Pretty Please With a Cherry on Top -- Er, Bottom?!?

Though it has an unimaginative and hilariously straightforward name, Anal Lube is quite serious in its performance. For such an amazingly inexpensive product, this lube is extremely long-lasting and provides a wonderfully slippery coating to effectively "grease your gears" for a fun and smooth ride. Faced with an empty bottle of this lube, I was PRETTY PLEASED to order another one!
Lusciously thick and rich, does not drip, safe for all toy materials, light cherry scent.
Glycerin, propylene glycol, a formaldehyde-releaser, & parabens may aggravate allergies.
Rating by reviewer:
extremely useful review


California Exotics Anal Lube is best used for -- yep, you guessed it -- anal lubrication! While my husband and I have not tested it out for anal sex since we have not yet worked up to that activity, it does work fantastically for inserting -- and even thrusting -- plugs and probes. Given how thick and slippery this gel is, I anticipate it being ideal for anal sex as well. Since it is a water-based lube, it is perfectly safe to use with all toy materials, including silicone.

As long as you are not sensitive to glycerin-induced yeast infections, this lube could even be used vaginally. For other allergy concerns, please refer below to the product ingredients and their descriptions (under Special Features and Personal Comments).
  • Who / How / What
    [ ? ]
    Who might this product be best for? How is it best used? What are the best circumstances or situations for using this product?
    • Masturbation
    • Sex
  • Body / part areas
    [ ? ]
    What areas on the body can this product be used / what areas does it stimulate best?
    • Good for anal

Texture / Consistency / Thickness / Viscosity

The texture of this pleasantly thick gel is silky and slippery. The clear concoction is even thicker and more viscous than my beloved Sliquid Organics Botanically Infused Gel -- and it reminds me of natural vaginal lubrication during periods of the monthly cycle when it becomes thicker and more elastic.

Just how thick and viscous is it? Well, check this out: upon squeezing a glob of this gel onto my fingertip, it formed a high mound which did not flatten or spread on its own. Turning my finger over, the mound slowly elongated into a droplet which continued to cling stubbornly for up to a minute without dripping.

After about a minute, it finally lengthened enough to touch my thumb, which was held one inch away from my finger.

When the dangling gel droplet finally made contact with my thumb, I pulled my thumb another half-inch apart from my finger. The gel was viscous and cohesive enough to keep the droplet intact and, instead of stretching to maintain contact, it once again became a freely dangling (yet extremely elongated) droplet once more. After the droplet finally stretched enough to make contact with my thumb again, I could stretch the gel approximately two inches.

Unfortunately, as you can see by my lack of further pictures, my "model" was much less patient than I was in experimenting with this lube's viscosity and cohesive/adhesive properties, so I was not able to recreate and photographically document this fascinating study any further.

As you might have gathered from the above description, this gel is certainly thick enough to cling to whichever surface you apply it -- and that is exactly what you want an anal lube to do in order to effectively ease insertion, facilitate injury-free motion, and allow pain-free removal of whichever anal-safe object you choose to incorporate in your play, be it skin or any type of toy material.

Continuing my experiment by rubbing the gel into my skin, I astutely noticed that it felt somewhat sticky until it dried, leaving behind a slightly tacky residue. Though abandoned by my assistant, my keen observational skills simply would not allow any textural detail to go unnoticed; so, it was with a sharp eye that I noticed that tiny balls would form when rubbing my fingers over the applied area where the residue had dried. Thus, you might want to at least wipe this lube away with a wet towel after use.
    • Slick
    • Smooth
    • Thick

Taste / Aroma

Anal Lube comes in both Unscented and Cherry. We have purchased the cherry scent each of the two times we have ordered this lube because, after reading many reviews describing a lingering scent left behind on silicone anal toys which can take a while to dissipate, I figured our toys would need all the help they could get to fight the eau-de-ass scent with which I expected them to become infused.

The cherry scent smells mildly of cherry-flavored candy. The taste is fairly sweet and not at all unpleasant or bitter.

We have noted that it leaves a faint cherry scent behind on our silicone toys, though the scent is effectively washed away from the toy using soap and water.
    • Light smell
    • Mildly sweet taste
    • Smells good


Though we have recently purchased a second bottle, we still have not used all of the first yet. Our first bottle has lasted for over two months thus far, after being used at least two to three times a week. When applying it to toys, we use quite a generous amount since the anal canal needs a great deal of lubrication to avoid injuring the delicate membranous tissues.

Used liberally on toys, this lube has performed very admirably. It adheres so well that, upon removal of a plug or probe, there is still some lube clinging to the toy. This is great since it would otherwise be quite painful to withdraw a dry toy. Who wants to experience a literal pain in the butt? It's bad enough to experience that in the figurative sense . . .

