SEX EDUCATION: Choosing a Lubricant
So what is a personal lubricant? Very simply it is a substance designed for intimate encounters that reduce genital friction by making surfaces slippery. Sexual lubricants can increase sexual pleasure both with and without a condom, relieve vaginal dryness, and prevent condom tearing.
Okay, that’s the technical definition, but what kinds are there and how do I choose? To make it easy, we have grouped the personal lubricants into 6 categories:
- Water-based Lubricants
- Flavored Lubricants
- Silicone-based Lubricants
- Oil-based Lubricants
- Warming & Cooling Lubricants
- Hybrid (H2O + Silicone)
- Anal Sex Lubricants
This is the most common type of lubricant, both for its lower cost and its natural feel—water-based lube is as close as you can get to the body’s natural lubrication. Plus, they're entirely safe to use with all types of latex, condoms, and adult toys. Since they’re water-based, these lubes are water soluble and wash off easily. Unfortunately, that also means that they tend to dry up quicker than silicone or oil based lubes, but some formulas last longer than others.
Inexpensive and feels natural. Washes off easily and does not stain sheets or clothing. Latex compatible.
Not compatible with sex acts in water and may contain glycerin. Some water-based lubricants contain glycerin, an ingredient that turns into sugar in the vagina causing yeast infections in sensitive women.
Tip: To make your water-based lube last longer directly apply water or spit to the lubricant as it is drying out. This will reactive the lubricant and keep it slick for as long as you need.
Flavored Lubricants are water-based and are designed for oral sex. Most contain sugar or glycerin that turns into sugar in the vagina so we do not recommend them for vaginal intercourse unless it is sugar-free.
Adds flavor and fun to oral sex, reactivates with a few drops of water, latex compatible, doesn’t stain unless color has been added, and cleans up with soap and water.
May contain sugar or glycerin that can cause yeast infections in sensitive women.
Silicone-based lubricants can be used for all types of intimate encounters including vaginal intercourse, anal intercourse, masturbation, and massage. They are latex condom compatible and can be used with non-silicone adult toys. Ingesting silicone lubricant is not harmful, but may result in an upset stomach.
Always slippery and never tacky feeling, a little goes a long way so your bottle will last a long time, doesn’t dry out and need reactivating, isn’t water soluble so it is great for ”water play”, is inert so it won’t change the pH levels in your body (that means no yeast infections), and washes away with soap and water.
Makes all surfaces it comes in contact with slippery so be careful in the tub, is not compatible with silicone and realistic skin feel toys, and may leave oily residue on sheets but it will wash out.
This is a relatively new category of lubrication. Hybrid silicone-water lubricants offer the feel of silicone with the toy-friendly features of water-based lubricants. If anything, hybrid lubes create an even creamier glide than pure silicone-based lubricants. Silicone-water hybrid lubes last a long time, and they don’t stain most fabrics. They also tend to be less expensive than pure silicone lubricants.
Smooth and long lasting. Does not get tacky. Can be used for vaginal and anal sex. Less expensive than pure silicone lubes.
Cost more than water-based lubricants. Not totally water-proof like silicone lubes.
Oil lubricants are only recommended for male masturbation and non-genital massage because they cause bacteria growth in the vagina and possibly the anus and are not condom compatible. They are made out of medical grade mineral oil or petroleum or natural plant oil extracts.
Slippery and slick feeling, never sticky, and can also be used as a moisturizer.
Stains sheets and other fabric surfaces, difficult to clean up, and is not safe for use with condoms, adult toys, or for vaginal sex.
Warming and cooling lubricants are designed to add excitement to oral sex, massage, and masturbation. When they are blown on or rubbed, they create a warming or cooling feeling depending on the product. They can be used for vaginal intercourse and anal intercourse, but it is possible that some individuals may experience an uncomfortable or excessive warming sensation. If this occurs, wash off immediately. They are also toy and latex condom compatible.
Simple way to add excitement to your sex life and to sensual massage, condom and toy compatible, easy to clean up, and non-staining unless color has been added.
May contain glycerin and/or ingredients that certain individuals are sensitive to.
The anus is far from self-lubricating and can only get wet if one helps it along. Anal lube is a complete necessity and one of the main attributes to pleasurable anal sex. Remember: the anal walls are relatively thin, so thicker lubricants keep them hydrated and slippery, and can greatly reduce the chance of anal injuries, such as cuts and tears (anal fissures) that increase your risk for contracting an STD. Saliva should not be considered a lubricant and should be avoided, as it will actually dry out your skin, making it less elastic. Many lubricants are safe for anal sex, but some products are specifically designed to enhance the anal sex experience. Many of the anal lubricants contain benzocaine, a numbing agent that will numb the anal area for a more comfortable experience. Others not have a numbing agent, but are extra thick for added protection.
Products containing benzocaine will numb all body parts they come in contact with.
We hope this guide to personal sex lubricants was helpful. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us. We are here to help. You can always trust in MUF. Stay sexy.