Special goop

Pub date August 13, 2010

Dear Andrea:

Have you seen those commercial for the new K-Y product, with all the geysers going off and so on? They’re funny, but does the product work — and why? I have orgasms, but not always, Besides, anything that could make it even more fun …


Happy Shopper

Dear Shop:

It’s hard to miss those prim little couples with their giant expulsions of boiling fluids. They are pretty funny. But are they accurate?

Who knows. There are a lot of these products: warming, tingling, and INTENSE ( the geysers one) alike. All of a sudden we have aisles of female sexual enhancement products, right there across from the Preparation H and the Depends in your drugstore’s “mortifying conditions” section.

So what’s the deal with all these products? Mostly, no matter how they sell themselves, they are lube with a little Icy-Hot thrown in. The most active of the active ingredients in INTENSE appears to be niacin, a.k.a. vitamin B3, and yeah, that could work. Niacin gets a lot of press for its cholesterol- fighting properties, but it also causes an intense flushing/prickling/skin-on-fire sensation. The same capillary-dilating action that causes the flush ought to have a noticeable effect when applied to an organ that relies on plentiful blood flow to the surface to function properly. And according to the literature, it does, in about 75 percent of women who try it. But at least 25 percent feel nothing at all. My favorite of the Amazon reviews I read was titled “Special Goop for Her Whosis, But Not That Great, Again.”

Further along the gimmickiness spectrum, K-Y also offers a kit with two test tubes of special goop, one for his whosis, one for hers. The girl goop is Icy, the boy goop is Hot. Together you’d think they would achieve a nice “tepid,” but some people claim to really like it. At the same time, you can get a similar effect cheaper, more customizable, and without faintly suspect chemicals using an ice cube and a cup of hot water.

There are other, similar products out there, some of which contain L-arginine, an amino acid that regularly shows up in sex-enhancers and really does have a reasonable reason for maybe working. Whether it really works in whoopie creams, I do not know.

I can tell you what does work. All these products are meant to increase blood flow to the genitals (especially women’s). The other thing that increases blood flow to women’s genitals is a long session of light, teasing touch, alternating with more direct stimulation, applied attentively and with regard to the woman’s response. We could also call this “foreplay,” or “good sex.” I would strongly urge anyone interested in buying any of these tingle-nostrums to try the free, hypoallergenic alternative first.

I am, of course, not opposed or averse to better living through chemistry. But I’m a little irritated by these commercials for a) making women’s sexual response so cute and b) making it all seem so easy.

They seem pretty harmless, though. Go ahead and buy some but maybe look for a coupon first.