Friction is fun, chafing is not – so check out our comprehensive guide to personal lubricants
When I was at college I worked part-time at an adult store, selling lingerie and sex toys. I applied for the position because I wanted to help people become more comfortable with themselves and their bodies, as well as answer any questions they were too embarrassed to ask their friends. A lot of those questions had to do with lube, because even though people know it’s associated with sex, many don’t actually think to use it, women especially.
There is still a prominent social stigma against women using lube – because it’s believed if a woman needs to use lube during sex it means there is something wrong with them, or their partner is not doing a good enough job to get them aroused. Sex educator Kate McCombs explained to Mic, “They erroneously assume that vaginal lubrication is in direct proportion to someone’s arousal. This isn’t always the case. Someone with a vagina can be super turned on, but not super wet. It’s not always linear.”
This is where lube comes in handy. It helps to reduce the friction of moving body parts during intercourse (both vaginal and anal) or it can be used to make personal play time even more fun! There are several different types of lube, all with their own pros and cons, so here are some quick guidelines to help you decide what works for you.
PROS: This type of lube is safe to use with condoms and toys, easily washes off and is usually inexpensive.
CONS: Water-based lubes dry out quickly as they absorb into the skin and need to be reapplied more often during intercourse.
PROS: This type of lube is very slick, waterproof, long lasting, and safe to use with latex condoms.
CONS: Silicone-based lubes will break down the material of silicone sex toys and cause permanent damage. Depending on the brand, they can also be more expensive compared to water-based.
PROS: This type of lube has a thicker consistency and is the longest-lasting throughout intercourse.
CONS: Oil-based lubes are NOT SAFE to use with latex condoms because they make the material porous which increases the risk of infection and can cause the condom to tear.
PROS: This type of lube is great for oral sex and comes in a variety of flavours.
CONS: Flavoured lubes can contain sugar which can lead to yeast infections, so double check before slapping some on!
PROS: This type of lube is available for individuals who are allergic to ingredients that can be found in water-based or silicone-based lubes.
CONS: Natural lubes may require the use of a specific type of condom.
Warming and Cooling
PROS: This type of lube can be fun to experiment with for new sensations.
CONS: Warming and cooling lubes should be tested before intercourse as they can sometimes lead to discomfort and some may not be suitable for use near the anal area.
Hopefully you’re now feeling clu(b)ed up; but before you go diving in for some sexy fun, remember these two important warnings:
DO NOT use substances that are not sexual lubricants as lube: Vaseline, baby oil, and the like can all break down condoms. They also contain chemicals that were not meant to go inside your body.
DO NOT use spit as lube: If the person has an STI in their mouth or throat they can pass it to you through their saliva.
With that in mind, go try out some lubes if you haven’t before, and see which ones you like best. Happy Fumbling!