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Slippery Histories: The Evolution of Lubricant

In the realm of intimacy, sexual lubricants play a vital yet often overlooked role. From ancient remedies to modern innovations, the journey of lubricants is a fascinating tale of human ingenuity and the quest for enhanced pleasure. Let's delve into the intriguing history of sexual lubricants...
Ancient Origins
The use of lubricants for sexual purposes dates back to ancient civilisations. In ancient Egypt, olive oil was a popular choice, prized for its smooth texture and skin-nourishing properties. Similarly, in ancient Rome, animal fats and plant oils were used to enhance sexual pleasure. These early lubricants not only facilitated intercourse but also served as symbols of sensuality and indulgence.
Medieval Manuscripts and Renaissance Recipes
Throughout the medieval and Renaissance periods, the knowledge of lubricants was preserved in manuscripts and medical texts. Herbal remedies such as aloe vera and chamomile were touted for their lubricating properties and were often combined with oils like almond or coconut for a smoother glide. These concoctions were not only used for intimacy but also for medicinal purposes, believed to alleviate discomfort and promote sexual health.
The 1600`s
Throughout history, various cultures have explored the use of lubricants to enhance intimate experiences. In ancient China and Japan, for instance, lubricants were utilised alongside animal intestine condoms. While the Chinese favoured vegetable oils reminiscent of practices in ancient Greece and Rome, the Japanese preferred a concoction made from grated and mashed yams known as tororo-jiru. This tradition continued into the Edo period (1603-1868) in Japan, where tororo-jiru was used for both intercourse and masturbation. Additionally, during this era, clove oil emerged as a popular lubricant.
The Victorian Era
The 19th century brought significant advancements in lubrication technology. In 1872, Robert Chesebrough patented petroleum jelly, marketed as Vaseline. Though initially not intended for sexual purposes, its thick consistency and waterproof properties made it a popular choice for lubrication by the mid-1900s. Around the same time, chemist Frederic Kipping's research into polymers led to the development of silicone, which revolutionised many manufacturing industries, including lubricants.  
The Age of Extremes aka The 20th Century
The commercial production of personal lubricants began in 1904 with the introduction of K-Y Jelly as a "surgical aid." It quickly gained popularity for intimate use, eventually becoming available over the counter in 1980. Similarly, in 1911, Crisco, the first widely available hydrogenated oil, became a popular alternative to liquid oils due to its thickness.
The 21st Century
Fast forward to the 21st century and the landscape of lubricants has expanded dramatically, with numerous offerings and a wide range of options. This era also witnessed a shift in attitudes towards lubricants, with greater openness and understanding of their role in enhancing sexual pleasure and improving sexual experiences for all.