Sexual Lubricants (Learn All About Them Here)

When people hear the words sexual lubricants, a whole variety of images may come conjured into their minds. For some, KY Jelly and Durex lubes are the only types they know of(as they tend to be the ones who pay to advertise in mainstream media, and also the ones you might find at the grocery store or drug store on the shelves by the condoms). Others might have no clue what a sexual lubricant might even be used for, and visualize lube used to lubricate pistons, bike chains, and more. And of course, there are the lube lovers out there, who picture shelves and shelves of various types, brands, bottle sizes and more.

Why would you want to use a lubricant?

Lots of reasons! The first is for the pleasurable purposes. Rub your hands together, quickly, over and over again. They get hot. Why? Friction my friend. And while warm hands are not an issue for most folks, warm, rubbing together genitals do not feel so good.

Using lubricant during any type of sexual activity (there are massaging lubricants, lubricants for oral sex, and of course lube used for fingers, hand jobs, and penetration of various sorts) can significantly increase the pleasure levels of all parties involved because your nerve endings are getting pleasurable and enjoyable stimulation, rather than being rub raw to the brink of un-comfort. I promise; adding lube to your sex life is going to make it that much better, really.

Another reason is for safety of your body. Skin is delicate and can be sensitive in general; the skin on, around and inside your genitals doubly so. Without using lube, not only can friction cause uncomfortable feelings; it can also cause some health issues.

Without lube, vaginal, anal and even penile skin is more likely to get small tears and micro abrasions that can lead to bacterial infections, and also increase your risk of transmission of STIs (sexually transmitted infections) because of the open surfaces that allow bacteria and viruses direct action to the bloodstream. No one wants that, and adequate lubrication is a key way of preventing that.

One more reason people choose lube is that they are using barrier devices, like condomsdams and gloves. Not only can lube increase the sensation felt while using this protection (a drop of lube inside a condom or between a dam and the skin can go a very long way!), but because it decreases the intense friction frequently cause by latex or other barrier materials, it makes it significantly less likely for your barrier to break.

Why does lube get a bad rap sometimes?

Sometimes lube gets a bad rap; people think you only need lube if you are not able to get your partners motor revving. That is simply not true; different people lubricate naturally in different amounts, and someone can be incredibly turned on and yet need a little help in the lube department (or conversely, be wet as a watering hole, but not be aroused at all!).

Plus, lots of things can reduce lubrication in women; hormonal birth control (think the patch, the pill, the ring, the shot, Implantation, etc), antihistamines (ie; Zyrtech, Clariton, Allegra, Benadryl, etc), and stress (pretty much anything you can think of). Also, some things don’t naturally lubricate at all; you ALWAYS need to use lube for any kind of anal play, internal or penetrative, regardless of whose butt you are playing with, because anuses never ever lubricate.

Plus, hand jobs and handiwork are significantly nicer and smoother feeling with lube, even if there is no penetration of any kind happening. And what if you or your partner do lubricant a lot naturally, but you are having an awesome marathon sex session, or doing it outside in the sun? Eventually, naturally lubrication can dry out, and that is when using some extra lube to really get you back in the game is going to be your best option.

Not every lube is the best idea, and not every lube is designed for every activity. Here are some things you might want to know:

Types of lube

Types of Lube

There are three different types of lubes available silicone basedwater based and oil based (they now also make a blend of water based and silicone based also known as a hybrid). Oil based lubes are NOT compatible with condoms, dams and gloves, nor are they meant to be used internally. They can coat the anus or vaginal walls, making it difficult for your body to clean itself, leading to infections and other issues. If you want to use an oil based lube, make sure you stay away from barrier devices and internal use; it is great for giving massages and/or jacking someone off.

Water based lube

Sliquid H2O

Water based lube is wonderful for pretty much everything; it is safe for use with latex and other barrier materials, safe for use everywhere inside and outside of the body, and safe for use with all sex toys.

However, many water based lubes contain ingredients like glycerin(which can cause yeast infections and/or irritations in people with sensitivities), non-oxynol 9(a spermicide that can irritate skin and actually increase transmission of HIV and other STIs), parabens (which are preservatives that can cause irritation), menthol (found in cooling lubes and can irritate the skin and even cause pain), capsaicin (derived from chili peppers, used in warming lubes and can cause significant pain), sodium hydroxide (yes, it is used to dissolve bodies and is also used in some lubes) and more.

Make sure you’re buying lubricants that work best with your body, and read the ingredient lists before you purchase them. The only real downside to good quality water based lube (without the ingredients listed before) is that it tends to dry out more quickly than the other types of lube. If and when your water based lube dries out; do NOT just add more lube. Eventually, that can turn into a really sticky situation with lots of Spiderman-like webs all over everyone. Instead, just add more water to reactivate the water based lube. Spit or saliva works too, or you can even keep a squirt gun or spray bottle near the bed.

