When it comes to testing new pleasure products, I'm generally less than enthusiastic. Yes, I'm a professional sex writer and educator, but I've also learned through trial and error that I'm very sensitive to a number of ingredients and also prone to bacterial vaginosis. But when sexual-health brand Bloomi sent me their just-launched product to try, the Bloomi Arousal Serum ($45), I was intrigued—not nervous. Not only does it claim to increase pleasure before and during intimate moments, but it’s also formulated for sensitive skin.
But, what even is it, you may be wondering? Put simply, the Bloomi Arousal Serum is a topical vulvar product formulated to send blood flow to your bits. Increased blood flow ushers along the sexual response cycle, which can lead to vaginal lubrication, increased sensitivity, and more powerful orgasms. Meaning, this product has the power of offering those perks, too.
Arousal-enhancers are not new to the pleasure market, though. Even Bloomi itself has a similar product called Bloomi Arousal Oil ($45). Other popular options include Foria Awaken Arousal Oil ($48) and Her Highness CBD Pleasure Oil ($60). So what sets Bloomi Arousal Serum apart from these? Well, as the names of these competitor products suggest, they are all oil-based. The Bloomi Arousal Serum, however, is not—it’s water-based.
The beauty of this water-based arousal product is that it can be used with all kinds of barriers.
That's an important distinction because oil-based products (including lubes and arousal aids) can't be used with all types of contraceptive barriers. Oil degrades latex, so using arousal oil with latex condoms, dental dams, and finger cots makes them less effective at protecting against STIs and unwanted pregnancy. The beauty of this water-based arousal product, then, is that it can be used with all kinds of barriers. And as another bonus, water-based products are also less likely to stain your sheets or underwear than oil-based formulations.
In addition to the purified water that makes up its base formulation, this serum contains hemp CBD and a number of botanical and adaptogenic plant extracts, including panax ginseng extract, ashwagandha extract, and asparagus extract, and others.
Here's what happened when I tried Bloomi Arousal Serum
The first thing I noticed when I pumped Bloomi into my fingers was its pleasant scent—thanks to the inclusion of cinnamon bark in its formulation, the Bloomi Arousal Serum smells subtly spicy (in a good way). The second thing I noticed was its consistency. To nobody's surprise, this oil-free arousal product isn’t oily, but it is a little goopy.
I added the recommended four pumps to my fingertips, then applied the product to my vulva, taking care to keep the serum on the outside of my body. This is important: This serum is designed for external use only, so I didn’t apply it to the entrance of my vaginal canal or dip a finger inside, as I often do with lube that's safe for vaginal use.
At first, it felt exactly like applying lube: chilly, slippery, and wet. But by the fifth minute, the difference between this serum and lube was clear: For starters, my vulva absorbed far more of the serum than it ever has lubricant. This is by design—serum is made to be absorbed, while lube is not. I could also feel my vulva swelling (with blood) and noticed heightened sensitivity. Basically, I could feel that the Bloomi product was doing what it promised to do.
So, do I recommend Bloomi’s newest water-based serum? For anyone looking to add a little va-va-voom to their bedtime play, I sure do. Effective at directing blood flow down yonder, I learned firsthand that the serum really does support overall pleasure. Just be sure to keep your expectations reasonable, though: While the serum may be able to fast-track arousal, it’s not going to delier you a super-fast O if you’re not otherwise turned on.
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