Flavored Lube

It's hard to know what the origins of the flavored lube are. Did manufacturers introduce flavored personal lubricant in response to a flurry of requests from people who don't like the taste of oral sex and specifically wanted to know how they could alter the taste of semen, or vaginal taste? Maybe the first strawberry/banana lube was developed because even though most people probably use lubricant during vaginal intercourse or anal sex in practice, when you use lube it can get everywhere, including on your hands and other parts of your body that may come into contact with your mouth.

The definitive cultural history of lube has yet to be written, and it's just as likely that manufacturers did what every good capitalist does when they have a product that's selling, they make more variations of it in the hopes of selling more of it.

Wherever it began, flavored lube has blossomed as a product category. Advertised as a way to add some fun to your sex life, and sometimes more directly as a way to change the way oral sex tastes, there are now dozens if not hundreds of flavors available (including, of course, bacon). Unfortunately the vast majority of flavored lubes are libel to make you gag more, not less, than if you were having sex without them.

The Taste

Taste is, of course, subjective. All lubricants have a taste. Flavored lubricants are unique because there is an intention to make the lube taste like something. The taste of any lubricant will depend on the ingredients. In unflavored lubricants it is often the presence or absence of glycerin that will make a lube taste sweet or not. Some ingredients in lubricant (this seems to be particularly true for silicone lubricants) can make a lube taste bitter or vaguely "chemical". Not all attempts to hide a bad taste succeed. One thing to look out for is how the lubricant flavor is created. Are there natural concentrations or chemical? Is there sugar or artificial sweetener? Remember that lubricant manufacturers are not usually food manufacturers and their products are meant to stay on shelves for months and years, not days. The photos of fruit and chocolate on the packaging may be mouth watering, but don't expect too much. Lowered expectations may be the best way to enjoy flavored lubricants.

Safety and Flavored Lube

There are so many additives in most non-flavored lubricants that safety concerns for flavored products are not that different. Some people react to parabens which are present in many flavored lubricants, and people who are prone to yeast infections may want to avoid lube with glycerin. If you have sensitive skin or multiple chemical sensitivities you should probably avoid flavored lube altogether.

Shopping Tips

When looking for a flavored lube your best bet is to ignore all the marketing and, when possible, shop in person at a store that has samples available for you to try. This is one of the things that makes shopping at a great sex shop different from shopping at other sex shops and from buying sex gear in drug stores. If this isn't an option for you, buying several sample packs of lubricant and trying them out is recommended. Always look at the ingredients, and while it may seem counter intuitive, I suggest staying away from flavors that you like best in natural form. If you love fresh strawberries your standards for strawberry flavor may be higher than for lemon or peach. Same goes for chocolate. Mind you that isn't a tested hypothesis, so if you're exploring flavored lube for the first time, you may want to cast the net wide. If you aren't sure where to start, below are some popular flavored lubricants.
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different sizes of bottles of Astrolgide lubricant
Astroglide offers a flavored version of their original formulation (I believe it's strawberry) but the truth is that it's standard version is pretty sweet. Early on in the days of lubricant for fun, many people chose Astroglide because of its sweet taste, which is probably the result of glycerin. The original Astroglide has glycerin and parabens, but no artificial sweetener. Click on the review link for an ingredient list. More »
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Davryan Laboratories, Inc.
Probe is included here for people who are concerned about reacting to their lube but would still like something that doesn't taste awful. Probe has glycerin but is paraben-free and uses a natural preservative (grapefruit seed extract). It has very little taste at all (most lubricants are marketed as having no taste and no smell) although it does have a unique texture that mimics natural vaginal lubrication. More »
three bottles of Good Clean Love flavored lubricant
Good Clean Love
A vegan lube that is made from 95% organic ingredients, their lube has both a taste and a scent (lavender rose or cinnamon vanilla). They don't use aspartame or artificial sweeteners, but do use chemical preservatives. Ingredients for both flavors are the same, the only difference is which natural extractives are added. The ingredients are: Deionized water, Xanthan gum, Agar, organic Aloe barbendensis leaf juice, Natural extractives and flavors, Potassium Sorbate, Benzoic Acid. More »
three bottles of Hathor flavored lube displayed
Manufactured by a small family owned business in British Columbia, the flavored version of Hathor is sweetened with Stevia and uses certified organic flavorings. Flavors offered include: coconut orange, chocolate strawberry, and hazelnut caramel. More »
A bottle with a flip top, of Wet strawberry flavored lubricant
Trigg Laboratories
Wet's formulation is both glycerin and paraben-free, and it lists fruit and flower extracts in its ingredient list. But it is also sweetened with aspartame, which some people avoid for health reasons and others because they don't like the aftertaste. The ingredients include: Water, PEG, Flavor, Aspartame, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Polysorbate-20, Sodium Benzoate, Diazolidinyl Urea, Triethanolamine, Citric Acid, Carbomer, Tetrasodium EDTA, Aloe Barbeadensis Leaf Juice, Citris Grandis (Grapefruit) Seed Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E Acetate), Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Extract, Vaccinium Macrocarpon (Cranberry) Fruit Extract, Trifolium Pratense (Clover) Flower Extract, Ascorbic Acid. More »
a bottle with a flip top, of Sliquid brand flavored lubricant

Like all Sliquid lubricants, this flavored version is glycerin and paraben-free, sugar-free, gluten-free, and vegan. It does use aspartame for sweetening. It's also lube with a cause (10% of the proceeds go to the Young Survival Coalition). Ingredient list includes: Purified Water, Plant Cellulose (from cotton), Cyamopsis (guar conditioners), Lemon and Grapefruit Flavoring (100% vegan), Aspartame, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid More »

There are so many reasons to love silicone lubricants. They last longer than any water based lube, they don't damage condoms, you can use them under water and as a moisturizer. And while taste really is subjective and not everyone will agree, most people seem to find that silicone lubricants have a distinctly unpleasant chemical-like taste. It's unlikely that natural or artificial flavors will mask the taste, which may be why you almost never see a flavored silicone lubricant. This doesn't mean you should avoid silicone lubricants. Just that you should avoid getting too much of it near your mouth! More »