HOW TO CHOOSE THE PERFECT SEX TOY
Part 3: Lubricants
Your Questions …
What is the best kind of lube?
Can I use silicone-lube with my toys?
Why is water-based lube so popular?
What kind of lube is best for anal sex?
Why do people need lube?
Welcome back, wonderful readers! Today we’re on part three of our four-part series on How to Choose the Perfect Sex Toy.
Part 1: Sex Toy Materials
Part 2: Sex Toy Functions
Part 3: Choosing a Lubricant
Part 4: Cleaning & Hygiene
This is an entire article solely based on choosing the right kind of lubricant for you, your needs and your toys. There are four main types of lube as well as several common variations on the four types. So, let’s dive right in.
Using Lube is Perfectly Normal
The world seems to have some strange misgivings about those of us who are lube-lovers or those of us who prefer or need lubricants. However, as any thoroughly sexually aware person should know, a good rule of thumb is the wetter the better. We couldn’t agree more! From solo sex to anal sex, a little lube goes a long way!
As Dr. Myrtle Wilhite has stated “Your genital skin is very sensitive. It cradles the nerve endings that allow you to experience touch and other sensation. And although skin is strong, it can be harmed by vigorous rubbing … often the body doesn’t have enough wetness or protection to last for an entire intimate episode.” (Wilhite, 2008)
There are some body parts create their own natural lubricant, like the vagina. However, the body only makes so much, and it often doesn’t last as long as we’d like. Therefore, adding a few squirts of your favourite lubricant into the erotic equation often makes for a much smoother, sexier experience.
Lubricants are specifically designed to help make sex wetter and more enjoyable, so let’s put all of those countless hours of design and effort into use!
What Types of Lubricants are There?
Great question, pleasure crew! There are four main types of lubricants as well as several different variations.
***Pro Tip*** Always check the ingredients listed on the back to make sure of what you’re putting in or on your body.
Lubes are either thick or thin and both have wonderful qualities.
Thick lubes often last longer, provide a more comfortable feeling by reducing friction (hello, anal fun) and are known for staying where you put them.
Thin lubes often allow you to feel more sensation than their thicker counterparts all while still reducing friction. These are ideal to “kick start” your moisturizing process.
Let’s get into the nitty-gritty and start with the most common types.
When reading the ingredients, the first ingredient should be aloe or water. If glycerine is the first ingredient, odds are it’ll be very thick. Glycerine can also irritate sensitive skin (further information below.) Some of the product highlights for water-based lubes are:
- It is the most commonly manufactured therefore there is a huge variety out there often with a lower price point
- Usually feels cool on the skin initially but can get sticky after a little while
- If it dries out, you can reactivate it by simply adding more water
- Washes off the body easily and quickly
- Does not stain your sheets
- Comes in a wide variety of flavours and sensations
- Compatible with any toy or condom
The ingredients that end in “cone” or “ol” (dimethicone, dimethiconol, etc) should be some of the primary ingredients. Many of you may remember from our Anal 101 series that silicone-based lubes are the best for anal play but that’s not all it’s good for:
- Creates long-lasting glide and does not dry out easily
- Great for sensitive skin since silicone is hypoallergenic
- No sticky feeling
- Ideal for use in water (shower, pool, etc.)
- Can be used with latex, rubber, glass and many other toy materials
- Can be used for all-over body massages however takes some time to wash off
- Known to leave marks on sheets
Cannot be used with silicone-based toys or devices
You’ll often find a water-based lube with a silicone ingredient hidden in there somewhere. However, these lubricants are usually easy to spot since they appear white or almost creamy. These lubes have some unique benefits:
- Does not feel sticky, unlike the typical water-based lubricant
- While it feels slippery, it is thin enough for a lot of sensation to come through
- Leaves skin feeling silky and soft when it dries due to its moisturizing and hydrating nature
- Compatible with many toy materials but not silicone
Plant-Based or Natural Lubes
These lubes are pretty versatile and run from a liquid to a gel. They’re made from a blend of plant-based products rather than some sort of petroleum derivatives. Be aware that some contain a form of glycerine that comes from vegetable oil so it may not be ideal for all users. These are great for our holistically sexy friends and offer a range of benefits:
- Very smooth glide and feels silky smooth
- May include aloe in their ingredients that give it healing and moisturizing properties
- Can have a warming sensation or be flavoured
Most formulas are compatible with all toy materials (check the label to be sure)
You’re well on your way to choosing the perfect lube! There are just a few other common variations on these products that we want you to know about to optimize your sexy time.
Remember that these two things have different definitions!
This is a type of seaweed that makes lubes feel extra slippery. It has been said that it helps repair vaginal tissue and can relieve vaginal dryness.
A common preservative found in countless beauty products, many people with sensitive skin can have a negative reaction to paraben so this may be something to look for.
This ingredient is wonderful at retaining moisture, it is very common in water-based lubes. However, glycerine mimics sugar which can throw off your vagina’s pH balance if you’re a bit sensitive. This can lead to some women getting vaginal irritation or even yeast infections.
While this product does not contain parabens or preservatives, it cannot be used with any latex condoms or any oil-based lubricants. Also, it has been known to be difficult to get out of your sheets. On the bright side, it has both antibacterial and antifungal properties and is edible!
This is probably the most common variation among water-based lubricants. Adding the flavouring to lubricants increases the fun of oral sex and can be used for penetrative sex. However, check the ingredients and make sure it doesn’t have a lot of sugar knockoffs inside!
These lubricants often contain ingredients to help increase blood flow or to create a specific sensation. These can be warming, cooling, or anything of the type! They are designed to increase sensation for both partners.
A Note About Female Arousal Gel
The clitoris already contains over 8,000 nerve endings, imagine all of those being stimulated and electrified by one or two drops of gel!
Also known as a clitoral stimulant this kind of gel increases blood flow into whatever areas it is applied to (can also be used for nipples, however, we discourage using it for penetrative sex.) It increases sensitivity to a level that can be difficult to even imagine!
These gels are highly powerful but can be a bit difficult to find!
***Pro-Tip*** For the most advanced in providing themselves with clitoral pleasure, warm yourself up, then put a drop or two on your finger and apply to your clitoris. Turn on your favourite vibrator or sucking vibrator (highly recommended) and take yourself for an incredible ride!
That’s all for now, folks!
Get out there, get in there and get off there
Elaine S. Turner
Sex Coach, Clinical Sexologist & Sexuality Educator
Adcox, M. (2017, November 23). Your Guide to Lube for Sex: Types, How to Use, and More. Retrieved August 10, 2020, from https://www.healthline.com/health/healthy-sex/lube-shopping-guide-types
Derrow, P. (2015, July 28). How to Choose a Personal Lubricant: Pros and Cons of Water-Based, Oil-Based, and Silicone-Based Lubricants. Retrieved August 10, 2020, from https://www.berkeleywellness.com/self-care/sexual-health/article/how-choose-sexual-lubricant
Targonskaya, A., M.D. (2020, March 17). How to Choose the Best Lube for Sex: Types of Lubricants, Pros and Cons. Retrieved August 10, 2020, from https://flo.health/menstrual-cycle/sex/sexual-health/how-to-choose-lube
This is What Clitoral Jolt Gel Feels Like. (2018, April 16). Retrieved August 10, 2020, from https://unboundbabes.com/blogs/magazine/this-is-what-clitoral-jolt-gel-feels-like
Wilhite, M., M.D. M.S. (2008, October 08). How to choose a lubricant. Retrieved August 10, 2020, from https://sexualityresources.com/ask-dr-myrtle/sexual-process-act-4-penetration/how-choose-lubricant