Art & Science


Evaluations of Various Lubes and Methods of Distribution

Publication Details

Author: Finn Vortex

Published: 12/23/2015

Updated: 07/31/2018

Duration: 30 Minutes

Quick Links / Topics in this Article

Lubrication Science | Evaluations | Distribution | Clean-up

Executive Summary

Extensive review of lubrication options for regular and depth fisting, including pros and cons of the five categories of lube. Also included are tips, advice, and video demonstrations, Red Right DIY projects, and clean-up procedures. For application advice and instruction, see Art & Science: Greasing Up.

Lubrication Science


Friction is defined as 'the resistance that one surface or object encounters when moving over another.'1 Science further postulates that friction is the result of electromagnetic attraction between charged particles in two touching surfaces. In common terms, everything is sticky; however, some things are substantially stickier while others are substantially less sticky (and appear not to be sticky at all).

In fisting, friction is both a source of pleasure and discomfort. Too much friction prevents access and results in bodily harm and pain. Too little friction can eliminate some of fisting's great pleasure sources: the sensations of pressure and movement into and out of the fist chute (this is rarely, if ever a substantial issue).

Lubrication usually works to decrease friction by coating a sticky object with a non-sticky substance.

Lubricant Bases

Apart from water, there are five common lubricant bases: glycerin, lipid, polymer, petroleum, and silicone. Many of these five bases are liquid (or only semi solid) at body temperature and are compatible for fisting applications:

  • Glycerin - This edible substance is used for both cooking and industrial applications. When applied to human skin, it is theorized that glycerin draws water to the surface of the skin from inside the body, while also drawing water to the skin from the air. In chemistry, glycerin is officially known as a sugar alcohol. Pure glycerin should not be applied directly to the skin.
  • Lipid - Natural oils that originate from plants or animals were the original fisting lubricants. These substances are composed of advanced glycerin chains that create saturated fats (triglycerides) in hydrogenated and non-hydrogenated forms. Lipid molecules rest on top of the skin and tissue of the fist chute. They decrease friction by eliminating skin-on-skin contact.
  • Polymer - Repeating molecular carbon chains from derived chemical processes produce a class of super lubricants. These items typically gains bulk when subjected to water. Covalent and ionic bonds tend to slide across each other easily. At certain temperatures, polymers become solid (usually above 130° F (50° C). Some formulas are very slippery while others less so.
  • Petroleum - Byproducts from the oil/gas refinement results in petrochemical lubricants such as vaseline and mineral oil. They are common in cosmetic and beauty products and they work by extracting water from skin and trapping it for lubrication purposes.
  • Silicone - These lubricants use silicone instead of alcohols, sugars, or carbons as the base component of the chemical formula. As such, they are very hydrophobic and do not pull water from the body or air, nor do they dissipate easily.

Silicone-, petroleum-, and polymer- based lubes are the result of synthetic industrial processes. Lipid- and glycerin- based lubes can be either naturally occurring (organic) or synthetic (manufactured or extracted via industrial processes).

There are certain lubricants that should not be used for fisting due to their physical properties or chemical reactions with skin and membranes. This includes the following items: water (poor lubricant on skin); dish, body, or laundry soap (additional additives will irritate the colon); pure glycerin (direct contact will result in a chemical burn over time); motor oil and WD-40 (carcinogens); and anti-freeze (chemical burns and carcinogens).

Lubricant Additives

In order to increase the shelf life of many lubricants, most use specific additives such as silver nitrate or other common, food-grade preservatives.


There are many different lubes available for use today. I've attempted to evaluate lubes at both a high level (base evaluations) and low level (brand evaluations and personal brand reviews).

Select the type of lubricant to review components, concerns, preferences, acquisition, evaluations, and other details:

Glycerin-based Lubrications

Composition and Properties

Glycerin is a carbohydrate associated with simple alcohol sugar. The molecular makeup of glycerins cause them to attract moisture and thus provide strong lubricating qualities. When all available moisture is consumed, they become sticky and have anti-lubricant properties.

These lubes can be organic and natural (such as the byproduct of certain food preparation), or manufactured through industrial synthesis. Once created, they can be packaged in liquid and gel forms. Typical brands include Astroglide® and Wet®.

