It is pretty much always a good time for lube when it comes to sex (and sometimes even when sex isn’t involved). Sex equals friction and that friction is in a highly sensitive area, so lube offers a little something that helps things move smoothly (there are even some that help heighten sensations).
There are more and more options available on the market these days, KY is not your only option. You’ve got your silicone-based lube, water-based lube, flavored lube, sensation-heightening lube, oil-based lube, and combinations of all of the above and we stock them all. We will give you a quick run-down of them here.
Benefits of water-based lubricant include no staining of bedsheets, maintaining a healthy pH balance in your vagina, washes off easily. If you are new to lube and not sure what kind of lube you want, or if you’re not sure how you’re going to be using it then water-based is your go-to. Water-based lubricant is compatible with toys, condoms, good for skin to skin contact - it is the jack of all trade’s lubricant. They are generally really simple, with no additives like Sliquid H2O so they can be great for those with allergies.
Downside water-based lubricants can evaporate or absorb into the skin pretty quickly, which means if you are playing for a long time then you will have to reapply more than you would with other types of lubricant. Some of them can feel sticky after a while.
Benefits of Silicone-based lubricants are that it lasts longer than water-based lubricant, is good for many who have sensitive skin, is fun if you want to have sex in the shower or water in general, condom safe and good for non-vaginal intercourse.
Downsides include, it should not be used with silicone toys as it can damage your toy, some may leave a sticky residue on your body, even after you’ve washed off (can take a little more effort to remove than water-based lubricants).
Benefits of oil-based lubricant is long-lasting, are usually moisturising to the skin, do not typically contain as many preservatives and other bits that those with sensitive skin can find aggravating.
Downsides for oil-based lubricants are that they are more likely to stain your sheets, do not go with latex which means they are not compatible with condoms – they will break down most condoms and other safer-sex barriers. Thicker oils like petroleum jelly stay inside your body longer trapping bacteria that do not belong that may cause things like urinary or vaginal infections. Coconut oil does have anti-bacterial qualities that can mess with your pH if your vagina is very sensitive.
Aloe-based lubricant and other all-natural formulas
Natural or vegan products are made with organic and animal-friendly ingredients, Some, of the most common ingredients you’ll find there are aloe and something called carrageenan, a seaweed and algae derivative that creates the slippery factor you want from a lubricant. These are often less sticky than water-based lubricants.
What to Avoid
Many lubricants come from companies that have done a lot of research and testing in the creation of the products. There is a whole lot of research going on around the world into lubricants and the ingredients that are in them. If the lubricant that you like contains some of these ingredients and you do not have any problems as a result of using it, it is doctor recommended you don’t necessarily have to change it. If you have any queries about your body's response to the lubricant you use or you just want to try something new that don’t have ingredients that can do some harm down there and cause irritation then you may want to try something without these ingredients.
Glycerin is a metabolic by product of sugar. If you are using a lubricant that contains glycerin internally, it can lead to yeast infections. It is a popular ingredient in water-based lubricants, a 2013 study found there to be an increased risk of yeast infections so many experts advise that it should be avoided during vaginal intercourse.
Artificial sweeteners used in novelty edible lubes may do the same. Things like aspartame, potassium acesulfame, sucralose, maltodextrin, xylitol, and stevia are examples that can be found in some lubes and be irritating to sensitive skin. If your lube has sweetener in it, consider it for oral use only, if your play involves a vulva then if you are sensitive be careful how and when it is being used. If you are not super sensitive than it is probably fine to use the flavored lube with sweeteners externally near your clitoris but may want to steer clear of using it as a lubricant that is going to be used to penetrate. Things to keep in mind when choosing your lubricant.
Parabens are a group of chemicals used as preservatives to help them last longer. Problem is, studies have shown parabens to be endocrine disruptors, which means that they can impact your hormones. Research is still working on trying to come to a definitive answer as to whether parabens are directly linked to cancers’ or have a negative impact on your health, but it is still something to take into consideration when you are making an informed choice. If parabens are not used there may be other preservatives used. There are plenty of good lubricant options available that don’t have parabens, so you do have a choice.
Ingredients like propylene glycol, benzene, benzoic acid and chlorhexidine can potentially cause irritation. Microbicide nonoxynol-9 and petrolatum have also been found to disrupt the balance of vaginal flora.
How to use your lubricant? How much should you use?
This one is your choice. Experiment and see what works for you but generally speaking, you are better to start with more.
Pro Tip: Try warming it up a little as it can be a little cold – you can rub it between your hands for a bit before you apply it. Be careful don’t make it too hot.
How to apply?
Many vagina owners need lubricant during penetrative sex for a variety of reasons, including age, time of the menstrual cycle, side effects of medication, stress, medical issues, extended intercourse or insufficient foreplay. So, you are not alone. Have some fun by putting lubricant on your hands and then touching the body parts you are playing with it is a great way to incorporate some foreplay, before moving to penetration.
Anything anal related then lubricant is required. The butt doesn’t self-lubricate, so using lubricant is important to reduce irritation or even tearing.
Use with condoms put a small drop of lubricant on the tip of the cock before rolling down the condom and then use more on the outside. The drop on the inside will help the condom move on the head and prevent friction that could lead to rips in the latex.
Don’t be scared of lubricants, they are great for increasing pleasure and are fun to experiment with. They are also a cost-effective option that you can change your preferences for any time you like. Like the rest of your sex life, it’s an ever-changing journey that should be explored freely (and safely).