With so many sex toys and kinky love making possibilities out there these days, the need for a good lube has never been more important. As the world’s perversion increases, so too should your knowledge of personal lubrication. After all, being a god or goddess in the bedroom requires a PhD in all things sexy.
Unfortunately, lots of people mistakenly believe that all lubricants are created equally. In fact, some folks think that a quick spit on the spot will get the job done. They couldn’t be more wrong. That’s like assuming all genitals look and perform the same way or believing that every sex toy is identical. We all know that’s far from the truth, so why would lubrication be any different?
To be clear, every single lube on the modern market varies, and in numerous ways too. So, finding the right one can be a rather daunting task, even for the professional pervert and especially if you don’t know what to look for when you shop. Fear not, lube noobs. The following is a concise buyer’s guide designed to help you figure this shit out before the ripping and tearing begins.
NOTE: Personal lubrication isn’t always necessary for natural penis-to-vagina sex due to the body’s ability to produce its own fluids. However, because of the plethora of options on the market, it may not be a bad idea to see what all is out there before completely dismissing the idea of using lube.
What Is Lube Anyway?
For starters, let’s go over what lube is and what it isn’t. It ISN’T a wad of saliva, a glob of Vaseline, or a squirt of body lotion for God sakes. While some people swear by those things, naively assuming they work just fine as a friction fixer, the habit of using such methods can cause serious problems in the bedroom and inside your precious glory holes.
Unregulated lubrication is both nasty and dangerous, so don’t fall for the hype. Porn might make it look super sexy to spit on a crotch before diving in, but it’s not. Doctors and sexual experts (and even those spitting porn stars) always recommended that you use a high-quality lubricant when sexy time begins or else you’ll be very, very sorry.
Basically, lube is just a synthetic, pre-formulated slippery substance designed to cut back on friction during sex with organic genitals or toys. Although lubricants are often used in various machines to help moving parts glide around efficiently, the types of lube discussed here are way different. It’s important to know the difference between the two.
Personal lubricants, as our type is called, certainly provide effective gliding for your own “moving parts,” but the ingredients are not the same as industrial lubricants whatsoever. The lubes discussed here are designed to help with sex and masturbation only, so don’t get it twisted. Using the wrong kind of lube is a nightmare. In other words: that WD-40 for your squeaky bike chain won’t do the trick.
Understanding the Importance of Lubing Up
Using a good lube can make all the difference when it’s time to have sex or masturbate, with or without a partner or toy. While a little friction may feel kind of nice every now and then, constantly going without adequate lubrication can have serious consequences on your body. In fact, most gynecologists, urologists, and proctologists suggest using a high-quality lubricant each time you engage in sexual activity. This habit not only feels fantastic (if you have the right kind of lube, that is), but it also protects your no-no parts from things like painful chaffing, embarrassing skin irritation, and harmful infection.
Aside from the safety concerns, using a well-made lube can also improve your sexual pleasure tremendously. Proper amounts of high-quality personal lubricant increase the feel-good sensations in and around your erogenous zones by reducing drag and pull on your genitals. This is especially true when you use sex toys like manual masturbators, dildos, vibrators, and prostate massagers. So, crank up your kink by slapping on the best lube and responsibly perform your lovins so nobody gets hurt.
Unfortunately, many people think that lube is an optional accessory during sex and play time. Please be advised that IT IS NOT (most of the time). In fact, many sex toy manufacturers send lubricant samples with their products because they know how important it is. Although the included sample packets aren’t always the best product on the planet, using them is better than using nothing. Still, instead of simply relying on whatever the manufacturing company happens to send your way, it’s probably a good idea to track down a good lube on your own time.
LUBE: What to Look For
The lube market is replete with tantalizing options and attractive packaging. Then again, the plethora of choices can leave the average person overwhelmed. After all, nobody in their right mind wants to sit for hours sifting through lubrication brands and types. So, before shopping for your next bottle of slop sauce, be sure to educate yourself on what you’re looking for.
Therein lies the problem though. Many people get lost when searching for the right kind of lube. There are far too many options to consider and there is no one-size-fits all product. In addition, nobody teaches a class on how to choose the best one. In general, different lubes offer different benefits, but the wrong lube can make a mess of things (in the worst way possible). Know how to narrow down your search so you don’t end up with a bottle full of junk and a wallet empty of money.
Personal lubricants come in many forms, and each has its own base ingredients that account for its unique properties. Furthermore, bottle size varies quite a bit and the aftermath of each product differs widely. Let’s glide right to the main vein, shall we?
