All About Lube

Lube. It's time to start using it.

Most people don't use lube, even for anal. We're not here to shame, but enough is enough.

Research says that lube not only reduces tearing and sexually transmitted infections, but also increases pleasure for both parties (or more if that's your thing).

Today, we're going to discuss the three categories of lube, as well as when and how to use them.

Start using lube! Water, silicone, or oil, we don't care.

Water-based Lube

This is the most common type of lube.

If you've picked up free samples at the bar or a Pride event, it's often water-based. Swing into your local pharmacy, and you'll probably find a wide array of water-based lubes.

Water-based lubes can be sticky, and may feel thicker than other varieties; that's usually a good way to identify them, other than the label. The biggest benefit of water-based lubes is that they wash off easily, both from your skin and your sheets.

However, water-based lubes typically dry out more quickly. You can add water or spit to re-hydrate them. You're probably best off adding a little more lube to the mix at that time too.

Water-based lubes can also cause cells to over-absorb water, which damages them, so receptive-anal partners are going to want to take good care of their backside after using water-based lubes.

One other thing to know about water-based lubes - because they are water soluble and wash out of sheets so well, they also wash off in places like the shower. If your favorite place to play is the shower, you'll want to look into silicone or oil based lubes.

Silicone-based Lube

Let's address the biggest fallacy around silicone-based lubes right off the bat - they are safe to use with condoms.

While we're on the topic of "safety" though, silicone-based lubes may not be good to use with sex toys because the toys are typically made out of silicone and can be corrosive. While oil-based lubes can be used with sex toys, oil can be difficult to wash off, so water-based lubes may be your best best for toy play.

Silicone lubes are usually described as silky. They're engineered to last a long time, and can help with fitting into tight spaces. You might find a few silicone lubes at your local pharmacy, but sometimes you'll have to visit an adult store, or buy online.

Silicone lubes aren't water soluble, so they're great for the shower or other wet places. That benefit can be a curse, that makes them more difficult to wash off, including sheets. We recommend grabbing a couple hand towels beforehand to catch any run off.

We're big fans of silicone lubes because they last a long time, work with condoms, and work in and out of the shower. It's worth trying a few different brands, because they all feel a little bit different.

Oil-based Lube

Let's be honest, this is probably where your journey with lubricants began: Vaseline, Crisco, you know the household items.

Oil-based lubes have a lot of the same beneficial qualities of silicone lubes, however, they are caustic to latex condoms. That means you should only be using them for hand stuff, or with a partner you're comfortable having condomless sex with.

Some oil based lubes can also irritate vaginas, so you'll want to start small to test them out. Coconut oil has become a popular natural lubricant and does not typically irritate vaginas - and you can cook with it!

Like silicone-based lubes, not all oil-based lubes are going to feel the same. Some are more viscous, while others are like a cream. When testing oil-based lubes, we've found we gravitate towards a consistency first and then the manufacturer second.

While there are some excellent oil-based lube brands out there, you're bound to find all sorts of suggestions on the interwebs. Just make sure it's safe to apply outside and inside your body before experimenting with it.

Finding the right lube for you

Finding lubes that work best for you is a trial and error process. Many people report having a bad first experience with store bought lube, and never return to try another.

Don't let a bad lube stop you from discovering the joys that can come from a good one!

Spending some along time with you and your prospective lubricant(s) is a great way to narrow down what's going to work between you and your partner(s). Don't be afraid to have different lubes for different activities. There's no limit on the types and brands of lube you can own.

Need more recommendations? Just ask!