptive option into their own hands, (and vaginas!) but it needs a lot of refining to make it a good enough rival to male condoms.