Lubrications for All Occasions

Erik Jay

As a mainstream-friendly intimate product, lube serves a wide range of users, and its manufacturers continue to raise the bar when it comes to innovating formulations to cater to their varying desires.

Different Strokes

Men and women have different pH balances and respond to lubricants differently.

Paradise Marketing’s Pre-Seed lubricant targets a broader demographic than some of the firm’s other name-brand contraceptives, sexual aids and lubricants. CEO Dennis Paradise says that “one of the most common questions” he gets is about the way products “affect the chances of getting pregnant.” Pre-Seed is formulated to be benign in the presence of sperm, without “the negative effects that traditional lubricants can have on sperm and women’s natural secretions.”

This is a niche product that appeals far beyond the usual limits to the huge potential customer base of wannabe moms. Lingerie shops, wedding boutiques, even hair-and-nail salons become new distribution channels for Paradise and other companies willing to expand their vision. Kudos to Paradise and others for focusing on women, whose product offerings are dwarfed by those for men, and for reaching beyond the party-hearty demographic.

Empowerment, Too

Mason Nance of Empowered Products says the company happily serves both men and women, customizing formulas for both. “Our Pink Silicone lubricant,” says Nance, “is formulated to be just slightly thinner than the men’s Gun Oil Silicone formula.” Product developers knew that “the vagina is a self lubricating orifice,” and the firm’s focus group’s work and research told them women like “a slightly thinner product to enhance their own lubrication [with] a more natural feel and sensation.”

Men and women have different pH balances and “respond to lubricants differently.” Nance adds that women must be “more mindful” of what they use, as some ladies “are prone to yeast infections. Many lubricants on the market contain glycerin, which can make an existing yeast infection worse,” although it doesn’t cause them. With health benefits as well as sexual ones, all the “Pink for Women brands are glycerin free” — and since petroleum lubricants (like Vaseline) “can adversely affect vaginal chemistry,” Empowered Products eschews them, as well.

The Lady Speaks

Jennifer Martsolf, vice-president of marketing at Trigg Labs in Valencia, is a 20-year industry veteran that has seen it all. She says that Trigg’s lubricant for both men and women, Wet Ecstasy, is unique. “We do not know of other lubricants with this herbal blend.” Among other natural ingredients, the Wet Ecstasy herbal formula contains damiana, “an herbal extract derived from a shrub indigenous to Mexico and Central America” that has been used as “herbal Viagra” for hundreds of years.

In addition to its other all natural ingredients, Martsolf continues, Trigg sought out such exotic extracts as muira puama from “the Brazilian Amazon,” said “to increase sexual stamina.” Ginger is included for its known ability to “stimulate the circulatory system” and “increase blood flow to the surface of the skin,” and for its clinically proven “antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and collagenactivating properties.” The point is to support and enhance an aroused state, with safe, healthy and natural ingredients.

It’s Safe and Fun

Michèle Jutras of Shunga Products’ Communications & Marketing department says the Montrealbased firm has always known that “natural and certified organic is something a lot of customers are looking for.” Shunga’s Toko Organica is water-based, but the lubricant contains vegetable glycerin and natural corn by-products, all “certified organic.” In addition to being “health conscious and environment-friendly,” it is fragrance free, exceptionally long lasting and non-staining. These are not your limited-appeal sex products of the 1960s, folks.

Shunga’s Toko product line offers a full range of lubricants. Appropriately, Toko means “never- ending” and has three other formulas in addition to Organica. Toko Aqua is an “ultra longlasting, silky formula,” while the Toko Silicone lasts just as long but has “a velvety formula.” Finally, Toko Aroma has six “different aromas (Strawberry & Champagne, Blazing Cherry, Sensual Grapes, Exotic Fruits, Melon-Mango and Tangerine Cream) and leave absolutely no aftertaste.”

Like all these companies, Shunga puts quality “above anything else,” says Angela Mustone, market development director. This means only “top quality food-grade or medical-grade” ingredients, period, and this goes for all Shunga products. They do create their products “for lovers,” but their Secret Garden orgasm enhancer is “specifically for women and can be very enjoyable when used in a solo session.”