A Love Letter to Lube: Durex Play Massage 2 in 1 Soothing Personal Lubricant

Durex Play’s 2 in 1 massage gel has some positives, but also a fair few negatives.

When I had used up all of my Sylk as a teen, I assumed that the high street range of lubricants would be suitable for use too. I tried KY Jelly first but, even at that young age, I thought better of it after only a few uses (and I’m glad I did). I eventually settled on Durex Play Massage 2 in 1 Soothing Personal Lubricant. I used this lubricant for a long time and I even raved about it in a Lovehoney review last year. However, since then, I have become more discerning when it comes to lubricants and, subsequently, less tolerant of the downsides that this lube comes with, and I’d like to share my thoughts on this lubricant with you.

As always, I’ll cover the positives first.

Durex Play Massage 2 in 1 Soothing Personal Lubricant totes itself as being a massage gel as well as a lubricant. This should be taken in the same way that the Hitachi claims to be a massager; we all know where this product is really gunna end up. However, the texture of this lubricant does benefit from this claim, and it’s delightfully thick and viscous as a result of its ‘massage gel’ status. This texture allows for a smooth slide, which makes sex more pleasurable, without compromising on friction; striking a nice balance between the two.

The texture of this gel provides smooth, long-lasting lubrication.
The texture of this gel provides smooth, long-lasting lubrication.

This lubricant is water-based, so it’s suitable to use with silicone toys, and it contains Aloe Vera, which can soothe some user’s skin. It’s non-greasy, doesn’t stain, and is relatively fragrance-free.

You also get a lot of lubricant for your money when purchasing this item. I don’t know what it is with this lube, but it always seems like the amount of lubricant left in the bottle hasn’t changed, even when I feel like I should have used up the whole bottle.  My best guess for why this happens is that the thickness of this lubricant makes you feel like you’re using more, when, in reality, you haven’t used much at all. Still, in my old review I speculated that this lubricant might have TARDIS technology, and I stand by this claim.

The upsides end here though, and it’s time to look at the disadvantages of this lubricant.

Because of its gel-like substance, this lubricant doesn’t really dry up or absorb into the skin well. Water-based lubricants are often praised for being easy to clean off the skin, but this lubricant does require some effort. This might be a plus for some people but, for those who want to use this lube and then go about their day, the persistence of this lubricant can be an inconvenience.

As someone with sensitive skin I also found that this lubricant itched a lot, and the irritation can sometimes continue even after I’ve washed it off. This could be just because of how sensitive my skin is but, if you also have sensitive skin, then you might find yourself having a similar experience with this lube.

The design of the bottle for this lubricant is also infuriating. I appreciate the fact that the cap is on the bottom, so the lubricant is always ready; like with some tomato ketchup bottles. But, sadly, the comparisons with tomato ketchup bottles don’t end there, and you might just find yourself tapping, squeezing, and shaking this bottle trying to get the last inch of lube out of the bottle. I never do tend to get those last drops out of the bottle, and I begrudge this lube a little bit because of that.

If you lose the lid for this lubricant, though, or forget to put it back on in the heat of the moment, you might find that the lubricant has no problem flowing. On a few occasions I’ve forgotten to put the lid back on my bottle, only to find my bed sheets soaked with lubricant after the act.

Two squirts of the gel from two different bottles when first out of the bottle.
Two squirts of the gel from two different bottles when first out of the bottle.
The same squirts one minute later.
The same squirts one minute later.

This might not have been a problem if this lubricant had a consistent gel-like consistency. However, more recently, I’ve found that the consistency of this lubricant can vary unreliably. Some bottles can be very gel-like, whereas others can be incredibly watery and just spurt out of the bottle. I don’t know why this is, but it’s a crying shame when even the pros of this product can’t be relied upon with every purchase.

To give you a better idea of how much this can vary, here’s a short video of this lubricant, from two different bottles (best viewed in HD settings, but the beginning is still blurred. Apologies):

This lubricant also has a strong, unpleasant taste, which makes it unsuitable for oral use. It tastes rather chemical-y, and there’s a reason for this.

When I started reviewing adult products I started paying a lot more attention to the ingredients in my products. It was quite surprising to me when I looked at the back of my bottle of Durex Play Massage 2 in 1 Soothing Personal Lubricant only to find that the ingredients were nowhere to be seen. The ingredients aren’t even on the product page on the Durex website.

Once I’d found out the ingredients of this lube I realized why this might be.

Durex Play Massage 2 in 1 Soothing Personal Lubricant contains Propylene Glycol and Sodium Hydroxide—two of the ingredients I warn against in my Lubricant- Ingredients to Avoid post. Both of these ingredients can cause irritation in those with sensitive skin, and Propylene Glycol can cause an issue for those who suffer from yeast infections. This lubricant also contains Tocopheryl Acetate, which some people have claimed can dry up the skin, cause irritation and potentially cause small tissue tears.

Another ingredient that caught my attention with this lubricant is Sodium Saccharin. You really can’t find too much out about the side effects of sodium saccharin in relation to lubricant—because it’s the salt form of an artificial sweetener, which is prevalently used in canned fruit, diet sodas, jams, candy, chewing gum, and the like. Because of this I haven’t been able to piece together too much about this ingredient, but here’s what I have managed to sleuth up.

Artificial sweeteners in lubricant (which sodium saccharin is) have been linked to a rise in yeast infections for those who are already susceptible, so if you know this is already going to be a problem then keep this in mind. Some people can also have very strong allergic reactions to sodium saccharin (inc. headache, difficulty to breathe, a rash, and diarrhoea). I’m not sure whether this is specific to ingesting sodium saccharin, but if you are allergic then it’s important to be aware that this lubricant includes sodium saccharin and, from there, you can make up your own mind on whether it’s safe for you or not.

Some people might not mind these ingredients being present in Durex Play Massage 2 in 1 Soothing Personal Lubricant, but I do think it’s important to have a certain amount of transparency when it comes to this stuff, an Durex seems to be quite happy to tip-toe around the ingredients of this lubricant.

If you want an affordable, long-lasting, water-based lubricant, with a thicker consistency then this lubricant is still a viable option. It does the job and it still baffles me with how long it will last. It’s like the Duracell Bunny of lubricant.

However, if you have sensitive skin, are prone to yeast infections, or just object to certain ingredients on principle, then you might want to give this lubricant a miss. I fall into this category nowadays, and have moved on to lubricants that don’t serve up a side-dish of discomfort with my sex.

Recommend to:

People who like a thick lubricant.

People who want a long lasting lubricant.

People who want an affordable lubricant.

Do Not Recommend to:

People with sensitive skin.

People who are prone to yeast infections.

People that value transparency from their products.

  • That’s good to know, I’ll have to check the bottle out in my local store.