Safety and Sanitation

Glycerin is often a food additive, so general consumption is theoretically possible; however, ingestion is not recommended, especially if the glycerin is not food-grade. Most glycerin-based lubes contain additional additives to add color, increase duration, and prevent fungal and bacteriall growth.

In all likelihood, glycerin-based lubes facilitate the transmission of STIs instead of hindering them: avoid sharing lube and lube containers. Wash up thoroughly between Bottoms. On the plus side, these lubes do not destroy condoms, toys, or gloves.

Clean up is simple with soap and water, and these lubes rarely stain or discolor linens, clothing, or furniture.

Marketing, Cost and Availability

Glycerin-based lubes are typically marketed as water-based lubes. Look in the 'Health and Body' or 'Personal Care' sections—you can locate the lubes there alongside condoms. Pricing is minimal.


To increase the duration of these lubes, mixing with other lube bases is common. Once mixed, they are generally marketed as hybrids or creams.

Lubrication Preferences

(of Finn Vortex)

Finn's supplements his fisting activities with a hybrid lube (for anal sex and masturbation) called 'Spunk Lube'.

Fisting Compatibility

Glycerin-based lubes extract water from the air and fist chute and lose their slipperiness relatively quickly. For this reason, they are okay for fucking, but poor for fisting.

Lipid-based Lubrications

Composition and Properties

Lipid-based lubes are composed of fatty acids (usually triglycerides) derived from plants or animals. At room-temperature, they can be in liquid, solid, or semi-solid state. At body temperature, most are liquids.

Lipids are generally hydrophobic and are insoluble in water. They essentially function as lube by coating both the fist chute and hand/arm, which decreases friction.

Safety and Sanitation

Since many foods are composed of, or are prepared in oils, most lipid lubes are safe for direct consumption. Anecdotal evidence suggests that cholesterol can be higher in very active fisting Bottoms who use lipid-based lubes as their primary lubrication source.

Like glycerin-based lubes, cross contamination is a concern between partners and sessions. All Bottoms should have their own lube containers and Tops should wash frequently to decrease the transmission of STIs via tainted lube. Single use containers should be discarded at the end of a session.

Lipids have the ability to weaken condoms and gloves, and they can deteriorate certain toys. The frequency of glove changes, the pace of play, and the unique movements of fisting play make disintegration unlikely.

Clean-up usually requires dish soap designed to cut grease. Keep a bottle of Dawn® inside your shower and near your sink.

Sheets, towels and pillows can be permanently stained by lipid-based lubes

Marketing, Cost and Availability

Lubrication Preferences

(of Finn Vortex)

In large group sessions that tend to be lengthy with various hand sizes, Finn may opt for a specific lipid-hybrid lube to coat specific problem areas in the anal canal.

  • Hybrid Mix TNNNN
  • Frozen Crisco® Balls

Otherwise, he typically avoids lipid-based lubes for general fisting sessions.

Cooking oils and greases are readily available in most grocery stores worldwide. Cost is minimal. Due to these two factors, lube manufacturers typically do not offer lipid-based lube solutions.


It is common for fisters to combine lipid-, glycerin-, and petroleum-based lubes together to create easy-to-apply, long lasting lubrication.

Fisting Compatibility

Lipid-based lubes such as Crisco® and coconut oil are traditional favorites in the fisting community. While Crisco has a specific odor, off-brand labels do not. Some Bottoms prefer only Crisco®, while others prefer anything but Crisco.

Polymer-based Lubrications

Composition and Properties

In chemistry, a polymer is a naturally occurring or synthetic compound that has large molecules made up of many relatively simple repeated units. Three common polymer-based lubes are: polyethylene glycol (PEG or PEG-M90), methyl cellulose (MC or E461 to E464), and Xanthan Gum. Derivatives of these substances are J-lube®, K-lube®, and Xanthan.

MC/E461 is synthetically produced by heating cellulose with a solution of sodium hydroxide (or other caustic substance) and treating it with methyl chloride. The alcohol common in the polymer is replaced by methoxide (-OCH3 groups). Different kinds of methyl cellulose can be prepared depending on the number of hydroxyl groups substituted. PEG is made through similar chemical processes, with different bases and caustic substance. Xanthan Gum is prepared through a fermentation process.

In cool water (anything below body temperature), these three polymers thicken (and are best if chilled prior to use). In extremely hot water or temperature, these lubes can become a gel or paste, sometimes losing their slipperiness.

