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With so many types of lube on the market these days, it can feel like running a gauntlet just to know which type you should use for which activity. Gone are the days of just sneaking into your local drugstore and grabbing the KY and hoping Susan from down the block doesn’t see what you’ve purchased.
Ah, the bad old days. Now, not only is the world your oyster, with services available to order and deliver your purchases within hours instead of days, but you can also read and learn all about these awesome items and get some education before making your choices. Win-win.
What is the difference between types of personal lube?
When it comes to sex, you need the right tool for the job. Depending on if you’re using toys, using condoms, or just considering someone’s allergies, there’s a lube to meet your needs.
Water-based lubes are sex toys and condom safe, making them the most commonly used lubricants on the market. They’re great for PiV sex, solo play, and for use with your silicone-based toys. While water-based lube should be your go-to when using silicone sex toys, you may find you prefer silicone-based lubricant when having anal sex.
However, don’t think that means they are all created equal. Some cheaper brands can still contain harsh chemicals, so you’ll want to read the label and make sure you’re purchasing a quality product. You’ll find our favorites below.
When you need staying power, such as with anal sex, silicone is a top choice. Lube is a requirement when it comes to anal. Why? Because booties don’t self-lubricate, so we have to ensure we do it for them. And the thicker the better. You don’t want friction, those tissues are sensitive and need all the cushion you can give them.
An important note about silicone lube and silicone toys:
Most high-quality toys won’t instantly melt when met with high-quality silicone lubricant. However, the disclaimer is always there just in case. No one wants to ruin a hundred-dollar toy with their lube. How do you do a spot test? If it’s a dildo, place a bit of lube on the bottom of the toy, wait about five minutes, then wipe it off. Is the spot tacky, raised, or otherwise affected? Then do not use silicone lube with it.
People tend to love water-based lube because it’s so easy to clean up, it is made mostly of water after all. Others love silicone-based lube because it sticks around for a long time. If you put them together, staying power, but easy to clean, wouldn’t that be divine? *Cue swelling operatic music* Well, someone did. Meet hybrid lube, the best of both worlds. Can you use it with silicone toys since some of it has a bit of silicone lube in them? For the most part, yes. I would recommend doing a spot test to be sure.
Some hybrid lubes use oil for the hybrid part, some use silicone. Be sure to check which, because that will determine if they are condom-safe/toy-safe.
Not everyone knows about these guys, mostly because they’re not safe for use with condoms, so using them can be tricky. However, if you’re sure condoms won’t be necessary for the kind of play you’re engaging in (or anything latex based, this means dental dams and clothing items as well) oil-based lubes can feel luxurious and sensual. Especially if you grab some with the added bonus of CBD.
The best personal lubes for anal anytime
Best lube for anal: Water-based
From the makers of Velvet Thruster, Gleam makes my go-to list of water-based lubes, not only because it comes from a company I trust, but because it’s designed to supplement the body’s natural lubrication. Formulated using purely sea-kelp-based glycerin, it is designed to provide a silky smooth and comforting glide with no sticky or tacky residue. You can use as little or as much as you’d like. If you find you need to apply more, you can, or simply add a bit of water to get things slick again.
When you’re looking for brand recognition, look no further than Sliquid, it’s one of the best-selling water-based lubes for a reason. Colorless, odorless, and flavorless, Sliquid Naturals H20 is a crystal-clear water-based lube that looks like its namesake—and yes, you can digest it, but don’t have an entire glass of it. The 100% vegan formula is perfect for those with sensitive skin.
Vegan, hypoallergenic, and cruelty-free, the folks at Coconu wanted to create a water-based lubricant they would be happy to use at home and they did the trick—it’s one I just adore. Slippery without being tacky and containing no harsh, unnatural chemicals, it’s safe to use and completely edible, so feel free to use it before and after oral.
Best lube for anal: Silicone-based
Talk about luxe, Uberlube is just as fancy as it sounds. It’s enhanced with Vitamin E, which is great for your skin. Uberlube also works well as a massage aid, but is best doing what it’s made for—getting you ready for whatever naughty fun you have in store for yourself! I always keep some on hand to use with my stainless toys.
2) Astroglide X
Pretty much a household name, Astroglide is one most of us recognize and yes, they offer a silicone variety. Though there are tons of other lubes on the market in this day and age, sometimes, you just can’t go wrong with a classic. The company has kept it clean with its silicone-based lube and that’s a good thing. It’s paraben-free, gentle on the skin, and pH neutral, made with a unique blend of high-quality ingredients (like premium silicone liquid) that gives off a silky smooth texture and helps keep things going for a longer time.
While you’ll want to keep your favorite silicone-based lube away from your silicone toys, because it can cause damage, that doesn’t mean you can’t use it with stainless steel toys or while engaging in prep play. Just remember, if you’re going to use a silicone toy later on, cover it with a condom to keep it from potentially ruining it.
Best lube for anal: Hybrid
Out of all the hybrids I’ve tried, Sliquid takes the cake as it seems to work the best for everything I do. It’s all-natural and pH balanced, neutral, organic, and has an aloe vera base, which includes other botanicals such as flax, hibiscus, and green tea. It’s thick and works with sex toys, vaginal sex, and anal sex! It does contain some silicone, but I have not personally had any issues with it damaging my high-quality toys and it’s safe to use with latex condoms.
If you have sensitivity to silicone but want to experience how awesome a hybrid lube can be, JO’s Silicone-Free Hybrid is the one for you. Just be sure not to use it with latex condoms, as any lube-containing oil will degrade them. This lube has a thick and silky feeling that thins out over time, with a delicate coconut scent and taste.
Best lube for anal: Oil-based
My go-to oil-based lube with CBD comes from Foria because I know what’s in it. Two ingredients, organic MCT coconut oil, and broad-spectrum CBD. You can’t get any cleaner than that. Why CBD? It helps ease discomfort from penetration and aids with relaxation. I also love that it comes in a glass bottle with a dropper. It’s classy and easy to distribute.
Not to be confused with CBD, they’re different, this hemp intimacy oil aids with the relaxation of tissues. It’s a bit thicker than their oil-based lube but not so thick you wouldn’t want to use it for playtime as well as a pre-game massage. It smells delicious and feels even better. It’s perfectly safe to use in any way you would your other lubes, just not with latex condoms as it is still oil-based.
Using personal lube is a must for anal fun, so be sure to grab your favorite before getting down and dirty this Anal August, but don’t relegate it to the back of your nightstand drawer for this month only. Lube should be your friend every time you want to have a good time. Don’t let shame bring you down, break out the slippery stuff and let’s have some fun.