Recently, I decided to treat myself (and my partner of many years) to some fancy, all-natural lubricant. We didn’t need it, but I had started to find our no-frills bottle of Shoppers Drug Mart “intimate fluid” a little depressing. I think I bought it while I was feeling cheap one day. Typically, I like being thrifty, but virtuous scrimping is not a feeling I like to associate with my sex life.
So I bought a tube of Hathor Aphrodisia’s Pure Lubricant. It’s a vegan formula made from plant-based ingredients, packaged in a biodegradable bronze tube. In Canada, it costs about the same as a MAC lipstick.
The Hathor lube is slippery, tasteless, and long-lasting. Once we tried it, I realized how terrible our old lube was: it tasted terrible and became sticky after a few minutes. Like many mainstream lubes, it was also full of irritating (and potentially harmful) ingredients, such as:
- Glycerin - fabulous on your face, but not in your downstairs. It can cause yeast infections in women who are prone to them, and it's also a bad choice for anal sex.
- Propylene Glycol - a preservative that can be very irritating.
- Parabens - absorbed easily through the skin, parabens are chemicals that mimic or interfere with estrogen. While the FDA has ruled parabens safe for cosmetic use, studies have linked their effects to the development of breast cancer.
The Hathor lube definitely resulted in better sex, and it eliminated any post-sex irritation (I mean vulva irritation, not long term relationship irritation).
Hathor Aphrodesia is a small, family-owned Canadian company that makes a variety of products, including massage oil and a facial serum. It’s owned and operated by Mellta and Nathanda Swift (Mellta is Nathanda’s mother).
Since I’d become a Hathor fan, I gave Mellta a call. Mellta started out producing organic spa products, but she’s always had an interest in holistic health and sexuality.
“When I began to research sexual wellness products, I went to sex shops and found that their lubes were chemical-laden things that I wouldn’t want to put on my skin, let alone inside my body, on sensitive tissues. I saw a niche that was waiting to be filled, and that’s when I created Hathor Lubricant Pure.”
We talked about how one chooses a lube. "No one lube for works for everyone,” she said. “Everyone’s body chemistry, natural lubrication, and sexual practices are different. You have to try a few.” (Sidebar: High-end sex shops often sell sample packs of boutique lubricants, like this one from Womyn’s Ware. It’s like Birchbox for your genitals!)
Recently, Hathor has diversified its offerings with a new lube, Sutil, which comes in a sleek tube that could easily pass for a shampoo. The refined formula improves on Lubricant Pure, using eco-certified ingredients that weren’t available when Pure was launched in 2000.
I asked Mellta why she chose to keep both products. “We’re keeping the old product because people like it and it has a lower price point. Hathor Lubricant Pure is thicker, which is better for anal sex, and women in menopause who want a thicker lube. Sutil is lighter. It all depends on your preferences, your own ability to lubricate and on your sexual practice.”
I couldn’t resist asking Mellta about what it was like to run a sexual wellness company with her daughter. It turns out the business has been family-centric from the beginning. “I started the business as a single mother in my kitchen, and that’s how I raised my kids. My daughter, Nathanda, grew into the business. I did it really so that I could be at home with them. I couldn’t stand the thought of putting them in daycare … we are a non-traditional family, so it makes sense to us!"
- Have you upgraded any parts of your personal care routine lately?
- What sexy time products do you recommend?