Editor’s Note: While V-Spot sex pert Yana Tallon-Hicks is away on vacation, the Advocate is re-running one of her most popular columns ever, a 2013 story on how to make sexual lubrication, “Farmers Lube,” using household items.
On my kitchen counter is a glass jar that used to contain Teddy Bear Peanut Butter. It now has a gooey yellowish substance in it, pock-marked with finger-scoop tracks. On the jar’s green lid is a pink Post-It note that says, in purple Sharpie marker: “Farmer Lube — You know you want to try it!” and then, because sexual safety comes first: “No double-dipping, Sickos!” Sounds real sexy, right?
This week in my kinky kitchen: trying out a homemade lube recipe I found in a janky self-published book about Tantric sex.
What else is there to do on a rainy day besides bust out the heart-shaped measuring cups you got in Target’s Valentine’s Day clearance aisle and put together a basic recipe for organic, all-natural lube? So my friend and I did just that, following the simple instructions from Jacques Drouin, a self-proclaimed “Tantra Master and Tibetan Holistic Healer”:
The recipe: In an 8-12-oz. bottle, mix the following:
3 parts organic coconut oil
1-2 parts aloe vera gel
1-2 parts organic olive oil
5-10 drops essential lavender or ylang-ylang oil (optional, to create the “warming” sensation found in many commercial lubricants)
In 10 minutes, we had eight ounces of homebrewed boot-knockin’ butter. First, Drouin failed to warn readers that coconut oil and olive oil will break all latex barriers, including condoms, gloves and dental dams. Let’s be clear: oil-based lube equals broken latex.
Second, we chose to add only three drops of lavender essential oil and ditched the ylang-ylang because I avoid anything that artificially tricks my vagina into tingling.
In my years of peddling lubes to strangers, I’ve heard countless success stories about using coconut oil as a lube, but was always suspicious. My pretty pussy cat is a frisky, but high-maintenance feline — I get a yeast infection just looking at a bottle of commercial lube (glycerin and parabens are common ingredients in many, and often spark vaginal sensitivities).
I’m as snobby about my lube as a sommelier is about his wine. So my special lady friend (who just happens to be a farmer by trade, hence our new lube’s name) volunteered (okay, she was coerced) to be the Farmer Lube guinea pigs.
Well, Farmer Lube looks disgusting, especially in a clear jar meant to contain a delicious peanut spread. While this was easily resolved for us (“Don’t look at it, okay?”), the uncanny resemblance of this lube to a booger might be unsettling for others. Trying to jam your hand into a jar to scrape the Crisco-like substance up with your fingernails doesn’t help.
Aesthetics aside, though, Farmer Lube’s actually pretty awesome. Aloe is already a successful lube ingredient used commercially, while the lavender scent is nice and relaxing.
The star ingredient, coconut oil, is a soft-solid paste at room temperature that quickly melts into a sumptuous liquid upon contact with your skin and body heat. It’s organic, glycerin-and-paraben free and smells and tastes delish. It’s cheap, can be bought in bulk and is as discreet as lube can get. Its long-lasting slide coats dainty tissues longer than regular water-based lube does and doubles as a massage oil.
Unlike other home “remedies” like Vaseline and baby oil — which should never, ever be used as lubricants — naturally derived coconut oil is easily flushed from your body and won’t clog your pores like synthetic oils.
The olive oil, however, is a questionable ingredient, so if you’re prone to infections, leave it out. Pricier non-latex safer-sex materials like polyurethane condoms (try Durex Avanti Bare) are safe to use with oils like coconut and olive. I’ve read that medical-grade silicone is coconut oil-compatible, but I couldn’t bring myself to actually subject my beloved silicone toys to Farmer Lube in the interests of science. And while both our vaginas (even my super-sensitive one) survived Farmer Lube and even came back for more, I’d be hesitant to put anything oil-based into your booty, which is more prone to infection via clogged pores.
Obviously the farming lesbians would love Farmer Lube, right? So what did my male friends think?
Well, they claim to be boycotting it because it’s “weird,” but, really, I think they just can’t get their giant hands into that peanut butter jar.
Yana Tallon-Hicks is a pleasure-positive sex writer and educator living in the Pioneer Valley. She has a website bursting with sex advice, resources, and workshops at yanatallonhicks.com.