What is Lube?
Lube is a product designed to help mimic the body’s own natural lubrication, as well as provide a slippery sensation to body parts that don’t produce lubrication of their own. Good quality lubricant makes all kinds of sex so much better than it would be otherwise!
How To Choose A Lubricant
In order to decide which lubricant is right for you, you’ll want to have a look at the ingredients, and consider how you’re planning to use your lube. For example, maybe you’re looking for a lube to use with your silicone sex toy. Or maybe you’re looking for something that’s compatible with latex condoms and dams. The key is to find a product that works for you, and that will help make your sex life more pleasurable. Here are some things to consider when choosing a personal lubricant:
- Water-based, silicone-based, or oil-based
- Ingredients you may wish to avoid
Water-based lubricants are often what come to mind when people think of personal lubricants. These types of lube are popular due to the fact that they’re latex-compatible, compatible with all sex toy materials, and flush out of the body easily. They’re also commonly available and offer the widest range of consistencies and flavours.
Water-based lubes are safe for internal use, clear out pretty quickly on their own, and may even help hydrate tissues! The main drawback to water-based lubricants is that they dry up. When they do, they usually feel a bit sticky or tacky. Some lotion-style lubes like Boy Butter H20 are notable exceptions.
TIP: Having a spray bottle of water on hand can help reinvigorate water-based lube that is starting to feel sticky. A little spray and the slippery ingredients are back in play!
Sliquid H2O and Hathor Aphrodisia are some great water-based lubes to help get you started!
Silicone-based lubricants are a relatively new option in the (ever-expanding) wide world of lube. While many people are unaware of it, most lubricated condoms are coated with a silicone lubricant. This type of lube offers a slick feel that can last a very long time because there’s no water in it to dry up! It feels very much like an oil, but is safe to use with latex barriers. Lots of folks find that they can use considerably less silicone lube than they would water-based lube, and still get the slippery feel they’re looking for. A small bottle of silicone-based lube can be really cost-effective! Another benefit of silicone lubricants is that they aren’t water soluble, which means they’re great for use in the bath or shower!
Silicone lubricants are safe internally and the body will flush them out naturally. They typically have very few ingredients and additives, which helps reduce the risk of irritation or allergic reaction. It may take a bit longer for silicone lubes than it does for water-based lubricants to clear out, but silicone doesn’t breed bacteria or yeast, so the risk of developing a bacterial or yeast infection due to the silicone is quite low.
Sliquid Silver, Pjur Eros, and Pink are some of the silicone-based lubes we carry that you might like to check out!
Oil-based lubricants are sometimes overlooked, due to the fact that they aren’t compatible with latex barriers and certain sex toy materials. However, oil-based lubes offer a different feel from water- and silicone-based lubes that can be fabulous for masturbation and other types of sex play! Oil-based lubes come in a variety of different formulas, some being thicker, while some are thinner.
Some people have avoided using oils internally for fear that they might breed bacteria or yeast while the body is still in the process of clearing them out. It’s true that it takes longer for oil-based products to flush out of the system than it does for water-based lubes, however, naturally sourced plant oils tend to be easier for the body to clear, and some even contain nourishing ingredients!
Oil-based lubes are NOT compatible with latex barriers (condoms, dams, gloves, etc.).
Yes OB is worth checking out if you’re looking for a lube made with natural plant oils!
Lubricants come in consistencies ranging from thin as water (Eros and Probe) to thick as jelly (Maximus).
The consistency of the lube you choose can be based on a few considerations. Some of the thinner lubricants may feel 'cleaner' and less apparent. If you're looking for a lube that will enhance natural lubrication, without adding too much, you may want to stick with a thinner lube. Slick and slippery thinner lubes often feel light on the skin. They slip and slide nicely but tend to get sticky quickly.
If you’re in the market for a thinner lube, try out Astroglide, Yes! Water based, or Probe Silky Light!
Thicker lubes, on the other hand, can be easier to use with sex toys. Because they stay where you put them, they’re less likely to slip off your toy. They’re also usually the best type of lube for anal play. Some people suggest thicker lubes are more comfortable in general, as they provide extra 'cushion'.
