Lube (short for Lubricant, Duh…) is wonderful.
Seriously, for anyone who takes their sexual health and playtime seriously, lube is SUPER important. Everyone, regardless of sexuality, should have a little supply of quality lube in their bedside drawer. You don’t always need it, but a good lube will help prolong comfort, enhance slipperiness, and prevent irritation associated with friction. Basically, play will feel better, and you’ll (potentially) be able to go for longer, if you so desire!
(…as long as the added slippery pleasure doesn’t cause you to explode two strokes into your playtime…)
People that suffer from symptoms like painful sex and vaginal dryness may also benefit (in the short term) from using good quality lubes. Of course, It’s still very much worth seeing a knowledgeable health practitioner at a sexual health clinic if you experience pain during sex or any other issues.
Lube is especially important with any type of anal play. Maybe a bit (A LOT) of spit will do if a cheeky finger goes in during oral sex, but when we get to serious, or just prolonged, penetration of any kind… it’s time to break out the lube.
… and be generous with it.
“But Arlie, what products are available and which Lube should I use!?”
I’m glad you asked, my dear reader and fearless sex-positive explorer of pleasure. Below is my breakdown on your main options…
The Mama of all lubes, the MVP, the multitasking all-rounder, the Greatest… the Don Bradman or Michael Jordan, if you will. It’s easy to wash off (and out), generally won’t stain, is condom-safe, hydrating, won’t damage any toys you use, and is great for using if oral play is also on the menu. It gives a lovely slippery, wet feeling (obviously, as it’s made of water).
The downside to water-based lube is, you may need to reapply regularly as it may dry up or get a little sticky, which can be annoying when in the middle of a sexy massage or wild anal sex. Not a huge problem if you keep a bottle within arm’s reach, but a problem nonetheless. Even adding a little bit of water can give brief new life to the semi-dried lube.
Good quality water-based lubes tend to last a little longer before being absorbed and drying up, but will cost a slightly more. If you’re using it vaginally or with oral play, it works great as a supplement to any natural lubrication that’s going on.
I won’t lie, this stuff is slicker than The Fonz. If you spill it on a hard floor, you’ll have a major OH&S hazard. In short, silicone lube is incredible. It doesn’t dry up like water based lube can over time, and a little goes a LONG way (imagine how far a lot will go…). Rather than the wet, squishy splashy feeling of water-based lube, silicone has a more soft, slippery-smooth feeling to it… like a well-oiled machine (…because that’s what you are, you dream lover, you). It’s also condom-safe and great to use if long-lasting lubrication is an A1 priority.
But, it does have a few trade-offs.
While good quality silicone lube is inert and body-safe, it doesn’t always go away easily. It will take a little more effort (and soap) to wash off. It will eventually wash off, but you may feel a bit smooth and slippery for a little while after (as will your legs and feet if you’re in the shower). Again, while it’s body safe, it’s probably not best to ingest a whole lot during a wild oral session (that, and it’ll leave a strange film in your mouth which you might find unpleasant).
Likewise, if you spill it on any fabric or porous surfaces – it stains. So, keep the lid on and don’t use your in-laws’ special towels.
Importantly, many toys get destroyed by silicone lube! Don’t ever use your fancy silicone toys with silicone lube. Manufacturers usually write on the box to “Use with good quality water-based lubricant” for a reason. An exception to this are the delicious glass and stainless-steel toys that are very trendy now. Silicone them up and enjoy the glide!
Combo Lubes, Varieties and Additives :
There is a smorgasbord of Flavoured water-based lubes available, with are fantastic when doing oral play of any kind. I’d really recommend using these for butt play and rimming, as it can help reduce any anxiety you may have about gross tastes etc (even though you shouldn’t have to worry about that if you’re on top of your hygiene prep!). Shop around, there are heaps of brands and flavours available…
Just try to control yourself and try not to drink it out of the bottle.
Some Specialty lubes have additives which add some little extra feelings, such as heat/cold or tingly sensations. These are usually fine to use, especially if purchased from a quality sex boutique, and additives are generally body safe.
With any lubes with Additives, it’s worth trying them out first, as there is a small chance of irritation or allergic reactions. It’s not super common, but it can happen. If you’re paranoid (or just sensible), try them on some other soft skin areas before diving right into playtime. Higher quality lubes will have higher quality additives, and are more likely to be body-safe.
Combo silicone/water-based lubes can be a good middle ground if you’re after something a little less silicone-y, that feels a bit wetter and doesn’t dry up as much as a straight water-based variety. Another way of doing this is by making a do-it-yourself combo on the fly – just add a little of each from your cheeky collection of high-quality lubes!
One thing to also keep in mind is the Viscosity of the lube. If this is a new term for you, it’s basically how liquid-y the lubes consistency is.
(e.g. Water = Good for you, and virtually no viscosity Vs. Honey = Delicious and quite viscous)
Both silicone and water-based lubes come in a range from quite watery (especially some silicone lubes), to something you squeeze out of a tube, like toothpaste. It really comes to personal preference, but in my experience, a little viscosity serves to make it more manageable. I tend to aim for slightly less viscous than honey.
Just… Be careful.
While oil may often be good for your skin, smell amazing and feel fantastic, especially when a massage is involved, Oil-based lubes are not condom-safe. They will make your condom break without a doubt, and will destroy your favourite top-shelf, body-safe, silicone dildo. So, go for it, as long as you’re NOT using condoms, or silicone and rubber toys. Of course, glass and stainless-steel are A-Okay.
Unless you’re having condom-less sex with someone you trust, and have an understanding regarding birth control and STI status and risk, it’s best to not bother with oil-based lubes… that is, for anything other than sexy massages, and maybe handjobs, fingering etc. They don’t taste great either.
It’s important to note that oils can irritate your most sensitive bits, so it’s safer just avoiding them if you’re prone to problems which cause inflammation and painful genital irritation.
Note: Oils are present in other obscure things like Vaseline, moisturiser, baby oil, soaps, creams, cooking oils, or many other slippery household items that you deviants might use to lubricate your little friend (you cheeky thing, you). No judgement though…I went through puberty too. I understand, we’ve all been there. I’m here to help.
Again, and I stress:
Oils destroy condoms! Seriously, don’t use them if you’re trying to avoid pregnancy or STI risk. It ain’t worth it.
The Crux is:
Seriously, do it. Better quality lubrication makes everything work better (especially sex machines like you). Just go and shell out a few bucks for a bottle (or two) of good quality, purpose-made Lube. Your body (and your condoms, and your expensive sex toys, and your lover/s) will thank you.
Oh, and for those of you that were born with a penis:
Adding a little drop of condom-safe lube into the tip of a condom, just before rolling it on, will do great things for your pleasure while wearing said condom.
So, have a think of what you’re going to be doing down there, and decide for yourself. Or, build up a nice little collection, so you can decide at the time when the mood takes you. For the absolute beginner, I would recommend starting with simple water-based lube and go from there. You can usually get a good lube of either variety for fairly cheap from a pharmacy or supermarket, or slightly fancier ($$, but often higher quality) ones from sex boutiques. The good ones may even let you sample them (no, I don’t mean like that…)