There are several different types of lube on the market, and each one is designed for a specific type of pleasure play. Typically, sex toy brands have their own patented products, but there are numerous independent merchants out there who live and breathe lube. Among the amalgamation you’ll find the following, which just so happen to be top 10 most popular options:
- Anal lubes
- Flavored lubes
- Warming & Tingling lubes
- Water-based lubes
- Oil-based lubes
- Silicone lubes
- Organic lubes
- Fisting lubes
- Male lubes
- Female lubes
- Obviously, you’ll want to choose a lubricant which best suits your intended purposes. However, considering your sex life probably isn’t that predictable, it may be a better idea to try out a few different types so you’re ready for any occasion.
- As mentioned, every lubricant manufacturer sells varying sized bottles of their product. The volume you choose will be based on how often you plan to use it. In other words, buying an industrial-sized container when you only get laid or masturbate occasionally probably isn’t a good idea. Not only will it go bad and get crusty around the opening, but it will make you look like a creep. Then again, if you honestly need that much lube, go for it because, quite frankly, you are a hero.
- Most commonly, you’ll find the following lube bottle volumes:
- This size is ideal for those who rarely need lube or who travel a lot, as the bottles are much easier to store and hide.
- This size is a good option for those who need to hide their slop sauce easily but who plan to use lube a little more often than the small bottle buyers.
- This size is recommended for folks who use lube like toothpaste, but large bottles are harder to travel with, not as easily hidden, and should be used quickly to prevent seepage, container damage, and product expiration.
- This size is rarely needed and typically only available online, mostly because few people require so much lube and extremely large bottles are nearly impossible to hide. However, buying in bulk can be a money-saving option if you plan to use the product quickly or refill old bottles of the same product.
- INTENDED PURPOSES
- How (more like “where”) you plan to use your lube matters quite a bit. Because many lubricants are designed specifically for certain orifices, choosing the right one can make a big difference in how much pleasure you derive from it. Typically, lubes are separated into three main groups as follows:
- Lubricants designed for vaginal use tend to contain ingredients that work in tandem with the natural chemistry of the vagina. Their contents keep the Ph balance intact and maintain a good glide without causing an infection or chemical upset.
- Anal lubricants perform in much the same way as vaginal ones in that they keep the Ph levels of the anus balanced. Furthermore, because of the relative tightness of the anal canal, this specific type of lube tends to last a bit longer than the others.
- While oral lubes don’t necessarily exist, there are some types of personal lubricant that have a pleasing taste. Just keep in mind that not all lubes are safe for consumption, so be sure to check the ingredients on the bottle before putting it in your mouth.
- SKIN TYPE
- Your skin type is a very important consideration to make when choosing the right type of lube. Should you have sensitive skin or any kind of allergy, the wrong lube can cause some serious problems. Incorrectly selected personal lubricant can present skin irritations, allergic reactions, or worse – embarrassing side effects for simply not doing your homework. Granted, many of the top lubes on the market are advertised as “hypoallergenic,” but some of them are not. Pay attention to labels just to be safe.
- BRAND LOYALTY
- Any loyalty that you have for a certain brand should certainly be considered, but it should definitely not be the only thing you use to make a lube purchase. While some lube manufacturers obviously create a better product than others, you’d be wise to give no-name brands a chance if they offer a high-quality option. Think about it this way: how did those popular brands make a name for themselves in the first place? The answer: by having brave consumers try them even when their competitors were loud and proud.
- TOY TYPE
- Be sure to think about the kind of toy you plan to use before selecting your personal lubricant. Manual masturbators and prostate massagers may require something different than dildos or vibrators, especially if you use them on different orifices. Remember that it’s never recommended to use the same toy on numerous areas. However, there’s a little math to do when choosing the right lube for your toys, and it goes something like this: Toy Kind + Orifice = Lube Type.
- Choosing the right kind of lube is vital for many reasons, but your ability to clean it all off your junk once the party is done may very well be the most important. After all, who wants to scrub their freshly fucked genitals because the lube they used won’t wash off with a little soap and water? If this is a major concern for you, then pay close attention to the next part. The type of lube you choose will determine how easy the cleanup process is.
- Playing the Field: Understanding Your Options
- Lube types are nearly as varied as the people who use them. With four main ingredient bases – water, oil, silicone, and hybrid – you’d think the variety of lubes available would be slightly more limited than it is. However, the myriad of options surprises many folks, especially when they venture out into the market to find the best product.
- To discover what works for you, your partner, and your favorite sex toy, it’s important to consider the points described above. Those attributes will help you figure out the things you should be looking for before you buy, but that’s not even close to where the buck stops. As odd as it sounds, buying a good lube can be more complicated than you think.
The 4 Main Lube Bases
- The base ingredient with which your chosen lube is made matters quite a bit. Still, many people believe that all lubes are the same, especially if they reduce friction during play time. It’s important to note that not all lubes are created equally. The base formula used in the making of each lube type determines the kind of experience you’ll have.