Check out some of our thicker lubes, like Maximus, Hathor Sutil Rich, and Slippery Stuff!
Lotion-style lubes are creamier and offer a lotion-like consistency that some people really enjoy. These lubes tend to soak into the skin instead of getting tacky.
Liquid Silk and Boy Butter H2O are some of the lovely lotion-style lubes we have in stock!
Ingredients You May Wish to Avoid
There is no way for us to guarantee that you won't react to a particular product. For this reason, once you've narrowed down your choices, we recommend buying a small bottle of your chosen lube, or picking up one of our lubricant samplers to start with. There tend to be three main concerns our customers express when shopping for a lube:
- Yeast infections that may be aggravated by lubes containing glycerin
- Sensitive skin or allergic reactions to lube
- The desire to avoid lubricants containing parabens
Glycerin and Yeast
While there is no concrete evidence that lubes cause or promote yeast overgrowth, for people with chronic yeast infections it does make sense to avoid anything that might encourage one.
Many water-based lubes contain glycerin, which breaks down to a sugar and may feed yeast. If you find you have chronic low levels of yeast, you may wish to avoid glycerin-containing lubes.
Check out some of our glycerin-free lubes, like Slippery Stuff, Hathor Aphrodisia, and Pink!
Parabens In Lubricant
Parabens are a group of chemicals widely used as preservatives in foods, cosmetics, and therapeutic products, including lubricants. Some parabens are also found at low levels in nature.
There is some evidence that parabens are associated with certain types of cancer, although the relationship between parabens and cancer has not yet been firmly established.
For people who wish to avoid parabens, our most popular lubricant brands, Sliquid Organics and Hathor, make water-based lubes that are paraben-free.
Sensitive Skin and Adverse Reactions to Lube
People with sensitive skin may find some ingredients in lube irritating. If you’re often sensitive to chemical ingredients, you may wish to avoid propylene glycol and parabens. It’s impossible to say for sure whether or not you’ll react to a lubricant, but opting for something water-based, made with organic and naturally sourced ingredients, and fewer ingredients in general, can help reduce the risk of a reaction in folks with sensitivities.
Here are some lubricants that might be suitable:
- All of the ingredients in Hathor Aphrodisia lubricant are organically sourced and it’s made with a natural preservative.
- Yes! is a certified organic lubricant that doesn’t contain any chemical additives, parabens, or glycerin.
- Probe lubricant only has four ingredients and uses a natural preservative. The preservative in this lube is grapefruit seed extract however, so if you have a known sensitivity or allergy to citrus, we’d recommend avoiding this one.
- A lot of silicone-based lubes, like Eros, don’t contain any preservatives, meaning there is less risk of an adverse reaction.
How To Use Lube
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’re playing solo or with a partner, lubricants can help you play longer, with more pleasure, and may even help you play in new ways (like when using a new sex toy or exploring anal play!). Vibrators, dildos, anal toys, and masturbation sleeves don’t lubricate themselves. Adding lube to all kinds of sex play is a great way to increase enjoyment!
A lot of people find it helpful to apply lube to the toy or part of their partner’s body they’re playing with, as well as the part of their own body the toy or partner’s body part will be coming into contact with. This helps ensure that everything is slippery, and can help make any kind of sex, especially penetrative play, much more pleasurable and comfortable.
Care and Clean-up
If you’re using a water-based lube, you can rinse any excess from the outside of your body with water. Water-based lubricants are compatible with latex barriers, such as condoms and dams, and are also compatible with all sex toy materials!
If you’re using a silicone-based lubricant, you can wash off any excess from the outside of the body using mild soap and water. Silicone lube shouldn't be used with silicone or CyberSkin toys.
Lastly, if you’re using an oil-based lube, you can use mild soap and water to wash any residual lube from the outside of the body. Oil-based lubes aren't compatible with elastomer, jelly rubber, or CyberSkin toys. Never use an oil-based lube with latex barriers (condoms, dams, gloves, etc.).