I’ve never overthought and overanalyzed a lube as much as I did with The Butters. When Peepshow Toys offered to send me jars of The Butters Original and The Butters Raw Honey X Cocoa Butter lubes to try, I said yes, but trepidatiously: I’d never used oil-based lubes like these before. But these got stellar reviews from people I trust, like JoEllen and Lunabelle, so I was curious to give ’em a shot. Here are my thoughts…
Safety and health concerns: It is important to note, right off the bat, that you can’t use oil-based lubes like these with latex condoms, or any other latex barriers (dental dams, gloves, finger cots, and so on). Oils break down latex and compromise the safety of your barriers. However, you can use oil-based lubes with condoms made of lambskin or polyurethane.
I was worried about getting a vaginal infection from these lubes, because I am historically prone to BV and there are mixed opinions about whether oils and honey are vagina-safe. Some people say all oils hang around in the vagina and trap bacteria there; some say only synthetic oils do this, not the plant-based ones used in The Butters. Some say honey inherently contains sugar and is a risk for the forming of botulism spores. I don’t know enough about vaginal health or microbiology to have a damn clue, frankly – so if you know you’re super infection-prone, I would recommend avoiding these lubes.
However, I am infection-prone and haven’t had an issue with them. Vaginas are mysterious. (Or at least, they will be until we have a proper body of scientific research on stuff like this.)
Because these lubes are stored in jars, it’s important to make sure your hands are clean when you dip into them. Otherwise you risk depositing bacteria in the jar which will then breed and multiply. They also don’t contain any preservatives, so they’ll go bad far more quickly than regular lubes, especially if stored in a warm environment (like my poorly ventilated bedroom during a Toronto summer – whoops).
As a lube: The Butters lubes have a glorious texture – whipped and creamy, like buttercream frosting. (Except, you know, safer to put in your vagina.) They’re halfway between liquid and solid, so they stay put better than a typical liquid lube; you don’t have to worry about dripping lube all over yourself while you get a toy nice ‘n’ greasy.
These lubes stay slippery for a looong time; I’ve never had to reapply. As I get more turned on, they intermingle with my vaginal fluids, creating an amplified version of my “girly juice” (!) that tastes, smells, and feels natural. None of those gross lubey chemical flavors here!
These lubes can be a little bit gritty sometimes, in the way that coconut oil is sometimes slightly gritty. For this reason, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend The Butters for anal sex, fisting, or any other activity where an 100% smooth glide is preferred. I don’t mind using these lubes for vaginal penetration and small anal penetration, but once I move onto bigger toys, my butt can detect the ever-so-slight grittiness of The Butters and longs for something slicker and smoother like Sliquid Sassy.
Sometimes I have strange vaginal discharge a few hours after using The Butters – it’s thicker and more opaque than usual, because my natural discharge has mixed with the lube and semi-solidified. This has alarmed me a couple times, as I worried I was getting an infection, but it didn’t smell or taste weird, so I figured I was fine. It’s just something to keep in mind when you use these lubes, so you don’t get freaked out!
As for the difference between the two different types of The Butters I was sent: I don’t notice much of one. The original formula is a little smoother and creamier, while the formula with raw honey feels a little heavier and waxier (perhaps due to the cocoa butter), but not enough to cause a problem. I sliiightly prefer the texture of original, but for the most part, I use them interchangeably.
As a pre-shave treatment: The Butters spreads pretty well – though not as well as my usual pre-shave go-to, regular ol’ coconut oil. I applied a light coating of it to all the body parts I intended to shave (legs, labia, mons, underarms) and then went to town with my Gillette Venus razor. While my skin felt delightfully smooth and moisturized afterward, the razor kept getting clogged with yellowish lube-hair gunk that was hard to clean out.
As a makeup remover: Like many natural oils, The Butters melts away even the most stubborn of waterproof eyeliner and matte lipstick. I would recommend wiping it away afterward, rather than rubbing it in as a face moisturizer, because this lube contains some ingredients that some people find clog pores and/or cause acne.
As a leather conditioner: My go-to leather expert, Peri Plunders, tells me coconut oil (which The Butters contains) is bad for leather. However, the lube’s website specifically advertises its suitability for leather care, and I am a curious reviewer, so I decided to give it a shot. I rubbed a bit of The Butters (original formulation) into a tough spot near the heel of my new-ish Frye engineer boots; it was the only remaining uncomfortable spot on the boots after a couple weeks of break-in time. After applying the lube and rubbing it in, I flexed/bent the area to soften it, and wore the boots with thick socks like I already had been. After a couple more days of wear, the spot softened up, and no longer gives me grief (or blisters). Hooray!
Smell and taste: Some other bloggers have mentioned enjoying the natural, slightly sweet scent of these lubes, but that’s not what I get from them when I whiff ’em; I mostly just smell the sour/tangy apple cider vinegar therein. It’s definitely not as powerful as a straight-up sniff of ACV, but it’s there. Taste-wise, The Butters is milder than it smells – sort of sweet, nutty, and subtle. It certainly tastes better than chemical-y silicone lubes or bitter cheap water-based ones.
Final thoughts: I didn’t think I’d be keen on these lubes, but I find myself reaching for them pretty often, especially when I’m using glass or steel toys. They just feel so silky and luxurious! And I love feeling like I’m being nice to my body by using a natural lubricant rather than one full of chemicals.
At only $10-14 per jar, The Butters are also pretty inexpensive for the high-quality lubes they are. Hooray!
While thick water-based lubes like Sliquid Sassy and Organics Gel will remain my go-to lubes for their greater versatility (especially with regards to latex barriers), I like keeping The Butters around for their luxe feel and hyper-natural appeal. It’s always good to have different options in your lube arsenal!
Thanks so much to Peepshow Toys for sending me these lubes in exchange for my honest, unbiased review!