And a new company, Goodparts, wants to be the ones to sell it to them.
No matter how you like to do it, sex is supposed to feel good, and few things can interrupt a good time like dick friction. While a little finesse and patience (and sometimes a little bit of spit) can get things going, the most obvious solution can also sometimes be an awkward one. Lube seems to carry a subtle but lurking stigma when it comes to its presence in the bedroom, at least for straight people like me. Many men I’ve gotten to know in the biblical sense are proud owners of, at best, an expired tube that has not seen the outside the nightstand drawer since Obama was in office. Which is a shame, because lube enhances sex for everyone if you can just get over the tiny hiccup of product placement before penetration. But that hiccup is real, and it's one of the reasons Dave Shanfield created his new brand Goodparts.
“I get why straight guys haven’t been buying lube," he tells GQ. "There were brands that were targeting me as a gay man, but I never came across one that spoke to a more modern, less toxic version of masculinity that I could relate to—let alone a straight guy.” He mentioned a scenefrom Superbad where Jonah Hill’s character berates Michael Cera for bringing spermicidal lube to a party, saying their prospective 18-year-old hookup partners aren’t “dried-up old ladies,” they’re “good to go.”
“A lot of men I spoke thought of it as a gay niche product, or just for butt stuff. Or they were quick to say ‘I don’t need lube’ or said that she should provide the lube if she wants it, which felt sort of backward to me,” Shanfield says.
Anyone whose sexual awakening involved Hollywood or porn has likely subconsciously absorbed that sex typically doesn't involve any performance-enhancers. And in our post-”W.A.P.” era, the pressure to be good to go is elevated for both sides. Lube, despite being for sex, is often not a super sexy product. I’ve noticed that lots of new sexual wellness brands marketed towards women treat their lube offerings like skincare products. Then, Shanfield says, “There are the lubes that are targeting gay guys like me with pretty out-there names and ads depicting muscled-up naked dudes. These brands speak to a version of masculinity that doesn’t seem to really include guys like me and treat sex more like a kink or niche than a universal human experience.”
A bottle of Goodparts lube is a welcome third way. It's cool but quietly branded, with a straightforward, lockable pump. It comes in two versions: the aloe-based Hydrating Organic and silicone-based Ultra-Smooth. Both are condom-friendly (though the Hydrating isn’t compatible with polyurethane condoms). The Ultra-Smooth is longer lasting and better suited for anal sex, but (like all silicone lubes) not a good match with silicone sex toys. Both will look great in your bedroom and make sex feel even better.
Shanfield says creating a cool-looking and well-made product was a way of turning that potentially awkward conversation before sex into something sexy.
“A lot of straight guys see [verbal consent] as an awkward, cautionary interruption in the natural flow of things," he says. "But for gay guys, it is the natural flow of things, since the roles can’t be assumed. Those conversations aren’t just about do you want to? but instead they go deeper: what do you want to do? What do you like? What makes you feel good?"
Of course, it's not news that conversations about sex and pleasure often lead to more pleasurable sex. So for those feeling awkward about breaking out the lube, consider a different spin—asking your partner if they want to use lube is a clear sign that their pleasure is important to you. (This is never not extremely attractive.) Picking up good-looking bottle from a cool new company might help with that. The rest is up to your dirty minds.
“It feels like there is so much to learn by sharing our different experiences and perspectives with each other,” says Shanfield. “I mean, it’s not like straight people aren’t having butt sex, too.”