Let’s Get Personal: The Lowdown on Sex Lubricants

by Erica G.

November 1, 2021


An unsung hero in the bedroom, lubricant is a must-have for frictionless fun in all bedroom scenarios. You might think that lube is only necessary for older people or those who have trouble with arousal, but it’s time to drop that stigma! It’s simply not true; most of the time, natural just isn’t enough!  Lube is truly everyone’s savior in the nightstand drawer –  whether we’re talking about partnered sex, getting the most out of sex toys, anal penetration, or even oral sex and foreplay! While I am a huge proponent of lubes in general, it’s not always easy to get advice on this subject!  Let’s discuss the different types of lube available; there are a lot of choices out there, and we want to guide you to the best ones for YOUR sex styles!

Water-Based Lubes

Lubricants that are water-based are some of the most popular kinds. They are simple and no-fuss because they are safest to use with condoms, sex toys, and anything else made to be inserted into the body. When applied to fingers, toys, the penis, or the vulva & vaginal opening, the water-based lube is absorbed into the upper layers of the skin, helping to alleviate dryness and prevent the irritation and sticking caused by friction.

Think about saliva or water; they may be wet, but they evaporate or rub off quickly and don’t diminish the friction like a water-based lube can.  The extra ingredients in water-based lubes work with the water for that magic touch, but are still safest for sensitive skin and that delicate pH balance!  Water-based lubes may tend to dry up or wear off more quickly than others during lots of heavy thrusting, but just keep it handy on your nightstand for quick reapplication mid-action…it’s much sexier and more sanitary than using your spit!  Some water-based favorites include Wicked’s Aqua, which leaves no sticky residue and softens and conditions skin while keeping things smooth and slippery. Want to try something flavored to make your oral sex or foreplay more exciting? Shunga’s Toko Aroma Lubricant has a tasty & sensual Strawberries and Champagne flavor perfect for any romantic occasion, and the ingredients are clean, food-grade, and body safe.     Everyone should have at least one solid water-based lube in their sexy stash at all times!

Silicone Lubes

So, you think having to re-apply can ruin the vibe? You want something that is extra slippery and long lasting? Silicone lube is your answer! This type of lube is something you may want to invest in if you are using it for extended sex sessions, or anal. This longevity can even be felt when using it in the shower or tub since it doesn’t wash away quite as easily as a water-based lube would…but that can also make clean-up a little harder on some surfaces.  Since the silicone doesn’t absorb into the skin like water, it floats on the surface and keeps things gliding smooth for quite some time. A favorite silicone lube to try is Uberlube.  It has no flavor or odor, and it’s not sticky at all!  It’s so lightweight, you can even rub a little through your hair as an anti-frizz serum! Shunga also makes a silky silicone lube that even doubles as a wonderful massage lotion. Silicone lube is generally non-irritating, and is safe for latex condoms, but never apply it on the inside of a condom, or it could slip off during sex.  One important thing to note: Silicone lube may cause damage to silicone toys (read: most sex toys), including distortions or abrasions in the surface which can lead to trapped bacteria, no matter how well you clean it afterwards. Stay away from mixing silicone with silicone, and keep a water-based bottle on hand for your toys!

Oil-based Lube

Great for massages, and efficient (but not the best option) for penetration; oil-based lubes are the kind that like to stick around after use…and that’s not always a good thing! Let’s get the cons out of the way first:  latex condoms & oil-based lubes are not a good mix; using them together could lead to failure of the condom. Not only that, some oil-based lubes may disrupt the internal Ph of the vagina, leading to increased chances of yeast infections or bacterial vaginosis.  Plus, these types of lubes tend to stain fabrics.  You should definitely shower & rinse well after using them, and don’t do your sexy massage sessions on your favorite sheets.

If it’s all you have on hand, you can still use oil-based lubes in a pinch for penetration, but you should consider oils primarily for external use such as massage. Some of the scents these massage oils come in are quite relaxing, and help you really get in the mood for love while giving or receiving a sensual massage. (Check out my favorite scent- Sweet Lotus!)

Hybrid Lubes (Water + Silicone)

There is a way to have the best of both worlds!  Mixing silicone and water-based lube on your own could get messy…they are very different densities and don’t play that nicely together if you just squirt a blob of each together! Luckily, there are options out there if you are looking for long-lasting lube like a silicone, but with less cleanup, like a water-based. Since they contain silicone, these lubes do fall into a gray zone when it comes to using them with your favorite toys, so it’s best to err on the safe side and skip toy play with a hybrid lube. Wicked offers a great scent free version that is gentle on skin, yet made to last through your steamiest sex sessions; plus, it’s latex condom safe!

No matter who you are and no matter what misconceptions you may have held in the past, there is simply no reason NOT to have at least one lubricant ready for any sexual encounter. It makes it more fun, less painful, and should be considered a must-have for any intimate action. Stock up today, so when the moment strikes, you can say…

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