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This is everything you need to know about the different types of lube

Careful! It's a slippery slope.

Aug 11, 2020, 4:27 pm*

IRL

Marisa Losciale 

Marisa Losciale

Searching for the best lube could have you testing out an entire paycheck’s worth of products. But that extra cash is better saved for something more fun like a new rabbit vibe or a sexy necessity like toy cleaner and condoms. This is what inspired us to pen this great ol’ guide to lube – well, that, and the fact that too many of you are using the wrong lube.

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So how do you know which is the best lube for you? The answer lies beneath!

The different types of lube

Before you can find the best lube for your needs, you’ll need to know your options. And like their names suggest, what differentiates each type of lube is its base. There are four types:

  • Water-based
  • Silicone-based
  • Oil-based
  • Hybrid (a combination of the above)

And just like some vibrators are designed with higher-quality materials than others, the same can be said for lube. Some contain chemicals that can wreak havoc on a vagina’s pH, cause irritation, inflammation and even lead to yeast infections. These ingredients being:

  • glycerin
  • nonoxynol-9
  • petroleum
  • propylene glycol
  • chlorhexidine gluconate

Using products made with these components won’t kill you; however, it can lead to A LOT of discomfort. So if have sensitive skin it’s best you avoid these.

It’s also important to note that there really is no specific lube for different types of sex (anal vs. vaginal), it’s all about what feels best to you and, of course, if any toys are involved.  And if you don’t know what I mean, don’t fret – by the time you’re done reading this, it’ll all be crystal clear (kinda like lube itself).

Water-based

If you’ve got a big toy box, water-based lubes are your friend. They’re completely safe to use with condoms and on all your beloved trinkets – including the silicone ones (YAAAAAASSSSSSSSS!!) and they won’t stain your sheets either. The only downside is they tend to dry up faster than other lubes, so make sure you stock up! My personal fave (which I’ve featured below) is unlike other water-based lubes because it’s formulated to have more of a jelly consistency. This is extra beneficial when it comes to toys like glass dildos and powerful vibrators since it stays in place better than a full-on liquid lube, there’s practically no mess.

Toy-friendly ✓ Condom-friendly ✓

Our recommendations:  Cake Tush Cush ($22), Cake Toy Joy ($22), Slippery Stuff personal lubricant ($6), Blossom Organics Natural Lube ($13.98), Shibari Premium Personal Lubricant ($8.40), Isabel Fay Natural Water-based lubricant ($16.95+), and Sliquid H2O ($12.39)


Silicone-based

Have you been avoiding lube because of your super sensitive skin? If so, you don’t have to. Just grab something silicone-based (since it’s hypoallergenic) and you’ll be good as gold. Silicone lubes also tend to be thicker since they usually contain one or more of these ingredients: Dimethicone, Dimethiconol, and Cyclomethicone. So not only are they silkier than natural and water-based lubes, but they last longer, too which makes them the ideal lube for anal play, use with glass dildos or any other non-silicone sex toy.

Condom-friendly ✓

Our recommendations: Penchant Premium personal lube ($14.95), Uberlube Luxury lubricant ($18), Sliquid Silver ($18.50), and Pjur Analyse Me ($19.49)


Natural and oil-based lubes

If you don’t want to have to stop what you’re doing just to reapply lube, you should consider one that doesn’t break down as easily. Meet your match: oil-based lubricant. You’ll only need to apply this once and you’ll be good to go for as long as you’d like. However, if you rely on condoms to protect you from pregnancy and STIs, do NOT use an oil-based lube, it will deteriorate the latex condom leaving you susceptible to the very inconveniences you’re trying to prevent.

Toy-friendly ✓

Our recommendations: CocoLube ($12.99+), Cake Organic Aloe Lube ($24.99), Now Solutions Jojoba Oil ($15),  YES oil-based lube ($11.45), Spunk avocado and coconut oil lube ($10+), and Good Clean Love’s aloe vera lube ($11.99)

Why we love lube

Solo or shared with a partner, lube is guaranteed to make the experience so much more delightful. And no, you don’t need to be suffering from vaginal dryness to soak in all its sexy benefits. Don’t believe me? Well, how about the 70% of nearly 3,000 women who were surveyed by Indiana University who all agree that using lube leads to better sex. After all, the wetter the better!

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*First Published: Aug 11, 2018, 3:00 pm