What Type of Lube Should You Use for Different Types of Sex?

Almost anyone who masturbates or enjoys partnered sex has a bottle of personal lubricant on hand, and for a good reason. It makes sex more comfortable and fun.

But you may be fuzzy on the details. You may wonder, "Which lubes can you use with silicone toys?" or "Which lubricant works with condoms?" Not to worry. Read on to find out the answers and more.

Why Use Personal Lubricant?

lubricants for sex toys

Lube is an essential tool to have on hand for anyone who has sex for the following reasons. 

Less Pain

A lubricant is an essential tool for penetrative sex, as it makes the receiving partner more comfortable and less likely to experience pain. It is essential for anal sex since the anus does not naturally produce lubricant and can experience tears during sex if not properly lubricated.

More Fun

It's important to remember that lubricant is about more than avoiding pain. It can also make your sexual experiences more enjoyable. Plain lubricant can reduce friction, allowing for faster and deeper penetration. Lubricants with added skin stimulants can make your sensations even more intense.

Make Toys Even Better

You may only think of lubricants in the context of partnered sex, but they can also be great with toys, both during partnered and solo play. Toys used for penetration, such as dildos or wand vibrators, benefit from lube use by making insertion more comfortable and reducing friction. It's also crucial for sleeves and strokers. Lubes with stimulants can make vibrators and other toys even more intense.

Make Condoms More Effective

Water-based and silicone-based lubricants can make condoms less likely to break, increasing their effectiveness as a contraceptive and preventing STIs.

What Are the Different Types of Lubes?

silicone water based

While there are infinite formulations for lube, some commonly used bases are used. 

Oil-Based Lubes

Oil-based lubricants can be some of the most slippery and long-lasting lubes out there. However, they are also the hardest to work with. Because the oil tends to stay on the skin, it can irritate if not properly washed off after an encounter. Oil-based lube can be challenging to remove from fabric, and It also isn't the right choice if you use latex condoms, as it can degrade them due to friction. 

Water-Based Lubes

Water-based lubricants are generally the most affordable and versatile lubricants out there. They tend to be better tolerated by people with sensitive skin, and they're safe to use with toys and condoms. Water-based lubricants absorb into your skin with time and thus need to be reapplied more often than other choices.

Silicone-Based Lubes

Silicone-based lubricants offer a luxuriously slippery feeling. It lasts longer because silicone isn't as easily absorbed into the skin as water. Silicone is safe for use with condoms, but it isn't an excellent choice for silicone toys, as the friction can cause the toys to degrade more quickly. Like oil-based lubricants, it can stain clothes or sheets, but to a lesser extent. 

Stimulating Lubes

The above formulas for lube can contain stimulating additives that can increase sensation for one or both partners. Depending on the ingredients added, these lube can add a warming sensation, cooling sensation, or tingling sensation. Many increase blood flow to the areas they contact, increasing arousal and thus increasing any natural lubrication. 

The Best Lubricant for Every Situation: What Are the Differences Between Lubes?

intimate lubricant sex toy

Different sexual situations often call for other lubricants. Here are some suggestions for the best lubes in a variety of conditions. 

Anal Sex

Because the anus does not create its lubricant, it is essential to have thicker lube that is not constantly reapplied. To this end, the best anal lubes are usually silicone-based or oil-based lubricants, although thicker high-quality water-based lubes can also do the job. You'll want to avoid stimulating lubricants as they can cause irritation in most cases. 

Sex Using Silicone Toys

The best lube for silicone toys is not silicone! Silicone-based lubricants can cause friction that can wear down silicone toys. Oil-based lubricants can also cause more friction with your toys and can be harder to clean off, so you may want to use water-based lubes for your silicone toys to have the most extended lives possible. 

Sex Using PVC Toys or Rubber Toys

Toys made with PVC or rubber are porous, meaning they are harder to clean and trap microbes. Use water-based lubricants with these toys to make cleaning up easier. 

