By Rebecca Alwar Mar. 16, 2017
One night in the heat of passion and out of personal lubricant, I turned to the most unlikely candidate on my bathroom shelf: A bottle of Patanjali almond oil.
Last night, I was in the mood. For once, it wasn’t a Tinder or OkCupid lover. Nope, just the good old-fashioned friend of a friend. We’d hit it off, and at 1 am, we were back at my place, just the right level of tipsy. At 2 am, we were Dunzo-ing condoms from the only late-night chemist around. Moods ribbed was all they had… and what a colossal disaster they turned out to be.
Because while they were ribbed for my pleasure, they had no lubricant on them whatsoever. Think, texture of fresh-from-the-factory shrink wrap. We gave it a shot anyway. Five minutes in, he was still oblivious to the fact that these condoms were total fail, but I was on my back cringing. I picked up the packet, looked at the back, and a sad glossy ad for lube stared back at me. But even the late-night chemist would be shut at 4 am.
At 3.30 am, we were Googling, “Can you use Nivea cream instead of lube?” No please don’t, said a scarred soul on Quora. It has mineral oils that could cause vaginal infections and penile allergies. People insisted KY Jelly is the way to go, because it is made from water and karo leaves, a shrub that grows in New Zealand (3.45 am is evidently the best time to soak in such beautifully irrelevant trivia). Some sites suggested eating flax seeds and other foods with lots of Omega 3 fatty acids and chances are you won’t even need lube! Sure, that’s real helpful now, pal.
It was clearly time to get inventive. I did a quick mental calculation of all the liquids in my kitchen, and realised, with a jolt, that my flatmate had borrowed the coconut oil that morning. We began to share stories about lube and miscellaneous kitchen items we’d heard of our friends using, often with catastrophic consequences. Butter, of course, was a standard favourite, but I found that revolting (quite possibly, still scarred from the Last Tango in Paris butter scene). Besides, it makes the condom brittle, and the prospect of having a baby with this friend of a friend wasn’t appealing. Whipped cream on the other hand is far sexier, and if only my flatmate weren’t on a perpetual diet, there probably would be some in the fridge.
When we were 18, my best friend and her boyfriend went to buy condoms for their first time. They were red in the face with embarrassment, and their local chemist wasn’t the friendliest of chaps. They’d mumbled and managed to get a Durex packet, but asking for lube would raise way too many eyebrows. So they picked up a bottle of innocuous-looking Biotique avocado oil. And two hours later, really wished they could go back in time and ask confidently for lube instead. While it did great things for clitoral stimulation, it smelled of stale spinach and he ended up developing rashes.
Of course, every circle has its extreme weirdos. A friend of mine was once really really feeling it while stranded in a hotel room in Andhra Pradesh, and ended up using the freshly squeezed pulp of three unsuspecting mangoes that were lying in the fridge. It didn’t feel too bad, he said, once he got over the strangeness of it and the mild burning sensation. Not bad at all. Another friend used tomato purée, and heaven knows how his partner managed to rectify what that did to her vaginal pH balance. A few websites recommended classic kitchen and bathroom products – aloe vera gel, corn starch with water, and egg whites – that sounded reasonably promising, but not feasible at the moment. I made a mental note for the next high-and-dry emergency.
Then it happened. I was in the bathroom – resigned to a hopeless night and cursing the sadistic universe that had designed the human anatomy with such shortsightedness – ready to embrace celibacy as my punishment… when I stumbled upon a small bottle of Baba Ramdev’s almond hair oil. You know, the one known for the “purity of its ingredients”.
The almond smell was very good and wholesome, it didn’t feel over-greasy, and everything was smooooth – except the KLPD image I’d had, which took a few seconds to shake off.
Everything stood still for a couple of seconds, and my stomach did a series of cartwheels. Should I suggest it? Most of my very woke friends, even those who secretly swear by his milk shampoo, would think it was sacrilege to canoodle using anything remotely related to His Babaness. Would NotTinderfella think I don’t have any morals? Or that I’d lost my marbles because of my giant sexual appetite, like the mad man of Andhra, the mango-pulp gent?
There was a good chance that the almond oil would kill my game and dampen the whatever minimal sexiness was left after this trying night. Well, great. Now B. Ramdev’s face got up in my head. It was time to act now, or forever hold my peace.
Gingerly, I went out and held the bottle up to the boy. After five seconds of disbelief and brow-raising, ten of hesitation, and twenty of laughter, we were at it. And I am happy to report that the oil worked like a charm. The almond smell was very good and wholesome, it didn’t feel over-greasy, and everything was smooooth – except the KLPD image I’d had, which took a few seconds to shake off.
We were in splits about it at the end, especially after the very friendly friend of a friend told me parts of me were shinier post the almond-oil treatment. This was a great find we told each other, but we decided that not everyone was cool enough for the Baba solution. Or were they?
Perhaps it’s time Baba Inc tapped (haha) into the lube market – who knows, it could help all the poor souls out there experimenting with avocado mush, tomato purée… or Nivea. Now that would be helping humanity.