[Lube Review] The Butters Original Lubricant

A pot of The Butters lubricant So, I finally got my hands on The Butters – the lube that the sex blogosphere has been talking about for as long as I’ve been on the scene. It came free with a toy from my friends at Peepshow, and to be honest it’s been sitting in my “to be reviewed” box making me feel guilty for a couple of months.

I finally gave it a go during an extended play session. Let’s have a look, shall we?

So just what is The Butters?

A close up on the Butters lube labelI was first introduced to the existence of this product by my dear friend Kayla Lords. (If you don’t listen to her podcast, it’s wonderful in many ways but it’s worth it just for the way she says “lube”).

It’s created by Jerome Nichols, the brains behind LTASex, who describes himself as a “kinky, polyamorous, black, gay, socially woke stoner millennial“. (You want to be best friends with him now, right? I definitely do). He started making The Butters products in his kitchen in Ypsilanti, MI in 2016 and it’s grown into the amazing business it is today.

The Butters is an oil-based lubricant made from a small mix of simple ingredients. It comes in little tubs which remind me of the tubs of bath and shower products that you get from Lush.

The Butters retails for $5 for 2oz (great for travel, if you’re just testing it out to see if you like it), $12 for 8oz, or $14 for 8oz of the special raw honey and cocoa butter version.

Good Points

The Butters lube pot open on a wooden floor.Let’s be clear: this lube has plenty to recommend it. It has only 9 ingredients, and they’re all completely natural, plant-based and healthy for your body. The main ingredients are aloe vera, shea

butter, coconut oil, and extra virgin olive oil. There’s also grapeseed oil, palm kernal oil, soy lipid emulsion (which comes from soybeans), apple cider vinegar, and arrowroot gel. Nothing harmful, toxic or questionable in there!

According to their website, each ingredient is chosen for its specific properties. Shea butter, for example, is moisturising as well as being an anti-inflammatory and having a lovely smell. Coconut oil is amazing for the skin and used to aid treatment of a wide variety of skin conditions, and has long been considered suitable as an intimate lubricant.

The Butters is also vegan, in the sense that it contains no animal-derived ingredients and is not tested on animals. As a vegetarian, it’s really important to me that my intimate products are cruelty-free. A perfect choice if you want a guaranteed cruelty-free oil-based lube.

The Butters Original Lubricant has a lovely, creamy, pale-yellow colour to it, and a nice smell – I guess that’s the shea butter at work. It’s actually marketed as lubricant and moisturizer, so you can also use it to make your skin super soft!

Be aware:

A glob of The Butters lube on my hand.
Hand model: me

Oil-based lubricants do not play nicely with many barriers, and will break down things like latex condoms and dams. Therefore, The Butters is generally not a good choice for you if you’re using barriers. Stick to water-based or silicone-based lubes in that instance. The one exception is that The Butters is safe with polyurethane barriers.

Oil-based lubes are safe with all body-safe toy materials including silicone, hard plastic, borosilicate glass, treated wood, treated ceramic and stainless steel. It also doesn’t damage leather, should you attempt to slap your own cunt with a piece of leather and get lube on it. Or something. (I can neither confirm nor deny personal experience of this particular issue).

Also: since this lube is in a tub rather than a pump or bottle, you have to dip your fingers into it to get some out. Wash your hands thoroughly first, or better yet use a sterile non-latex glove, otherwise you’ll contaminate your lube with germs and possibly risk giving yourself an infection. Even better still: decant a little bit from the main container into a smaller one with a clean spoon before play.

So did it work for me?

Sadly… not really. I really, really wanted to love The Butters. I cannot tell you how much I was prepared to love this product and rave about it. Unfortunately, it just didn’t really do it for me.

I don’t like the feeling of oils on my hands. When I cook, if I get some oil on my hands I have to wash it off as soon as possible as I find the sensation of it on my skin really unpleasant. Same with massage oils and so on – I can cope for a short amount of time, but the feeling of them in my hands cannot be described as enjoyable. So, I suppose, an oil lube was never going to work super well for me.

I smeared a generous helping of The Butters over my dildo and rubbed it in, as well as putting some directly on my vulva. Sadly, then I had to stop and wipe my hands on a nearby towel. I didn’t enjoy the feeling of touching myself using this lube. The feeling of the oil was just really… distracting? I don’t want to come away from touching my vulva going “urgh now I need to wash my hands immediately”.

Also getting it off after was a nightmare. As you’ll know if you paid attention in science lessons, oil repels water, so washing it off is a hassle. My cunt still felt unpleasantly oily even after a good wash.

I hate to have to say this lube didn’t work for me, but there you go. Bodies are different and mine goes “nope!” to oily textures.

So do I recommend it?

To be absolutely clear, I don’t think this is a bad product. On the contrary, I think it’s basically a great product. I am 1000% here for natural, body-safe, vegan lubricants. However, this experience has taught me something, and that is that oil-based lubes aren’t for me. That’s not a slight on The Butters by any means – it’s just my preference.

If you don’t like oil-based lubes for the same reason I don’t, this product won’t work for you. But if you do like oils, this might just be the highest quality and safest one you can get.

You can buy The Butters from Peepshow Toys, and send a small commission my way to help support the blog. I really encourage you to try this one for yourselves and see if you like it – so many people love it, and it’s body-safe and cruelty-free, and we should all be supporting the work of queer POC entrepreneurs like Jerome. I’m really disappointed that the lube didn’t work for me, but I’ll be going back and buying some skincare products from The Butters, for sure.

