Name some of your favorite sensations in sex acts. Heat, warmth, shivers, slickness.
Ahh, yes. Slickness.
That one. Let's focus in on that for a bit.
While some of our bodies make a bit of their own lubrication during sex, slickness is part of the fun that makes sex amazing!
The slippery-soft surface of a tongue during oral sex. The pillow-y slickness of the vagina during penetration. The sensation of two areas sliding up against one another while waves of pleasure crash into your body.
Slickness is one of the biggest sensation-producers during sex - especially if you're using sex toys or other sexual aids. With that in mind, why depend on your body for every ounce of it?
Your body's capabilities for lubrication production will vary based on the day, your stress level, your body's hormone level, and so many other things.
If slickness helps make sex better, why put so much stress on your body for it? Especially when there's an entire selection of sex lubricants!
Like their name implies, sex lubricants are lubricants that are especially designed for sex. Designed for the average person, these lubricants allow for you to take a "helping hand" anytime you want it.
Tastier oral sex? Done.
Pre-lubed dildo? Done.
Added slickness for marathon penetration sessions? It's ready.
With sex lubricant just a squeeze away, you never have to end sex earlier due to chafing or dry discomfort - or a body that isn't cooperating today. Lubricants can increase your pleasure, extend your sex sessions, and just all-around improve your sex life!
Now that you've learned why lube is essential to an active and pleasurable sex life, let's work on helping you gain the knowledge you need to make educated decisions about the lube you pick out next time you're shopping.
After all, like most things in life, there are different types of lubes, and understanding the different types will set you up for picking the best lube for you.
Types of Lube
For ease of understanding lube, almost all lube is sorted into three basic categories: water-based, silicone-based, and oil-based.
The "base" of the oil refers to, well, what the majority of the lubricant's base ingredients come from! This "base" is what makes it slippery, and it turns out that you can make things slippery with a water-focused mixture, a silicone-focused mixture, and an oil-focused mixture.
Each one of these lubricants will do exactly what they're designed to do: make things slippery.
However, they aren't interchangeable.
Each type of lube has its own pros and cons, so getting the best lubricant experience depends on selecting a lube type that will best work for what you need.
(And I can tell you: that's how you end up buying a couple different bottles to ensure you always have the best lubricant experience possible!)
So, let's cover the basics, shall we?
Looking for an all-around good lube where you'll never need to worry about compatibility? That's where water-based lubes excel.
They're safe for use with all types of sex toys and safer sex barriers. They clean up easily after use without scrubbing and may not even require soap or water.
Unless you have skin sensitivities or ingredient concerns, you can pick up any water-based lube and feel confident that it's going to work for every sex act you try it on.
That's why there are so many water-based lubes out there! They're powerful workhorses who can slicken up almost everything you want.
On the downside, water-based lubricants also dry up the most quickly. You should be prepared to regularly reapply your water-based lubricant during a sex session.
In addition, water-based lubricants don't play too nicely with aquatic environments. Submerging and running water can quickly wash away your lubricant - which is a bonus when you're cleaning up *after* sex but an annoyance when you're trying to have sex in the bathtub or shower.
While a little more picky about what they want to play well with, silicone-based lubes solve the issue of longevity. Where-as water-based lubricants dry up more quickly, the formula of silicone-based lubes allows them to last much longer.
Silicone-based lubricants are known for being thinner in consistency, which allows for a bit of the texture of your skin to "come through" while the lube slickens the body parts.
At the same time, silicone-based lubricants may not be compatible with your favorite silicone sex toys.
When different qualities of silicone interact with each other (including your favorite silicone sex toys and your favorite silicone lubes), it can cause the silicone to break down.
If you're hoping to use your silicone-based lubricant on your toys, make sure to choose a high-grade silicone lube, and make sure to do a small "test" of the lube on the base of the toy before use. If the spot where you applied lube gets "gummy" or "weird-feeling", using lube on that toy will destroy it.
Silicone-based lubes, however, are completely safe for use with condoms and safer-sex barriers. Silicone-based lubes don't wipe up as easily as water-based lubes do, but you can remove the lube from your skin with some soap and water.
As the final option on our list of lubricants, you have oil-based lubricants. Oil-based lubricants are the thickest and longest-lasting of the lubricants out there. At the same time, oil-based lubricants come with a lot of caveats - which is why water-based lubes and silicone-based lubes tend to be more popular with almost all of the lube-users out there.