Sex Using Condoms

Use water-based or silicone-based lubes with condoms regardless of the materials they're made of. Oil-based lubes can cause friction that can tear your condoms, making them less effective at preventing pregnancy or avoiding STIs. 

Shower Sex

If you love getting steamy in the shower, a silicone-based lubricant is your best friend. It doesn't wash off with water alone, so you'll be able to stay slippery the whole time. 

Spicing Things Up

You have a tried-and-true plain lube, but you're interested in a new sensation. Give a stimulating lubricant a try. You may want to experiment with different formulations — cooling, warming, or tingling — until you find one that hits the spot. Note that for anal sex, you should stick to plain lube, as the anal cavity is susceptible and can tear.

What To Look For in Lubricants?

sex toys cleaners lubricants

Not just any goo will do. As a picky consumer, you want the best. Here's what to look for in your lubricants. 

FDA-Cleared Formulas

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates lubricants as medical devices. Lubricants sold in the U.S. should advertise that they are FDA-cleared. For peace of mind, avoid products that do not have this labeling. 

A Full Ingredient List

Because lubricants are technically medical devices in the U.S., lube companies do not have to list all their ingredients. We recommend sticking with lubes that do list all their components. This indicates transparency and allows you to inspect any additives you don't want in your body. 

Avoid Allergens

This is an obvious but important reminder. If you have any skin allergies or sensitivities, you'll want to avoid lubricants that contain ingredients that could trigger them.

Avoid Suspicious Ingredients

In general, you'll want to avoid dyes and sparkles, as they're unnecessary and can cause irritation. You do not want a sexual encounter to be when you discover your skin is sensitive to a mystery ingredient.

The Right Consistency

Depending on what you're using lubricants, you may want a thicker or thinner consistency. For example, a lube you use to masturbate may not need to be as comprehensive as a lube you use during penetrative sex. You may also find that you have a personal preference.

Save Your Sheets

If you have a lovely bedspread you like to use for your romps, a lubricant's likelihood of staining your bedding may be a real consideration. Water-based lubricants tend to be the easiest to wash out but make sure to read reviews for others' experiences, as certain additives could still cause staining.

A Nice Smell

While you don't want to buy a lube chock-full of artificial scents, you will want one that smells pleasant, or that is odorless. It stinks that don't agree with you can pull you out of the mood fast, which is an essential factor. 

JimmyJane's Line of Premium Lubes

antibacterial toy cleaner

Now that you've learned all about the benefits of lube and the best kinds for every situation, here are some recommendations for buying sex lubricants. 

JimmyJane has a line of well-crafted, FDA-cleared lubricants designed to make your intimate moments even more memorable.

Toy Lubricant

Are you looking for the best lube for dildos? JimmyJane's Toy Lubricant is water-based and designed to wash off your toys easily. The thick formula works with partners as it does with your toys. 

Intimate Lubricant

JimmyJane's Intimate Lubricant is a classic water-based lubricant that doesn't leave a sticky feeling. It's made using only a handful of ingredients, making it an excellent choice for anyone with sensitive skin.

Sensation Lubricant

JimmyJane's Sensation Lubricant is a water-based, stimulating lubricant that will increase blood flow wherever it touches. Made with ginkgo biloba and red clover, it naturally delivers a delicious tingling sensation. And, because it's water-based, it works as well with your toys as it does with a partner. 

Silicone Lubricant

JimmyJane's Silicone Lubricant is a luxuriously long-lasting formula perfect for penetration. If you like sex in the shower, this is the one for you. It's also one of the best lubes for anal sex.

Go Forth and Stay Wet

Now that you know the benefits and types of lubes, you can get lubricated and get going! With so many choices available for lube, you may want to stock two or three options on your nightstand. 

References:

Does additional lubrication reduce condom failure?. (March 1996). Contraception. 

Product Classification: Lubricant, Personal. (March 2022). U.S. Food & Drug Administration.

Should the Food and Drug Administration regulate lube?. (Accessed March 2022). Hopes & Fears.

How to Lubricants Sex Tips

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