The slipperiness (and stringiness) of these lubes is due to the extremely long polymer chains. These chains slide over each other. Using a blender or food processor to prepare this type of lube cuts the chains and can decrease how slippery they are.

Safety and Sanitation

The primary ingredients in these polymers have daily uses that involve either ingestion (as a food ingredient) or application to the body (as a lotion, for example). Xanthan's primary use is a food additive to thicken and tie ingredients together. It is often used as a primary ingredient in gluten free products. MC/E461 is often a food additive and emulsifier (Metamucil is an methylcellulose product), so general consumption is theoretically possible; however, ingestion is not recommended. PEG-M90 is a primary ingredient in lotions, shampoos, and soaps.

Like glycerin-based lubes, fungal and bacteriall growth is common without special preservatives. In fact, many labs use methylcellulose as a medium for growing and monitoring cells and viruses. STI transmission can be avoided by not sharing lube and lube containers. Wash up thoroughly between Bottoms.

These lubes are 100% condom, toy, and glove safe.

Clean up is easiest by hyper saturation (pressure washing with excessive amounts of water). Hair conditioner or table-salt can break the cellulose bonds and 'cut' the lube.

Marketing, Cost and Availability

Glycerin- and polymer-based lubes are typically marketed as water-based lubes. J-lube® or J-jelly can be bought at some medical supply stores and most veterinary supply stores or websites.

Xanthan gum can be found in health food stores.

Per ounce (or milliliter), these lubes are the relatively cheap. A teaspoon of Fist Powder® and K-lube® can make sufficient lube for a fisting session, a couple tablespoons of J-lube® does the same thing.


Mixing with lipid-, silicone-, and petroleum- based lubes is very common among fisters. The hybrids are usually cream-like in texture and appearance.

Lubrication Preferences

(of Finn Vortex)

Finn's lube caddy is typically stocked with the following polymer-based lubes:

  • J-lube® Mix MNNNN
  • K-lube® Mix MNNNN
Toy Play
  • Xanthan Gum Hybrid

Additionally, his douche bulb for pre-lubrication is filled with J-lube® Mix MNNNN.

Fisting Compatibility

Polymer-based lubes run neck and neck with lipid-based lubes regarding usage in fisting. Many older fisters like the lipid lubes, while younger fisters and depth fisters prefer polymer for extreme fisting.

Veterinary and obstetrical lubes such as J-lube® and J Jelly are ideal for the intensity and length of a fisting session.

Specialty Vendors/Acquisition

J-lube®, K-lube®, and Fist Powder® can be purchased from Amazon or other vendors online.

Petroleum Lubes

Composition and Properties

Petroleum-based lubes are likely to be the first lubrication material used by adolescents in discovering sexual gratification. Very few adults use them as stand-alone lubrications; however, many over-the-counter lubes contain highly refined petroleum components.

The most common petroleum-based lubes are petroleum jelly, baby oil, and mineral oil. Formed from complex hydrocarbons (at least 25 carbons per molecule) during the oil refinement, they may be solid or liquid at room temperature. Petroleum jelly melts just slightly above body temperature.

Like lipid-based lubes, petroleum lubes are hydrophobic and insoluble in water. They decrease friction by coating the hand/arm and fist chute with molecules that slide over/past one another.

Safety and Sanitation

There are differing purity standards for over-the-counter petroleum-based products—most have been highly refined. The material itself provides no food source for bacterial and fungi; however, contaminants can be trapped inside the lube jar and provide some nutritional value to unhealthy organisms. Single use containers can be prepped before a session to eliminate this concern. Cross contamination between Bottoms is also a concern and standard Safety processes should be followed.

Once applied to skin, these lubes can trap existing bacterial, fungi, or parasites inside the body. For this reason, some people do not use petroleum products as lubes.

If using a cream or lotion hybrid (see below), be aware of all product ingredients and any product warnings. Some items may burn the tissues inside the colon.

Any petroleum product will weaken condoms, gloves, toys faster than any other lubricant. Use caution.

Using a lipid (such as olive oil) will help dissolve the petroleum-based lube enough that the remnants can be washed away with soap and water.

Sheets, towels and pillows can be permanently stained by these lubes.

