April 13, 2011

A Slippery Slope

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Recently, Donald Glover, a man for whom I have great and untamed affection (mostly for his bromance with Danny Pudi on Community), described Kix as “the hand job of cereals.”

“It is!” he told Jimmy Fallon on Late Night. “It’s like, this is pretty good, but you know what I really want.”

Ah, Donald Glover, thought I as I crouched in my bedroom, avoiding my thesis and stuffing Kashi into my gob. If only you added KY instead of two-percent.

Admittedly, in the cereal-as-sexual-activity analogy of absurdity, there’s no way simply adding lubricant to one’s sex-Kix could take them to Cinnamon Toast Crunch levels of pleasure. But perhaps you could at least get your boner-bowl to a place a little less kid-tested, a little more mother-approved.

Such is the frustrating thing about hand jobs — unlike the ol’ two-finger test spin for the ladies, they’re just not a convenient exit on Orgasm Turnpike. Perhaps it’s because girls have (apparently) been socialized to be people-pleasers, but even if I don’t tumble over the toe-curling waterfall into bliss-abyss, I always tend to have a good time if someone else’s hand is down my pants. Not so with guys, it seems: one really has to commit some serious carpal action to avoid the dreaded accusations of “blue balls.” At the same time, most dudes have become such mavens of masturbation that anything less than the presence of their own palms leaves them desperately side-eyeing.

All in all, giving hand jobs is always a bit of a drag — friction pun totally intended. And after some spring break shower sex was made all the more precarious after a last-minute questionable decision regarding the proper use of conditioner (hint: above the waist is best for all parties), my interest in actual lubricant was even more heightened. The fact that most guys use lubricant for their own single-player sexytimes should be a good indicator, ladies: Needing extra oil to loosen your Tin Man’s joints ain’t nothin’ to be ashamed of.

Fortuitously, my whining about not being able to afford an inner thigh Slip ’n Slide on a barista’s budget was answered by the gods of public relations — specifically, Pam from Babeland, who very kindly offered to send me a lube sampler gratis. But far be it for me to keep my lube sampler findings to myself. Navigating the world of slick is a tricky business — it’s all about context. Are we using condoms? What orifice is this eventually ending up in? Good lord, is it vegan?

The sampler included three basic options: silicone-based, water-based and organic, flavored gel (hereafter referred to as “hippie shit”). Using my best friend/fuck-buddy Finn as a semi-willing test subject (“It’s for science, Finn!” “I do like science…”), we got down to business. And just like any good pre-meds would, we kept rigorous records.

Our hypothesis was that the silicone would be the best option, considering previous experiments in the past with water-based CVS lubes gone awry, but we wanted to be as unbiased as possible. To replicate each result anew, we kept a towel handy, but it is possible that there was some contamination, particularly as the potential for human error (read: orgasm) increased.

We began with the water-based: “Entice” by Babeland. The results were somewhat similar to our past experiences: water-based lube just doesn’t quite have the bang for its buck. Still, it tends to be cheaper than other types of lubricant, and good thing, too — its apparent tendency to Apparate to different planes altogether means that you’ll need literal handfuls to get a good slide happening.

Our second trial, with the hippie shit, was far more successful. I don’t know if the “all-natural” formula included some questionable herbs or what, but I certainly felt more relaxed during the application process. Finn, too, reported feelings of “good,” “nice” and “smells like a candle.” Hey, could be worse. It also tasted … well, still kind of like a candle. If you ever wanted to take your blow job fantasy to Bed, Bath and Beyond, this is certainly the lube for you.

Sadly, our silicone trials went a little downhill. The combination of the formula and its tiny-ass container meant that instead of feeling slippery, everything just got sticky — and not in a hot, post-whipped cream sort of way. Perhaps if Pam had sent a bucket of Babelube instead of a one-inch by one-inch sachet, the whole hand job wouldn’t have felt like I’d just dripped Purity soy ice cream all over my fingers. Plus, if we’d decided to include silicone toys in the night’s activities, they, too, would have tragically dissolved.

As far as penetration itself went, I actually felt like the lube decreased my own sensations a bit. My pain-kink streak means that the initial discomfort I usually feel at the beginning of penetrative sex gets channeled into pleasure canals, so the overabundance of artificial lubricant (plus a vestige left over from my own monthly supply) meant that, while things ran much more smoothly, they also lacked some fun dramatics. In the Shakespeare production of penetrative het-sex, I don’t always want to skip the shenanigans of the third act just to get to the climax all the more quickly.

However, if a hand job is all you’re after, take it from Kate/Finn Laboratories: go organic. Babeland’s “Naked” tasted and smelled pretty damned nice, and I’m pretty sure it reduces your carbon footprint, to boot.

A word to the wise, though: bring some paper towels, and perhaps some Chem goggles if you’re feeling like an asshole. That shit gets messy.

Kate C. is a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences. She may be reached at katec@cornellsun.com. Ball You Discreetly appears alternate Thursdays this semester.

Original Author: Kate C.