Lubes are often an overlooked aspect of sex. You really don’t think about it until you need it and then you get to the store and have no idea what you are looking for. For people like me (social anxiety disorder), asking an employee, a stranger, about it is out of the question. So where do you turn to ask? The internet.
There are so many factors to consider when choosing a lube. Do you or your partner have allergies? Are you wanting to use the lube for a specific activity that would require a specialty lube? Hopefully by the end of this you will be an expert on all of the important aspects of choosing a lube so you can shop like you have been buying lube your entire adult life.
Silicone Based Lubes
Silicone Lube is a lube that doesn’t contain water and usually only has about 4 ingredients. Because silicone lube doesn’t contain water it isn’t absorbed into the skin. It stays on the skin until you clean it off. It also stays on all other surfaces so be sure to clean up any stray drips to avoid slipping.
Silicone lube is the best choice for women who don’t produce enough natural lubricant. It is also best for anal use because it doesn’t dry up and stays in place. Silicone lube is thick and viscous when you first get it on but once it is distributed evenly.
Silicone lube will have higher instances of allergic reactions, so always test the lube on your skin and your partner’s skin first. Silicone lube should not be used with silicone toys, the lubricant will break down the silicone on the toy, causing pores where bacteria can get trapped.
Make sure you clean all of the lubricant off yourself, and where ever else it gets when you are finished so it isn’t transferred to other surfaces.
Water Based Lubes
Water based lube is the most widely used lubricant. Water based lube is derived from glycerin or cellulose. Sometimes certain derivatives are added to make it thicker, or not dry out as quickly. Water based lube has a silkier feel than silicone and isn’t as viscous. But when it dries it has a tacky, sticky feel which you don’t get with silicone lube.
Water based lube cleans easily off of people and surfaces and doesn’t stain fabric like some silicone lubes do. It should always be used with silicone toys to keep them in good, clean, working order. Unfortunately, water based lubes cannot be used in water because they will disperse immediately. It is water soluble so it cleans up well but has a tendency to dry out faster during use. Reapplication or even saliva will reactivate it easily.
Water based lube has a lower instance of allergic reaction but you should still test it on your skin first. Always clean yourself and anything it may have gotten on after use.
Hybrid lubes are a mixture of silicone and water based lubes. They have the lasting power of silicone lube but clean up quickly and easily like water based lubes. Hybrid lube is more viscous than either lube and has a more cushiony feel to it. It is slightly tacky but stays smooth.
There are many lubes on the market that have extra features to meet a specific need/want. The most popular ones are anal lube, flavored lube, warming lube and cooling lube. Specialty lubes aren’t for everyone, make sure you and your partner are both comfortable with your lube choice.
Anal lubes are a gel instead of a liquid so they stay longer and may contain a numbing agent to desensitize. Numbing agents are not recommended because you are unable to feel if something might be tearing or damaged.
Flavored lubes are good for oral sex and easily transition to sex. They come in a huge array of flavors to choose from. They sometimes have a tendency to be a little tackier because they are water based, but you can just reapply or use saliva to reactivate it.
Warming lubes give both parties a gentle warm sensation that can be heightened by gently blowing on it. Check the ingredients before you buy, there are many ways to create the warming sensation including cinnamon, so make sure you and your partner aren’t allergic to anything.
Cooling lubes often use peppermint oil for their cooling effect. Blowing on the lubed area will increase the cooling effect of the lube.
Lube for Everyone
Whatever lube you choose is up to you and your partner. Make sure everyone’s opinions and needs are considered before you buy. Check for allergens, always test it on a small patch of skin first to make sure neither of you are allergic to it. Experiment, try all the types of lube until you find the one that works best for you.
Even if you don’t like to use lube, you should keep a small bottle in your nightstand in case you or your partner has a need for it at anytime.
Always clean yourself well after use and clean any toys or surfaces the lube may have gotten on.
Have fun! Try new things with your lube!