Marketing, Cost and Availability

Vaseline® and mineral oil are the most common petroleum-based lubes and are easily found in Pharmacies and 'Personal Care' aisles of many stores. Cost is minimal. Rarely are they marketed directly as lubrication.


Most lotions and creams have petroleums as ingredients. Some fisting lube recipes combine lipid-, glycerin-, and petroleum-based lubes together to create easy-to-apply, long lasting lubrication.

Lubrication Preferences

(of Finn Vortex)

Finn typically avoids petroleum-based lubes, but only because he hasn't experimented with them at this point.

Fisting Compatibility

Some individuals do not like the greasy feeling that lingers even after clean-up and will not use these lubes or hybrid combinations for fisting.

Specialty Vendors/Acquisition

Elbow Grease, Boy Butter, and other creams are usually available at adult/sex stores or online.

Silicone Lubes

Composition and Properties

Unlike all of the other lubes discussed on this page, Silicone lube has a different core, specifically, the element silicone instead of carbon and the alcohol molecule (-OH).

Like lipid-based lubes, silicone is hydrophobic (it repels water), and the slipperiness is due to how the molecules interact with each other.

Safety and Sanitation

Preservatives and the nature of silicone prevent bacterial and fungal growth in non-contaminated lube. Although single use packages from manufactures are available, the quantity is insufficient for fisting. Creating your own single use packaging is also inconvenient, if not impossible.

Like petroleum-based lubes, silicone can trap existing fungi and bacterial in the skin. As a result, you may see an increase susceptibility to jock itch or other skin-related infections. Other medical concerns involve the product packaging which indicates that this lube has not been evaluated for internal uses.

Silicone lubes will destroy rubber, latex and non-medical grade silicone toys. It will also weaken condoms and gloves quicker than lipid-based lubes. Use cation.

Copious amounts of shampoo and conditioner applied before rinsing with water will help remove silicone lubrication. Use the same methodology to remove from fabrics prior to washing—effectiveness may vary.

Fisting Compatibility

Like water-based glycerin lubes, silicone-based lubes can be used for fisting in a pinch.

Lubrication Preferences

(of Finn Vortex)

Finn typically avoids silicone-based lubes for fisting, but he will use them with specific toys during training. He has yet to discover a difference in brands that merits any brand-loyalty.

Typically, they do not facilitate longer sessions or depth play because of the amount of lube required to sufficiently coat the hand/arm and the fist chute. Silicone lube can facilitate shower and pool fisting.

Specialty Vendors/Acquisition

Usually available at adult/sex stores or online.

Quick Evaluation / Summary

The following table offers a simple summary of the details above, and the overall compatibility of each base for fisting:

Category Pros Cons Fisting
  • Easy Clean-up
  • Ubiquity
  • Loses lubrication quality quickly; doesn't rehydrate
  • Cost per coverage-inch
  • Ubiquity
  • Cost per coverage-inch
  • Most natural/least likely to introduce carcinogens from manufacturing process
  • Messy/Difficult Clean-up
  • Easy cross-contamination
  • Cost per coverage-inch.
  • Extremely slippery with little effort
  • Easy prep and portability
  • Non-carcingenic; however, supplemental material (J-lube) can be dangerous at high levels
  • Stringy
  • Shelf-life and intersession-contaminiation
  • Ubiquity
  • Increases duration and slipperiness
  • Usually best as a hybrid ingredient
  • Clean-up and staining
  • Seems 'unnatural'
  • Wet area compatibility
  • Clean-up and staining
  • Cost per coverage-inch


Appropriate lube application is critical for any type of fisting. Lubrication of the fist chute for shallow activities best occurs through 'topical' application. Injection or precision fusion (melting) can supplement deeper activities. The general rule is: the slipperier the hole, the easier and less dangerous the fisting. Additionally, keep in mind the following tips and pointers while playing:

  • Apply copious amounts of lube to the hand and arm and continue reapply for major milestones. Remember that the hole and rings will scrape or brush off excess lube and leave the fist and arm drier than expected.
  • Let the Bottom hold the lube bottle, especially when face-to-face. This allows the Top to play with both hands without contaminating the surroundings. It also allows the Bottom to easily indicate when additional lube is needed without sounding harpy.
  • Keep a squirt bottle nearby to re-hydrate water-based lubes.
  • Use separate lube containers/sources for each Bottom playing, and wash up between holes. The exception to this rule is when playing with a fisting couple.
  • Discard excess lube after play. As hard as you try to avoid contamination, it will happen. Some lubes have very little preservatives and will spoil within a day of being created.

