September 19, 2019

How To Use Lube

Lubricant is one of the greatest additions you can make to your sex life. Get the low-down on lube and how to decide which is the best lube for you.
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September 19, 2019
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Lube is the magical elixir of your sex life. If you want to combat friction, tearing, and pain during sex—and make sure you’re always slippery when wet—using a personal lubricant is a must. Before you run out to the store and purchase the first lube you see, however, it’s important to learn the lube basics.

No matter which lube you love the most, you’ll be glad that you tried them all. There’s no wrong way to lube.

Lube Improves Your Sex Life

Contrary to certain beliefs, using lube during any kind of sexual act does not mean you’re lazy, “dried up,” or unable to get wet naturally. Using lube is a great way to enhance sensation and pleasure, and it can help you comfortably go at it for longer.

Lubricating your parts is not only pleasurable—it’s practical! Using lube during penetrative sex decreases the likelihood of tearing the sensitive lining of the vaginal or anal cavity, which can be painful, as well as increasing your risk of transmitting STIs. Lube can also decrease the likelihood of condom breakage, and depending on the kind of condoms or sex toys you’re using, the kind of lube you choose matters.

How To Apply Lube

When using lube you want to put it on the body parts or toys you’re going to use. You may want to put some on your hand and then rub it over your penis, vulva, anus, or toy, or to squeeze it on directly.

Lube can decrease the likelihood of condom breakage, and depending on the kind of condoms or sex toys you’re using, the kind of lube you choose matters.

You can use however much lube you like—some people like just a little extra slide, and others like it really wet. It’s up to you. Remember to re-apply lube along the way to keep things slick throughout your sexy time.

Different Types Of Lube

There are several different types of lube for you to choose from: water-based, silicone-based, oil-based, and hybrid lubes. Each type of lube feels a bit different and has different advantages and disadvantages.

When choosing a lube you will want to consider the following questions:

  • What kind of sensation do you prefer: more gel-like or more oil-like?
  • Do you or your partner have any allergies or sensitivities—particularly to glycerin?
  • Do you want to be able to use the lube with condoms or other barriers?
  • Will you be using it with any silicone sex toys?
  • How concerned are you about staining the sheets?
  • What is your price range?

Here’s the low-down on each type of lube and it’s pluses and minuses so you can decide which type of lube is right for you:

Water-based Lubes

Water-based lubricants are safe to use with latex condoms and sex toys made of most materials. They are the least expensive lubes. They’re also not usually particularly sticky and are easy to clean up quickly. However, water-based lubes don’t last as long as other types of lube, so you might have to re-apply a few times mid-session.

Water-based lubes are either glycerin-based or glycerin-free, depending on the brand. The glycerin-based lubes gives some lubes a sweet taste, which can be fun, but has been known to cause yeast infections and other irritations. The glycerin-free type of lube might be bitterer, but less likely to trigger any reactions.

Expert Tip: Water-based lubricants are available in various colors and styles, some even resembling the appearance and texture of semen, which can add a fun element to role-playing experiences.

Silicone-based Lubes

Silicone-based lubes have a slick oil-like feeling. They are good for use with latex condoms, but not so good with silicone sex toys. Avoid using silicone lube with your silicone sex toys as silicone lube may eventually degrade a silicone product. However, silicone lube is fine to use with hard material sex toys like ceramic, glass, wood, and plastic.

Re-apply lube along the way to keep things slick throughout your sexy time.

A big benefit of silicone lube is that it’s hypoallergenic, which means folks with allergies who are more likely to get skin irritation often find that it’s gentlest on their parts. But they are more expensive than water-based varieties. Silicone-based lube also lasts much longer than water-based lube, so you can go longer and stronger. However, silicone lube might stain your sheets, so throw down a towel to protect your bed.

Oil-based Lubes

Oil-based lubricants cannot be used with latex condoms or latex sex toys, but using oil-based lube with silicone sex toys is OK. Most oil-based lube contains ingredients that you might find around your kitchen or in your beauty products like sweet almond oil, jojoba oil, coconut oil, sunflower oil, argan oil, and ylang ylang oil. Oil-based lube can stain, and can potentially cause a reaction if you’re allergic to the natural ingredients in the lube.

Hybrid Lubes

Can’t make up your mind? You can also consider using a hybrid, which is usually a combination of water and silicone-based ingredients. These tend to be longer-lasting than water-based lubes. Depending upon the brand, hybrids are often cream colored, and may feel similar to moisturizer.

A big benefit of silicone lube is that it is hypoallergenic.

Congratulations! Now that you know all the ins and outs of lube, you’re ready to go forth and multiply your pleasure. Before you know it you’ll be a lube pro with your own hands-free lube dispenser by the bed.

Reviewed for Medical Accuracy

The team is here to provide you with the most medically-accurate information around sex, sexual wellness, pleasure, relationships, and dating. Every article we publish is vetted by our medical review board, ensuring that readers are provided with answers you can trust.

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