Lube 101

cleofaye's picture

Lube is one of the most important things (the most important being protection of all sorts of course) to have in your "drawer;" you know the one by your bed with all your sexual goodies in it. It can be your best friend, but shopping for it can be overwhelming. There are dozens of options out there, and it can be hard to know what you're looking for. Here's a breakdown of the pros and cons of different kinds of lube. In the spirit of full disclosure, I'll admit that I'm still on the search for the perfect lube. I've tried a half a dozen, and have yet to find the perfect combination of thick, slick, and long lasting.

Lube can be divided into three general categories: water based, silicone based, and oil based. If you read this blog at all, you may have figured out that I like all my information in bullet form... so here are some pros and cons of lubes in conveniently bulleted chunks of information.

Water based lube
- Safe to use with all toys and condoms
- Easy to find
- Cheaper
- Tends to be thin
- Can get gummy/sticky quickly
- Very easy clean up (just wash away with water)
- Astroglide, Maximus, Slippery Stuff (liquid and gel formulas)
-Best for
- Silicone or latex toys, vaginal sex, any time oral sex will be included

Silicone based lube
- Latex safe
- Thicker
- Long lasting
- Can't use on silicone toys
- Requires more clean up (needs soap and water)
- Is more expensive
- Eros, Wet Platinum
-Best for
- Anal penetration, latex toys, sessions that will not include oral

Oil Based lube (please god don't use these)
- Very Cheap
- Usually can be found around the house
- Very thick
- Doesn't dry out
- Breaks down latex (yes that means condoms too)
- Can cause reactions to skin (depends on what you use)
- Requires a lot of clean up
- Vaseline, Crisco
-Best for
- Fluid bonded sex, Fisting

So that's the breakdown. There are also a few hybrid formulas out there that are a combination of silicone and water based lubes. These combine both the pros and cons of the two types. They tend to be a bit expensive, and honestly I haven't found them to be worth the money. With the basics down, we're going to get down to business, cleofaye's dos and don'ts when picking out lube.

- DON'T be afraid to have a different lube for each different thing you want to do. Have a water based for your silicone toys, silicone based for butt sex, it's better to have more choices then not have the right kind of the right occasion. Consider the activity you intend to use it for before picking one out, not all lubes are good for all things.

- DO NOT use KY. EVER! Even if you live in Bumblefuck,Montana they at least carry Astroglide at CVS and Target and such. KY was developed as a medical lubricant, designed for one time insertion of things like catheters. It was not designed for the in and out of sex play. If gets sticky and gummy very quickly. Don't use it.

- I covered this last entry, but it's worth repeating. DON'T use Anal Ease, Good Head or other numbing agents. If something hurts, you shouldn't be doing it or you're doing something wrong. Numbing will only make you not realize something is wrong until it is too late. Look for anything that ends in "caine" (i.e. lidocaine) in the ingredients. It would also have an "active ingredient" label like OTC medications.

- If possible, DO patronize your local sex shop. They will have a much wider selection, and will be more likely to carry higher quality lubes. Depending on your store, they my also have a staff more then willing to help you pick out something that will work for your specific needs. (Though I've totally been in the sex stores with creepy guys behind the counter, if that's the case, I apologize, and encourage you to move to the closest city as soon as possible, if not, there's always the internet)

- DON'T forget taste. If you're using your lube in any activity that may end in your mouth, taste is a factor. Most silicone lubes taste awful. I also don't recommend flavored lube, unless of course, you enjoyed the taste of those artificially flavored medicines you had to take as a child. Most water based lubes taste pretty mild or completely neutral.

- DO try it out. Again, if you have a good sex shop locally, you should be able to feel/taste lubes before you buy them and take them home. If you can't try them out in the store, most lubes have a 2ish oz size that allows you to try something new without too much expense or waste if you decide it isn't for you.

- If you want to have safe sex, DON'T use oil based lube. It breaks down latex and makes condoms, gloves, dental dams and the like completely useless.

- DON'T think everything in the house is a possible lube. Lubes that you buy are designed for that purpose. They are pH balanced to not throw off vaginal pH. They are formulated to not react to most skin types. I have heard horror stories of people using things like antibacterial gel and their ass burning for hours. Food can go rancid inside the body if not washed out well enough. Do yourself a favor, use something specific for that purpose. Play it safe. Those 2oz bottles are perfect to fit in a purse, so you're not caught lacking.

So now, armed with knowledge, go out in the world and fuck like bunnies, just make sure you have the right, safe lube with you! This is cleofaye saying, as always, when in doubt, just ask, and when you're unsatisfied, give direction!


Orignially posted on Sex etc... my sex blog

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I'm really happy that you posted this

arvan's picture

There is so much information in here.  Honest, factual and clearly written.  I think that what you're doing with Sex, etc... is absolutely wonderful.  Thanks so much fo writing and for the contribution you are making.

I am also quite impressed that you noticed your recent (yesterday) inclusion on the blogroll.  Very nicely done.  Of course, you earned it - 100%.


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