Transgender Zone the LubeTube Review from Calexotics Vaginal Lubricant Applicator.
OK this is a constant issue with many transwomen who need to dilate after surgery. I will keep this review G-rated so it is family friendly.
Dilation in transsexuals is keeping neo-vagina from closing up. A dilator (see our library link here) needs to enter the neo-vagina and rest there for sometime and then withdrawn, and a second larger one is usually inserted and this continues until the recommended size is achieved.
However a transsexual Vagina is not always sufficiently lubricated naturally and therefore requires gel to help it on its way.
- First and foremost if you apply gel to the tip of the dilator, the tightness of the vagina pushes it off and you end up with a goopy mess over you hand from the gel rather than where you need it. This eats gel and can be expensive if you do not get free prescriptions.
- The NHS hospitals that offer this surgery will give you a couple of dilators, a cheapo plastic douche, but nothing to apply gel with – this must change.
- There have been a number of ‘Heath Robinson’ attempts made by transwomen to create something useful, here is one such example.
In this example a piece of plastic tube is heated on the end to make it smooth and remove any sharp edge, and then screwed onto the applicator.
This is a great idea and very functional, but not ideal, especially for those still recovering from surgery as they could catch stitches and create further problems. Also you need to get the correct tubing to fit the screw thread and fashion it (by melting the end) properly.
It is surprisingly difficult to get something that is of good quality to apply gel with, i.e will not break in the vagina!
You need something that is medical grade plastic and does not stain and easy to clean (obviously). Smooth, and made for the job.
I have only seen a few products which meet these demands. One of the best looking and better designed products is this one from Germany – albeit pricey looks good – beware of their extortionate German tax and postage which is added on at checkout. I have also seen what seem to be modified syringes, although they are probably easier to fill. They just look awkward and I worry that bits might come off in the vagina and would be very difficult to retrieve.
So this brings me to this review of the ‘Lube Tube‘ from Calexotics.
It arrives packed and doubled sealed in a vacuum seal film that is factory fitted. This is reassuring – you wouldn’t want a used one!
Upon tearing the wrapping off you open the plastic pack and have 2 applicators The first thing I tried was to break one. Sounds mad, but if it shatters, then who wants to be in A and E having a Student Doctor trying to fish the bits out with forceps?! Not me! Also this is a review and we have to do these things :).
It has a solid outer shell and I was duly impressed! I still have a strained ringing in my ears from the attempt to bend it. However the inner plunger is very brittle see the image below and duly broke pretty quickly!
The plunger part has broken very easily and is very brittle it should be flexible as you will bend it slightly when depressing it at what will be ‘unusual’ angles. The main casing however is solid still – but as two are supplied this is just as well but be careful when pressing the plunger to not in anyway bend it – disappointing! The plunger should be stainless steel or similar solid or flexible plastic. I feel this is essential and just charge a little more for the product.
It has scissor like handles – clearly as this is a slippery set-up, it locates your fingers in the holes and you have some purchase to pump the gel out.
The fact you have two is handy, obviously if you use it in ‘another opening’ 😉 it maybe wise to keep them separate for hygiene reasons. However. for the needs of this reviewer it is a spare! So nice and handy. Also it halves the purchase price from around £7 on Ebay, (also available on Amazon.co.uk for a pound more) to £3.50 each – so a bargain.
Watch that tip! And remember to remove it before dilation!!!
The applicator comes apart for cleaning, and filling (of course), and has a little soft latex tip cap. So handy if you pre-load, but do not need it right away. Taking it with you to a partner’s house for example for ‘rumpy-pumpy’ (G-rated speek ;)). One thing to be careful of though is the rubber tip protector can shoot off at high speed, and you could lose it or end up with it in your eye. It is a tight fit and of good quality also. But most worrying is you could forget it is there and it could end up jammed in the top of your vagina. So I would put it in a drawer somewhere for traveling and forget it – it is one less thing to clean and less risk of a mishap!
The tip has a small opening and a good plunger pressure. The opening and the plastic has no burrs whatsoever and is finished far better than the terrible NHS douche bottles supplied by the NHS hospitals post-op which sometimes need sanding smooth with emery paper – I kid you not!
The biggest fault with this product is that the leading brand of gel (Aquagel as supplied by the NHS) tubes struggle to fit the end to fill the applicator properly. This is a real shame as otherwise this is a pretty good product. That said you can pierce a smaller hole in the metal in the tube tip and pipe it in like cake icing – of course most reverse the plastic cap and use the puncture point supplied just don’t press as hard.
Above is the standard 82g tube and although it does line up it will not go into the tube sufficiently so needs a steady hand – this is a major oversight by the manufacturers. Had it been just a tiny bit wider it would have got 5 stars.
The 42g tube (above) – the smaller Aquagel – will enter the end but only partly as pictured. It maybe possible to screw it in and create a thread in the plastic, but I think you would risk damaging the plunger pressure or cracking the casing if you did. This means you have to buy the smaller tubes which not only cost more but you would get through almost one per session. So it maybe worth persevering with the larger 82g size.
The Heart decor is unnecessary and a tad tacky. This is a gel applicator not a bow for your hair. Nevertheless it does provide better grip than the round ended type commonly found on syringes as you can lock your thumb into the crease. So there maybe method in this apparent madness.
So, over all a good product, if used with smaller tubes. It does loose some marks for not accommodating the larger sized tubes of gel which was a major ‘slip-up’ (pun intended) by the manufacturer.
However, there are not a lot of good quality application devices out there like this, so this for the money is likely to be the best you are gunna get.
I would caution to put the tip protector away somewhere and forget about it as I just can see that ending up in a vagina somewhere after you forget to remove it – or just being lost – although you have two of course.
A great product spoiled by the tube size and brittle plunger and for that reason it gets only 3/5 stars.
Call me when you make the tube bigger and make a better plunger Calexotics and I will update the score and review accordingly 😉
That said if you are careful its excellent value and ideal to pop preloaded into your handbag in case you get lucky on a night out 😉 🙂
2/5 Tzone Stars – Below Average.
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