Your guide to getting wet.
If you’ve ever choked down a dry, butterless piece of toast, you probably understand the unpleasantness of lube-less sex. If you’re like millions of other vagina-owners who’ve spent years wading through the deep waters of sexual shame that say you’re either self-soaking or you’re a useless, dried-up sandbox (ahem, Ms. Rousey), then you’ve probably also choked down that dry, butterless piece of toast with a fake smile plastered on your face all “Mmm, yes, this is delicious -- this doesn’t feel like dry-shaving my legs at all….”.
Whether you’re gushing at first glance or squeezing every last drop out of a bedside bottle, wetter is better when it comes to sex. Lubricants reduce tissue-tearing friction, enhance sexual pleasure, and are essential when it comes to sexing with tushies or toys. Here’s how to shop for the best body-butter to slather on your toasty bits:
Water-Based or Silicone?
Most lubricants are water-based meaning they’re latex- and toy-safe and eventually absorb into the skin. Water-based lubes vary in consistency from a thin lubey layer (like Blossom Organics) to a cushioning gel (like Sliquid Sassy).
Silicone lube (like Uberlube) is made of molecules too large to absorb into the skin, so this thinner, super-slick slippery stuff literally won’t quit, requiring a soap-and-water clean-up afterwards. Though latex- and body-safe (no, it’s not the scary silicone of exploding breast implants), silicone lube can permanently damage silicone toys like vibrators and dildos by bonding to the toy’s surface and causing toxic run-off. First choice for some people’s anal explorations but just too damn monsoon-like for some lube users, you’ll either love it or hate it.
Coconut Oil & Friends
Oil-based lubes like Yes Oil Based can be great on post-menopausal vaginal tissues as it promotes elasticity and lasts longer than water-based. Coconut oil has gained traction with the organic granola-lovers in your sex life but not all coconut oils are made equally so safety studies are mixed. No matter your oil, it will break your latex barriers like gloves and dental dams faster than you can say “Shit!” so keep your condoms and coconuts separate.
Read the Bottle
The queer community loves shirking labels but when it comes to lube you should read them. Many commercial lubes contain nasties like glycerin (leaves a sticky residue; can trigger yeast infections) and propylene glycol (can damage mucous membranes leading to increased risk of STI transmission). Lube should enhance your pleasure, not your number of yeast infections endured, so get picky about what you put on your pussy. Many lubes like Yes Water Based, Good Clean Love and Sliquid Organics are free of these ingredients and organic.
Taste the Rainbow
Telling your partner to eat your cherry pie can be fun and all, but flavored lubes are more often foe than friend when it comes to your body. Fake flavoring often means more glycerin (see above) and other sugary additives famous for throwing off the vagina’s natural pH balance and breeding bad bacteria in the booty. If you simply must lick a lollipop-flavored labia, Sliquid Swirl’s flavored lubes are all-natural and glycerin-free.
Same goes for warming and/or cooling lubes - while commercial varieties tend to up the additive ante, natural versions like Sliquid Organics Warming or Aloe Cadabra Peppermint can cause a pleasant tingle without an irritating tangle.
Not all lubes are created equally and, conveniently, neither are all sex lives. All bodies are as different as what we like to do to pleasure them so when shopping for your sexy sauce, think about what you want to do with it. No one’s butthole self-lubricates so lube is essential for all anal play - some people prefer the lasting power of silicone for this, others like the extra-cushioning patootie-padding that comes with a gel lube like Sliquid Sassy. Never use numbing lubes which turn off your body’s ability to tell you something is wrong.
A water-based lube pairs perfectly with sex toys and goes far in reducing silicone-to-skin friction. All types of lubes are great for vaginal play and penetration with the preference of consistency and ingredients completely up to you and your partner.
No Shame in Your Lube Game
Our body’s self-made lubricant trickles or flows based on all kinds of natural factors like diet, sleep, hydration, and mood. Hitting the lube bottle is the first step to throwing an awesome pleasure-party so don’t be scared to get sauced with the slippery stuff. And if your partner tries to throw shaming shade? Make them dry toast for breakfast.