Bedroom Insider

A blog about relationships, intimacy and sex toys.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Guide to Personal Lubricants

Wicked Sensual Care Aqua Collection
A lot of people buy personal lubricant because it's available and cheap, but they could be making a mistake. For example, you can't use all lube with condoms, and some contain ingredients that are potentially harmful to your health or sex toys.

Why Use Lube At All?

Lube keeps things slippery. Not every vagina makes enough natural lubrication for sex (and the rectum doesn't lubricate at all!), especially if it's going to be a long session. Plenty of foreplay helps, but there's no shame in reaching for lube. Personal lubricants keep things comfortable.
You can also find lube with special features such as warming, cooling or flavors, which can make your sex life more fun. If you're struggling not to orgasm, numbing lubricants can delay ejaculation, but we don't recommend them for anal sex. There are even lubes intended to help you conceive and hypoallergenic formulas for those who are prone to infections.

What do you need to know when choosing lube? Read on.

Know Your Ingredients

In general, there are three types of lube: water-based, silicone and oil-based lubes. Plus, there are hybrids, lubes that contain both water and silicone ingredients to consider.

There are a few things to know about these ingredients.

  1. Oil-based lubricants are great for male masturbation and anal sex but are not safe if you use condoms, diaphragms or dental dams for safer sex because the oil degrades latex. Some people love the luxurious feel of coconut oil, and they reach into their kitchen cabinets before sex. Lube makers are paying attention and have begun including it in their products. We recommend caution when using oil-based lube for vaginal sex because it can interfere with your vagina's natural cleansing process. 
  2. Silicone lubes like Pjur tend to be slicker and last longer than water-based, so you'll need to apply them less. They're also condom compatible. But they can react with your silicone toys, especially if your lube is lower quality. You can do a patch test on part of the toy that you don't insert. If it becomes gummy, try a water-based lube. 
  3. Water-based lubes are the most economical and readily available. You can refresh them with water, but they do tend to become sticky as they dry. Try ID Glide if you're looking for a brand. However, ingredients such as parabens and glycerin can lead to yeast infections in some women. There are plenty of water-based lubes that don't use these ingredients, however, and they're safe with all toys and condoms. 
  4. Hybrid lubes like the one made by System Jo could potentially react with silicone toys, but they're condom safe and offer a balance between silicone slickness and water's easy clean up.

Lubricant isn't monitored so ingredients such as petroleum and phenoxyethanol aren't advised. On the other hand, natural ingredients such as aloe and even algae are becoming more common as consumers demand more from their lube. Some lubes are even labeled as organic. How cool is that?!

Pay attention to labels when lube shopping, so you don't ruin your favorite vibrator or wind up with lube that can't be used with condoms.

Shop Based on Activity

Many lubes can work for a variety of activities, but if you know specifically what you want to do in bed, it'll make shopping easier.

  • Massage: A silicone-based lube can easily double as a massage product because it's slick. This is why Jo makes an All-In-One Massage Glide that works for massage and sex! Soap and water will rinse your hands free before moving onto other activities.
  • Anal sex: Some people prefer a gel-like lube with a water-based recipe. Others like the slickness of silicone or the thickness of oil. Many companies make lube specifically geared for anal sex. 
  • Oral sex: Flavored lubes are made specifically for this purpose, but beware if they contain glycerin. They also tend to be sticky, which might not be best for a hand job.
  • Masturbation: Water-based lubes are toy compatible, but some are thin and can become messy. Toy-specific lubes tend to be a little thicker. Consider something with a pump to use one-handed.
  • Vaginal sex: Do you find silicone-based lubes to feel unnatural or do you need the extra boost for a long session? Water-based lubes can become sticky over time. Plus, there are his-and-hers lubes to try if you want something new. Each of you applies lube with specific features, such as heating, cooling, water-based or silicone-based, and the impact is intense once your bodies come together. 
  • Shower/pool sex: Water-based lubes wash right off in the water, so you'll want a lube with silicone as the main ingredient. 

As you can see, personal preference determines which lube is right for you. We sell samples, so you can try any number of lubricants to find what makes your body happy. You might prefer a different lube for every activity, so keep three or four bottles in your nightstand!

Word to the Wise

Whenever you're trying a new lube, test it out on your skin and toys for adverse reactions. The inside of your wrist is the perfect spot. If you have an allergy to an ingredient in the lube, it's better to test it here than on your sensitive nether bits. Many people find heating and cooling sensations to be too extreme for comfort.

Testing also saves your favorite toy from degrading! You'll know there's been a reaction if the toy becomes gummy.

Once you know how to how to choose the right lube, you can ensure your sex life is slippery and fun like it should be.

By: Adriana Ravenlust
Follow on Twitter @adriana_r