Contrary to popular belief, personal lubricant isn’t just for when things dry up in the middle of sex (though it can certainly help with that). Lube can actually be stimulating, making sex more pleasurable even if you’re already making plenty of moisture on your own.
So, whether you're a guy or a girl, and wherever you fall on the spectrum of sexual preferences, it’s a good idea to get educated about the best lubes to keep sex fun for you.
Types of Personal Lubricants
Before we get into the nitty-gritty about the best types of lubricants for different activities, let’s review the different types of lubricants currently on the market. Every lubricant adds a little something different, so pinpointing the right lube for you and your partner may involve a little...experimentation. First and foremost, you’ll want to pay attention to what your lubricant is made of.
If you’re going to be using a condom, water-based lubricants are your friend. This versatile lubricant type has been shown to reduce condom breakage. It also has the added benefit of not staining your sheets while washing off quickly and easily in the shower.
Ideal for sensitive skin, these hypoallergenic lubricants are extremely gentle and comfortable yet are still safe to use with condoms. They are also more durable than water-based lubricants. This means that you can go longer between applications. The biggest downside to silicone-based lubricants is that they don’t pair well with silicone toys — they will degrade them over time.
This long-lasting lubricant is perfect for those couples who get lost in what they’re doing once they get started. Oil-based lubricants rarely need to be reapplied; they last a long time. However, oil-based lubricants are harder to clean up and can occasionally cause tears in condoms. Oil-based lubricants are also associated with increased risks of infections, so if you have sensitive skin, steer clear.
If you’re against putting synthetic materials in your body, you’ll want to research the different types of natural lubricants that have been cropping up in recent years.
Keep in mind that anything can be marketed as a natural lubricant as long as it’s made from all-natural materials. In other words, natural doesn’t necessarily mean that a lubricant will be gentle on your skin. In fact, some natural lubricants have been shown to cause tears in condoms or lead to infections, similar to some synthetic lubricants. When buying natural lubricants, look for short ingredient lists and do your research!
Best Personal Lubricants for Your Favorite Sex Toys
Not all sex toys are created equally, so it should come as no surprise that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution to lubricants for them. The best lubricants for your sex toys depend equally on what the toy is made of and how you are going to be using it. For now, though, let’s talk about the best lubricants based on what the toys are made of. Keep reading to make sure your chosen lubricant is also compatible with the type of sex you enjoy!
Best Personal Lubricants for Plastic Sex Toys
Plastic is one of the more basic materials for sex toys. You’ll often find this material with toys like bullets that don’t need a lot of flexibility to provide a good time. Silicone and water-based lubricants pair best with plastic sex toys.
Best Personal Lubricants for Silicone Sex Toys
The most important thing to keep in mind when using silicone sex toys is that silicone and silicone don’t mix. These toys are soft, supple, and comfortable, but silicone-based lubricants can quickly damage their surface texture. Instead, reach for water- or oil-based lubricants for a good time!
Best Personal Lubricants for Glass Sex Toys
Don’t let fear prevent you from enjoying the pleasure that glass sex toys can bring. These toys are actually incredibly sturdy and are wonderful if you enjoy temperature play, as they can be cooled or warmed easily. They’re also super easy to clean and — best of all — they can be used in conjunction with any type of lube.
Best Personal Lubricants for Metal Sex Toys
Like glass, metal is non-porous and therefore easy to clean. It’s also safe to use with all types of lubricants. Metal toys can be used for temperature play, but they are more commonly used for weighted play or as massagers.
Best Personal Lubricants for Your Favorite Kinds of Sex
The type of sex you enjoy can do a lot to dictate the type of lubricant you choose. Any type of lubricant can be used for vaginal sex, provided your vagina isn’t super sensitive. For other types of sex, specific lubricants may be more or less appropriate.
Best Personal Lubricants for Oral Sex
When it comes to oral sex, it’s all about the flavor. Edible lubricants are designed specifically to make oral sex more pleasurable. Not only do they taste good, but they also activate your salivary glands, making you produce more of your own moisture while performing oral sex on your partner.
Best Personal Lubricants for Anal Sex
The right lubricant is especially important when it comes to anal sex since the butt cannot self-lubricate. Keep in mind that saliva is not enough to keep the anus moist throughout anal sex. Not only that, but saliva contains a lot of bacteria, so if you’re trying to moisten the area with spit, you can cause infections for both you and your partner.
Instead, reach for silicone- or oil-based lubricants. These long-lasting lubricants will ensure things stay pleasurable, not painful. Silicone-based lubricants are usually sufficient, but if you’re going to be introducing toys at any point, oil-based may be a better bet for you and your partner.
Best Personal Lubricants for Shower Sex
Shower sex can make for great, steamy fun…but all that water can also wash away any natural lubrication your body produces on its own, making it more important than ever that you have the right lubricant on hand.
Water- and oil-based lubricants won’t work in this situation; the shower will wash them off before they have a chance to do their job. Instead, reach for a silicone-based lubricant, which is powerful enough to stand up against the running water and keep you friction-free throughout.
Take a Look: Waterproof Vibrators
Best Personal Lubricants While Masturbating
When it comes to masturbating, your anatomy is the best deciding factor as to the type of lubricant you should use. If you have a penis, you’ll want to reach for silicone or oil-based lubricants, as you can use these for longer periods of time without chafing. If you have a vagina, you’re better off with water-based lubricants as they’re closer to what your body naturally produces. Masturbating is also a fun time to experiment with sensual lubricants that tingle or warm, allowing you to determine whether you like the sensation before bringing them into the bedroom.
How to Properly Apply Lubrication?
There’s no right or wrong way to apply lubrication! Do what feels good, and apply lube to any part of your body that feels a little dry or could use a little extra stimulation.
You don’t have to apply lube a certain amount of time before you start having sex, and it’s perfectly okay to keep the bottle or tube on hand and add it on as needed throughout activities. One hint is to warm lubricants in your hands before applying them to your sensitive regions. Sometimes, you can even work that into sex. For example, oil-based lubes can be used as massage oils during foreplay and then slowly worked into more sensuous areas.
Things to Look Out for When Buying Personal Lubricants
When buying personal lubricants, there are certain things you want to keep an eye out for. For example, if you plan to use lube in conjunction with condoms, you want something that is latex, rubber and plastic-friendly. Silicone-based and water-based lubricants work best for this!
For women, you’ll want to check the ingredient list of your lubricant. Your vagina should always have a PH balance between 3.5 and 4.5, which means your lube should be in that zone as well. Otherwise, you run the risk of contracting bacterial vaginosis or urinary tract infections. Trying to conceive? Look for lubricants marked as “sperm-friendly.” Some lubricants have been shown to reduce fertility chances, while others are perfectly safe to use while trying to get pregnant.
Keep Sex Comfortable With the Best Personal Lubricants
When you invest in quality personal lubricants, you’re investing in comfortable, safe sex between you and your partner. Here at JimmyJane, we sell a variety of FDA-cleared lubricants for all of your intimate needs. Whether you’re looking for a lubricant to use on your toys or a sensational warming lubricant to enhance your most pleasurable moments, we have what you need to take your sexual enjoyment to the next level!
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14 Ways to Incorporate Lube Into Your Sex Life. (July 2020). Cosmopolitan.
Everything You Need to Know About Maintaining Your Vaginal pH Balance. (July 2019). Healthline.
Top Sperm-Friendly and Natural Lubricants for Fertility. (July 2020). VeryWell Family.