While the longest-lasting lubes out there, oil-based lubricants can only be used in specific circumstances.
Most gynecologists caution against using oil-based lubricants with any penetration into a vagina; the oil can leave a coating on the vagina that increases the risk of bacterial infections - and can be hard for the vagina to naturally "clean up," unlike water-based and silicone-based lubes are.
Along with that, oil-based lubricants aren't safe for use with condoms or other latex-based safer-sex barriers (because they'll break down the condom materials), and many sex toy materials don't play well with oil-based lubricants either. You could stain or damage the material of your sex toy if you try it.
So, with that in mind, what are oil-based lubes good for? Oil-based lubes make a fantastic masturbatory aid for penis-owning individuals who use their hands. They last forever, and without the worry of sex toys, condoms, or vaginas, that makes them a great fit.
In addition, oil-based lubes have found a good following within the anal fisting community for their long-lasting properties that rarely require reapplication during the long, delicate process of insertion.
But what about hybrid lubes, you say? Hybrid lubes are a relative newcomer to the lubricant game, and they're a bit of a wildcard too. Hybrid lubes are just that - a mixture of two different types of other lubes.
Most commonly, you'll see a water-based and silicone-based hybrid. In doing that, a manufacturer hopes to take the best of both worlds: the everlasting slickness of the silicone-based lubes with an easy-clean water-based formula.
In practice, however, you'll want to be cautious about wildcard lubes - especially if using silicone toys or taking the lube into an aquatic environment. Hybrid lubes can really vary by manufacturer, so one hybrid lube might not perform the same as another hybrid lube.
This means you'll want to run a test run before going full-out on hybrid slickness. Do a small spot test on the base of the dildo you'll be using to ensure it's compatible with silicone sex toys. Put some hybrid lube onto your fingers and rub them together in running water to see if it'll last before you attempt your shower sex.
Make sure you have a general idea of what "hybrid" means for the hybrid lube that you bought to best use it in the bedroom.
Great Lube Recommendations
Let's end this on a helpful note. Though you've learned some amazing stuff above that should help you better select a lube in the future, if you're in a rush, here are some basic lube recommendations based on the fun activities you're looking to explore.
If you're using silicone sex toys: Sliquid H2O
The base formula for the rest of the Sliquid line, Sliquid H2O is a standard water-based lubricant. Unscented and unflavored and designed for sensitive skin and bodies, Sliquid H2O offers a basic, well-rounded lubricant that will work with your silicone sex toys and any other sexual activities you throw at it.
If you're having anal sex: Sliquid Sassy
One of the most pillowy and fluffy water-based lubes out there, the Sliquid Sassy offers a thick gel-like consistency that can be really helpful for anal sex. You might need a reapplication or two during your entire session, but it feels like a thicker lubricant that really provides a lot of cushion.
If organic ingredients are important to you: Sliquid Organics Natural
As organic as possible, this silky smooth lubricant is made with 95% organic ingredients. Paraben-free, glycerin-free, and vegan-friendly, this lubricant is perfect enough to be used as the base formula for any other Sliquid Organics deviation in their entire line.
If you need long-lasting, and aren't using silicone sex toys: Sliquid Silver
Sliquid Silver is a silicone-based lubricant that is perfect for anyone who wants to go an entire sex session without having to reapply lube. Since it's silicone-based, it's also great for shower sex or other kinds of wet play. As it is silicone-based, it may not be compatible with silicone toys. We recommend doing the spot test explained above before you use this lube with silicone toys.
If you need the bottle to be as discreet as possible: Dame Alu
With a bottle that looks just much at-home in a medicine cabinet as it does on your bedside table, Dame Alu is a water-based lubricant that's perfection when discretion is needed. The small bottle is designed for one-handed use - and to seamlessly blend into your room.
If you want something flavored for oral: Sliquid Swirl
Available in a rainbow of different flavors, Sliquid Swirl took their well-loved water-based lubricant and added some delicious natural flavoring to it. Free of sucrose, Sliquid Swirl can also double as an intercourse lubricant if your plans change course.
If you want to try a CBD-infused option: Bella Amore Passionale
A CBD-infused Hybrid-type lubricant, Bella Amore mixes water-based and silicone-based lubricant with hypoallergenic CBD. The CBD serves as an anti-inflammatory while simultaneously encouraging blood flow to your most pleasurable areas during sex.