What was it that drew my attention to System JO AGAPÉ water-based lube? They're the first company that I've seen that advertises the osmolality of a lube. What's osmolality? I'll get to that in a moment, it's kind of complicated. But to sum it up simply, JO AGAPÉ has an osmolality that is perfectly compatible with the vagina. It also does not contain glycerin, parabens or propylene glycol. Those chemicals are best avoided and I'll only recommend lubes that are free of them. So on paper, JO AGAPÉ looks like a winner. I just needed to try it first-hand before I could give it my endorsement.
Alright, now for some quick lube science. Osmolality is the measure of dissolved particles per unit of water in a solution or serum (sometimes referred to as the concentration). The tissues of the mucous membranes, like that of the vagina, are constantly trying to maintain an equilibrium of osmolality or, homeostasis. This means that when a lube is introduced into the vagina, its osmolality can affect the vaginal tissues in very negative ways depending on how far off its osmolality is compared to that of the vagina and its secretions.
The average osmolality of vaginal mucous is 280 mOsm/kg (milliosmoles per kilogram of solvent). So, you want a lube with an osmolality as close to that number as possible. System JO says that JO AGAPÉ has an osmolality of 250 mOsm/kg. That means, it is very compatible with the tissues of the vagina.
It's clear how important this issue of osmolality is, when you consider that much of the water-based lube available is hyper-osmotic, meaning the osmolality is much higher than that of vaginal mucous. That can cause irritation and even slough off the epithelial layer of the mucous membranes. When this happens, it can actually leave you more susceptible to contracting a sexually transmitted infection (STI).
For example, many of KY brand's lubricants have an osmolality of above 2000 mOsm/kg. You might as well consider that vagina toxin. Much of the lube you find in the drugstore is going to be hyper-osmotic, though stores are starting to carry better selections. However, you'll always find better lubes in sex shops like PeepShow Toys.
A rule of thumb that you can go by is that, if glycerin and propylene glycol (which is a petrochemical) are among the first ingredients listed, the lube is probably hyper-osmotic and you should look for something else. Something like JO AGAPÉ, perhaps? Well, we still need to get to the part where I tell you my personal experience with it and whether or not I like it.
My first impression was that it's a little thinner and more watery than my favorite water-based lube, Sliquid Organics Natural Gel, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Some folks might prefer a lube that's not as thick, with a lighter feel. It seemed nice and slippery in my hand. I just needed to put it to the test with my sex toys.
There have been a few times when I've tried a new lube that they've caused burning and irritation. So, I'm always a little gun shy (lube shy?) when I try a new one. I put the JO AGAPÉ on my vulva and waited a second or two... and I was relieved when there was no adverse reaction at all.
I proceeded to use the lube with the We-Vibe Touch on my clit, along with the Tantus Adam O2 - and that dildo has a fair amount of drag. But the JO AGAPÉ did a fantastic job slipping that rather girthy dildo into my vagina. It also kept the clit vibe gliding along nicely. The best part is, I didn't need to reapply before I reached orgasm, which is really great.
As the lube began to dry on my hands there was a very subtle tackiness, but nowhere nearly as sticky as some other lubes I've tried. I rubbed my hands together and the tackiness turned into a nice silky feeling on my skin.
When I was all finished, it was easy to wash the lube off of my vulva.
Overall, I had a thoroughly positive experience with the JO AGAPÉ lube and I feel comfortable recommending it. It's formulated to be compatible with vaginal tissues and it also performs quite well.
Water, Propanediol, Gluconolactone, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Sodium Benzoate, Citric Acid
Dizzy is a straight-talking, no-nonsense sex toy reviewer and blogger at Toy Meets Girl. She doesn't sugarcoat her reviews because she truly wants to help people find sex toys that they'll love. She's a pretty average middle-age married woman and also a huge nature geek. When not testing sex toys she can be found caring for the flora and fauna around her home.