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Plastic-free sex, part 1: "reducing friction in relationships"

Posted By Beth Terry On February 11, 2008 @ 11:34 pm In feminine hygiene and adult products | 31 Comments

Happy Valentine’s Day week. We’re all adults here, right? If Burbanmom can make the astonishing admission that she and her husband like to do it [1] (gasp!) then I’m prepared to grab that ball (NPI) and run with it. Warning: this post gets a wee bit explicit. Read at your own risk.

So I’m sitting here looking at a #3 (PVC) plastic bottle of Liquid Silk sensual lubricant [2]. The long list of chemical ingredients includes many parabens [3]: methyl paraben, butyl paraben, ethyl paraben, propyl paraben, as well as the preservative BHT [4]. And this is what Michael and I are putting on and in our bodies each time we get extra specially close. The Skin Deep database [5] gives it a provisional moderate hazard rating of 4, which is not what I’m looking for when I get in bed with my guy.

Now, I know there are natural, non-toxic water-based lubricants on the market: Firefly (formerly Nude) [6], Good Glide [7], O’My Natural Lubricant [8], Love Lube [9], Sensua Organics, Sylk [10], and more. The problem? They all come in plastic bottles.

So we’ve recently switched to a somewhat controversial solution: pure olive oil. Controversial because there is disagreement over whether or not using olive oil in this way can be harmful or not. Also, I don’t think you can use it with condoms, if that’s your birth control method of choice. Some doctors, like this one from the U.K. [11], go so far as to scoff at the very idea of using olive oil as something for the poor unwashed masses. He says:

Well, I have never heard of anybody doing this in the UK – though I have recently learned that it is sometimes done in Mediterranean countries, particularly where people can’t afford proper sex lubricants.

Frankly I wouldn’t recommend this practice, partly because no one has ever done any research so far on the effects of olive oil on the vagina – or indeed the penis.

The attitude of superiority that rings through in that statement makes me want to use olive oil just to be ornery. “Proper” sex lubricants? What “proper” sex lubricants did people use for thousands of years before synthetics were invented? And why does a lack of research automatically make something unsafe? And Mediterranean folk seem to be right about food. Maybe they know something about sex, too. Ya think?

On the other side of the fence is this couple [12] who believe that olive oil can be great for the vagina. And in between, there are various opinions all over the web about whether or not olive oil is okay to use as lube, although none of them seem to be based on facts. I’ve also read about using coconut oil or sweet almond oil for this purpose, but they’re more expensive and harder to come by plastic-free, so we’re opting to smell like salad rather than pina coladas for the time being.

So what’s the olive oil feel like? It’s nice. Doesn’t dry up like water-based lube. You don’t need to use a lot. And smells great if you enjoy the smell of good olive oil, which I do. It’s runny, so you do have to be careful not to spill it all over the place. We put ours in a used pump bottle (yes, plastic, but reused and not PVC) but any kind of bottle with a narrow spout would work. And you can use it as massage oil at the same time. Whether or not it will have negative vaginal consequences down the line remains to be seen. For now, it’s working great.

Well, that was Part 1 of my Valentine’s Day sex posts. Hope it wasn’t TMI, but I did warn you. Stay tuned for Part 2. And as always, your feedback is welcome!

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URL to article: http://myplasticfreelife.com/2008/02/plastic-free-sex-part-1-reducing/

URLs in this post:

[1] astonishing admission that she and her husband like to do it: http://burbanmom.blogspot.com/2008/01/161-recreational-sex.html

[2] Liquid Silk sensual lubricant: http://www.bodywise.biz/products.asp?cat=10

[3] parabens: http://safecosmetics.org/article.php?id=291

[4] BHT: http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient.php?ingred06=700741

[5] Skin Deep database: http://www.cosmeticdatabase.com

[6] Firefly (formerly Nude): http://www.organiclubricant.com/firefly_personal_lubricant.htm

[7] Good Glide: http://www.collectivewellbeing.com/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage1&product_id=36&category_id=14&manufacturer_id=0&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=26&vmcchk=1

[8] O’My Natural Lubricant: http://www.omyonline.com/files/natural-lubricants.php

[9] Love Lube: http://www.shoplorna.com/Love-Lube-p/sl0192.htm

[10] Sylk: http://www.sylkonline.com

[11] this one from the U.K.: http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/ate/sexandrelationships/sex/200771.html

[12] this couple: http://www.peoplespharmacy.com/archives/herb_home_remedy_qa/olive_oil_combats_vaginal_dryness.php

[13] Image: https://plus.google.com/+BethTerry

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