One nice thing about water based lubes is that they come out of sheets, blankets and clothing with very few issues, however, silicone based and oil based lubes can definitely stain. If you are worried, put down some old towels or old sheets first, so that you don't have to think about where the lube is going and how much time you're going to spend stain fighting next weekend.

Silicone based lube

Swiss Navy Silicone Based Lube

Silicone lube is truly the energizer bunny of the lubricant world once you apply it, it keeps going and going and going and going. A little bit goes a long way. However, while silicone is perfectly compatible with all types of barriers, and with all body parts both internal and external, it is not compatible with silicone sex toys. The liquid silicone and the solid silicone both want to be the same, and so if you use them together (and especially if you do not clean the toy immediately after use), they can turn into a goopey mess together and ruin your sex toy, so think ahead and you can either find a great water based lube to use, or you could consider glass, metal, ceramic and hard plastic sex toys.

Flavored Lube

They also make flavored lubes for oral sex; just make sure it is DEFINITELY sugar free, and if you have any kind of sensitivity to glycerin (or maybe your partner does), to go with a flavored lube like the line from Sliquid that are all glycerin AND paraben free. Please don't ever use chocolate syrup or whipped cream near the vulvar area, that is a yeast infection just waiting to happen, and that puts you on the sexual sidelines until you can get it cured.

How to store lube

As far as storing it, a night stand drawer or bedside table is absolutely fine. Try to avoid keeping it in direct sunlight, but other than that, anywhere you want to store it is good to go.

Water based lubes are good for about a year after they have been opened; silicone and oil based lubes have a longer life expectancy. Some lube companies will actually stamp their bottles with an expiration date; check your bottle and go by that date if it has one.

Always make sure to close your bottles well (a lube spill near your cell phone charger is never fun) and if you are traveling with lube, make sure you stick it in a ziplock baggie of some sort before you pack it because lube all over everything in the suitcase is a real mood killer.

You can absolutely carry on lube when flying by air; just make sure it is 3oz or less (many companies sell smaller travel size bottles, or you can buy a 3oz bottle and fill it with lube from a bigger container yourself.

If you like temperature play, you can keep lube in the fridge to cool it off (NOT in the freezer), or if you'd like to warm it up, you can either put it in your hands first and rub, or even put the bottle in a bowl of warm water (please do NOT microwave or boil lube; it can cause unintentional burns in a very delicate areas, better to be safe than sorry!).

Using lube with toys

Keep in mind that silicone toys (or any softer toy material) can have more drag, and if it is a porous material, even soak up some of the lube, so you may need more lube to begin with when using those types of sex toys. The anus, as mentioned above, NEVER EVER lubricates, so make sure you use lube liberally to ensure good feelings and to reduce the risk of tears.

We mentioned it above, but only use water based lube with silicone based toys. Silicone based lube will ruin your toy, and let's face it, you probably don't want to buy it again.

Lube 101 Video Overview

Lube Tips

So now you know the very basics of lube; you need it, it is going to make your sex life better and keep your body healthy, and you know what kind of lubes to look for and what ingredients to watch out for. You are well on your way to being a lube lover yourself, but how do you actually use the lube?

Keep in mind that lubricants like KY Jelly were invented for one time surgical use to go in, and then out, and then be done. If you’re doing a lot of in and out (I’m sure you know exactly what I am talking about), you might want to choose something with more staying power.

Thicker lubes are better for anal sex, as they tend to go in and stay in better than their more liquid like counter parts. If you find that you do have any sensitivities or reactions, consider bringing your own lube to your next pap smear or prostate exam, many doctors still use lubricants in the office that contain glycerin and other ingredients that can cause irritation to their patients.

It is easier than you think. Really. You just put some either on your hand, and or the area you want lubed (vulva, penis, anus, etc), or you can even apply it onto a toy and use it to apply the lube that way. Simple as that. There is no right or wrong amount of lube; if you don’t have enough or are feeling too much friction (not a fun thing), you can always add some more. Over lubed? It wipes away without any issue.

The only thing to be careful with is apply lube to the inside of a condom, a drop or two will help the wearer of the condom experience more sensation during sex, but don’t load it up with a ton of lube, or you increase the risk of the condom slipping of, which would make for a less than fabulous time together.

Wrapping Up

Insert Video

Now that you have a good entry level of ideas about sexual lubricants and what they are used for, it is time to begin your adventures and enjoy some lube exploration. If you are looking for the first time (or picking out a new lube), consider getting lots of small containers to try them out.

If you have one that is tried and true, go whole hog and get the mega size pump top bottle; there is no shame in increasing sexual pleasure for yourself (yes, lube can be used during masturbation too!) and your partner. It makes you responsible and sex savvy, as well as being aware of protecting your body, and that in turn makes you a happier, healthier, more sexually active human beings and all for the love of lube!

Let us know in the comments what your favorite type of lube is! We reply to all comments!