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Crisco disco and other notes

CRISCO DISCOSome random notes and quirky observations about some of the lubricants we've researched for this section.

  • J-Lube (water-based)
    Popular gunky lube for guys into fisting. Produced by Jorgensen Laboratories, a veterinary supplier. Yes, J-Lube was designed for animals.
  • Elbow Grease Original (oil-based)
    Thick and creamy with an "exquisite viscosity" apparently, Elbow Grease by B. Cumming Company hit the market in 1979.
  • K-Y jelly (water-based)
    Once a staple for gay men, KY has been eclipsed by developments in lubricants but is a recognisable brand just about anywhere in the world.
  • Boy Butter (oil and water-based)
    Boy Butter Original (oil-based) was launched in 2003, while Boy Butter H20 (water-based) arrived in 2007.
  • Butter (oil-based)
    Marlon Brando famously used butter in one of the most cringeworthy sex scenes in the history of cinema (Last Tango in Paris). Butter contains casein (from milk) which can become rancid pretty quickly. Or, to put it another way, do you want rotting animal proteins anywhere near your tackle?

Crisco and Crisco Disco

The delicious irony about Crisco is that while mums and grandmas use it to make cakes and biscuits, gay men have been using it for sex for decades.

In 1911, Crisco shortening arrived courtesy of the multinational Procter & Gamble. A cooking improvement over lard, it was made from vegetable oil and helped housewives get better baking results. Apparently, Crisco flaky pie crusts were the pinnacle of home cooking at the time! How gay men worked it out has to be a story in itself, but they started using it as a lubricant for fucking and fisting. The rest is history, as they say.

The Crisco Disco was a New York City disco which ran from the 1970s to 1980s, located in New York's Meatpacking District, 15th Street and 10th Avenue. A giant mock Crisco vintage can of Crisco shortening was built for the DJ booth which could fit up to ten people. See picture above; source unknown.

  • Olive, grapeseed, avocado, and sesame oils (oil-based)
    Not our first choice. But plant-based cooking oils should be OK as long as they are higher-quality and not blended with anything else, eg: flavouring agents.
  • Margarine (oil-based)
    Not our first choice, again. Today's margarine includes emulsified vegetable oil with water, salt, colouring and stabilisers. If you are using it for sex, find brands with the least amount of artificial irritants.
  • Fish oil, lard, dripping, and bacon grease
    Just no, no, no and no!
  • Baby oil (oil-based)
    About as slippery as lube can get. Can double up as a massage oil and smells like "innocence", apparently.
  • Vaseline or petroleum jelly (oil-based)
    Doesn’t absorb but stays on top of the skin like a barrier. Doesn't dry and can get everywhere. At one time, Vaseline was so popular among gay men (latter part of the 20th century)  that a cruising ground along a stretch of Central Park was nicknamed “Vaseline Alley”. 
  • Gun Oil (silicone-based)
    Made Empowered Products (USA) with a proprietary, three-molecule silicone blend. Expensive.

Vaseline | Wikipedia
Crisco | Wikipedia
Crisco Disco | Wikipedia
Crisco or how to do queer theory with things | Drew Sawyer
Photographs of Crisco Disco (DJ Booth) | Tambourine or Machine

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