Personal lubricant is an incredibly underrated and often overlooked member of many people’s sex lives. Whether using it during intercourse or playing with your favourite toy, lube can increase arousal, make things more enjoyable, and in the case of anal sex – make it possible! The anus does not produce its own lubrication, and although we see it in porn, spit will not do the trick. Another misconception is that women who are dry down there aren’t aroused. Some women may be incredibly turned on but still have trouble getting wet. This could be from a myriad of reasons ranging from hormonal imbalance, pregnancy, medications and menopause just to name a few. This is when our lube, our unsung hero steps in to save the day. Many people use lube even if they don’t necessarily need it, because it feels so good! Once you’ve found the best lube for you, you’ll never go back. There are different makes for different purposes, and things to look out for when purchasing lube, so let’s have a look at some of the basics.
Varieties of lube
When selecting your lube, there are some important things to consider. The reason you’re buying it – is it for use with a partner? A toy? Anal? Do you have any pelvic health issues to consider, such as allergies or susceptibility to infection? Some ingredients found commonly in lubricants can cause vaginal irritation, abrasion, allergies or infection. Knowing what common lube bases exist and what ingredients are used will greatly enhance your enjoyment and help eliminate potential problems.
The common bases for lube are:
- Oil-based lube
- Petroleum-based lube
Water-based lube is widely regarded as the most basic make of lubricant. It is inexpensive compared to other varieties, readily available and generally considered the safest for vaginal health. They are compatible with most toys, condoms and pelvic exercisers, and are easily cleaned off the body, as well as surfaces. This makes water-based lubes a bad choice for shower sex. They are designed to dry more quickly than other lubes, but can be remoistened by applying adding water, more lube or spit.
Unlike water-based lube, silicone doesn’t dry up, making it much longer lasting and decreasing the possibility of abrasions. It is water friendly, meaning it is great for use in the shower, and it doesn’t get absorbed into your skin. This combined with the typically smaller list of ingredients means that it doesn’t typically cause skin irritations or allergies. Silicone lubes feel thinner, are more difficult to wash off than water-based lubes, meaning they can be messier. It is safe to use silicone lubes with most condoms, diaphragms and cervical caps. However, this type of lube is non-compatible with silicone toys.
It is not recommended to use oil-based lubes for vaginal sex, with the exceptions of natural oils such as coconut oil, almond oil or olive oil. Using natural oils can be soothing for the skin, and often contain no additives, making the possibility of irritation or reaction less likely than using a lube with lots of extra ingredients. Synthetic oils such as baby oil can increase the risk of yeast infections, are difficult to clean off the body and cannot be used with latex condoms or diaphragms. Some people like oil-based lubes for anal sex or masturbation.
Similar to oil-based lube, petroleum lube – such as petroleum jelly is not suitable for vaginal use as it presents the risk of inflammation and yeast infections. It is a popular choice for male masturbation however, as it is extremely thick and long lasting. Take extra care is using petroleum-based lubes, as it is difficult to clean off surfaces and is more likely to stain fabrics.
Whichever lubricant you decide to try, it will be an amazing addition to your collection. It is an incredible arousal enhancer, even if you’re playing by yourself. It is a necessity for anal, and can make oral sex more enjoyable, be sure to try the flavoured lubricants! There’s no wrong amount to use, different lubes will last longer or shorter depending on what you need, and remember to warm it up in your hands first if it’s chilly rather than directly applying it to the genitals! Have fun!