When selecting a distribution method, the following items should be considered:

Aspect Application Considerations
Sanitation All
  • Can the item be sterilized on the inside and outside?
Scene All
  • Is it permanently located in a play area?
  • Can it contain enough lube for a session?
  • Will it detract from the atmosphere/mood of the session?
Ease of Use All
  • How easy is it to pour or extract lube from it?
  • Is it easy to hold or manipulate when slippery?
  • How much lube does it distribute with minimal effort?
  • Can the lube be prepared/mixed directly inside the distribution container?
Price All
  • How much does it cost?
  • Is it single use or recyclable for future sessions?
Availability All
  • Where can the item be acquired?
  • What is the ubiquity of the item?
Safety All
  • Will the container break or shatter during play if dropped?
  • Is there a chance of the container getting stuck inside the Bottom?
  • Are there sharp edges that may tear the anal canal if inserted?
  • Can the rigidity puncture the rectum or sigmoid if inserted?
Portability Topical, Injection
  • Can the item travel short/long distances?
  • Is the item stationary?
  • Does the size make it convenient to move during play?

Topical Utilities and Methods (Shallow/External Applications)

Topical distribution involves coating the fist (and arm during depth play) with lube. It also includes external application on the hole and may include pouring liquid lube directly into a gaping hole. Your distribution container will help keep things sanitary and clean (or messy if that's your preference). Different types of bottles work well for liquid lubes. Vats work well for solids or extremely piggy play. Most containers can be recycled from household items or purchased inexpensively.

Propper sanitation of containers diminishes bacteriall and fungal growth in lube. Sanitize containers by: using hot, soapy water; a 10% bleach solution; or a dishwasher sanitation mode (validate the container is dishwasher safe).

Prevent the spread of Hepatitis, Shigella, HPV and other STIs by using separate containers for each Bottom.

Bottles & Containers

For liquid lubes, bottles are an excellent distribution method. Most have a squeeze factor for easy dispersal during a play session.

Lube Distribution Preferences - Bottles & Containers

of Finn Vortex


Common Variants
  • Plastic Food Containers (Ketchup, Jelly)
  • Plastic Goods Bottles (Dish Soap and Shampoo)
  • Glass Jars and Bottles
  • Portability
  • Ease of Use
  • Price
  • Availability
  • Sanitization Limits
  • Breakable
  • Scene Detractor


Common Variants
  • Plastic Water Bottles
  • Sports Drink Bottles
  • Soap Dispensers (Manual and Motion Sensor)
  • Sanitization
  • Unbreakable
  • Availability s
  • Ease of Use w
  • Price w
  • Scene Detractor
  • Portability w  s


Common Variants
  • Empty Lube Bottles
  • Sports Drink Mixers
  • Unused Condiment Containers
  • Push-top Lube Containers
  • Unbreakable
  • Availability
  • Ease of Use
  • Price
  • Scene Detractor
  • Portability
  • Sanitation p

s - Excludes soap dispensers.
w - Excludes plastic water bottles.
p - Includes only push-top lube containers.

Many depth fisters advise coating the entire fist chute with lube; however, they also realize that advanced distribution methods require the right environment, tools, and timing. It is often difficult to align all of those items—so they hyper saturate the rectum by pouring lube directly into it; repeating when necessary. Toy manufacturers have created tools to accommodate this practice.

For additional tips and pointers regarding this methodology, see Art & Science: Greasing Up.


Another method for topical application is the use of a large container such as a bowl, bucket, or large can. The container should be water-tight, sanitizable, and large enough that that you can dip the entire fist and lower arm into it while fisting. Remember to discard tainted lube after your session.

Injection Utilities and Methods (Internal/Depth Applications)

Deeper or extreme play is easier if the upper fist chute is coated with lots of lube. Injection is one method for introducing lube deeper. The type of hole and the Top's arm may determine what tools/methods are needed.

Cavernous holes with large air pockets allow the hand and arm to stay lubricated, while tunnel-like holes that hug the fist/arm may wipe the lube off as the hand goes deeper into the chute.

