Everything You Need to Know About the Magical World of Lube (But Were Too Shy to Ask)

5 Mins read

Personal lubricant, often referred to as lube, is a game-changer when it comes to enhancing sexual pleasure. However, with an overwhelming number of options available, choosing the right lube can feel like navigating a labyrinth. Fear not! We’re here to guide you through the enchanting world of lubricants, where water-based, silicone-based, and oil-based lubes reign supreme. Discovering the perfect lube for your needs can unlock a world of pleasure, whether you’re engaging in passionate lovemaking or exploring the realms of solo pleasure.

At its core, the purpose of lube is to reduce friction, creating a smoother and more pleasurable experience. However, the longevity and individual response to each lube can vary depending on personal preferences and unique anatomy. Vaginas, for instance, are as diverse as the individuals they belong to, and some may be more sensitive to certain ingredients or produce less natural lubrication. Furthermore, when it comes to anal sex, an entirely different set of considerations comes into play.

When venturing into the realm of water-based, silicone-based, or oil-based lubes, it’s essential to consider how you intend to use them. Are you seeking a lube that’s compatible with silicone sex toys? Will you be using a condom? It’s crucial to choose a lube that aligns with your specific needs. But how do you make the right choice? Allow us to shed some light on the various types of lube, empowering you in your search for the perfect lubricant.

Why should you consider using lube? Let’s delve into the reasons behind this magical elixir. When it comes to vaginal activities, your body naturally produces a clear fluid that acts as a lubricant. However, numerous factors can affect the amount of vaginal fluid produced, such as hormone levels, medication usage, or underlying medical conditions like diabetes. It’s important to note that using lube, even if you already produce ample vaginal lubrication, is entirely normal and can enhance your sexual experiences. The vagina knows what it wants! If you struggle with dryness, use lube during any sexual activity involving friction, such as the use of sex toys (even externally!) or penetrative vaginal sex, can help prevent tissue trauma. As Karen Adams, M.D., professor of obstetrics and gynecology, states, “We don’t want to have any tissue trauma.”

When it comes to anal activities, tissue trauma becomes an even greater concern. Unlike the vagina, the anus does not produce natural lubrication, making it essential to have the right lube on hand before embarking on any anal adventures.

Let’s dive into the three types and top 3 brands of lube and explore their unique properties:

Water-based lubes: As the name suggests, these lubes are predominantly water-based and are readily available at most drugstores. Water-based lubes generally have a thin and slippery consistency, making them easy to wash off after use. However, they may dry out quickly, requiring additional applications, which may not be preferred by some individuals. Nonetheless, water-based lubes are an excellent universal choice as they are compatible with latex safe-sex barriers such as external condoms and dental dams. They also won’t degrade internal condoms made of polyurethane or nitrile. Unlike silicone-based lubes, water-based lubes can be used with silicone sex toys. It’s important to note that some water-based lubes include glycerin, which can potentially alter the vaginal pH and lead to yeast overgrowth. If you’re prone to yeast infections or wish to minimize the risk, it’s advisable to avoid water-based lubes with glycerin.

  • Astroglide: Astroglide is a popular brand known for its wide range of lubricant products, including water-based options. They offer different formulations for various preferences, such as Astroglide Original, Astroglide Gel, and Astroglide Natural.
  • KY Jelly: KY Jelly, produced byReckitt Benckiser family of companies, is another well-known brand in the lubricant industry.
  • Sliquid: Sliquid is a brand known for its natural and body-friendly lubricants. They offer a variety of water-based lubricants, including Sliquid H2O, Sliquid Organics, and Sliquid Naturals Sassy, each catering to different preferences and needs.

Silicone-based lubes: These lubes have a thicker consistency, providing more slipperiness and longer-lasting effects compared to their water-based counterparts. Silicone lubes are particularly beneficial for individuals experiencing significant dryness or difficulties with any kind of insertional activity. Due to their extended staying power, silicone lubes are also ideal for anal sex, where natural lubrication is absent. However, be aware that silicone-based lubes may leave a residue if not thoroughly washed off. It’s crucial to remember that silicone lubes should never be used with silicone sex toys, as they can degrade the material. Opt for water-based lubes when using silicone toys or oil-based lubes if you don’t require the use of latex barriers.

  • Pjur: Pjur is a renowned brand in the world of personal lubricants, and they offer a range of silicone-based options. Pjur Original is one of their most popular products, known for its long-lasting formula.
  • Wet Platinum: Wet Platinum is another widely recognized brand for silicone-based lubricants. Their flagship product, Wet Platinum Premium Lubricant, is known for its long-lasting and silky feel.
  • Swiss Navy: Swiss Navy is a brand that produces high-quality lubricants, including silicone-based options. Swiss Navy Silicone Lubricant is one of their popular choices, known for its long-lasting performance.

Oil-based lubes: While oil-based lubes offer their own unique benefits, they come with one significant drawback – they can degrade and weaken latex condoms. If you rely on latex barriers for contraception or STI prevention, it’s best to choose water-based or silicone-based lubes. However, if oil-based lubes align with your sex life, you have plenty of options to explore. Many oil-based lubes are available on the market, or you can opt for simpler alternatives like various plant oils. Coconut oil, in particular, is a popular choice recommended by experts. Not only is coconut oil affordable, but it also carries a pleasant aroma. While coconut oil is generally well-tolerated, some individuals may find it irritating. Alternatively, oils such as olive oil, grapeseed oil, sunflower oil, or sweet almond oil can also be used. It’s crucial to avoid using products like baby oil or 

petroleum jelly with latex barriers to prevent any potential complications.

  • Coconu: Coconu is a brand known for its organic and natural personal lubricants. They offer an oil-based coconut oil lubricant that is designed to provide a smooth and sensual experience. It’s made with organic ingredients and is free from harsh chemicals.
  • YES Organic: YES Organic offers a range of intimate products, including an oil-based lubricant. Their YES Oil-Based Organic Lubricant is made from natural plant oils and is designed to be hypoallergenic and free from synthetic chemicals or fragrances.
  • Uberlube: While Uberlube primarily markets its silicone-based lubricant, it’s worth noting that some users find it suitable for both silicone and oil-based lubrication. Uberlube is known for its high-quality, long-lasting performance, and it’s often used as a versatile lubricant.

Now that we’ve covered the basics of lube types, let’s delve into selecting and using lube for optimal pleasure. Remember, everyone’s lube needs are unique, so it may take some experimentation to find your perfect match. If you have sensitive skin and are concerned about potential irritations, performing a patch test on your wrist or inner elbow can provide an initial indication. However, keep in mind that the genital area may react differently due to variations in skin and mucous membrane sensitivity. After performing the patch test, you can try applying lube to the vulva to observe any reactions. If comfortable, you can proceed to test the product inside the vagina.

When it comes to application, experts recommend applying lube inside the vagina, at the vaginal opening, and on the vulva, including the labia minora and majora. If using a condom, adding a small amount of lube inside the condom, particularly at the tip, can reduce friction and enhance comfort. It’s important to note that water- or silicone-based lubes won’t compromise the effectiveness of latex barriers.

For individuals trying to conceive, it’s worth mentioning that water-based lubricants can potentially slow sperm motility. In such cases, mineral or canola oils can be utilized as alternatives, as suggested by Mount Sinai.

Ultimately, finding the right lube is a personal journey that may require exploration and experimentation. Once you discover a lube that enhances your pleasure and comfort, the realm of sexual intimacy becomes a magical realm where everyone involved can experience heightened sensations and satisfaction.

So, embrace the world of lube, and let your desires guide you to new realms of pleasure and satisfaction!