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It is the curse of the Bad Slasher to be confronted on a regular basis by the use of lubricants that defy common sense, logic and sanity. While some dubious lubes are merely ineffective, others, such as aloe vera, may necessitate emergency first aid once the malign influence of the wraith has been exorcised.
All instances of dubious lube on this page have either been sighted by PPC agents or reported on LiveJournal's Fanficrants and Weepingcock communities and/or the GodAwful FanFiction Board. You are hereby warned that squickiness lies below.
Why Is This Lube Dubious? Edit
It Is Not, Actually, a Lubricant Edit
Lubricants can be dubious for several different reasons. The most important reason for a lubricant to be deemed dubious is that it would not, in fact, function (or function efficiently for the speed at which badslash sex usually occurs) as a lubricant.
- Saliva: probably the most common and least likely to actually work, although still better than the 'ah well, it'll be fine!' approach to teh gaysex. (Yes, it helps. But it isn't a miraculous biological WD40—to make it work you need TIME AND PATIENCE.)
- Blood: amongst the more disturbing, particularly when combined with the above approach, as in 'ah well, it'll be fine, there'll be blood in a few minutes'. (If things are getting to the stage where they're bleeding, it's probably going to hurt too much to have sex. Exceptions can be made for blood/pain kink, but it should be noted that blood/pain kink itself can be a charge depending on continuum.) And on a biological note, blood clots once it's outside of the body, meaning the blood will start to coagulate and turn sticky and distinctly un-lubricant-like shortly after the incredible pain caused by the dry penetration.
- 'They don't need lube, they're Elves!' is just odd. Despite anime-fangirl-turned-LotR-fangirl fanon, there is NO SUCH THING as a magical self-lubricating arse, EVEN if it's an Elven arse.
- Seawater: just plain wouldn't work; plus, adding an abrasive (sand) to the mix is no kind of fun the PPC want to be involved in.
- Fresh urine: yes, you read that one right.
- Ink: dries sticky very quickly.
- Dermabond surgical glue: to be fair, this was acknowledged as a Very Bad Idea within the fic, and the characters didn't get away with it, but it should still be noted as a bad move.
Most (but not all) substances deemed dubious fall into this category. Other categories of what those who use the charge frequently abbreviate to 'dubelube' are:
DEM Dubelube Edit
- Egg white: yes, technically it will work, but who wants to wait around while their lover separates an egg?
- And what about the 'light, scented oil' that Elves just seem to randomly carry around with them for no apparent reason? (It's not like they need to moisturise, so why would they carry it?)
- Why would you put something scented down there anyway? Natural odours plus scented oils don't make a very appealing mix.
Biohazard Dubelube Edit
Substances that would cause unpleasant reactions/sensations when in contact with mucous membranes:
- Alcohol products
- Alcohol gel: used by two characters who probably would know better.
- Tequila: amongst possibly the most harmful. (And least likely to work, given mucous membranes absorbing alcohol... look, it just doesn't work, and may end in chemical burns and alcohol poisoning, okay?)
- Whiskey/whisky: OW! OW! OW! Death by alcohol poisoning much?
- Barbecue sauce: now really... chili products? There?!
- Coffee: er, gritty? Hot? Acidic? Sound like something you want up your butt?
- Deodorant/antiperspirant: spray-on. Let me hear you say it... OW! Aerosol burn!
- Glue: terrifyingly enough, this has now been mentioned on Fanficrants twice; we can only hope they were both referring to the same fic.
- Gravy: hot, sticky when cold, potentially lumpy.
- Hydrochloric acid: ARGH!
- Ketchup: do people not know the danger of putting acids and sugars onto unkeratinised epithelial cells?!
- Lighter fluid: OW!
- Melted sugar: sucrose melts at approximately 186 °C. The burning pain would put the unfortunate user in the hospital, never mind off the sex.
- Molten metal: HOT! PAINFUL! Vapourising the body parts in question is not a solution!
- Shampoo: would you put it in your mouth? No! Would you put it up your nose? No! Then don't stick it up your arse! A mucous membrane is a mucous membrane!
