Sunday, 14 August 2011

Dilation: lubing up

We all start with tube after tube of KY (or equivalent gel) for our thrice-daily date with those perspex rods that we insert oh so carefully, and then push gingerly inside. And the sticky gel goes everywhere. It's messy to spread onto each dilator. It tends to drip off if you're not quick. It oozes down to your anus as you insert the dilator. It's very hard to get it off your fingers one-handed. Ugh. So many soggy tissues!

If used too sparingly, KY's been known to congeal a bit if you keep the dilator in overlong, apparently sticking to the vaginal skin, and giving reason for a panic attack, when for an instant you think you won't get the dilator out. But if you use plenty, you not only waste gel, you go through a wad of tissues wiping the dilator as it emerges, before setting it aside for its careful cleanup in the bathroom. You then consume another wad of tissues wiping yourself off.

You do this three times a day at first, but even when it's down to only once a day the procedure is still as messy as ever, and you are using up entire forests with all the tissues needed. You still seem to get through a bulk order of KY in no time. And KY is not cheap.

There must be a better alternative. I think I've found it.

It's water-soluble oil. This version is called Boots Silky Lubricant. I asked a lady shop assistant in Boots in Burgess Hill a little while back what I could use for my dry old vagina when contemplating rampant sex, and she said this product was very good. I didn't use it straight away, thinking I'd keep it in hand for any sex shop purchases I might experiment with, but three weeks ago (not having been near a sex shop) I decided to give the oil a whirl in place of KY. The spur for this was that I was beginning to run low on KY, and I baulked at the idea of buying another box of 30 tubes, costing £114, which would last me only five weeks or so.

Well, this 75ml bottle of Silky Lubricant is still half full, so I reckon that one bottle could last me a month. Even if I were still on a three-times-a-day regime, a bottle of this oil would last at least a week. And it costs only £3.05. Obviously it's a very much cheaper proposition than KY.

Other benefits: it's a colourless, odourless smooth non-sticky oil that really does wash completely away. The plastic label comes off completely, leaving you with a plain little bottle that could contain anything at all: how discreet. The bottle has a cap that won't come off too easily. You press the applicator beneath the cap to extrude the oil. You drop a very small amount straight onto the dilator, and spread it with the tips of your fingers. Then smear the rest of the oil that's on the fingers around the vaginal entrance before insertion. I dare say the oil is good for the vagina. The tiny residue still left on the fingers wipes off very easily. A film of oil is quite enough to allow a nice, smooth insertion of the dilator, and it comes out just as easily. No oil runs anywhere; you could almost dispense with a protective sheet on your bed. That just wasn't possible with KY. I generally find I need to use only one or two tissues to wipe the dilator before washing it, and to wipe myself before douching. I used up to eight before. Much less of a tax on Mother Earth's precious resources!

One other thing: even after douching, I fancied I could sometimes detect a curious faint sweet odour from my vagina when using KY, as if a slight residue hadn't been washed away and was left 'cooking' inside me. I don't get that with this oil.

And yet another thing: clearly this little bottle (with a couple of dainty tissues for post-activity wiping) could easily be carried in a handbag at all times, ready for instant lubrication of body parts. Much more elegant than a tube of KY and a full-sized kitchen roll.

I really can't see any snags. I dare say that for those who are very recently post-op, it's psychologically reassuring to squirt the KY on, a whole tube if need be, in order to be quite sure that there is enough lubrication, even if much less would do. I absolutely understand that. I felt just the same. But now, a thin film of oil does the trick.

So, does Boots Silky Lubricant gets the coveted Melford Excellent Product Award? You bet it does.

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