Everything you want to know about choosing lube

by Ginger and Rebekah

Why Use Lube?

If you engage in any kind of sex, even with yourself, you probably use lubricant of some variety or another. And if you haven’t, there’s Keeping things wetlots of reasons why you should be. In a 2015 study, 30% of women reported experiencing pain during their most recent sexual encounter. Reasons for vaginal dryness can include stress, aging and hormones. Irritation from friction can lead to herpes outbreaks in those with the virus. Lube can not only help with the vaginal dryness that causes some of the discomfort, it can also increase sensation and sensitivity.

Keeping things wet is one of our primary goals, and will certainly make your sex life more juicy. For your convenience, a few Must-Knows about types of lube and how to choose the best one:

Silicone-Base

Silicone-based lubes tend to be more viscous (thicker) and longer-lasting. As such, they’re particularly well-suited for anal play. We personally recommend Gun Oil or Swiss Navy. Most Importantly, though: do not, we repeat DO NOT use silicone-based lubes with silicone sex toys! Your favorite dildo is non-porous and hypoallergenic for a reason: so that dangerous bacteria don’t grow there between uses. Silicone lubricants degrade your silicone toys, making them porous enough to hold bacteria, giving them a grainy texture, and making them less safe to use.

Water-Base

That’s why I (Ginger) pretty much always go for a Water-based lube. While thinner, you never have to worry about accidentally destroying your toys. On top of which, plenty of water-based lubes are largely chemical free, if you know what to look for. Always  avoid these ingredients: Glycol, Glycerin, Petroleum, Parabens. and Chlorhexidine, Lubricant is absorbed into the top layer of the skin, and these ingredients can cause irritation as well as effect the pH balance of the vagina, sometimes causing infections. A

Whenever possible, I look for lubes with as few ingredients as possible, all of which I can recognize and pronounce. My favorites are Sliquid (Sliquid also has silicone based products) and the Babeland series. I’ve also heard rave reviews about Good Clean Fun and Sustain.

The downside of water based lubricants are that they dry out quickly. Rather than adding more lube, adding water will reactivate the liquidity of the product. In addition, be careful with a product like KY Jelly Warming, which boasts of heating things up. The added chemicals (several kinds of glycol) may irritate tender areas.

Oil-Base

For an all-natural lubricant, many people are turning to Coconut Oil. It tastes good and doesn’t contain chemicals. If you want to go this route, choose an unrefined coconut oil, which will be less processed. The trouble with oil-based lubes (or actual oil) is that they will deteriorate latex. Therefore, oil based lube should NEVER be used with condoms and other safety barriers.This is a known factor with petroleum jelly and baby oil, which also compromise the ph balance of the vagina and can lead to candida and other infections. No studies have been done yet on natural oils. With so many other viable options, oils should largely be avoided for penetration. (Rebekah note- coconut oil is my personal favorite for external stimulation, it’s plenty slippery and you can go from manual to oral stimulation without having to wipe it off or get a mouth full of yuck). Oil based products can also produce some of the same skin irritation mentioned by some of the above ingredients, and are hard to launder out of sheets.  In this case, don’t do as the Romans (or Greeks) do. Olive oil, petroleum jelly, baby oil, etc. is not the way to go.

Bonus Round

In a pinch, it might be tempting to use other types of food ingredients, such as butter, honey, or whipped cream, to spice things up in the bedroom. Avoid this temptation – Especially if you are using it on a vagina. Most foods have at least some quantity of sugar in them, and sugar, like glycerin, can and will let bacteria flourish, which can trigger an infection. When in doubt, always use sugar-free, natural ingredients in your lube, and if you don’t have any on hand, saliva will often work in a pinch! (Though please don’t forget to brush your teeth, friends)

Use What Works for You and Your Partner

As we always say here at Pleasure Evolution, Do What Gets Your Panties Wet. That means that all the advice in the world can’t override what you know to be true for you. Why not buy small versions of a few things and see what you like best? Since all lubricants are not created equal, have on hand several types. Your nightstand drawer most likely should have a silicone based product for penetration and stroking play alone and with a partner, and a water based lube to use with toys. The website Lucky Bloke sells sampler packs of not just lube, but also condom samplers by size featuring different manufacturers, so you can get the fit that works best with your penis.

*Full disclosure, some of the links in this article are affiliate links