- WATER-BASED LUBES
- Personal lubricants made primarily of water are by far the most common option on today’s market. There’s a very good reason for that too. Because of their water base, cleaning up after using this type of lube is extremely easy. Not only does it prevent stains on your clothing or sheets, but it also washes off skin and sex toys quite quickly. Since water is the purest substance on the planet, it only makes sense that many people prefer this lube base over the others.
- Water-based lubricants have numerous other beneficial properties as well. They are generally skin-nourishing, moisturizing, and soothing (which is great news if you have sex for hours or stretch your orifices). These lube bases are ideal for sex with condoms and toys as well, since they prevent material damage and condom tearing while also protecting the integrity of your investment.
- OIL-BASED LUBES
- Oil-bases are second in command in the wonderful world of personal lubricants. In fact, many people think that oil-based lubes are superior because they are extra long lasting and provide an exceptionally silky feel. Products with oil as their primary ingredient are both skin safe and sensual, especially since many of them double as a massage conduit. However, there are a few drawbacks you should become aware of before spending any money.
- First of all, oil-based lubes are a terrible partner to latex condoms. Not only can they make the condom break and tear, but they also create pores in the material that can allow bodily fluids to escape. Furthermore, they do much the same thing to sex toys (especially those made from silicone). They’re also a lot harder to clean off the skin and can stain clothes or bed sheets, so use with caution. NOTE: Oil-based lubes can alter the pH balance of the vagina and cause infection.
- SILICONE-BASED LUBES
- Because silicone is a relatively high-tech material comprised of silicon and oxygen atoms, silicone-based lubricants have many applications. Silicon is a natural element; therefore, it can be made into many forms: rubber, resin, and oil. Its versatility makes it ideal for medical, personal, and even construction materials. In its liquid form, silicone is often used as the main ingredient in personal lubricants.
- Silicone-based lubes present a variety of advantages, including a unique texture, skin-soothing characteristics, and hypoallergenic properties. That means this type of lube is ideal for people with sensitive skin or allergies, not to mention it’s a great option for those who like to play with latex condoms. The silicone-base lasts a long time and requires fewer reapplications, plus it’s an excellent addition to shower or bath time. The only drawback is that it’s not recommended for ingestion and shouldn’t be used with silicone toys because it can break down the rubber after a while. Still, silicone-based lubes are easy to clean off and typically smell nice too.
- HYBRID LUBES
- Sometimes, it’s a good idea to find a lube that has it all. Hybrid lubes offer the best of both worlds – the gentleness and natural feel of a water-based product with the long-lasting benefits of a silicone-based lube. Hybrid lubricants pull double duty, can be used with latex condoms and toys, and are ideal for vaginal or anal sex. The bad part: they still contain silicone, so they shouldn’t be used with silicone toys or ingested by mouth. There’s always a catch.
The 5 Main Lube Types
- It’s also vital to consider the following personal lubricant types. Without knowing what’s available, how will you ever get what you need? What a shame it would be to spend money on something just to find out later than you missed something much better. The main types of personal lubricants are listed below, so use these categories to your advantage and put the “O” back in your “O Face”:
- ANAL LUBES
- As the name suggests, anal lubricants are designed specifically for ass play. Typically, they are available in water-based, oil-based, and/or silicone-based formulas. Moreover, anal lubes are made to provide a superior glide in and out of the anal canal, whether play time involves toys or otherwise.
- FLAVORED LUBES
- Lubes with a flavor component are an excellent choice for oral sex. Not only do they taste delicious, but they are also safe for consumption and tend to have terrific slipperiness. Usually, flavored lubricants are water-based or hybrid because of their likelihood of being ingested. However, it’s possible to find oil-based versions from certain manufacturers, although it’s usually not recommended that you use those.
- WARMING & TINGLING LUBES
- Personal lubricants are designed to help customize your sexual experience, so it only makes sense that modern-day manufacturers have developed products that work in tandem with the human body. Warming and/or tingling lubes heat up or provide a mild tingling sensation (or both) when they encounter the skin. They can be used with or without a partner, making solo play time almost as fun as natural sex.
- FISTING LUBES
- This option usually includes personal lubricant options that provide an extra kick of glide. Because of the intense stretching associated with fisting, run-of-the-mill lubes won’t do the trick. Although it’s possible to find a good fisting lube with any ingredients you prefer, most of them are oil or water-based because of the exceptionally slick formula.
