When it comes to sex toys, one of the most overlooked products is a good quality lubricant. In this three part series, I’m teaching you why everyone should have body-safe lube by their bedside, the different kinds of lube and which is best for you, and how to use lube in all sorts of sexy scenarios.
You know that using lube can take your sex life from pretty good to amazing and that it both increases pleasure and decreases your risk of pain + infection. But when it comes down to it, there’s a lot of choices out there and the whole thing can be rather overwhelming. In this post you’ll learn about the different types of lube and figure out which is the best for you.
In Part One, you may have noticed that I kept referring to “good” and “high quality” lube. Not all lubes are created equal and many just aren’t vagina- or booty-friendly. Good lubes, on the other hand, are made with the highest quality, body-safe ingredients. Many are organic and all are free of ingredients like glycerin and parabens which are not the best for your body. Beyond that though, lubes vary widely in stickiness, thickness (how drippy they are), smell, taste, and more. For more information on sexual safety and lubricant use, check out this article from Forbes.
Types of Lube
The two most popular + common types of lube are water-based and silicone. Both are safe to use with condoms.
- Water-based. These are the most commonly used lubes. They can be used for any type of sex and with all sex toys, come in all sorts of flavors, and don’t stain your sheets if spilled. On the down side, they don’t last super long and can taste funky. One example is Sliquid Sassy.
- Silicone. These are super long-lasting and waterproof meaning they’ll last any marathon session and won’t wash away in the shower. On the downside, they can stain sheets, can’t be used with most silicone sex toys, and do need to be wiped or washed off, especially if you spill it on the floor or tub! A popular example is Migliori.
You may also hear about people using natural oils (e.g. coconut or sweet almond oil) or petroleum-based lubes like Vaseline. While a bit easier to find because of their “everyday uses”—seriously, what doesn’t coconut oil help with?!—they’re use for sex varies. For example, oil-based lubes shouldn’t go in vaginas but are great for anal play. They also cannot be used with latex condoms and, obviously
, will stain fabric.
Beyond these four basic types, lubes can have any number special features.
They can be:
- Flavored. Make sure these are sugar-free. Think of all the things that are made when sugar sits in a dark, moist (sorry!) place: beer, wine, kombucha, etc. Delicious to drink but full of yeast. And I’ll leave that where it is.
Shop flavored lubes here.
- Warming. These vary tremendously in how warm they get as well as the main warming ingredient, making them a a little hit-or-miss and very unique to each person. If you’re interested in a warming lube, try to get a sample and test it on your skin first. Also please avoid KY’s his and hers, warming, sensational, whatever. I know its easy to get and there’s even coupons sometimes, but so many women have negative experiences with it.
Shop warming lubes here.
- Desensitizing. Just no. Pain is our body’s defense mechanism. It stops you from hurting yourself too much. These are often marketed for anal sex; however, if you can’t feel what’s happening you a) won’t enjoy it as much and b) won’t know if you should slow down or stop.
- Spermicidal. Also a big no. While spermicide sounds great (yay birth control!), the chemical used (nonoxynol-9 (N9) for all my fellow geeks) is all sorts bad news bears for vaginas and booties.
The best lube is the one that you’ll use.
I have clients who swear by each of the different type of lubes and practically every one of my colleagues has their own preference. Said lube has to be a good fit for your body, the types of sex acts you enjoy, and your lifestyle.Generally finding the right lube requires some sexy experimenting. Its a good idea to get some “pillow packs” or samples of lubes first to see what works for you before investing in a full-sized bottle. Sliquid, one of the most popular brands makes variety packs of its water-based, organics, flavored, and silicone lubes.
Some things to keep in mind when trying lubes:
- How long does it last? Hint: thicker water-based lubes like Sliquid Sassy tend to last longer.
- Does it leave you feeling sticky?
- Does it taste and/or smell ok? Everyone is different here so don’t take anyone else’s opinion into account except yours and your partner’s.
- Does it stay where you put it or drip everywhere?
- Do you notice any irritation after using it? Note: Sometimes this can show up the next day.
Lastly, here are some general guidelines for which lubes to use with which sexy time acts.
- Marathon sex, sex in water, or anal sex: silicone.
- Sex toys: water based.
- Intercourse, hand jobs, and fingering: either with silicone winning slightly.
- Oral sex: flavored water-based or silicone.
To recap: finding the right lube for you can seem overwhelming at first. However once you know what to look for and what to avoid, all that’s left is a willingness to experiment and play. Not only will you find the best lube for you, you’ll make some fabulous memories in the meantime.