- Sunblock: as above.
- Vinegar: BAD. Stings like hell, and good luck getting sexy with that.
- Washing-up liquid: see 'shampoo', above.
- WD40: see 'shampoo', above.
Discomfort Dubelube Edit
Substances that are gritty or lumpy:
- Bat guano: apart from where it's come from, bat guano is caustic to the point that naturalists wear biohazard suits merely to enter a bat-populated cave, and many many many biting and stinging minibeasts of various types live in it. In fact, you'd have to be batshit crazy to try this!
- Sand: not even going there.
- Soil: ditto.
- Vegetable soup: er, lumpy and HOT?
Gluey Dubelube Edit
Substances that are sticky and/or likely to solidify mid-coitus:
- Cement: not unless you want to turn to stone in a very awkward position...
- Honey: ew, sticky.
- Latex-based wall paint: gooey and sticky when wet – we don't even want to think about what happens when it dries – and potentially toxic.
- Maple syrup: seen sadly often in Hetalia fandom with the character of Canada; nation-tans do appear to canonically have some magic, but probably not the power of making syrup non-sticky.
- Melted chocolate: hot, gritty, sticky... what's worse is many fics that use chocolate in this way then have one or both protagonists CONSUME it afterwards. One doesn't even want to think about the issues surrounding hygiene in this regard.
- Molten cheese: this resolidifies very quickly. Think about when you leave a pizza sitting too long.
Solid Dubelube Edit
Substances that are not even liquid:
- Bamboo shoots: not sap, actual shoots, which should by rights be solid.
- Chocolate products that were designed to be eaten rather than placed in other orifices: yes, they'd probably melt while up there. But even so, chocolate can be gritty, and chocolate doesn't melt that fast at body temperature, and the lumps would surely be uncomfortable.
- Lollipop, half-eaten, cherry-flavoured: disgusting AND ironic!
- Mango pulp: sticky and acidic, ow.
- Peanut butter: sticky, probably too stiff to work, and let us not consider the 'crunchy' variety...
- Rosin: which is used to increase friction.
Many of these have not been verified, but nobody dares to go looking to find out if they're true.
Lube choices can also be charged as dubious if it's extremely unlikely that the canon character in question would be carrying them around. Even if they work. For instance, KY Jelly on Pern is dubious.
- Flavoured lube for things that aren't external. The flavoured component of the lube can cause yeast infections in people with vaginas.
- The wrong type of lube for the wrong type of toy or condom – if in doubt, just use water-based lube. Oil-based lubes are a bad idea for condoms and toys and just about anything that isn't a massage. Silicone-based lubes are bad with silicone-based toys.
- Not exactly a lubricant, but someone on Fanficrants once mentioned a fic featuring a hot wax enema. Anyone who cannot see why this is a bad idea deserves to be made to test it.
- The author of the fic 'Passion Night' (link NSFW) was told by a reviewer on a previous fic that lube should be included. She did include it in 'Passion Night', but was inexplicably under the impression that it was an activity rather than a substance, resulting in a disturbing mention of Sirius 'doing lube on Remus'. We don't want to know what she thought that involved.
- One fic, MSTed here (NSFW), featured an empty bottle of lube lying around where someone could walk in on the characters who'd just finished having sex and see it. In the words of the MSTers, the lube 'was conspicuously absent during the sex scene, so what the hell is it doing there now?' Since later on in the fic a character produced a shotgun apparently from Hammerspace, presumably the bottle came from the same place...
- Worth noting again, though mentioned earlier, is the mistaken impression that some authors (and published yaoi manga creators) apparently hold that the anus, human or otherwise, is self-lubricating. While remarks by characters on increased dampness in the vicinity of a vagina may be technically correct during explicit scenes, similar observations about the anus are contrary to biology unless the character in question is undergoing a bout of diarrhea or similar. (This is not generally considered sexy.)
NOTE: For the sake of completeness, let it be noted that lubricant-less mansex can occur with only limited discomfort. However, it takes a lot of time and patience, both things that are in extremely short supply in bad slash. We call it dubious for this reason.