Lubricants? What’s to know? Grab that olive oil above the stove and get to it, right?
Well, yes. If you’re a man solo masturbating with no sexual aids. If you take nothing else out of this piece of infotainment, take this: generally speaking, don’t use oil based lubes unless you are a man solo masturbating with no sexual aids! What’s so bad about oil based lubricant? It corrodes latex, meaning condoms and latex sex toys. It can give women a vaginal infection. Stick to massage only with oil – I don’t care what you massage, as long as it’s not a vagina, condom or sex toy.
I hope I didn’t scare you. I just wanted to get that out of the way before we move on to suggesting the best lube for sex toys – water based lubricants. Not sticky or corrosive, they’re easy to clean up and quite widely available. They generally cost less than other types of lube, come in flavored and warming varieties and can be reactivated with more water. Sadly, there’s a few downsides. Most water based lubrications contain glycerin, a type of sugar that can cause yeast infections. Not good, not good. The best water based lubricants are sugar-free (no glycerin).
Check out Sliquid, Wet, and Intimate Organics. Often water based lubes contain parabens, which are preservatives found in pretty much every other personal care product you use. I’m not going to go into an eco-rant about parabens, but it’s probably best to try to avoid them if you can. Find paraben-free lubricants here.
Now. KY jelly was originally designed as a medical aid to help doctors look at stuff. It’s not made for prolonged use (though you can prolong it all you want – you’ll probably have to get more though), and personal lubricants have come a long way since KY was introduced. They have some new products out with some of the qualities of better lubes, but KY is still playing catch up with the niche brands. Simply put: Don’t use the cheap drug store lubricants, they suck.
One last thing: water based lubes don’t work well on waterproof toys in water! Your toy’s all like “take that, water!” and your lube’s all like “damn, it’s like oil and water or something…” Save yourself the frustration and get a silicone based lubricant for your non-silicone sex toys.
As long as we’re talking silicone, let’s run with that. Silicone based lubricants are somewhat similar to water-based ones, but they’re slicker and last longer. They contain no water, so they won’t dry up or evaporate [read: it lasts forever]. Silicone lube can also use for massage. It does tend to be more expensive, but you’ll use a lot less of it, so it works out economically.
Don’t use silicone lube with silicone toys – it’ll never come off. Keep in mind that silicone based lube is harder to clean up than water based lube. The upside of this is that you can use it in water! Hot tubs, swimming pools, bathtubs, whatever. Also, I have yet to discover a silicone based lube that contains parabens, so add another notch to your silicone “plus” column.
So we’ve discussed the three major types of personal lubricants: Water, Silicone, and Oil. Now you know which is the right one for your situation and intended uses. But then there’s all these other things to consider…. Consistency? Flavored? Stimulating? Why are there so many choices in life? Sometimes I yearn for the days of vanilla or chocolate, Coke or Pepsi, Sega or Nintendo. Nevertheless, you will need to make choices about the features of the lube you choose, which can actually make your lubrication experience more fun.
Thick lubricants stay on the surface of the skin longer, reduce friction and work great for anal penetration, making thick lubes more of a man thing. These are going to be your silicone and oil based lubricants. Thin lubes provide more sensation, are generally considered to be the best female lubricant, and are more likely to be water based.
Well that’s pretty self-explanatory, right? They taste like stuff, presumably good stuff. But how do you know? There’s nothing like uncapping a fresh bottle of cherry lube and catching a whiff of sickly-sweet cough medicine. Do your research!
Stimulating lubricants are designed to heighted sensation for both of you. What’s that mean? Tingling, warming, or desensitizing, stimulating gel increases blood flow to your very sensitive areas while tightening gel causes vaginal tissues to contract (temporarily). They go back to normal afterwards… really.
Warming Sensation Lubes
For a detailed 101 of warming lubricants see my other guide on warming lubricants here. I already wrote that one. Use warming lubes with caution, and I still recommend an organic one – safe lubricants are just better! But wait – what did I say earlier about oil based lubricants? Solo male masturbation only, or massage? I guess it all depends on how much you really want to experience those added sensations.
Safety Concerning Speciality Lubricants: If you’re a woman who’s prone to vaginal infections, or if you plan to use specialty lubricants anally, do so at your own risk and clean yourself up thoroughly afterwards. Don’t get them near your sex toys, either! Always aim for a safe lube – if you try something that doesn’t agree with you, chalk it up to experience and move on to something else.
Lubes & Conception
A lot of couples trying to conceive have questions about using lubricants – and unless the guy’s sperm count is way low or your doctor has suggested that you not use lube for some other reason, it’s fine to use a simple lube when you’re goal is a pregnancy. Lubricants can be very beneficial to couples trying to conceive – they can help you have more sex! Obviously, make sure you’re not using spermicide lubricants – ‘cause that would be silly. Spermicide lube can be somewhat helpful if you’re trying not to get pregnant though. Water based options are the best pregnancy lube – that is, after you’ve successfully conceived. You can use lube throughout your pregnancy, but use the simplest, most natural water based lube you can find.
Choosing A Lube
Lubricant reviews abound across the intertubes. This is a good place to get started with lube reviews and selecting the right one for you. Once you know which one you want to try, order a small bottle and give it a try. So what’s my favorite? Aw shucks, thanks for asking! It’s Sliquid Organics Natural Gel. Water based, organic, vegan, glycerin-free and paraben-free, not only do I feel 100% confident using it on my body, it feels great and works great. Don’t be scared, order a few and then you’ll know which is your favorite.