Why Body Glide Is My Anti-Chafe Balm of Choice
Like an old friend, this stick of personal lubricant is always there when you need it, through the good times and the really awkward ones
I ran a trail marathon last month, my first race since becoming a father, and I was pleasantly surprised at how much my two-year-old daughter brightened up my usually stressful, solitary prerace ritual. Previously it looked like this: obsessing over how many calories and how much water I could get into my system while sitting on a toilet in the dark and applying large quantities of body lubricant. This time, my wife and daughter had a raucous dance party in the living room of our 1,100-square-foot house while chanting “Go, daddy, go!” as I ate toast and pounded water in our kitchen. While this significantly brightened up the food and liquid consumption portion of my ritual, it did put a damper on the lubrication of my thighs, chode, and nipples. Instead of adding 30 seconds to my routine by running into the bathroom, I chose to duck down behind my kitchen counter to apply Body Glide. As I giggled at the absurdity of this, I realized that I’d been in a lot of awkward situations with this very same six-year-old stick.
Take the most sordid photo shoot I’ve been involved with. I was writing a story about racing in a 100-mile kayak event in 2013, which is when I bought this stick of Body Glide. My photographer shot me applying it at 5 A.M. in the cheapest motel I could find in Redding, California. We laughed uncontrollably at how horrified the owner (who we assumed had seen a lot of crazy shit) would be if he peeked in the window to see my buddy adjusting the filthy red lampshades to get the right lighting to snap pictures of me lubricating my entire upper body.
There was the time I gave it to my wife the night before I ran the North Face Endurance Challenge 50-mile course in San Francisco. I told her that if I asked for it at the aid station, she should just hand it over and avert her eyes. Then a few weeks ago, I shared it with my brother while he was sitting shotgun in my car at the start line of his first half marathon. He asked me three times how much he should put on his nipples, to which I replied, “There’s no such thing as too much.” We giggled and avoided eye contact with his fellow racers warming up around us.
Thankfully, for chafing issues we’ve had Body Glide to turn to for the past 24 years. Personally, it has kept me rub-free for more endurance training and objectives than any other product. Since a little bit goes a long way, my $10 investment from the summer of 2013 has stretched to a point where I can’t even fathom the price per use.
While most of us have Vaseline in our medicine cabinet, Body Glide has significantly more staying power. Petroleum jelly can keep my nipples chafe-free for about an hour, but after that I might as well not be wearing the stuff, which leads to bloody nipples. Body Glide has the added bonus of not feeling greasy or staining clothing. It goes on like deodorant and remains a dry, unnoticed warrior against friction for hours.
Body Glide is not the only anti-chafe product I’ve used in the more than half a decade that my stick has lived in my bathroom. I’ve tested a great many personal lubricants as the Gear Guy at Outside. Body Glide didn’t even win in a head-to-head test I conducted last year. The expensive and luxurious ASSOS Chamois Cream won that specific competition, but I didn’t keep using it and I couldn’t tell you where the jar went. Nothing against the fancy stuff, but Body Glide feels more like a trusted old friend than a product.