What Type of Lube Should I Use?

Lube is a sex essential, but do you know how to choose the correct one for you? Let us take you through the different lubricants, their pros and cons and when to use each type for the best results.

What are you waiting for? Slide on down to read more…


Water-Based Lube

It’s probably the lube you’ve got in your drawer right now! Water-based is generally everyone’s go-to because of its affordability and availability. It can be used with any toy or condom without fear of damage (unlike other lubricants), and it’s one of the best options for those with sensitive skin.

Plus, they’re nicely moisturising, most like your natural lubrication, and the water-soluble formula is really easy to clean up.

That being said… Water-based lube isn’t perfect. As they absorb very easily into the skin, they can dry out, so you’ll need to reapply or rehydrate with a little water. Not too much though, or you’ll wash it off!

Slip N’ Slide Aqua Water-Based Lubricant

ProsCons
Fantastic All-Rounder – Works with all sex toys and condoms! Needs reapplication – Your skin absorbs water-soluble formula
Easily available in shops and the most affordableCan’t be used for water-based sex, e.g. pools, shower, as it washes away
Easy to clean up – Water-soluble formulas are a breeze to wash awayBecomes sticky over time – reapply or add water to rehydrate
Great for sensitive skin – Most formulas are pH balanced, so shouldn’t cause irritation

When to use:

Any and all sex! This lube works for pretty much all solo and couples’ play, especially if toys are involved – Just consider if you need more glide and if you’ll need to reapply before reaching for this lubricant.


Silicone Lube

Though of as the longest-lasting lube on the market, silicone lubricant is super slick with an almost oily consistency. It’s perfect for anal play because it won’t dry out and is compatible with all condoms and most sex toys. Considered hypoallergenic, it’s actually the one to go for if you’re worried about irritation or sensitivity to ingredients. Unless you’re sensitive to silicone, obviously!

It seems paradoxical (maybe just to this writer), but silicone lube is not for silicone toys; That’s basically the one thing you shouldn’t use it with! The two can react together and cause long-term deterioration to your much-loved toys – if in doubt, just grab water-based.

Clean-up is a lot harder with silicone because it’s not water-soluble, which is great during sex, just not so fun for afterwards. It will shift, but it does need elbow grease to remove.

Bondara Silicone Luxury Lubricant

ProsCons
Super long-lasting – You don’t need to use loads, and you can reapply much less frequentlyNot compatible with your silicone sex toys – can cause long-term deterioration
Slick and thick – the texture of this lube is ideal for anal newbiesFormula isn’t water-soluble – Makes it more likely to stain as it’s harder to clean up
100% Waterproof – Doesn’t wash away as easily, so it’s ideal for sexy showers and pool parties
Hypoallergenic – Good for most skin types and least likely to cause irritation

When to use:

Any and all sex – Silicone can be used for anything, including water-based activities like shower sex. Just keep it away from silicone sex toys!


Hybrid Lube

You’ve read about water and silicone-based lubes… Well, this is the combination of both! Hybrid lubes tend to have a majority water base with a varying percentage of silicone added. This makes them longer-lasting and much more slippery but still just as hydrating as a water-based lube.

It becomes sticky, just like water bases, but it takes much longer and is reactivated with a splash of water. Plus, some brands claim they’re safe for use with all toys, but because there’s silicone in the mix, it’s always worth spot-checking with your silicone toys.

Lubido Hybrid Lubricant

ProsCons
Best of Both Worlds – The hydration of water-based with the slip and longevity of silicone-basedSilicone in the mix CAN cause deterioration with silicone toys, but it depends on the formula – spot-check before diving in!
Generally more affordable than silicone-based lubeBecome sticky like water-based lubes but takes much longer

When to use:

Whenever you want the best of both. It has all the same uses as water-based and silicone-based lubes, so is fab for all kinds of sex. Just spot-check with silicone toys!