As previously mentioned, this product can leave behind a tacky residue, so you will most likely feel more comfortable if you remove it from your skin after use instead of allowing it to dry. Being water-based, this product is extremely easy to rinse off of your skin or to simply wipe away with a damp towel. Being a clear gel, it has never stained any article of our clothing or any linens.
    • Allergy concerns
    • Long lasting
    • Performance


The product comes packaged in a 6-ounce clear plastic bottle with a large royal blue screw-top cap featuring a click-top dispenser. It is fairly easy to squeeze the lube from the dispenser, though when the bottle is nearly empty, it is best to store it upside down. Otherwise, it takes an annoying length of time to shake down the thick lube in order to squeeze it out. The sides of the bottle also collapse inward now that we are on the last remaining amount. If you find it difficult to squeeze bottles, it is very easy to unscrew the cap and just dump the lube out of the decently large opening.

There are two stickers with product labeling -- one affixed to the front of the bottle and one affixed to the back. The labeling makes this bottle as indiscreet as can possibly be imagined. Proudly yelling in huge red font from the front of the bottle are the words: ANAL LUBE!!! (Okay, there are no exclamation points, but that is what the sharp, red, and urgent-looking block-lettered font looks like it is trying to convey.) The sticker on the back side also proclaims that this is, indeed, anal lube -- though it does so much more modestly with its smaller font, like it is stage-whispering in the library (still embarrassingly obvious, but at a much lower decibel level). The back label also lists the ingredients, which I will discuss below. No directions are included, but -- ahem -- it seems that the to-the-point, no-frills name of this product should be all the instructions that most people would need: glob this stuff onto something and stick it in your butt (though, of course, that "something" hopefully features an anal-safe flare and the "sticking" is advisedly performed very gently and patiently).

The bottle does not come enclosed in a manufacturer-packaging box, but it instead arrives wrapped in a clear plastic bag. Unscrewing the large blue cap, there is an easy-to-remove red plastic plug sealing the bottle which must be removed before first use.

Since we have never experienced a problem with leakage, I suspect that this bottle would travel well. If you think you may ever want to pack this product, I suggest holding onto the red plastic plug with which it is shipped as an extra precaution against seepage. Otherwise, you can just place the bottle in a Ziplock bag as your extra measure of protection.

This bottle would be too large to meet airline regulations; so, if you are flying, you will need to dispense a smaller amount into another container for travel. I would recommend this anyway, even if there were not travel restrictions on the volume of gels and liquids. Do you really want to be standing there in front of security and other onlookers while they examine your blue-capped bottle that loudly and proudly proclaims itself to be ANAL LUBE!!!?
    • Can be opened with one hand
    • Does not leak
    • Not discreet

Special Features

Below are the ingredients found in this product for those who may be interested or have health concerns, such as allergies.**

Ingredient Listing, Possible Purposes, and Possible Health Concerns:

Deionized Water: Deionization is one of the most common ways to purify water; thus, deionized water is used in many cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. Since the mineral ions have been removed, the potential for undesirable chemical reactions with impurities in the water is greatly reduced.

**Vegetable Glycerin: Vegetable glycerin is a sugar alcohol that is a component of all vegetable fats and oils. Widely used in cosmetics and personal care items as a humectant and protectant skin conditioner, it is also used to decrease viscosity.

It is believed that glycerin can cause vaginal yeast infections in women who are prone to them, so if you are a woman who frequently suffers from yeast infections, then I would advise against using this product vaginally. If you have no problem using other lubes containing glycerin, then you could, by all means, use Anal Lube as a vaginal lubricant as well as an anal one.

**Propylene Glycol: Also known as 1,2-propanediol, this organic alcohol is a natural component of all fats and oils found in both animals and plants. However, studies have indicated that it can be slightly toxic when used in formulations.

Used in products as a penetration enhancer, it alters the structure of the skin to allow deeper penetration of other chemicals. It also serves as a product stabilizer, as well as a humectant skin conditioner.

There have been some studies of propylene glycol which indicate that it can provoke human skin irritation and sensitization in patients with diseased skin. Other studies have indicated a correlation between propylene glycol and convulsions, surface electroencephalograpic (EEG) changes of the brain, and mutations which could lead to cancer. Animal studies have also demonstrated effects on the kidneys at very low doses.

Due to its propensity to cause skin irritation, it is classified as a potential allergen. If you suffer from a burning sensation upon applying a lube that lists propylene glycol is an ingredient, it may possibly be the offending culprit.

Polysorbate-20: Polysorbate-20 is a surfactant, an agent that helps other ingredients dissolve in a solvent in which they would not normally dissolve. Hydrophilic and non-ionic, it is a general-purpose emulsifier which disperses oil in water. The FDA has approved it as a food additive and the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) Expert Panel has deemed it safe for use in cosmetics in acceptable concentration levels.

Carbomer: Carbomers are large molecules made up of small acrylic acid and polyalkenyl polyethers.
These molecules can absorb and retain water, swelling several times their original volume. In cosmetics and personal care products, they serve to disperse and suspend insoluble solids in a liquid. They also serve as stabilizers by preventing emulsions from separating into their liquid and oil components and function as thickeners to control consistency and viscosity of personal care products.

Triethanolamine: Triethanolamine is a strong alkaline or base substance which is used as a surfactant for emulsifying water-soluble and oil-soluble ingredients together. It is also used to control and adjust the pH in cosmetics and personal care items.

