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How to Choose the Best Lube for Sex: Types of Lubricants, Pros and Cons

Today, we're trying to find out what is the best lube for sex. Oil, natural, silicone, and water-based lubricants for sex are in the competition.

The truth is, at times sex is not always as romantic as it might seem in your favorite blockbuster movie or on a TV show. Sometimes, it is uncomfortable, uncoordinated, and could use a little sex lube in order to smooth things over. At times, a man is all ready to go but a woman is not just quite there, or she may not be able to stay physically wet during long-lasting sex. 

It is worth mentioning that there are many solutions to this common problem, such as using lubricated condoms; however, you will be surprised to know how far you could get with just a standard sex lubricant.

Buying sex lube, especially for women, can be, at best, embarrassing, and on many occasions, downright confusing. Particularly if the only kind of lube you have ever bought is from your nearest drugstore. 

And in case you have resigned yourself to using low-quality sex lube (or have avoided it completely), you probably have to experiment with a different type of lube.

What is lubricant used for?

Sometimes, women can experience moderate to severe vaginal dryness. The vagina doesn’t lubricate enough, which can lead to discomfort or pain. Vaginal dryness could also occur when women are undergoing chemotherapy, breastfeeding, or when they have been treated for issues like breast cancer.

This is why women prefer more lube than what their bodies provide. A sex lubricant can help in these circumstances. A sex lube is a gel or liquid that women and/or their partners may apply during sexual intercourse to make the vagina, vulva, or anal area wetter. 

In addition, lubricant could also be applied easily to a man’s penis or various sex toys in order to make them more slippery.

Types of sex lube

When shopping, you have various types of lube to choose from.

The most popular bases for lubes are:

  • Water
  • Silicone
  • Oil
  • Natural

Hybrid lubes are usually a combo of both silicone and water, and have both elements. Keep in mind that there are several different formulations that can perfectly suit your specific needs.

Water-based sex lubricants

These are considered the most common sex lubricants. They are available in different brands; also, they have no taste, feel like natural lubrication and are less likely to irritate your sensitive skin. In addition, these lubes do not interfere with oral sex. They are also inexpensive and easy to find. 

Since these lubes are based on water, they are quickly absorbed by your skin, and this might cause the sex lube to dry out a little quicker. 

In order to get rid of this issue, a lot of water-based lubricants have been carefully formulated with high-quality moisturizers like Carrageenan or Aloe Vera. These moisturizers help a great deal. This is because they soothe the skin, reduce dryness, and don’t interfere with your sexual experience.

Water-based sex lubes also have the added benefit of being totally condom-compatible, as opposed to a majority of oil-based sex lubes that tend to corrode latex or most old-school petroleum jelly based options.

However, you should watch out for one thing. A lot of water-based sex lubricants contain glycerin, which could lead to infections in women quite easily and can make post-sex clean-up necessary. The great thing is that water-based sex lubes are also compatible with a majority of sex toys; that being said, they are not ideal for the bath or shower (as they tend to wash right off) and they are also not very long-lasting.

A condom and lube for sex

Oil-based sex lubricants

In case you are the type who simply cannot be bothered with reapplying the lube at all when you get going, then this sex lube is an ideal gift that will keep you going and going. Oil-based sex lubes feel good and you could easily find them in the kitchen (olive and coconut oil work great).

And here is another pro tip. Oil-based sex lubes can easily double for fun and sexy massage time. However, the downside comes when you are using a latex condom. Keep in mind that this kind of sex lube can increase the risks of a torn or ripped condom, and defeats the condom’s purpose in the process as well as your good time.

In addition to that, oil-based sex lubes are also linked to higher rates for infections, like bacterial vaginosis. And another reason you may not want to use these lubes is your expensive sheets. This is simply because oil can stain sheets as well as clothing, making them very difficult to clean up.

Oil-based sex lubes may be considered ideal for couples who are in long-term relationships and do not require condom use and also for people who want to avoid certain preservatives and additives usually present in other lubricants.

Silicon-based sex lubricants

Lubricants based on silicone often contain no water. Note that this may be a big advantage to some while a disadvantage to others.

Silicone-based lubes tend to feel different than most other lubes, mainly since silicone isn’t absorbed by your skin, which is not the case with water or oil. This can give a whole new and exciting range of possibilities and spice up your sex life. As silicone is hypoallergenic, a majority of people will not experience a reaction. In addition, this type of sex lubes also tends to last longer.

This may be perfect for you if you are interested in something that has to be reapplied less often and is more long-lasting.

Natural lube

If you are concerned about what ingredients you are putting down there, then do not worry as natural lubes may be right for you. They have really cropped up in the last couple of years. Although it has its downsides, coconut oil is an extremely popular choice when it comes to natural lubes.

That being said, it can increase the risk of condom breakage and stain the sheets, as oils can break down the effectiveness of the latex. You would also want to be a little careful regarding cross-contamination if you are not cleaning the hands while you dip them in a jar of coconut oil that is also used for cooking.

How to use lube for sex

In case you are using a condom, once you put it on, apply the sex lube to the outside of your condom. While a little lubricant on your penis inside the condom maybe good, as well, you certainly do not want there to be too much. 

If you are, however, in a relationship and are using other forms of birth control and can skip the condoms, you can apply the sex lube directly to your vagina or penis. Note that lubing these parts is also ideal for foreplay. And in case you are having anal sex, you should focus on thoroughly lubing up your anus. In all cases, you can be liberal with lube, as there is often no such thing as too much lube when you are having anal sex.

Choosing lube for anal sex with a condom

What is the best lube for anal sex?

Often, thicker lubes are ideal for anal sex. This is because anal walls are more delicate and thinner compared to vaginal walls, and hence need a sex lube that could keep them slippery and oily in order to reduce the risks of tears and cuts inside your rectum. 

Overall, anal sex is deemed especially risky when it comes to STI transmission. This is why condom use is essential (unless you are in a long-term monogamous relationship, and both you and your partner have been tested). Also, this is why it is vital to make sure you use a sex lubricant that is latex-friendly.

Another thing that you should bear in mind is that your anus absorbs water quite quickly and could dry out quite easily when you are using any water-based lube. Hence, silicone-based sex lubes are often the best for anal sex. Basically anything in the kitchen, for example, coconut oil cannot be used with a condom.

Substances you should not use as a lube

You are going to find all types of options in the market when you go lube shopping. These include natural, flavored, warming, and tingling. Although many of these sex lubes could be fun, you should look at the ingredients and also perform a test for the pH value of different over-the-counter products using litmus strips.

Healthy vaginas have a pH level of about 3.5 to 4.5; hence, the sex lube you choose must also be about the same level. This is why you should always pay special attention to all the ingredients listed. And, there are some names you should avoid as they can cause inflammation or irritation. These include:

  • Nonoxynol-9
  • Glycerin
  • Petroleum
  • Chlorhexidine gluconate
  • Propylene glycol

Bear in mind: it's always better to use a proprietary, tested substance as a lube for sex. This will help you avoid allergies and get maximum pleasure from sex.

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/melissa-white/wetter-is-better-how-to-choose-the-best-lube_b_4598397.html
https://www.healthline.com/health/healthy-sex/lube-shopping-guide-types

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