• Lube 101 Definitions

    Food Grade

    Indicates that a substance is safe for human consumption. Food-grade products are approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In the context of sexual health, “food grade” often refers to edible ingredients in lubricants; food-grade silicone is a common example.

    The term “food grade” demonstrates that an ingredient is consumable, but does not necessarily indicate that a product is hypoallergenic or healthy.


    A whip commonly used in BDSM play. Floggers have numerous strands of leather, vinyl, rope, rubber, or another soft material on one end. The other end is a harder handle.

    Floggers can be used in a variety of ways. The strands of the whip can be drawn slowly across the surface of the skin to create a tickling sensation. Alternately, strong flicks can inflict pain, which can be erotic during sadomasochist (S&M) play.

    Flared Base

    A safety feature found in some sex toys designed for anal penetration. The widened base prevents the toy from slipping completely into the user’s anus.


    A penetrative sexual act in which a person uses fingers to stimulate the inside of the vagina or anus (however, the term usually refers to vaginal penetration).

    Fingering can be used as foreplay, and it can cause an increase in vaginal lubrication. Some couples use a personal lubricant to make fingering more comfortable and enjoyable.

    Fallopian Tube

    In the female reproductive system, tubes that run from the ovaries to the uterus. Eggs travel through the Fallopian tubes as a part of a woman’s normal ovulation cycle.

    Sperm can also travel through the Fallopian tubes, and fertilization occurs while the eggs travel towards the cervix. If the Fallopian tubes are blocked, a woman cannot become pregnant.

    Fragrance Free

    A product that does not contain any substances added specifically to enhance its aroma. People with allergies and skin sensitivities often prefer fragrance-free formulas.

    Fragrance-free lubricants and skin care products may still have a light smell. It is important to note that fragrance-free products may still contain potential irritants including parabens and herbal ingredients.


    An oral sex act performed on a male recipient. Typically, fellatio involves licking or sucking the penis; it can also involve the scrotum and testicles. Fellatio may also occur as a part of foreplay to stimulate the male before intercourse.

    Some partners use lubricants to enhance fellatio. Flavored lubricants are particularly popular for this purpose, as they can make oral sex more pleasurable for the giving partner. Warming and cooling lubricants can enhance the experience for the recipient.

    As with all forms of penetrative sex, both the giving partner and the receiving partner can contract sexually transmitted infections during fellatio. Condoms significantly reduce this risk.

    Female Condom

    A contraceptive that prevents sperm from coming into direct contact with the vaginal canal. Female condoms are typically made from latex or polyurethane. Part of the common stays outside of the vagina, while the rest of the condom extends into the vagina during penetration, limiting chances of pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections.

    Female condoms are significantly less common than male condoms, but roughly as effective. When used properly, female condoms have an average failure rate of about 5 percent according to Planned Parenthood.

    Water and silicone lubricants can be used with all types of female condoms. Oil lubricants will damage latex and increase the chances of a condom failure.

    FDA (Food & Drug Administration)

    The government body that monitors the production and sale of foods, pharmaceuticals, and other products. The FDA regulates lubricant production and enforces marketing guidelines for the industry.

    The Food and Drug Administration treats personal lubricants as medical devices rather than cosmetics, and because of these classification, some of the FDA’s regulations for personal lubricant manufacturers are fairly strict and complex. This is especially true for products carrying organicĀ or naturalĀ seals.


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    Coconut Oil

    A natural oil derived from the meat of the coconut fruit. It is a safe ingredient, commonly used for its pleasant smell and texture, and it provides long-lasting lubrication when incorporated into personal lube formulas.

    People with tree nut allergies should not use products with coconut. Like other natural oils, coconut oil can quickly weaken latex condoms, increasing risks of breakage. Use condoms made from polyurethane or another material when using any type of oil-based lubricant.

    Lube 101 Definitions

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