A lot can dry you out during sex: you’re dehydrated, your humidifier is running on empty, C-SPAN was on in the background and you heard Mitch McConnell’s voice. Luckily, selecting the right type of lube can help with most of of those problems.
Sex lubricant may not remove anyone from Congress, but the three basic types can prevent unwanted friction and chafing during sex. Here’s how to find the best lube for you and your partner. Or your toys. They have feelings too!
When Should You Use Lube?
Some people think lube is only for when you can’t get wet naturally during sex.
While lube does help if you’re experiencing vaginal dryness, you can also use lube to:
- Stay wet for an all-night marathon sex session.
- Get lubrication where there is none, like for anal sex.
- Make insertion of large penises or toys easier.
There’s a lube for every situation, so here is your non-friction guide to every kind of sex lube.
Types of Lube
1. Water-Based Lube
Water-based lubes are made with – you guessed it – water! Other ingredients may include glycerin or cellulose ether. It’s the most versatile lube and the most popular, so it’s easy to grab on your third Target run of the week.
Pros: Water-based lubes are water-soluble, so they’re easy to wash off and won’t stain your sheets. They are safe to use with all kinds of condoms and sex toys.
Cons: It provides the least amount of lubrication, so it’s not the best option if you need wetness where there is none to begin with, like for for anal sex. Some people with sensitive skin or prone to yeast infections can have reactions to glycerin.
When to use water-based lube:
- You just need to boost your lubrication a bit.
- You’re using a condom and want more lubrication.
- You’re playing with silicone toys that you don’t want to melt like the Wicked Witch of the West.
2. Silicone-Based Lube
Silicone lube is made with…silicone! Man, you’re good at guessing today. It’s thicker and more slippery than water-based lubes. Since it’s not water-soluble like silicone, it won’t dry out as quickly.
Pros: It’s longer lasting and more slippery than water-based lubricant. It even works in water, like for shower sex. Do not, we repeat, do not, use it in the ocean. That’s what we call polluting.
Cons: Silicone will deteriorate other silicone products, so you shouldn’t use it on your silicone sex toys. It can also damage condoms, so don’t use it with condoms unless the lube specifically says it’s safe for condoms. Finally, silicone lube can leave a stain, though there are stain removers that will get it out.
When to use silicone-based lube:
- You want shower sex to be even more slippery.
- You need lubrication for anal sex.
- You’re looking for an excuse to get new sheets.
3. Oil-Based Lube
Oil-based lubricants are made with an oil base. Ok, just sign up for Jeopardy! already.
Oil lubes are the most slippery and long lasting. You can buy them at a sex shop, but many plant-based oils in your house are actually safe to use for lube too, like coconut, olive, grapeseed, sunflower, and sweet almond oils.
Pros: It’s the longest lasting lubricant with the most slippery texture. You can use massage oils, as well as lube.
Cons: Oil will break down latex condoms. For people who are prone to yeast infection, it can increase the rates of the Candida fungus that cause yeast infections.
When to use oil-based lube:
- You want to go all night.
- You forgot to visit your friendly local sex shop and you only have what’s in your pantry.
- You’re craving fried food.
We’ve gone over the three basic types of lube, but when you go lube shopping, you’ll find that lubes can come with more additives and flavor options than the syrups at Starbucks.
Whenever you try a new lube, test it out somewhere less sensitive than the most sensitive parts of your body. You don’t want to find out you have an allergy to an additive by getting hives on your junk.
Lube Additives You Might Consider
1. CBD and THC Lubes
Cannabis contains two major chemical components to create that stoned feeling: THC to get you high, and CBD to relax and calm you. And just like pretty much everything nowadays, you can get CBD or THC-infused lubes.
Since CBD is legal, you can find CBD lubes are everywhere. CBD lubes are meant to relax your body and reduce inflammation. We might order this to use even when we’re not having sex.
There still isn’t great research available on the effects of cannabis on sex, so any benefits are anecdotal. But some users report that CBD lube helps them with muscle relaxation and increased blood flow.
As for THC lubes, these are available in some states where cannabis is legal. It’s said to heighten arousal and sensation, making it easier to orgasm.
The CBD and THC is best absorbed through the vagina or the anus, which are lined with mucous membranes that will absorb the chemicals. The skin on the penis doesn’t have those membranes, so it won’t absorb CBD or THC very well. And there you have another reason to try pegging!
Available at Foria Wellness.
2. Sensation Lubes
Some water-based lubes have warming or cooling properties to provide exciting sensations. Menthol gives cooling lubes that minty, cool sensation. Warming lubes commonly use glycerine to create the warming sensation, but some use other ingredients such as capsaicin, which makes chili peppers spicy.
For people with sensitivity to these ingredients, those sensations can be “ow ow my vagina hurts” or “I’m dryer than when I started.” Sugar-based ingredients like glycerine can also cause yeast infections.
If you’re worried about these ingredients, you can create cooling or warming sensations without additional chemicals by warming or cooling regular lube before applying. Just test out the temperature before you get frostbite or burns on your nether regions. Or you could use this newfangled thing called ice.
Available on Amazon.
3. Flavored Lubes
Flavored lubes are meant to make oral sex more fun by adding a flavor to your partner’s nether regions. But many experts recommend steering clear of flavored lube for penetrative sex, since they generally contain sweetening ingredients like glucose that is hard to clean out and can cause infections.
Stick to using it lollipop-style for blowjobs on a penis. Finally, that banana example makes sense!
Available on Amazon.
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