Lotions & Potions: A Primer On Lube
Lubricants are Probably One of Every Adult Store’s Biggest Sellers. And it’s Easy to See Why... Research shows that people who use lubricant (aka lube) actually have better sex lives and orgasms. But when you start looking for lube, you’ll find there are so many different types – silicone lubes, flavored lubes, oil lubes, water-based lubes and so forth. It’s hard to stay on top of what each one does and what the right mix for you is. It’s essential that you know the differences between each so you can buy the right type of lube for your own slip-n-slide needs.
What Is Lube Exactly?
First things first, it helps to know what you’re talking about. A lubricant is a substance that reduces friction between moving parts. And when it comes to our own “moving parts,” lube can add a whole new dimension to sexual pleasure. By reducing friction and increasing the slide in our sensitive areas, sex and masturbation ratchet up to a whole new level of OMG.
Lube vs. Glide
You may have noticed some lubes are packaged as a “personal glide.” So what is the difference between a glide and a lubricant? Well, we’ll tell you. In order for a product to be labeled “lubricant,” it must be 510(K) certified by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which means it meets the strict FDA guidelines for cleanliness and safety. And if it’s good enough for the FDA, it’s good enough for your fun holes.
What Are The Differences Between Types Of Lubricants?
This is probably the question asked most, so if you want to become the lube go-to (and impress your lover), here’s a simple breakdown of the main categories of lube:
Water-based lubes are the most common. Mainly because they’re easy to clean, wash off of linens or clothing, safe for the body and even safe to use with condoms and toys. Water-based lubricants can be formulated to mimic a woman’s natural body’s lubrication. Water-based lubes can also come in tasty flavors, which make them amazing for oral sex. (Make sure you taste a flavor before purchasing) Water-based lube will dry out or absorb easily into your skin so it may require reapplication. Additionally – because it comes in many different formulations, check ingredients for allergens. Flavored lubes may contain glycerin and can cause a yeast infection. Not fun! But is still great for oral play!
This lubricant offers a very silky texture and is hypoallergenic, so it works great for people with sensitive skin or allergies. Silicone lube also requires less reapplication than water-based lube because it doesn’t dry out and is a slipperier feel. Keep a bottle handy near a hot tub or shower – the silicone stays put and doesn’t wash away during water play! But, be careful not to spill on the shower floor as that can be the wrong kind of slippery. On the other hand, silicone lube should not be used with silicone toys – it can react with the silicone material, degrading and breaking down the toy. It’s also tough to wash out of fabric, so keep that in mind if you are planning on using your finest silk sheets for play. Doc Johnson’s Kink Wet Works Waterproof Fitted Sheet will keep your sheets safe.
The majority of hybrid lubes are a silicone/water combination – so you can have the best of both lube worlds! These particular hybrids provide you with the slickness of a silicone but the easy clean up of a water-based lubricant. Because the amount of silicone is small, most can be used with silicone toys, but its advised to patch test first. There are also coconut oil/water-based lubricants, which give you a silky, creamy lotion feel. Hybrid lubes aren’t as slippery as silicone or viscous as water-based, and some have ingredients that could be irritating to sensitive skin. Read the label!
This lube is perfect for sexy-time massages and hand jobs, or basically any kind of foreplay outside the body. So even though it’s nice and slippery in texture, oil-based lube can be a drag in other ways. Oil-based lubricant IS NOT vagina-friendly and can lead to infections more so than other lubes, so it’s not recommended for any kind of intercourse. Furthermore, these lubes are not condom or barrier friendly. With that in mind, feel free to smack it up, flip it up, and rub it down
There are several “warming” and “cooling” type lubes that can stimulate the nether regions according to whether you want to spice things up or give yourself chills. Many warming lubes contain a very small amount of capsaicin, which is an active chili pepper ingredient, or cinnamon oil for that warming effect. Most cooling lubes contain menthol or mint to provide a cool sensation. When testing these lubes in-store, it's encourage to apply it to the back of your hand and blow a little on the lube to really feel the effects. Anal lubricants are essential for first-timers or seasoned pros. These are specifically made to increase pleasure and reduce pain. And let’s not forget the gels and jellys! The thicker texture makes for wonderful toy, solo or partner play. It also is good for anal when you want more cushion.
The target market for lubricants is just as varied as the selection of lubes we carry. One of the
biggest audiences for lube is menopausal women, and we have found that these women really gravitate towards System JO’s Agape lubricant. This water-based lubricant is pH-balanced to mimic a woman’s natural lubrication and is free from glycerin, silicone and oil. Women who are or who have been dealing with cancer often go through premature menopause and will rely on lube for a satisfying sex life. Cancer patients and survivors tend to be more sensitive about ingredients, so steer towards products that are more natural. We recommend Sliquid Organics or Wicked Sensual Aqua Sensitive.