- GENDER-SPECIFIC LUBES
- Lubes designed specifically for a certain gender may seem like a sneaky marketing ploy, but there are many good reasons for it. For instance, female lubes are made from ingredients that protect the vagina by keeping the pH levels balanced. On the contrary, male lubes are geared towards penis health and anal fortitude. While either type can be used with condoms or toys (if made from the right base), their gender-specific make-up is vital to superior comfort and satisfaction in and out of the bedroom.
- Lube Noobs Tips and Tricks
- Now that you know what all your options are, you probably think you’re ready to get out there and purchase the lube of your dreams. Hold your horses, homie. There are a few more things you need to know and consider before forking over any of that cash.
- While you may or may not be a lube noob, there may still be some stuff you haven’t yet considered and that could end badly if you don’t do your homework. Because charity is a must, a short checklist has been made on your behalf to help. At the very least, skim through the following information to be sure you’re an A student:
- Personal Lubricants Are for More than Sex and Masturbation
- Did you know that lubes aren’t just for naughty time anymore? It’s true. Many women use lubricants (especially the water-based kind) to help with the discomfort of vagina dryness. For ladies who are dealing with that problem or entering the perimenopausal or menopausal season of their lives, a good lube can make a big difference, not to mention it can help balance pH levels in the vagina. Don’t believe me? Just ask your OB/Gyn.
- You Can Try Before You Buy
- Some of the leading personal lubricant manufacturers offer small sample packets of their most popular products. That means you can test drive the lube you like to find out if it has all the bells and whistles you need. In fact, many lube makers offer samples for free. Find something that catches your attention and visit the manufacturer’s website to see if you can score anything without spending a penny.
- Apply Sparingly Until You Get the Gist
- Because some of the best personal lubricants on the market are kind of costly, it makes sense to use it thriftily until you’re familiar with its performance. Usually, a good lube requires only about a pea-sized drop. However, they’re all different and the base ingredient of the product will determine the volume needed. For maximum mileage, squirt some lube onto your fingertips and spread it around instead of putting it directly on the genitals or toy. This not only cuts back on spillage, but it also helps you control the amount you use.
- Store Your Stash Responsibly
- The amazing properties of your chosen lube will only be present if you store the bottle properly. Always follow the instructions on the package but remember, most lubricants require storage in cool, dry places. Although personal lubricants are known to have an extremely stable chemical make-up, keeping them away from children, pets, and parents is essential.
- Know Your Limits
- The non-toxic formulas used in personal lubricants means that most of them are ingestible and stain-proof. However, large quantities of any lube (regardless of its base ingredient) can cause discoloration on carpets, sheets, drapes, and clothes, not to mention it can upset your stomach if consumed too gratuitously. Remember, it’s not food or decoration; it’s lube, so use it accordingly.
- Stay Clean While Getting Dirty
- Remember that the ingredient base you choose will have an enormous effect on how easy it is to clean off your naughty bits and playthings after sexy time. While water-based lubes are mostly clean freak-friendly, oil and silicone-based products have their merits as well. Just remember that regardless of which type you choose, an aftermath bath is necessary. Without properly cleaning your junk, you could be left dealing with a lot of funk.
- A Few Final Thoughts
- Picking out the best personal lubricant can be difficult, but you should be well prepared by now. Congratulations on your graduation! When choosing the winner, keep in mind that fewer ingredients makes for happier genitals. Look for FDA-regulated products, but don’t let an unregulated lube hold you back from a good time. Simply check out the label and use your best judgment based on the information you’ve learned here.
- And another thing: avoid alcohol in your lube like it’s the plague. Not only will it burn your erogenous zones, but it can actually kill the good bacteria in your vagina and anus, causing pain, irritation, and even infection. Anything that that ends in -ol is dangerous, as it dries up your orifice and pretty much defeats the purpose of using a lubricant in the first place.
- Furthermore, don’t forget to check out the kind of materials used to make your play toys and condoms. The wrong lube can ruin a perfectly good day, and nobody wants that. And forget using plain water as a lube because you’re too overwhelmed by the options. Water alone can cause more friction, believe it or not, so take a deep breath and find something that will work for your intended purposes. If all else fails, try a hybrid lube for starters and go from there.
- As far as flavored and warming/tingling lubes go, only opt for those if you know how to use them properly and are familiar with the ingredients and base type. Those kinds of lubes offer special benefits like increased blood flow and heightened sensations, but if they’re used incorrectly they can spoil the occasion. When in doubt, opt for a straightforward water-based lube and just use your imagination.
- Still no finding what you need? Remember that many lube manufacturers offer extra gentle products geared towards folks with super sensitive skin. Regardless, FDA-approved lubes consist of tested and proven ingredients that typically don’t cause problems for most people. Just promise me one thing: you’ll never use saliva, petroleum jelly, or hand lotion in place of a good lube. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.