all about lubricant
Lubricants are, in our opinion, truly the greatest unsung sex toys! They have the power to enhance sensations and open up new possibilities. Whether you are playing solo or partnered, lubricants may let you play longer, with more pleasure, and maybe even in new ways (like with sex toys or to explore anal play!).
Long gone are the days when commercial lubricants were made simply for medical exams and to treat vaginal dryness. Now there are a wide array of different lubricants, with different textures, tastes, and ingredients for all sorts of sexual scenarios. In order to decide which lubricant is right for you, you’ll want to know a bit about what is in the lube and what you are planning to do with it.
In this brochure we’ll talk about three different categories of lubricants: water based, silicone based, and oil based. Each category of lube has pros and cons, and within each there are lots of different varieties to choose from.
This brochure offers a non-medical, pleasure based approach to learning all about lube!
Water based Lubricants
Water based lubricants are often what come to mind when people think of personal lubricants. These are widely available and have the biggest range of textures and flavours. They also tend to have a wide range of ingredients. These lubricants are great to use with toys, condoms, and are safe internally (vaginally, anally and orally). They also may help re-hydrate your skin!
TIP: Having a spray bottle of water on hand can help reinvigorate water based lubricant that is starting to feel sticky. A little spray and the slippery ingredients are back in play!
- Safe to use with condoms
- Compatible with all toys
- Safe to use internally
- Can get sticky as water dries up
Types of water-based lubesThin and light:
Slick and slippery thinner lubes often feel light on the skin. They slip and slide nicely but tend to get sticky quickly. Brands: Astroglide, O’my, Yes! Water based, Probe Silky Light. Gel:
Thicker lubes offer more cushion, stay put, and don’t tend to dry up as fast. Many people find these are a good option for anal play. Brands: Maximus, Astroglide gel, Aneros Marksman, Slippery Stuff. Lotion style:
These creamier lubes offer a lotion-like sensation that can be longer lasting and tends to soak into the skin instead of getting tacky. Brands: Liquid Silk, Boy Butter H2O.
A note about sensitivities
People with sensitive skin may find some ingredients in lubricants irritating. If you are often sensitive to chemical ingredients you may wish to avoid propylene glycol and parabens.
If you find you have chronic low-levels of yeast you may wish to avoid synthetic glycerin, which breaks down to a sugar and may feed yeast.
Water based lubricants with more organic or naturally sourced materials and fewer ingredients tend to be a good option for those with sensitivities. These include: Good Clean Love, Yes! Water based, Sliquids Organic, Hathor.
Silicone lubricants are a relatively new option in the lubricant department. These lubes offer a slick feel that keeps on going and going because there is no water in them to dry up! For this reason you can use much less, so the higher cost of a smaller bottle may even out in the end. They also typically have very few ingredients and because they have few additives, silicone does not generally cause irritation or allergic reaction.
Silicone lubricants are not water soluble, which means when used externally they need to be washed off. When used internally the body will naturally clear out the lube, and though it may take a bit longer than water based lubricant, silicone does not breed bacteria or yeast which lowers the risk for infection. Brands: Eros/Pjur original, Eros/Pjur Light, Pink, Gun Oil.
- Safe for use with condoms
- Safe to use internally
- Doesn’t get sticky
- Not compatible with silicone toys
- Soap and water cleanup
Because oil based lubricants damage latex condoms and some sex toys they are often overlooked. However, oil based lubricants offer a different texture in a non-sticky formula that can be fabulous for masturbation! These oils come in a variety of different formulas – some are thicker, some are thinner, some will heat up a little with use. Brands: Boy Butter, Stroke It!, Jack Jelly, Stroke 29.
- Longer lasting, non-sticky feel
- Great for masturbation
- Will damage latex condoms and rubber toys
Petroleum based oil lubricants may cause irritation when used internally Some naturally based oil lubricants are made for internal use. Traditionally, many people have avoided using oils internally for fear that they might breed bacteria or yeast while the body was slowly clearing them out. However, more natural oils are easier for the body to clear and even contain some skin nourishing ingredients. Some people find these to be good, long lasting options as long as they are not planning to use latex condoms. Brands: Yes! Oil based.