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.
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.
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 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.
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 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.
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.
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What Is The Best Lube?
What lube should you buy? There are sex lubes for all budgets, activities, and sensitivities. Water, silicone, or oil-based? Find the best lube for you!
The right kind of lube can make any kind of sex more enjoyable, whether you’re playing alone or with others. But how do you choose the right one for you?
Is Using Lube Ok?
Using lube doesn’t mean you’re inadequate or not attracted to your partner. It’s totally normal for the amount of personal lubricant you produce— how wet you are — to vary due to hormonal changes, dehydration, and other factors. And no matter how wet you are, the right lube can prevent chafing, intensify erotic sensation, and make condoms and sex toys safer and more effective.
Types Of Sex Lube
While the cheapest lubes can feel tacky and contain toxic or irritating ingredients, there are many excellent lubes available for under $20. Most of the lubes on the market fall into three main categories — water-based, silicone-based, and oil-based. A few hybrid (water-silicone) and aloe-based lubes are also available.
How To Choose A Lube
Choosing a lube has a lot to do with the texture and feel you prefer, and how sensitive your skin is. Also consider what kind of sex you’ll be having (anal, vaginal, etc), where you’ll be having sex (in the pool, on top of your expensive satin sheets), and whether or not you’ll be using toys, condoms, or other barrier methods.
Water-based lube is easy to wash off sheets, toys, and you! It needs to be reapplied frequently — perfect for quickies, not so great for all-night sex marathons, and forget about bath/shower sex! Water-based lube will immediately dissolve back into its source.
Choosing a lube has a lot to do with the texture and feel you prefer, and how sensitive your skin is.
Water-based lubes can help condoms feel more natural and comfortable, and they reduce the chance of breakage. This goes for latex and non-latex condoms.
Avoid products with ingredients like glycerin, paraben and propylene glycol, especially if you’re planning on having vaginal sex. They can cause irritation, yeast infections and kill off healthy bacteria. Instead, choose a hypoallergenic, ph-balanced lube like Sliquid Satin. You also can’t go wrong with the old standby, Astroglide.
- Easy to wash off
- Works great with condoms
- Natural feel
- Wide range
- Affordable price
- Easy to find at the store
- Can be used with toys
- Need to reapply frequently
- Can’t be used in the shower or bath
- Some water-based lube has ingredients that can be irritating or cause yeast infections
Looking for an extra slippery lube that will withstand some hardcore action? Silicone-based lube is the way to go, especially for anal and water play.
Unlike the molecules in water, silicone molecules are too big to be absorbed into the skin. A high quality silicone lube, like Swiss Navy or Please Silicone Lubricant, lasts as long as you can and feels like silk against your skin. In fact, Silicone-based lubricants are highly recommended for people with sensitive skin.
Silicone-based lubricants are highly recommended for people with sensitive skin.
Silicone-based lubes are safe to use with condoms — hurrah! — and toys made from steel or glass. But you don’t want to get it on your silicone toys. Silicone-based lubes actually damage the surface of silicone toys, creating micro-abrasions where bacteria can hide.
- Long lasting
- Don’t need to use much
- Great for anal sex
- Can be used in the shower or bath
- Good for sensitive skin
- Safe with condoms
- Will damage some silicone toys
- So long lasting that it’s hard to wash off!
- More expensive
- Can stain sheets
Oil-based lubes seem to last forever. Unfortunately, that doesn’t just go for sex. They will also stay glued to your clothes, your sheets, and toys! Natural, plant-based oils like coconut, almond, and argan provide long-lasting lubrication while conditioning the skin and soothing sore muscles —ideal for erotic massage!
Treat yourself to luxurious, scented oils like Sensuous Beauty Love Balm, or pick up a jar of coconut or olive oil from the grocery store (just make sure you don’t put it back in the kitchen cabinet when you’re done!)
The downfall of oil-based lubes is that they destroy latex fast, upping your chances of pregnancy or contracting an STI, so they can’t be used with condoms. The same goes for latex diaphragms and toys.
- Long lasting
- Soothing and moisturizing for the skin
- Easily available
- Natural ingredients
- Pleasant taste
- Great for massage
- Can’t be used with condoms or anything else made of latex
- Can be hard to wash off
- May stain sheets
The downfall of oil-based lubes is that they destroy latex… so they can’t be used with condoms.
By now you might be excited to try them all. Luckily, most lubes are available in affordable “pillow packs,” so you can experiment with different textures, scents, and flavors without making a long-term commitment.