If I wanted my fake lube to seem as believable as possible, I needed some help from my favorite sex toy retailer. SheVibe, the absolute darlings, readily agreed — to design the label, to source the bottles, and to create an actual product page on their site. I was gonna go all the way with this. Or, as my boyfriend put it, “you went through the trouble of making SheVibe complicit.”
Well, yes. Because I take my April Fool’s jokes seriously. This was my 9th year doing a joke on this blog. A refresher:
As SheVibe started designing the label (which came out SO CUTE, just look at that CAT BUTT!), I worked to finalize the list of ingredients. I spent some time poring over actual lube formulas before settling on a Piph Lube ingredient list that seemed just legit enough yet just suspect enough:
I was stuck on the ingredient I called “queer magic,” though. I knew it would be the reason for the glitter in the lube, but how, exactly, would I explain the process of harvesting it? I texted the gayest — and coolest — person I know: my friend Courtney. She sent over several ideas, including the sex party idea that I ultimately chose (“the affirming energy and sound waves from moans and spankings was carefully collected and bottled for future use”). Her other ideas were also Very Good, though:
—One fateful night, a group of queer babes gathered and shared the most beautiful night of processing, and as they joined together in a collective sigh of relief for being around folks who see them and hear them, a cloud of sparkles emerged and was collected to be used for queer magic.
—At a queer dance party, Robyn came on and the entire room erupted into a group sing along, and as they all belted out “I’M IN THE CORNER, WATCHING YOU KISS HER,” the echo of their voices created a visible sound wave that was bottled up and saved to create queer magic.
Stress set in when the package SheVibe tried to send me was inexplicably returned and had to be mailed again. Time was running out, but the bottles finally arrived safely. One bottle, which SheVibe photographed themselves for the product page, was already filled with a mixture of turquoise glitter and Sliquid H2O. The other two were empty, so if I wanted more than one bottle in my photos, I needed to re-create the mixture myself.
I recently got a business credit card, so I was all too happy to use it to purchase the ingredients for Piph Lube. I weighed my options at Rite Aid: hair gel or hand sanitizer? Hair gel was cheaper, so it won. Meanwhile, the closest color of glitter I could find was bright blue… but I knew I could photoshop it to match the turquoise. I just hoped everything would mix together okay.
Photographing the lube bottles was a challenge. Turns out, lube and glitter don’t mix well! The glitter kept settling in the original bottle, and I had to stir it vigorously with a chopstick. The air was thick with the pungent smell of hair gel. Chowder, of course, would not leave me alone. He loves to “help” with my photography sessions.
Wanting to go even deeper with the joke, I asked my friend and expert sex writer Kate if I could pay her to write a fake review of Piph Lube. She said yes and swiftly concocted an amazing take, complete with a photo I took in an attempt to mimic her photography style. As a final touch, I had my boyfriend write a review for the product page. He also did not disappoint.
When I used Piph Lube, it felt like there was a CAT PURRING INSIDE OF ME. I don’t know how it got in there or why it was INSIDE OF ME, but it took me to an alternate universe of sexual pleasure that I was not heretofore aware of. I think it may be not only psychoactive, but mildly hallucinogenic. Would try again.
Unleashing Piph Lube into the world was a fucking blast. The product page on SheVibe’s site looked so real, you’d only know the lube was fake if you tried to add it to your cart.
I got messages asking for samples for review on a blog, samples for a sex ed workshop, samples for performers. More than a few folks asked whether the lube could be legally shipped to them due to the THC content. Others were (rightfully) concerned about the body-safety of the glitter. Nina Hartley herself was fooled. My favorite comment: “I bought some and it had a cat hair in it. Can I get a refund?”
But the best response of all was from my mom, who was 100% fooled and started frantically texting everyone she knows before realizing it was all a joke. “I’m still wondering how you found a local Portland company to harvest our rainwater and ship it to New York,” she texted me. “Maybe the gay drivers here volunteered to add a collection device to their Subarus.” Clearly, she needs to be writing my jokes from now on.
My mom later told me the glitter did seem a bit out of character for me — yes, that’s what threw her off, not the queer magic or the catnip.
That’s what I realized most, in executing this joke. I learned that y’all are very trusting of me and my antics. Despite your reservations, you were on board with my wine-infused sparkly stoner lube. You were sincerely sad when it wasn’t real. And for that I love you.