Smooth arms and smaller hands require less lube. Hairy arms require excessive lube to prevent drag and irritation.

Injecting lube with an inappropriate tool can be deadly. The tissues of the fist chute can be easily perforated by smaller, rigid tools. See my personal experience and resulting $100K surgery for further details: Art & Science: Injuries, Ailments, and Colorectal Surgeries - Case Study

Simply filling the hole full of lube is not a shortcut to depth play. Months and years of training are required to expand the hole to take depth and width insertions.

Douche Bulbs

Douche bulbs with extended stems can be used to pump the sigmoid full of liquid lube. The nozzle should be of design and size that will prevent perforation. Use protective padding in your play areas because penetration of the sigmoid may cause a massive discharge of lube.

Douche bulbs are multi-purpose and can also be used for cleanout when playing shallow in the lower fist chute.

Depth Evaluations
    & Preferences

    Of Finn Vortex


Pros: Scene, Safety

Cons: Mid Fist Chute Coverage Only


In animal husbandry, ranchers use sheep or goat drenchers to deliver oral medications to livestock. The tool is an advanced syringe with a long, metal stem that terminates with a bulb. The bulb prevents the rancher from puncturing the esophagus of his livestock, and it helps a fisting Top avoid puncturing the lower fist chute.

Advanced models connect to tubing that keeps the syringe full and ready for the next infusion of lube. With a little DIY, you can connect the tubing to a heated or cooled lube source.

See Red Right DIY - Drencher.

Depth Evaluations
    & Preferences

    Of Finn Vortex


Pros: Scene, Ease of Use

Cons: Practicality, Availability, Shallow Coverage

Medical Syringes

For advanced and skilled fisters, medical tubing can be inserted into the upper fist chute for liquid lube delivery. Perforation is always a concern with this method. Do not attempt without an experienced assistant.

See Red Right DIY - Syringes.

Depth Evaluations
    & Preferences

    Of Finn Vortex



Pros: Scene, Depth Coverage

Cons: Risk of Injury, Prep & Clean-up

Lube Cannon

Lube Cannons are based on the same principles as drenchers but are supersized to handle large quantities of solid or liquid lube. With the appropriate tubing, you can lubricate all the way to the splenic flexure. Any insertion of narrow, firm material into the rectum carries significant danger. The tubing must be altered to decrease the potential source for perforation.

See Red Right DIY - Lube Cannon.

Depth Evaluations
    & Preferences

    Of Finn Vortex



Pros: Scene, Depth Coverage

Cons:Risk of Injury, Prep & Clean-up

Red Right DIY - Application Tools

Make a selection

Fusion Methods and Utilities

Fusion, or the process of changing from solid to liquid (melting), is another method for lubricating shallow and extreme depths. Frozen materials can affect the fist chute in several ways: contracting/tightening the chute, reducing swelling, decreasing soreness & bleeding, and masking warning signs. They can also freeze/numb the Top's fingers.

Ice Cubes

Ice cubes of Xanthan or J-lube® have been used by depth fisters to coat the upper fist chute. Various different ice cube trays create lots of possibilities. Make sure the to eliminate sharp edges. Some trays even allow you to create ice balls (like the one pictured here).

Depth Evaluations
    & Preferences

    Of Finn Vortex


Pros: Positive All Areas

Cons: Frozen Fingers, Contracts my Chute, Prep Time


This puppy chew toy (sold at pet stores) can be filled with lube and frozen (with the help of a little duct tape). Insertion an hour before play will result in a pre-lubed hole. Sizes range from beginner to advanced—although only the advanced provides enough lube distribution for basic fisting.

Depth Evaluations
    & Preferences

    Of Finn Vortex


Pros: Scene

Cons: Prep Time, Sanitation, Injury (lost toy), Shallow Only

Crisco Balls

Frozen Crisco balls are another delivery method, primarily useful in lubricating the upper fist chute. If Crisco is your lube of choice, then this should be in your playbook. Coat the balls with J-lube® (either powder or liquid) for easier movement through the rectum and second ring.

Depth Evaluations
    & Preferences

    Of Finn Vortex


Pros: Positive All Areas

Cons: Frozen Fingers, Contracts my Chute, Prep Time


Additional content for this section is currently in development. Want to contribute?