When we see sex in the movies or on TV, it looks so glamorous. Celebrities throwing each other up against walls with "I must have you now" passion. Steamy sexcapades in the shower. Hands sliding down fogged up windows in jiggling cars. Sex is always hot and it almost always goes well. We strive to have what the celebrities have in different movies and shows. But my question is, where's the lube?
You never see Jennifer Aniston reach for some Sliquid before Paul Rudd goes balls deep. You never see George Clooney reach for the bottle of Wicked on his nightstand before whacking one out in the morning. The stars all show the importance of staying sexy during intimacy, but nobody talks about the importance of lube.
You can find lube at your local drug store, your local sex store, or even WalMart. I'd recommend going to the sex store. Your local sex store will have a wider variety of lubricants from which you can choose. They are also going to carry more quality brands. Hopefully, the sales associate will be well educated and able to help you find the best lubricant for you.
You're probably thinking, "I thought all lube was the same?" Actually, no. Most lubes have the same purpose: to reduce friction. Nothing ruins the mood like some unwanted friction...ouch! Sex should be slippery and seamless, and that's the primary mission of lube. Some lubes go beyond this and try to tingle your senses with flavors or heating and cooling. Make sure you read the label when picking your lube.
There are many, many, many brands of lube. I could rattle off a few dozen without thinking. So how do you know which lube is right for you? How did you know which restaurant was your favorite? You probably had to try them. Taco Bell, Godfather's, Olive Garden, Applebee's, Famous Dave's, Taco John's, McDonald's...you had to sit down and try them out; some of them more than once! The same goes for lube. You need to try them out, read reviews, compare results. Most sex shops will have tester bottles or sample packets for you to try out different lubes.
But how will you know which lube is good, and which is GREAT? First, assess the type of lube you are using; what is it made out of? Is it water, oil, or silicone based? The type of lube you use will determine how long it will last, the consistency, etc.
Water-based lubricant is arguably the most common type of lube. Most people start with water based lubes, because they're simple. They get the job done. Your basic PB&J. Water-based lubricant will not last as long as others forms of lubricant because our bodies absorb the lube. Think about it: humans are mostly water. All of a sudden we're having a substance that's also mostly water being rubbed into our skin. Of course, we're going to absorb that. But if you find a high-quality water based lube, you will get much enjoyment out of it and won't need to keep reapplying every five minutes. You also won't be left sticky and tacky if you find a quality lubricant. I recommend using something water based if you are using any silicone toys. A water-based lubricant will be the most compatible with your silicone sex toys because it won't break down the silicone.
There's also silicone-based lubricant, which is an awesome way to go if you don't mind spending a little extra money. Silicone is a metal, so naturally, it will cost more than water. You also don't need as much silicone lube as you need water; a little bit goes a long way! Silicone lasts so long because it does not absorb into your skin like water does. Silicone is the best choice if you plan on having long sessions or if you're having sex in water because it won't be washed away by a single splash from the faucet. Silicone lubricant IS compatible with condoms as well. So you can still practice safe sex AND use silicone based lubricant! I would not recommend silicone lube if you're using a sex toy made out of silicone or if you're having a quickie.
Silicone lube will break down your silicone toy much faster than any other lube because silicone likes to fuse to itself. This will cause some severe damage to your toy if you use silicone lube repetitively. But it's GREAT with glass, metal, or hard plastic toys! Silicone is also a little more difficult to clean up. You'll most likely need to hop in the shower to wash it off, and if you don't have time to shower, you'll be all lube-y in your pants for the rest of the day. That's a little uncomfortable. Especially since a good silicone lube will have a silky, slippery feeling and it came stain clothes, I don't think you want that trapped in your clothes while you're sitting in the cubicle or dealing with cranky Target moms looking for the kombucha.
Now let's talk about hybrid lubricant. The preponderance of hybrid lubricants are a combination of water and silicone. These lubes usually look a little milky, almost like coconut oil. Hybrid lubricants try to give you the best of both worlds. If you like how long silicone lube lasts and you like that consistency, but don't need it to last QUITE that long, try out a hybrid!
Oil-based lubricants are difficult to find because they aren't compatible with much besides your skin. Oil based is a great way to go if you need a lube for masturbation, penis owners. Please remember that oil based lube WILL BREAK DOWN CONDOMS. If you want to practice safe sex, choose a different base. Oil is also oil, so it gets...oily. It can make a bit of a mess, but that mess will last for as long as you need it. Again, a little bit will go a long way!
There are some lubes that go beyond the basic reducing friction task. You will find some lubes that heat or cool, and some that are flavored. These lubes are not for everyone. Statistically speaking, cisgender males enjoy heating lubricants and cisgender females enjoy cooling lubricants. Maybe you want to try out a new kind of sensation down there to spice things up during sex! Flavored lubes are also awesome. When picking out something flavored, read the ingredients carefully. If your lube contains sugar, make sure it does not get in anyone's vagina, unless you want to take a trip to Infection Island. Some brands, like Sensuva and Wicked make their products with stevia instead of sugar, so their flavored products are totally body safe!
I just mentioned a couple brands, so let's talk about brands. Which lubes are the Ralph Laurens and which are the Walmarts? Divine 9 is hands down one of the best water-based lubricants you can buy. It's a bit expensive for a water-based lube, but damn is it truly divine. Überlube is one of the best silicone based lubes. You'll pay a pretty penny per bottle, but that bottle will LAST. Wicked has the best masturbatory cream you can find. It IS oil based, so keep that in mind. Otherwise, Sliquid has a coconut oil-based lubricant that is also phenomenal for masturbation.
Wicked and Sliquid have the best-flavored lubricants, because they don't get sticky or gross, and the flavor and smell won't linger. But if you want your honey's genitals to taste like peppermint cocoa, cherry vanilla, sweet peach, mocha java, or even pink lemonade, that's a possibility. System Jo is a quality lube for people on a budget. You still get a great product, but you don't have to spend all your fun money. They also have smaller bottles available, so you can test them before you commit. When looking for a general lube, I highly recommend Wicked, Sliquid, or System Jo.
So many people come in looking for Astroglide because that is one of the most popular brands of lube. Doctors often recommend Astroglide because they use it in hospitals for prostate exams. Save the Astroglide for your prostate exams and spring for something different. Astroglide gets very sticky and gross very fast. The same is true of Durex, Trojan, Wet, K-Y, Gun Oil, and Pjur, to name a few. These brands are a bit lower quality and it will be proven when you put them to the test.
I often get asked why anal lube exists. Anal lube tends to be a bit thicker to provide more of a cushion for the anus. Some anal lubes also have numbing agents in them, so make sure you read the list of ingredients. A lot of anal lubes are going to be more compatible with the pH of your anus. Believe it or not, there is a pH difference between your vagina and anus. Sometimes, if you're incredibly sensitive, it's much better to use anal lube for anal sex and a natural/organic lube for vaginal sex. Remember that the anus does not lubricate itself, so you can never have too much lube when engaging in anal sex!! The best anal lube on the market is Wicked's Anal Jelle. It's thick and stays exactly where you put it. You won't have a runny mess all over your tushy.
Lube is more complex and also more necessary than people realize. Skipping lube can lead to micro tears or it can cause some unwanted friction. Not. Fun. Do yourself a favor, and rub it out with some quality lube!