There are hundreds of different types of lubricants out there – some made for sexual use and others that just happen to work well for sex but might also be good on a slice of bread. Here’s the down and dirty on what you need to know about lube – what is not lube, what kind of real lube you should get, what you should use it for and why!
Dear Dan And Jennifer,
I’ve heard a lot about lubes and I’m wondering about them – I wonder what is the best kind of lube to use and which lubes I should stay away from? Do I really need lube? What’s the real story about lube?
–Jessica, Rhode Island
Water Based Lubricant
Water based lubricant is by far the most popular lube on the market. It’s sold almost everywhere – even your local grocery store sells water based lube! Why is water based lubricant so popular? First of all, this type of lube doesn’t break down condoms. That’s the most important factor – oil based lubricants can weaken latex condoms and make them less effective and nearly useless. Unless you want babies or sexually transmitted diseases, you’re better off using a good, water based lubricant. The other bonuses that come with water based lube is that it washes off easily and it doesn’t stain sheets or clothing!
What Is Not Lube?
Lotion isn’t lube, unless you’re giving a genital massage, and neither is saliva or even just plain water. While you might be tempted to just use something you have around the house in the heat of the moment, but you’re much better off if you plan ahead of time and get yourself a good lubricant that will work well for what you need. Oil based lubricants can work well for men during masturbation or massage, but oil based lubricants are bad news for women during sex and even masturbation with a toy. Oil breeds bacteria very easily and keeps it there, and is difficult to wash off. If you’re choosing a lubricant to use for sex, use the ones made specifically for sex! You’ll find that almost all of them are water based lubricants.
Silicone Based Lubricants
Silicone based lubricants are great for those who have glycerin allergies, or for those who want to use lubrication under water such as in the shower or hot tub. Silicone based lube won’t break down a condom, but won’t wash away in the same way that a water based lubricant will. If you’re planning some sexy fun in the water, think about trying a silicone based lube. The only downside? Like oil based lubricants, it’s difficult to get off afterwards.
Do I Need Lube?
In short – yes! While your partner might be incredibly “wet,” even so, a little lubricant goes a long way. It can help reduce friction, help keep a condom on and safe, and help heighten you and your partner’s pleasure. Have a good bottle of your favorite lubricant ready and you’re bound to have a more enjoyable experience.
Have Fun With Your Lube!
Don’t be afraid to experiment with different types of lube, including different consistencies, different textures, different flavors and different additives. There are numbing lubricants – which should never be used for anal sex – and even lubricants that can increase sensitivity and heighten pleasure. There are many different types of lubricants available online, including lubes in convenient pump dispensers for mess-free fun.