Lube gets a bad rap with the misconception that it should purely be reserved for anal sex or by vulva-owners who are experiencing dryness. Although both of those are very valid reasons to use lube, there’s a whole, erm, ocean of possibilities when it comes to this liquid. It’s a mandatory for anal, a delicious addition to pussy penetration and takes masturbation to a whole other level.
If you own a vulva and you haven’t been using lube in your solo sessions then you’ve been missing out. There’s only so much that the old spit-on-your-fingers technique can do.
Lube helps your toys glide inside you and can help you on your journey to becoming a size queen (or king) if you’re that way inclined. It also makes clitoral stimulation that much better.
If you’re directly stimulating your clit with your fingers or a toy, there’s going to be some unavoidable friction and this can lead to discomfort. Introducing lube into the mix often eases this friction and allows you to focus purely on pleasure.
The first rule of lube? Always make sure it’s body safe. If this is your first time swotting up on the intricacies of lubrication you might wonder ‘why the hell wouldn’t lube be body safe, it’s created specifically for use on the body’. And the most sensitive parts of your body at that.
The truth is that lots of high street stores stock lubes that are packed with nasties such as Glycerin and Parabens. Glycerin is a metabolic byproduct of sugar, and is often used to bulk out lubricants. It can cause burning, itching and even lead to yeast and bacterial infections.
Parabens are preservatives and sugar alcohols, (some of the most common parabens found in lube include methylparaben, Propylparaben, and butylparaben). There is much discourse around whether they are body-safe or not, with some reports linking them to cancer. Lots of manufacturers are moving away from them in favour of body-safe alternatives (Self & More. only stock body-safe, high quality lubes, FYI).
The 3 main types of lube & what you need to know about them
If you're wondering what type of lube you should use and when, then this is for you.
First up, water-based
Water based lube is very versatile and a popular choice for several reason: it’s easy to clean, gentle, safe with barriers and condoms and compatible with all toys. You may find yourself reaching for the bottle multiple times with this variety of lube as it tends to dry up a little quicker due to the high water content. The fruit flavoured water-based lubes that you find on the high street tend to be laden with Glycerin so always check the label.
Oil based lube
Not gonna lie, oil based lubes are quite limited in their safe applications. These lubes aren’t compatible with latex condoms as they can lead to degradation of the material which results in tears and it can be tricky to clean when it comes to bedding and toys.
Some people swear by coconut oil as a natural alternative whereas others can’t get along with it. The PH levels don’t match that of the vulva so it can lead to irritation or yeast infections.
If you’re going to use oil based lubes, it’s safer to stick to penis masturbation and massage.
Silicone based lube
First things first: this bad-boy is not compatible with silicone toys. You can still use it with your glass or plastic friends, but when in contact with silicone sex toys it can cause degradation of the material.
Silicone lube is waterproof, so it’s ideal with shower play and it’s long lasting, which means you have to top-up less frequently during penetrative sex.
The staying power of silicone lube makes it a great bed-mate for anal escapades. The anus and anal cavity are not self-lubricating (unlike their neighbours, the penis or vagina).
Pretty much what it says on the bottle. These guys are a mix of several base components, typically combining the staying power of silicone and the versatility of water based lubricants.
If you intend to use this kind of lube with your silicone toys you should always conduct a patch test to ensure it doesn’t wreak any havoc.