There are some strange yet enduring sexual traditions among you non-kinky people. One of them is a fondness for pouring sticky gunk on each other's bits. I'm often amazed by how many "love lotions" stock the shelves of sex shops. Lube is a wonderful thing when one needs it, but those overpriced, neon-colored syrups seem pointless. If you really want something that's going to get your lover's undivided attention, nip into the gourmet food store and pick up a little bottle of cinnamon, peppermint, or spearmint oil. Forget those wimpy "warming" lubes, these oils can give you a serious tingle—and they taste much better than Icy Hot or Tiger Balm.

You've got a chemistry project to do first, though. Cinnamon oil right out of the bottle is way too strong to put on someone's sensitive skin; you can burn mucous membranes with it, and that's not a fun pain. So you need to dilute it with plain lube. Spearmint and peppermint oil are usually similarly strong, although I've seen bottles of those that seemed watered down and more tolerable.

Try it this way: Buy a small bottle of lube, add a few drops of oil to it, shake it up, and rub some on your inner arm (or the arm of whomever it's for). Wait a few minutes. Keep adding a few drops at a time until you feel the tingle. Don't rush—cinnamon oil comes on hot, but spearmint and peppermint oil go on cool at first, and then heat up, so the sensation may gradually intensify. If your arm gets very red, itchy, or bumpy, you may have an allergy to the oil, so it isn't for you.

Once you've got it to tingly-but-not-burning strength, try a little bit on a secondary erogenous zone, like nipples, inner thighs, or the back of the ball sack. If that goes well, then proceed to the cock head or the clit, and let the wiggling and gasping really begin. Friction also increases the intensity of the tingle.

Always start playing with a small amount, because with anything oil-based, once it's soaked into the skin you can't just wipe it off to make the sensation stop. Pouring milk over the area will help some, but otherwise you'll just have to ride it out. So proceed carefully until you know the saturation point.

As with many foreign substances, if you put this stuff inside a woman's vagina, there's a possibility of her getting a yeast infection. So if you like this type of play, keep a box of Monistat in the medicine cabinet. And if your honey cut himself or herself shaving down there, don't rub oil in the wound, because that can cause infection too. If you allergy tested it properly, it should be safe enough to use in someone's ass, but like anything else, if something seems really wrong, check it with a doctor.

Highly sensitized skin makes anything more fun, whether you're sucking those sweet places, or slapping them, or both. Bon appétit! recommended

matisse@thestranger.com

Kink Calendar

THURSDAY 9/6

RAIN CITY JACKS PARTY

Leather is the theme. Rain City Jacks is a private, men-only JO club that's alcohol, smoke, and attitude free. Raincityjacks.org, rc@raincityjacks.org, 7—10 pm, membership required.

FRIDAY 9/7

WOMEN-ONLY NIGHT AT THE WET SPOT

Socialize, flirt, and do BDSM with the girls. All orientations welcome. Wet Spot, 1602 15th Ave W, building E, 270-9746, women-only@wetspot.org, 9 pm—3 am, $15, members only, female ID required.

SCHOOLGIRL COSTUME NIGHT AT REDMOND RANCH

Want to play the naughty schoolgirl? Single women and couples can just show up; single men must RSVP for the waiting list. Redmond-ranch.com, 425-868-8169, 7 pm, $45 for couples/$25 for single women.

SATURDAY 9/8

PIKE PLACE MARKET GHOST TOUR

Come meet and greet at this goth mixer. Pike Place Market, www.marketghost.com, 6 pm, $15, BYOB.

SUNDAY 9/9

ANAL SEX 101

An exploration of anal pleasure. Babeland sex educators discuss cleanliness concerns, prostate pleasures, safer sex, and how to get started. Open to all genders and orientations. Babeland, 707 E Pike St, 328-2914, 7:30 pm, $30.

EROTIC MASSAGE NIGHT

Sensual touch instruction for couples and singles, facilitated by David Longmire. No experience required. Wet Spot, 1602 15th Ave W, Building E, 270-9746, massage@wetspot.org, 5—9 pm (doors close at 6 pm), $10, members only.

TUESDAY 9/11

POLYAMORY MEETUP GROUP

A casual social event for all people interested in chatting about honest, open nonmonogamy in an accessible, family friendly environment. Wayward Coffeehouse, 8570 Greenwood Ave N, polyamory.meetup.com/1, 7:30 pm, free.