Thanks to Peepshow Toys for sending me The Butters lubricant for review. This post contains affiliate links. All opinions, as ever, my own.

 

Toxic: Ingredients to Avoid In Your Lube

There are a lot – a LOT – of sexual lubricants available on the market today. Go into any sex shop and you’re likely to see rows upon rows of them. How do you even begin to know which to choose?

An old fashioned corked bottle filled with blue liquid and labelled with a skull and crossbones and the word "poison." For a post on toxic ingredients in lube

A lot of it is down to personal preference, compatibility with your particular body, and dependent upon what toys, condoms etc. you’re going to be using it with. I can’t tell you the perfect lube for you. What I can do, though, is point out some toxic ingredients commonly found in commercial sexual lubricants (as well as toy cleaning solutions, if those are a thing you use) which we would all be well advised to avoid.

1. Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulphate

What it is: Sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) and sodium laureth (ether) sulphate (SLES) are additives found in everything from household cleaning products to cosmetics. They’re what creates that foamy/lathery appearance and also used for their cleaning properties.

Why it’s toxic:
SLS is a skin irritant. SLES is somewhat less irritating (which is why it’s the one you’ll more commonly see in personal care products) but it’s no less toxic. It also cannot be metabolised by the liver. Like many chemicals, these are absorbed into the body from skin application and both can cause damage to the skin, hair follicles, eyes and even the liver. In the body SLS can mimic the function of Oestrogen, possibly contributing to a range of hormonal problems from PMS to lowered fertility to increased risk of breast cancer.

2. Parabens

What they are: Parabens (butylparaben, methylparaben, and propylparaben) are preservatives. They are commonly used to prevent bacteria growth in cosmetics and other products.

Why they’re toxic: Like SLS and SLES, they’re xenoestrogens – meaning they mimic oestrogen in the body. Oestrogen disruption has been linked to breast cancer and other reproductive issues and in a 2004 study, parabens were found in malignant tumours.  What’s more, there’s some evidence that they can be stored in the body and have an accumulative effect over time.

3. Phthalates

What they are: Pthalates are a common ingredient in cosmetics, lubes and many soft plastic or ‘jelly’ sex toys. They’re used to increase flexibility, durability and longevity in plastics. In lube and other cosmetics they can be used as binding agents or softeners.

Why they’re toxic:
Research suggests that prolonged exposure to pthalates can alter the cycles of reproductive hormones with effects including delaying or suppressing ovulation. Studies have also linked them, variously, to asthma, ADHD, breast cancer, diabetes, neurodevelopmental issues and male fertility issues. The International Agency for Research on Cancer classes DEHP, a common phthalate, as a possible carcinogen. Some people have even experienced chemical burns when using products containing pthalates on their genital areas.

4. Glycerin/Glycerol

What it is: A colourless liquid found in all natural plant and animal fats, although it can also be produced synthetically. You’ll find it in lots of lubes because it is a humectant, which just means it attracts moisture to the area where it’s applied. It has a slightly sweet taste so is likely to appear in a lot of flavoured lubes in particular, but it pops up all over the place.

Why it’s toxic:
Sugars and sugar derivatives simply do not belong in your vagina. Glycerin can increase the presence of candida, and this in turn can lead to yeast infections. Best avoided, particularly if you’re prone to them.

5. Parfum/Perfume/Fragrance

What it is: It’s what makes certain products smell nice. Beyond that? We haven’t a clue – under UK law at least, “parfum” or “fragrance” is a catch-all. It could mean any combination of hundreds of different potential ingredients which do not have to be listed separately.

Why it’s toxic: If you don’t know what it is or what it’s actually made up of, then I strongly recommend not putting it in your body.

6. Any numbing agent

What it is: Typically found in lubricants designed for anal sex, ingredients like benzocaine or lidocaine are basically anaesthetic agents. They’re used to partially, or even completely, numb the area they’re applied to.

Why it’s toxic: Do I really need to spell this out? If you need a fucking anaesthetic to have sex, then THIS IS SEX YOU DO NOT WANT TO BE HAVING. These products are sold on the strength of the idea that the receiving partner (particularly a female receiving partner) doesn’t actually want to be penetrated, and that anal sex is inevitably going to be painful and unpleasant.

There may be some discomfort with anal at first – that’s normal and why going slow and using plenty of (body-safe, non-toxic, no-freaky-ingredients) lube is vital IF it’s something both parties are enthusiastically into the idea of doing. (If you’re not: don’t do it. If your partner isn’t: don’t pressure them to do it!) Even more dangerously, pain is your body’s way of signalling that something is wrong. If you can’t feel it, you won’t know if sensitive tissues are being torn. Real damage can be done this way, which at best will be uncomfortable for a few days and at worst can be a serious medical emergency. JUST SAY NO TO A NUMB BUM.

To sum up:

You read the label when choosing foods, right? Please, please do the same when choosing lube, toy cleaner and even condoms (those “delay his climax” condoms, for example? They probably contain numbing agents.)

There are really good, safe, body-friendly products out there made by amazing ethical companies. They’re worth looking for.  Ask for recommendations from those in the know, do your research, and above all READ THE LABEL.

My top pick for lube, always and forever, will be Sliquid.

I started this blog, in part, to realise my passion for informed, honest, transparent and freely available sex education for everyone. If the information here was valuable to you, please consider buying me a virtual coffee or even becoming a sexy patron. Thank you!