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Goodparts Lube
via Instagram (@verygoodparts)

This sexy lube brand is combatting straight guy stigma


TextScarlett Baker

Goodparts spotted a gap for a sex product that speaks to modern men, swerving toxic masculinity and outdated ideas about what lube is and who it’s for

If you type lube into Google, you’ll find the top frequently asked question reads: ‘is using lube a bad thing?’ The hostility towards using gels to enhance sexual experiences isn’t new, but the misconception and cultural ignorance towards the product that improves penetration is a consistent, not often challenged mistruth.

In a year where sex saw a rapid decline, lockdown libido loss was real, and vibrators (or other household alternatives) become our best friends, the Brooklyn-based sexual wellness brand Goodparts is tackling myths around lube to combat friction-heavy fornication for everyone. As society begins to open up again, and the opportunity to be on top of one another means more than just sharing your living-room-turned-office, founder Dave Shanfield is transforming our relationship with intimacy with a lube revolution. 

“The biggest misconception around lube is that it’s only a solution to a problem,” shares Shanfield. “Even if you don’t necessarily need lube, it can make the experience that much better. It’s not just about making sex possible, it’s about making sex better.”

It’s a teen movie cliche, but there’s some semblance of familiar experience for anyone who’s done that first supermarket sweep to grab a bottle of lube, a hurried self-checkout experience praying the checkout picks it up without needing staff to help, to wrap it in a sock and lob it in the back of a bedroom drawer. That’s a bit of a drama, but lube still largely remains an unspoken kryptonite of copulation. 

“A lot of resistance towards a product like lube stems from how we learn about sex through movies and tv shows. It’s almost always this sort of choreographed dance where everything just works perfectly, everybody gets off, and then they turn over and go to sleep,” continues Shanfield, deconstructing the clinical conversations around sex. “There’s no foreplay, no clean up – none of the work that goes into good sex. It sets this expectation that that’s the way sex should be. No assistance needed.”

“I think sex education here in the US leaves a lot to be desired. It’s focused on health and biology, which is obviously crucial, but the conversation is completely removed from the human side of sex: intimacy, connection, pleasure. We talk about sex, but not good sex. We talk about condoms, but not lube. Health and pleasure end up pitted against each other which doesn’t leave a lot of room in people’s minds for a product like lube, which speaks to both.”

Launched in October 2020, the conception of the luxury personal care products stems from Shanfield’s own sexual experiences and frustration by the limited choice on the market. “Growing up gay in a small town, the internet played such a huge role in helping me understand that I wasn’t alone, and that there were other people going through what I was and making it it out the other side. I want Goodparts to be able to provide that same kind of support network, and we’re working on more ways of bringing that idea to life.”

“Looking back on it now, I think there was a more personal motivation too. Being closeted for so long growing up, I learned to dissociate my sexuality from my identity. Even after coming out, it felt like it was hard to bring the two together. I’ve realised that, in working on Goodparts, I’ve been able to put my full self into a project: my interests, career, and identity. It wasn’t the reason that I started Goodparts, but it definitely feels good.” 

While sex is an inately personal experience, Goodparts encourages a more casual approach to conversations about sex and pleasure, highlighting the mutual exclusivity between the two, normalising lube as a means to create that link. In order to do so, Goodparts places precedence on product aesthetic, creating compact, spill-proof gels with a high-performance feel.

Designed for all sexes, the New-York based brand has developed two pioneering products to shatter the stigma: the Hydrating Organic Lube and the Ultra-Smooth Silicone Lube. “ A lot of guys who would typically buy the silicone for anal sex have been using the Hydrating Organic for toys, foreplay, or even some butt stuff,” says Shanfield. “It’s always great hearing about people trying something new and finding what they like.I think a lot of sexual wellness and intimacy brands seem forget that sex is still a physical activity and it just sort of looks sexy. I wanted to create a design that people would be excited to use. At the end of the day that’s an important part of something you’re going to bring into your sex life”. 

Building momentum through grassroots efforts and word-of-mouth, the self-funded company is hoping to challenge the barrier of sex between the binaries of ‘gay and ‘straight’. “There’s no reason these conversations need to happen in a silo; it ends up creating barriers that shouldn’t exist, and excluding those who don’t fit neatly into one box or the other,” aggravating the taboo that lube is for those sexually deficient. “It’s complicated enough trying to apply these labels to individuals, there’s no reason we should try to slap them on products too. We’re not a gay or straight brand, but we speak to both. We’re not a sex brand either, we just can’t stop talking about sex. Goodparts is designed to be the lube you actually want to tell your friends about, and it seems like that’s catching on.” 

Through their nuanced marketing, rife with tongue-in-cheek branding – made for(e) play – Goodparts is diluting the apprehension from the bedroom or the the kitchen counter, with a solution to better sex for both parties. Not forgetting, each order comes with a free pair of socks to wear mid-menage in order to increase that petite mort.

If you are looking to get adventurous with lube but not sure which one is right for you, revisit our lube quiz here.

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