Are You Confused About Lube?

Lube Lubricant Buying Shopping Guide to Intimate Sex Sexual Lubricants Peepshowtoys

Are You Confused About Lube?


There seems to be a dizzying array of personal lubricants to choose from these days and that's actually a good thing.  More choices means you're bound to find something you like.  But it can also be confusing when trying to choose what kind of lube you should buy.  So, here are some of the basics.

Silicone-based lube tends to be slicker and longer lasting than water-based lube.  There generally aren't any worries about chemicals with silicone-based lubes like there can be with water-based lube.  The fewer ingredients it has, the better. Most have three to four.  

It doesn't wash away as easily as water-based lube but that makes it perfect for sexual activity in the shower, bath, hot tub or, wherever it's wet.  Some silicone-based lube can stain fabrics so, that's one thing to be aware of.  

It is generally advised that you not use silicone-based lube with silicone sex toys because it can degrade the toy.  This isn't always true though.  I have successfully used high grade silicone-based lube with high quality silicone toys, without any damage occurring.  If you want to take the chance then always do a spot test on the base of the toy.  But if you want to play it safe then only use water-based lube with silicone toys.  Silicone-based lube is compatible with latex condoms.

When choosing a water-based lube, there are more things to consider – mostly the ingredients.  I personally recommend that water-based lube with glycerin, propylene glycol and parabens be avoided.  It is thought that glycerin can cause yeast infections in those who are prone to them.  Also, when a lube has both glycerin and propylene glycol (which is a petrochemical) as its first ingredients, it's likely to be hyper-osmotic.  For an explanation of what omolality is and why it's an important factor when choosing water-based lubes, you can check out this review of System JO AGAPÉ lube.  Just know, in simplest terms, hyper-osmotic lubes are bad for the vagina.

Parabens should be avoided because some people have allergic reactions to them and studies have shown them to be carcinogenic.  Though at the concentrations found in personal lubricants, parabens aren't likely to cause cancer.  But why use a lube that contains them when there are options out there that don't?  Some of those options are Sliquid's line of lubes.  All of their lube formulas are glycerin, paraben and propylene glycol free.  Plus, the osmolality and pH of their lubricants are within a healthy range for the vagina.  Good Clean Love Almost Naked is another vagina-friendly lube that I love.  All water-based lubes are compatible with latex condoms.

Hybrid lubes are just what you'd expect, a mixture of water-based and silicone-based lube.  Hybrid lubes try to give you the best of both worlds and there are a few that I really like, Sliquid Organics Silk being one of them.  

They are basically water-based lube with a small amount of silicone added to improve performance.  Since the amount of silicone is so small, it's usually safe to use hybrid lube with silicone sex toys but as always, when in doubt, do a spot test on the base of the toy.

You should also check hybrid lubes for the same ingredients that are best avoided in water-based lubes and hybrid lubes are latex condom compatible.

There are some lubricants that are specifically made for anal play.  The anus does not self lubricate like the vagina and so, a thicker lubricant is needed to help protect the delicate tissue.  These lubes tend to be more gel-like.  You can find them in both water-based and silicone-based varieties.  Sliquid Sassy is a good water-based lube to try for anal play.

I tend to not recommend oil-based lube because it is thought that it traps bacteria in the vagina and leads to infections. You don't find nearly as many oil-based lube options as you do water-based and silicone-based.  They can be perfectly fine for penile masturbation and anal sex but they are not compatible with latex condoms.  

I just advise that you keep oil-based lube away from the vagina. If you are going to use it, avoid any that contain petroleum oils and look for lubes made of plant oils that are specifically meant to be used as a sexual lubricant.  In other words, don't try to use cooking oil or anything like that. If you want to try an oil-based lube, I've been hearing good things about Coconu Coconut Oil-Based Organic Personal Lubricant.

So, now that you know some lube basics, you can hopefully find one (or more) that's perfect for you.  I like different lubes for different things.  For sex with my husband, we always use silicone-based lube because it's slicker and lasts longer than water-based lube.  When I'm masturbating with sex toys I almost always use water-based or, sometimes hybrid lube because they're easier to clean up and I want to play it safe with my silicone toys.

I mention Sliquid several times in this post and no, they didn't pay me to write this.  I just feel completely confident in recommending their products and they make every kind of lube you could want. They even have flavored lubes that aren't disgusting.  I love using the Sliquid Swirl flavored lubes for fellatio.  Like me, you might also find that you prefer different lubes for different sexual activities.  That's why it's great to have so many options. 

Dizzy is a straight-talking, no-nonsense sex toy reviewer and blogger at Toy Meets Girl.  She doesn't sugarcoat her reviews because she truly wants to help people find sex toys that they'll love. She's a pretty average middle-age married woman and also a huge nature geek.  When not testing sex toys she can be found caring for the flora and fauna around her home. 


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