Anal Lube

Unlike the vagina, the anus is not self-lubricating, so if you’re going to explore your back door, use lube! Anal lubricants are designed to be thicker, long-lasting and provide a fantastic glide.

They can be water or silicone-based, affecting how they behave, so figure out what you want first. Silicone reduces friction for smooth stimulation, whereas water will hydrate the skin for better elasticity. Both make the experience more comfortable!

Maybe you’re already a bum fun expert, and you’re looking to delve deeper… Well, it’s essential to know that fisting lubes are slightly different to standard anal lubricants. Fisting lubes have a more jelly-like, scoopable texture which is excellent to apply to larger insertables (like your fist).

L to R: Bondara Water-Based Anal Lubricant and Pjur Back Door Anal Glide Lubricant

ProsCons
Slicker, thicker formulas design especially for comfortable anal playFormulated for a specific use – You can use anal lubes for other things (provided they don’t have additives for numbing), but they’re most suited to anal
Very long-lasting – this can vary depending on the baseIngredients added for numbing or desensitising can cause irritation – carry out a patch test first!
Often includes hydrating ingredients, like jojoba and aloe, for better elasticity and comfort

When to use:

Anal Sex – This formula is specifically designed to ensure your anal experiences are as smooth and comfortable as possible.

However, it can be used for any and all sex; it just has a consistency that is better suited to anal play.


Added Extras

These are the lubes that make sex a little more thrilling. Most are water-based, with additives to create different sensations like tingling, warming, and even to mimic vibrations! Sex should be exciting, so if you’re making a first foray into something new, these lubricants can be an excellent first step. Looking to explore temperature play, why not pick up a cooling or warming lube?

The additional ingredients that make these lubes so fun, like capsicum and menthol, can sometimes cause a reaction. Patch test before you start using to make sure you won’t have a reaction and then get down to business 😉

L to R: Slip N’ Slide Silky Water-Based Lubricant, Slip N’ Slide Passion Fruit Flavoured Lubricant and Secret Play Liquid Vibrator Hot Warming Stimulation Gel

ProsCons
An excellent way to introduce something new without spending loads! Not advised for internal use – Ingredients like glucose or capsicum can cause irritation

When to use:

When you want to add something different to your sex life – depending on what effect you’re looking for, there are lots of stimulating options to explore.


Oil-Based Lube

The Greeks may well have used olive oil, but oil-based lubricants are much less commonly used these days. They can be incredibly long-lasting but should really be kept for external use only. Plus, it can’t be used with standard condoms as it breaks down and degrades them in as little as 30 seconds.

Stick to using the oils for erotic massages that move into sex, then grab yourself a water-based. If you already experience sensitivities with lube, we’d suggest staying away from oil bases.

This being said, oil-based lubes (as opposed to straight oil) are often recommended for those going through the menopause because they can be great for vaginal dryness and can soothe irritation. As always, patch test before splashing anything around!

ProsCons
Super slippery and slickNot for Internal Use – Cannot be absorbed like water-based options, which can lead to irritation
Great alternative for those who experience vaginal drynessBreaks down and degrades condoms – Natural lambskin and polyurethane (non-latex) condoms are compatible
It’s incredible for your skin! Petroleum jelly and natural oils like coconut and peanut can cause allergic reactions
Clean-up is much harder – it’s oil, after all!

When to use:

This lube is best used externally, so we’d recommend using oil-based options for erotic massages and transitioning from foreplay to sex.

It can be used for masturbation because of how slick it is, but we don’t recommend it for internal use as it can affect the pH balance and cause irritation.


So, now you’ve got the lowdown on all the different kinds of lube on the market, you should be able to buy the best one for you! Save this article for when you next need to buy some lubricant so you’ve always got the knowledge to hand.


1 comment
  1. Pippi
    Pippi
    November 18, 2023 at 12:56 pm

    Really love anal sex ! Plenty of lube as advised….I/ we find silicon lube the bestest
    Smooth passage into,and out of ….

    Reply
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