- Glycerin: it helps make lube more slippery, but can make it easy for yeast to breed
- Nonoxynol-9: it can increase your risk of HIV and irritate the cells inside your vagina
- Petroleum: it can increase your chance of getting bacterial vaginosis and yeast infections
- Propylene glycol: it’s a preservative and can cause irritation
- Chlorhexidine gluconate: it can be hard for those with sensitive vaginas
- Acetate: it’s an alcohol which can cause dryness and irritation
- Sex from behind: You’ll want a thicker lube that won’t drip around. You’ll be fighting gravity and will need lube that stays in place. Silicone can work great.
- Anal sex: Lube is essential here since the anus doesn’t make its own lubrication. You’ll want a thicker and longer-lasting lube (to avoid needing to continually reapply). Stick with silicone.
- Oral sex on him: a flavored lube can add a fun flavor to the process. Just know that the components found in it can cause irritation and be problematic for those prone to yeast infections if it’s used internally. Consider only using this on a male partner. If you are switching to sex after, have him clean up first to avoid it getting inside you.
- Sex in the shower/pool/ hot tub/etc: You will still want lube in these situations since water can actually wash away your body’s natural lubrication. Stick with silicone because it won’t be absorbed into the body as quickly and won’t rinse away as easily.
- Sex with condom: Avoid any straight oils or oil-based lubes because these can damage the condom and compromise your protection.
- Sex with sex toys: Follow the instructions that came with the product. Generally speaking though, silicone toys don’t mesh well with silicone lubes because they can damage the toy.
- Warm it up in your hands first to make the sensations even better
- Place a drop or two inside a condom to improve his sensations
- Use it during a blow job to help your jaw not get so tired
- Slowly drip it onto more sensitive areas (such as the clit or nipples)
- Use it as massage oil as part of foreplay
How to Pick the Right Lube for You
Everyone benefits from using lube in the bedroom. It supplements what your body naturally makes, creates less uncomfortable friction and enhances sensations. It’s no surprise that 70% of women found lube leads to more pleasurable and satisfying sex.
Wanting to use personal lubricant is one thing, but knowing which lube to buy is another. It’s an exceptionally subjective and personal choice that varies from person to person and couple to couple. Luckily, we’re going to give you everything you need to figure it out for yourself.
Types of Lube
You’ll find three main types of personal lubricant at the store. They vary in their benefits and all come with some downsides. To pick the ideal personal lubricant for you, you’ll need to determine which aspects matter most to you.
Think of this one as the heavy duty option. Its consistency is more thick—it's more of a lubricant gel, really—which helps it last longer so that you won’t need to reapply it as often. It tends to be hypoallergenic and less likely to cause irritation. It’s also safe to use with condoms.
The catch-22 of this lube is that it's very slippery. This can help keep things lubed up, but can also make for messier applications.
The other downside is that it can stay in the vagina longer, which can be a problem for those prone to yeast infections.
Think of this one as the versatile option. Use it with a wide range of sexual activities. Add it to almost any sex toy. Pair it with latex and non-latex condoms. It’s the jack of all trades of lube. Its consistency is much thinner.
The downside of this lube is that it will dry out faster, so you will need to reapply more often.
Think of this one as the alternative lube. It’s been growing in popularity as a greener alternative. They tend to be free of many typical lube additives, which can help women with sensitivities.
There are some downsides to consider though. It can damage condoms (and compromise your protection), can lead to higher rates of infections and can stain sheets and clothing.
Varieties of Lube
Most lube on the market is designed for the purpose of reducing friction and increasing comfort. But there are some options that take an extra step.
Flavored lube, for example, adds an enjoyable taste to the lube. This can make oral even more fun. Stimulating lube (such as warming lube or tingling lube) is supposed to help add even more sensations to take pleasure to the next level.
If you tend to have sensitive skin, be cautious with these types of lube. They can be too intense and result in the opposite of what you’re looking for—burning, itching, discomfort and so on.
Of course, if you're looking for something environmentally friendly and au naturel, you could consider things like coconut oil, which is pressed from coconut meat. I recommend coconut oil specifically because it's super thin, slippery and won't stain your clothing or bed sheets.
Not all ingredients found in lube are ones you want on your body. Read through the label carefully and steer clear of products that contain these ingredients:
Lube and Types of Sex
Different types of lube can work better for different types of sex. Some people enjoy keeping around a variety of lubes so that they can choose the one best for the situation.
Lube Allergies and Sensitivities
It’s important to note that different bodies respond differently. It’s possible to be allergic to the ingredients in a given product. You can even develop a sensitivity to lube after a while (that happened to me and I had to say goodbye to my favorite product because it eventually started causing burning sensations!) If you experience irritation, burning or other forms of discomfort, you can try soaking in a bath to get short-term relief. If you notice it happening again and again after using a given lube, it may be an issue with that lube. The good news is there are so many products out there that you’ll be able to find a replacement in no time.
Fun Ways to Use Lube
There are so many ways to use lube. Here are some tips for making the most of your lube experience:
Even if you don’t need lube to keep things wet down there, it can enhance your sexual experience in so many ways!