This Lube Is My Lube

When we were assembling our product collection, the MiddlesexMD team spent a fair amount of time researching personal lubricants. Some of this research was straightforward: We knew safety came first, of course. We knew glycerin is a nice ingredient for some women, but for others it encourages yeast infections. Some of us (in particular women who want the lube to last as long as 45 minutes without reapplying) like silicone-based lubes, but they don’t work for women who use silicone-based massagers or vibrators. For some of us a thicker gel is more comfortable; others find a slippery liquid to be just right.

We did our homework. We were thorough. We assembled a variety that covered these bases, as well as preferences for organic ingredients and sensitivities to others. And then, that poor product team: If you’ve looked at our product catalog, you know we try to give a little extra information, a bit about why we as women of a certain age like the products we offer, what to look out for, who might be especially interested. The product team felt obliged to provide some pointers on smell, feel, and, yes, taste—for each of the lubricants.

So the team devoted an afternoon to exploring the options. They learned a lot. There were one or two, for example, that everyone agreed they’d rather not taste again. There was one in particular that a majority thought smelled pretty good. One lube seemed to moisturize the skin really well. The truly important thing the team learned was that Diet Coke could “cleanse the palate” between lubes.

That experience testing lubes made us think. If we hadn’t had all the samples on hand, we never could have tried so many so quickly. Since none of the quality lubes is cheap, how does the average woman find the one she likes best? Without investing a fortune and struggling with her conscience about dumping the nearly full bottles she doesn’t like? Do women put up with one they don’t like—that doesn’t last or smell good or feel good or… er… taste good—because it’s too much of an investment to find a fave?

And that’s how we came up with the Personal Lubricant Selection Kit. We send you trial-size amounts of various types of lubricants and a card you can redeem for a full-size bottle of your favorite. Easy.

And you know what? That Kit has been one of our most popular products since we launched our store. It’s gotten a lot of attention at the conferences for health care providers we’ve been at lately. And we’ve gotten quite a few cards back from women who’ve conducted their own tests.

You might say all these women agree to disagree: There is no single favorite. There’s not even a trend. Not for which lubes feel best, not for which lubes smell best—not even for which lubes taste awful!

This is good news for us, of course: It means we really did have a useful idea when we put that Selection Kit together. And any day, I’m confident, the product testers will begin to forget that long afternoon with the Diet Coke chasers… and when they’ve forgotten, maybe I’ll tell them just how individual these preferences are—and how many taste tests they could have skipped.

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