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Everything You Need to Know About Lube

Everything You Need to Know About Lube

Everything You Need to Know About Lube

Photo: Shutterstock

Like an engine needs oil, sex needs lubrication. While some folks are naturally moist, many, if not most of us, need a little extra help of the bottled variety.  The fact is, a person can be dry as the Mojave and really turned on. Or they can be wet as the Pacific and indifferent. 

Lubrication helps increase sensation and reduce friction. So keep some nearby, for her pleasure and your peace of mind. There are four basic types of lubricants: Silicone-based, Water-based, Oil, and Glycerin. 


Water-based lube is the most popular. It’s cheap, easiest to find, good for toys, and generally okay for most bodies. Water-based lubes absorb into the body quicker than other kinds, however, so you may need to reapply as you go. This is especially true for anal sex, since the anus is so absorbent. Water-based lube also rinses away easily, so it’s not great for shower sex, but it makes for easy cleanup. Another downside is that many cheaper water-based lubes can contain a bunch of different fillers like parabens and glycerin. While not everyone minds these things, be sure to check the labels if you have sensitivities to these things.

  • Safe for toys
  • Will loose its lube-iness
  • Usually have to reapply

Sometimes loaded with other gunk, so learn to read labels. (For a good tutorial on reading Lube Labels check out my book Girl Sex 101)

Water-based brands to check out: Wet, Sliquid, Good Clean Love


Silicone lube is gaining popularity. It’s a large-moleculed polymer, which means it doesn’t get absorbed by the body, so it stays slippery forever.  I’m going to repeat that: It stays slippery for-ever. This means you’ll stay lube-y until you wash with soap and water. This can make for some weird squishy feelings the day after sex. It’s inert and won’t hurt you, but it can feel a little weird for some folks. It’s also great for shower sex, because it doesn’t rinse away easily, but BE CAREFUL, because it can make the shower floor or whatever super slick, and that’s dangerous. Another downside is that silicone lube degrades silicone toys, so if you’re using a dildo or vibe, stick with water-based or hybrid lubes.

  • Stays slippery forever
  • Generally-body safe
  • Don’t use directly on silicone toys

Silicone lube brands to try: Uberlube, Pjur


Hybrid lubes are the best of both worlds. They’re safe for toys and safe for most bodies, plus they wash away easier than pure silicone lubes. 

Hybrid brands we like: Liquid Silk, Sliquid Silk

Food grade oils

can be great for sex. Oil stays slippery, can taste good, and is generally safe for people who don’t have specific food allergies. Only use food-grade oils on your bits. No mineral oils or petroleum jellies! If you wouldn’t want it in your mouth, don’t put it in your twat. Also, be careful if you’re using oil in the shower or tub. Concussions aren’t sexy.

  • Safe for most bodies 
  • Edible and slippery
  • Not to be used with latex

More personal lubricant tips

When you’re buying lube, avoid stuff that comes in tubs (that you have to scoop out with your hands). Go for pump bottles (easy with one hand), squeeze bottles (easy to transport), or individual packets (sometimes hard to open, but handy in a pinch). If you do go with a tub, use a spoon, not your fingers. This will reduce risk for contaminating the lube with your juices (especially true if the coconut oil is going back in the pantry afterwards!!!)

Also, learn to read labels and find retailers you can trust. Many lubes come in packet form, too, so you can try before you invest in a 20-gallon tub of the stuff. It’s always nice to have a few different kinds so your sweetie can have options. 

Apply early and often for a fun, slippery, sexy time!



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