For products such as lube that have prolonged skin contact, the concentration of this ingredient should not exceed 5%. Triethanolamine should also not be used in products that contain N-nitrosating agents in order to prevent the formation of carcinogenic nitrosamines.

Flavor: Though California Exotics does not divulge what type of flavor they are using in this product, according to the FDA a flavor is "any natural or synthetic substance or substances used solely to impart a taste to a cosmetic product." They also have a component of smell.

While natural flavors are usually very complex and have up to hundreds of chemicals which interact to produce their characteristic taste and smell, there are still many flavors (especially fruit flavors) that have only one to a handful of dominant chemical components that impart taste and smell.

I am assuming that this is the ingredient that accounts for the sweet taste of this product and, more obviously, for its light cherry candy smell.

**DMDM Hydantoin: This is an ingredient that is used in cosmetics and personal care items as an antimicrobial agent and preservative. It is also a formaldehyde-releasing ingredient. Exposure to formaldehyde-releasing ingredients can trigger the development of a formaldehyde allergy or even an allergy to the formaldehyde-releasing agent itself and to its decomposition products.

In the U.S., the public is exposed to greater amounts of formaldehyde-releasing ingredients than in Europe. About 20% of cosmetic and personal care products contain such ingredients. Interestingly enough, there is also a much higher frequency of contact allergies to these ingredients in the U.S. when compared to Europe.

Due to skin sensitivity concerns, the concentration levels of free formaldehyde in cosmetic and personal care items are limited to 0.2%. Less than 1% of DMDM Hydantoin is necessary for preserving a product -- and this small amount will not produce over the 0.2% limit for formaldehyde that is recommended by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) panel.

(Ingredient listing continued below.)

Personal comments

Ingredient Listing, Possible Purposes, and Possible Health Concerns:

**Mathyparaben: I could not find any information in the scientific literature about mathyparabens. The only information I found online was its inclusion on the ingredient listing of this product, as well as the ingredient listing for a couple of other products. I am quite certain that the ingredient listing of “mathyparaben” is a corruption of the spelling of methylparaben.

Methylparaben is a member of a class of ingredients called parabens. Parabens is a general term for describing ingredients which have been derived from para-aminobenzoic acid. They are widely used as preservatives and antimicrobial agents in cosmetics and personal care products.

Parabens have been found to be non-irritating and non-sensitizing when applied to “normal” skin. Surprisingly, even paraben-sensitive patients can tolerate products containing parabens when the product is applied to unbroken skin. However, when applied to paraben-sensitive patients with eczematous or ulcerated skin, these ingredients can be irritating and sensitizing.

If you have paraben sensitivity, then this is another ingredient which could account for stinging and burning upon application. I would not recommend using this lube at all (or any other lube that contains parabens) if you have experienced prior sensitivity to parabens since the extremely delicate membranous skin of the genitalia can easily form microscopic tears from friction. Application of parabens to these tiny tears are what causes the stinging and burning for those with paraben sensitivity.

There have been many articles and Internet rumors in recent years implying that parabens can cause breast cancer by behaving like estrogen. Yet studies have indicated that parabens are safe to the consumer in the dosage amounts found in cosmetic and personal care products. In the studies from which the speculative rumors stemmed, animals received dosages of extremely large quantities of parabens. These dosages were much, much greater than the dosages to which the consumer is exposed in paraben-containing cosmetics and personal care products – even under repeated usage of these products. Parabens are also about 100,000 weaker than the naturally-occurring estrogen in the human body and are therefore much too weak to have a carcinogenic impact on humans.

References: You might find these websites helpful in researching ingredient safety.
Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database


A few months back, my husband and I were complete novices to any type of anal play. We were advised by several experienced people to use a thick, rich lube so that it would cling to toys and not drip. So, the main property I considered in my search for an anal lube was viscosity.

After researching several different products, the multiple raving reviews on this one convinced me to try it. I was quite amused that, after repeatedly wondering whether each lube that I was considering was truly formulated specifically for anal lubrication, the name of this product seemed single-mindedly earnest in its intent to dispel any possible doubt about its use.

Hilariously descriptive name aside, I have been so very pleased with this product that, instead of taking the adventurous plunge to try something new, I decided to not attempt to "fix" what is not broken. So, I recently purchased our second bottle. I want to make sure that we never run out of this stuff!

Thankfully, neither my husband nor I have experienced any type of stinging or burning from the potential allergens in the ingredient list. We have greatly appreciated how well this lube has provided a rich cushion to protect the most tender of membranous tissue from the painful friction created by insertable objects.

As an anal lube, this product has performed superbly. And the light, pleasant scent has simply been the cherry on top -- er, bottom? -- of our play sessions with it! If you do not suffer from allergies to any of the above ingredients, I highly recommend trying this product.
This product was provided at a discounted price in exchange for an unbiased review. This review is in compliance with the FTC guidelines.
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  • Contributor: Alyxx
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  • Contributor: PHOENIX3045
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    Great review, thanks
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    Good review, nice pics
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  • Contributor: James Axel
    thanks for the review!
  • Contributor: chicmichiw
    Cute title!
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