If you weren’t already aware, there are various types of lube; each of them with a special quality, each can be used for particular scenarios, for different sensual experiences.
Before we get into the juicy part, though, more importantly than the experience, is perhaps the lube compatibility and safety warnings! For example, there are some that should not come into contact with certain materials found in sex toys, nor condoms, nor inserted into the body whatsoever.
We shall go into what’s what right here, so you are clued up for when you get lubed up.
Why Use Lube?
For one, lube is amazing for enhancing pleasure and avoiding uncomfortable or painful friction during sex. If you find the right one for you, it could even become your best friend in the bedroom.
Most people produce natural lubrication. This comes out of the Bartholin’s gland in the vagina, and the Bulbourethral glands in the penis (yep, that’s where pre-ejaculate comes from). It is made up of water and glycoproteins.
However, sometimes we don’t produce enough natural lubrication to sustain us. This could be due to hormonal imbalances, lack of blood flow to the area, or simply long sex sessions.
According to Dr. Emily Nagoski, in her renowned book Come As You Are, many people can be turned on and not produce any lubrication at all! And vice versa, you can’t get super wet and not be aroused mentally. So, if you are in the mood, and up for some hot consensual fun, it’s totally normal to need lube. Don’t be afraid to bring it up with your partner.
Plus, lubricant can actually prevent condom breakage by reducing the friction. Thus you’re also protecting yourself from STIs, and unwanted pregnancies if you are having penis-in-vagina sex.
Different types of lubricant
Fun fact, all sex toys are compatible with water-based lubes – and are found to be the most body-safe. Do, however, check ingredients and be aware of any added sugars in water-based lubricants, as these can mess with the sensitive vaginal pH-balance.
Not-so-fun-fact: messing with your pH-balance can lead to Bacterial infections and thrush.
Contrary to what you may think, water-based lubes actually dry out the quickest and you may need to use a lot, so if you’re looking to buy a water-based lubricant, make sure you buy in bulk!
Oil-based lubes should not be used with latex sex toys or latex-based condoms as they can cause damage or deterioration.
It is not recommended for internal vaginal use as oil can’t be absorbed by the vaginal wall.
It is, however, a great lube for anal play as the anus is not self-lubricating, and it tends to last longer than water-based lubes due to the much thicker consistency.
When using oil-based lubes, be cautious about clothing, bedding and furniture, as they can stain easily. If you want to use them, it is recommended that you invest in an oil-proof sheet, such as Sheets of San Francisco, to avoid staining.
The most important thing to note with silicone-based lubes is to never, ever, use them with silicone-based sex toys or any that contain thermoplastic rubber. This can cause a toxic chemical reaction, and even melt the product.
What is great about silicone-based lubes is the silky soft texture that works really well if you’re playing with your waterproof toys in the bath or shower.
It’s essential to find a lube that isn’t filled with lots of harmful chemicals, particularly if you’re going to be ingesting it, or inserting it into any orifice for that matter.
Double check the ingredients, and if you find there are added sugars, this could be great for adding some sweet, sweet flavour to a blowjob, but be wary about sticking it anywhere near a vulva if you want to avoid risk of bacterial or yeast infections.
So you’ve got your “cooling” or “tingly” lubes, and your “heat” or “warming” lubes giving you another layer of sensation during your sexual play.
It is vital that you do a skin test before putting them anywhere near your genitals to determine how sensitive you are or if you have any allergies. Rubbing a small amount over the back of your hand should let you know if the temperature effect is non-effective, just right, or way too intense. And remember, your genitals will be much more sensitive with its concentrated nerve endings.
If you have any negative effects, such as a “burning” sensation, rinse off with cold water immediately.
They can last up anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours depending on the strength and your sensitivity. They can be amazing for those who struggle with sensation and orgasm, heightening the feelings in the genitals.
Numbing agents such as benzocaine and lidocaine are designed for decreasing tissue sensitivity. You can find them in lubes for those who suffer from premature ejaculation in order to last longer during sex, and anal numbing lubes for decreasing discomfort during anal penetration.
The risk here is that you can be unaware of anal fissures and tears during sex, so be cautious. And too much lube on the penis could leave you feeling nothing. So use in moderation.
The right lube for your sex toys
Best Lube for Fleshlights
Most of the materials in Fleshlight sleeves will react badly with oil-based and silicone-based lubricants. We suggest sticking with water-based lubricants to stay on the safe side. There is always the Fleshlight lube range, but you don’t need to stick to these exclusively.
Best Lube for Clit Vibrators
Depending on the material of the toy, silicone-based lube feels really silky on the clitoris – just as long as you are not using a silicone toy.
Best Lube for G-spot Vibrators
Ideally you don’t want to be inserting any oil-based lubricants into the vagina as it cannot be absorbed into the internal vaginal wall. Try water-based as this is safest for internal use, but also silicone-based will feel extra sensual – again, as long as the toy is not silicone-based.
Best Lube for Anal Sex Toys
Oil-based lubes and silicone-based lubes are great for the anus, as the butt is not self-lubricating and you want something long-lasting.
Ingredients to Avoid
To be on the safe side, avoid lubes that include these substances.
- Parabens – there’s a lot of debate and inconclusive evidence around parabens in lube having the potential to disrupt your hormones. We avoid, to be on the safe side.
- Glycerin (added sugars) – we’ve said it before, we will say it again: added sugars can affect your vaginal pH-balance contributing to unwanted yeast or bacterial infections. You’ve been warned.
- Comedogenic – this ingredient is commonly avoided in facial moisturisers as it blocks pores. Your genital health is just as important.
- Chlorhexidine gluconate – is an antibacterial agent that can kill the good bacteria in the vagina, so avoid if you are sensitive.
- Nonoxynol-9 – commonly found in spermicidal lube, and even spermicidal condoms. Great for no unexpected surprises 9 months later, but can also cause irritation and inflammation.