Whether you’re spending the night with your partner, playmate(s) or flying solo, the right lube can mean the difference between good sex and great sex. Here’s everything you need to know to find a sex lubricant that will increase your pleasure – no matter how you play.
How You’ll Use Lube Matters.
What’s your sex lube’s main purpose? Consider how you’ll be using your lubricant when making your choice.
For Vaginal Sex
“With enough foreplay and arousal, the vagina will often self-lubricate. But not always,” says Certified Sex Therapist Dr. Jenni Skylar. “I always recommend having a high-quality lubricant on hand, so you never have to worry about lubrication.” For most people, a quality water-based lubricant is a great choice. If you’re looking for longer-lasting or thicker formulas, try a water-based gel or silicone lubricant.
For Anal Sex
Since the backdoor doesn’t produce its own lubricant, a slippery anal lube is a must for anal play. Anal lubes are thicker and slicker than basic sex lubes, which helps them stay put and last longer. Choose a thick gel if you’re sticking to a water-based formulation. Or upgrade for a little extra and pick a silicone lubricant. Silicone lubes are the longest-lasting, waterproof, and aren’t absorbed by the body, so you’ll need to stop and reapply less often. If you need a little help relaxing, anal lubes formulated with oils, extracts, and even gentle numbing agents can assist you with having a comfortable anal experience.
If you’re a hands-only type, you can use just about any type of lubricant. But if you enjoy sex toys, consider investing in a bottle of dedicated masturbator or vibrator lubricant. These usually water-based lubes are formulated specifically for use with your favorite toys. Be cautious with toys when using other lube types. Oil-based lubricants can damage toys made of rubber or jelly. Silicone lubricants may damage certain silicone toys. If your toybox contains a mix of different toys, it might be safest to stick to water-based lube.
For Oral Sex
A little flavor can add extra lip-smacking fun to oral play. But be careful. “Sugary items like chocolate sauce can irritate the vagina and cause bacterial growth,” warns Dr. Jenni. The solution? Flavored Lubes! They come in a variety of tastes including sweet, fruity, minty, and more, each in a sugar-free formulation that lets you enjoy tasty licks anywhere.
For Shower or Pool Sex
Water washes away your body’s natural lubricant. So if you want to have sex in the pool, tub, or shower, silicone lubricant is essential. It won’t wash away like water-based lubes and is your best bet for slippery satisfaction.
For Extra Sensory Fun
Add a drizzle of tingling, cooling, or warming lubricants to your play to supercharge every sensation. Tip: start with just a little at first, you can always add more.
Want to narrow down your search for the perfect sex lube even further? Find out more about all the major types of lube, and how they can help make your sex life amazing.
Types of Lube
There are four main types of lubricant. No matter which type you decide on, remember that not all sex lubes are created equal. For maximum enjoyment and safety, choose lubricants with simple, quality ingredients.
Water-based lubes are crafted with a good old H20 as the primary ingredient. They work with all types of condoms and sex toys, and are great for all kinds of sex and masturbation. They’re also often the best value. Choose from a wide range of types including organic, vegan, and sensitive skin friendly formulations. Water-based lubes clean up quick with just a little soap and water.
Oil-based lubes last the absolute longest of any type of lube. However, they are NOT safe for use with condoms and can damage rubber (TPE, TPR) and jelly sex toys. They can also stain lingerie, sheets, and even furniture or flooring in the case of spills. Additionally, there have been rare reports of health complications like yeast infections and UTIs with oil-based lubes. “If you do choose an oil-based lube, my favorite is a simple organic coconut oil that you can get at the grocery store,” says Dr. Jenni Skyler.
Silicone-based lubes are the slickest of all lubes and waterproof, so they’re ideal for use in the shower, tub, or anywhere else you might indulge in wet ‘n’ wild play. Silicone isn’t absorbed by the body and stays put. This allows you to play much longer on a single application. That’s also why many people prefer silicone-based lubes for anal play. The only downsides? Silicone lubricants may damage silicone sex toys, so save it for your non-silicone toys. Silicone lubes can also be more expensive than water-based lubes. But if you’re using less per application, your investment is likely to pay off.
Hybrid lubes are the newest type of sex lube. Blending the more natural feel of water-based lubes with the slicker and longer-lasting properties of silicone lubricants, they aim to give you the best of both lube worlds. Most manufacturers say their hybrid lubes are compatible with silicone toys, but you may want to test it out on a cheaper toy first to be sure.
Allergies and Special Requirements
Lubes can contain a range of ingredients, and some include chemicals and preservatives that might not agree with you. If you have sensitive skin or may be allergic to certain ingredients, you should always check what’s in your lube before you use it. If you have special lifestyle or dietary restrictions, be assured that you can find vegan lubes, organic lubes, hypoallergenic lubes, kosher lubes, and more readily available.
If All Else Fails…
If you’ve read through this guide and you’re still not sure about the right sex lube for you, then it’s a good bet to go with a general water-based lube. Water-based lubes are the most affordable and 100% compatible with condoms and all types of sex toys. The only real drawback is that they don’t last as long as other types of lubes, but you can always apply more to keep things running smoothly.