Beginner’s Guide To Sexual Lubricants
by Cara Sutra
Have you ever experienced this? You’re in the middle of sexy time, they’re seeking out your hot spots with their fingers but suddenly… ouch. That’s not sexy at all. Sometimes the course of good sex doesn’t run smooth, and can in fact be a bit of a drag. That’s where sexual lubricants can help you out. Lube is your super smooth new best friend, and I’m going to help you navigate the seas of this often underrated sex essential.
Sex lube is a slippery liquid which has been specially designed and formulated to reduce or entirely banish friction during sex or masturbation. Perhaps you’re experiencing vaginal dryness and need a little extra help getting wet. Maybe during penis masturbation or hand jobs you find your skin starts to chafe and become uncomfortable. You might even have tried the unthinkable. Anal sex without any lube.
What do you do? Well as we all know, Google is our friend. But typing in ‘sex lube’, clicking through to an online sex shop and finding the sexual lubricants area might be more of a headache than you’d imagine – if you’re not exactly sure which lube you’re after, I mean. Instead of bog-standard ‘SEX LUBE – 500ml’ there’s page after page of loads of different types of sex lubes with increasingly impressive sounding descriptions and ingredients.
Let’s get the different types of sexual lubricants clear in our heads before we attempt to get slippy with it.
The main types of sex lube
Water based lubricants can be used for any type of sexual activity, and with any sex toy material.
The quality of water based lubricant and how suitable it will be for your body comes down to the other ingredients. Lower quality water based lubes are often cheaper but can include parabens (potentially harmful chemicals) and glycerine (not very vagina friendly). If your budget allows, pay a little extra for some top quality body safe water based lube which is glycerine free and contains no parabens.
Water based lubes may need reapplying during particularly long or frenzied sex sessions, as the heat causes the lube to evaporate. However, water based lube is incredibly easy to wash off after sex or masturbation.
Silicone based lubricants are the most slippery lubes. These lubricants can be pure silicone (you may see ingredients such as cyclopentasiloxane, dimethicone and dimethiconol) in top quality silicone lubes, or have other ingredients added in lower quality types.
Silicone lube is often used for anal sex as well as marathon sex or masturbation sessions, as it doesn’t dry out like water based lubricants can. After your sex session you’ll likely feel the residue of silicone lube remaining on the surface of the skin, which can be washed off with warm water and soap.
Take care not to use silicone lube with silicone sex toys, the surface of your sex toy can be broken down by using silicone lube with it. This type of lubricant is fine to use with rigid sex toy materials though, such as glass dildos, metal sex toys, ceramic and stone.
Hybrid lubricants are usually a combination of water based and silicone lubricant. Although silicone lube shouldn’t be used with silicone sex toys, as we learned above, the amount of silicone in hybrid lubricants is often so small that you’re able to use it with silicone sex toys. Great news if you’re a slippery silicone lube and silicone sex toy fan.
Note: The hybrid lubes I’ve encountered have all been silicone sex toys safe. However, you should always read the instructions carefully in case things are different with the particular hybrid lubricant you have.
New lubricants are being developed all the time, and hybrid may not simply refer to silicone + water any more. System JO, for instance, have created a hybrid lubricant which is a fusion of water based lube and coconut oil.
Oil based lubricants (which are different to massage oils) are not as commonly found as the three types of lubricant we’ve already covered above. Oil lubes are often not as quick and easy to use.
The oil based lube I’ve tried has arrived in a fairly solid state, needing to be warmed in the hands before use. Oil based lubes tend to have skin nourishing ingredients are often preferred for external stimulation such as erotic massage.
The label anal lubricants refers to how you use the lube, so these sexual lubricants may be water based or silicone based. They’re described as anal lubricants because they’re thicker than the standard versions, so stay where they’re put and last longer for this more intense type of sex which has more friction involved.
Anal lubes may benefit from being opaque, meaning they’re not transparent and you can easily see how much you’re dispensing and where you’re putting it.
Flavoured lubricants are often selected to spice up oral sex or teasing couples’ foreplay. There’s a huge amount of flavours to choose from – we’ve moved on from the days of cherry, mint and banana being the only options.
Although flavoured lubricants can be great fun during sex, they’re often more sticky than slippery and so are used for the novelty factor rather than any real friction reducing properties. Flavoured lubes often have glycerine in the ingredients (that sweet taste has to come from somewhere) so if your vagina is sugar-sensitive it’s best to avoid using these for vaginal sex.
Sex Lube Top Tips
Think about how the lube will be dispensed. If you’ll be rolling round the bed wildly and want to be able to just squeeze and fling, opt for a lube which is easy to dispense and safely close one-handed. ‘Flip top’ or ‘depress cap’ style tubes and bottles are good for this. Avoid screw top bottles unless it’s got a flat base and you are sure you can dispense and put it on a flat surface, or you’re sure you’ll have both hands free to twist the cap back on after dispensing and applying the lube, somehow (unlikely).
If the sex lube is going to be for vaginal use, you may want to think about a glycerine free lubricant. Vagina and sugar are not best friends, so if you want to maintain a healthy pH level in your vagina and avoid the possibility of yeast infections and other irritations, opt for a glycerine-free lube like this Frolic Women’s Lubricant.
Oil based lubes can coat the vagina and lead to dryness. Oil also breaks down latex so if you’re having sex with condoms don’t go for an oil based sex lube.
Give some thought to whether you’d prefer clear, semi-opaque or completely opaque lube. Make sure you know what your lube will look like before you buy it, by analysing the product pic, description and even checking sex toy and lube review sites like CaraSutra for real person experiences, often with several informative photographs. The way your lube looks can add or take away from the experience (some people only use clear lube, while avoiding opaque types), so take care not to overlook this facet.
How opaque do you like your lube?
Alternative Uses For Silicone Lube
Silicone lubricant can be used to tame frizzy and unruly hair. It can also be used as a shaving lotion for legs and other places.
If you have rings which are difficult to remove, a drop of silicone lube can help you remove it with ease.
A dot of silicone lube can be used to shine up wooden dildos.
Latex clothing can be brought up to a brilliant shine using a small amount of silicone lube.
Where To Buy Your Sex Lube
Feeling more ready to tackle the great lube finding challenge? Buy your preferred type of sexual lubricants from reliable online sex shop For The Closet.
With a great loyalty scheme, discreet packaging, fast delivery and free UK delivery for £30+ orders, For The Closet is a brilliant choice for all your slippery sexual lubricants shopping.
This article has been commissioned by the For The Closet online sex shop