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A Quick & Easy Lube Guide

If you your goal is to experience the best orgasms you’ve ever had, keep yourself on the edge of release, or stretch your comfort zone with anal penetration, then it’s time to explore the world of lubricants. While there are so many reasons to use lube, finding the best lube can be difficult even for seasoned users.

Don’t worry; if you have found that you’re a little less “wet” than you’d like, or if you simply want to explore a more viscous texture, there’s nothing wrong with grabbing a little lube as you warm up your body with touch. Hormonal changes, dehydration, stress, or simply being nervous can cause you to secrete less fluids. However, if you experience pain during sex, more lubrication may not be the answer; you could be experiencing inflammation or irritation, so please see a physician about these symptoms. 

Additionally, lube is very useful for sensual touch on areas that aren’t normally lubricated, such as the shaft of the penis or the hood surrounding the clitoris. For internal penetration, body-safe lubricants are key to making certain that your intimate time is not only pleasurable but safe. 

For any new lubricant, test out a small amount first to see if you have any negative reactions, and then enjoy solo or with a partner! But first, make sure you choose a lubricant that is compatible with the toys you have.
Here’s a guide to help you find the best lube for your needs.

What Kinds of Lube Are There?

When to use water-based:

Water based is a safe bet when you’re not sure what to get. It generally “plays well with others”, meaning it can be used with most of the toys you already have or will soon purchase, is both internally and externally body safe, and can be used with condoms. 

However, water based lube can cause irritation in more sensitive users if there are a lot of chemicals in the lube. Get yourself a water based lube that is more natural. Luckily, Passion brand lubes have thought ahead and have so many amazing options to choose from!

I recommend... Passion Natural Water-Based Lubricant. While many water based lubes have humectants that keep the water from evaporating, Passion products focus on limiting the amount of harmful chemical ingredients. It is paraben-free, petrochemical free (derived from crude oil), and glycerin-free. This makes it one of the best water based lubes that is also kind to your body.

Pros:
  • Easy to clean: just use soap and water.
  • Doesn’t stain.
  • May cause irritation in sensitive bodies
Cons:
  • The water will evaporate in “hot” situations, so it can get sticky and you’ll need to reapply more often than with other lubes.
  • Can not use in a tub/shower/pool/jacuzzi as the lube will dilute in the water.

Why should you avoid parabens, petrochemicals, and glycerol?

Why is this important? Petrochemicals are derived from crude oil, like petroleum, and you really don’t want them in your body. Glycerin is a humectant (it’s used to help retain moisture, since water on its own evaporates). If you were paying attention in chemistry class, glycerin is a metabolic byproduct of sugar, and sugar can feed all the bacteria you may not want propagating in your intimate areas, thus causing infections. 

Parabens are used as preservatives. While this might be useful in certain foods, we don’t want the lube being preserved—and thus not breaking down—inside of you. The long-term health effects of parabens in lube are still up for debate, but it’s speculated that it could have a negative effect on hormones and potentially cause breast cancer. Better to stay away from it. 

Pro Tip: Passion Lubes pride themselves on being free of all of the above chemicals. So, if you choose this product, you can’t go wrong!

Water based vs. Silicone based: Now this is important!

You might not think about your body as an ecosystem, but there’s a lot going on in the vagina and the colon. Because your mucous membranes are water-based, too, there’s a greater possibility that the chemicals in water-based lubes could transfer from the lube to your own membrane more easily due to the highly permeable membrane that line the vaginal canal and the colon. Many water based lubricants are hyperosmolar, which means water is pulled from the cells in the mucous membrane, which can cause it to dry up. If you’re dehydrated to begin with, or just very sensitive, this is another reason to use silicone lube instead. 

When to use silicone-based:

Silicone lube is silky, lasts longer than water based, and is hypoallergenic, so it’s great for those with sensitive skin. Be careful not to use them with silicone toys, but you can feel good knowing they will provide great lubrication without breaking your condoms. 
I recommend… The Passion Premium Silicone-Based Lubricant. You won’t need much at all to have safe, frictionless sex. It lasts a long time, doesn’t dry up and is easy to clean up with soap and water. 

Pros:
  • Safe to use with condoms.
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Use with glass, steel, plastic toys. 
  • Lasts a long time; less need to reapply.
Cons:
  • Can not be used with silicone-based toys.
  • Difficult to clean up; requires a good amount of soap and water.

Pro Tip: Silicone lube is very slippery! That makes it great to use as an anal lubricant. But HOW DO YOU GET IT INSIDE?? 

Use a lube launcher. Lube launchers are similar to large syringes (without the needle!) and they suck up the lube into the applicator so you can easily insert into the anal canal. Make sure to insert lube before inserting any toys or organs. The anal canal is not self-lubricating, and can tear without lube… so use a lot!!

When to use oil-based:

Oil based lubes are safe for masturbation, use with toys, penetrative sex (without condoms), and since they last a long time without getting sticky, they are ideal for sensual massage. Remember that oil and water don’t mix, so this is a great choice for water-play since the lube won’t dissolve as easily. 
I recommend… Boy Butter, Oil Based Personal Lubricant. It’s one of the best oil based lubes and has been tried and tested by thousands of users. It’s odorless, lasts a long time, and can be used for pretty much any activity from massage to deep penetration. Just don’t use it with latex condoms. (Try non-latex condoms, instead). Alternatively, you can use coconut oil, as well. It might not have the thickness you desire, however, so try them both and find your favorite!

Pros:
  • Very slippery
  • Lasts much longer; less need to reapply
  • Can be used for sensual massage
Cons:
  • Can not be used with latex condoms; they will increase the chance of breakage.
  • Associated with higher rates of infection
  • Can not be used with latex diaphragms or latex toys
  • Some non-latex condoms that are made with polyisoprene may be at higher risk of breaking, as well.
  • Difficult to clean off sheets and clothing.

Hybrids

The best hybrid lube on the market is going to be a combination of what works for you. Most commonly mixed lube bases are silicone and water.  If you know you’re sensitive, but want to use water based, try a water-silicone blend. It will be slippery longer than water based would, and will protect from some of the effects of hyperosmolality (it won’t dry you up or transfer chemicals to your own mucous membrane as much). It will also be easier to clean up than regular silicone lube, and you can use more of your silicone toys with it. 

I recommend… Passion Premium Silicone Blend


Pros:

  • You get the benefit of both types of lube that are mixed
  • Can sometimes help if you are too sensitive to water based lube alone
  • You can often use silicone toys with a silicone hybrid when you can’t use them with silicone based lube

Cons:

  • The negative effects vary. 
  • Be sure to read the disclaimers: not all hybrids are the same, and will have different ratios of each lube base

Now you know WHICH LUBES are best to use with different toys and people… it’s time to go try some out yourself! Enjoy the sensation of slipping and sliding over your partners body in erotic oil massage. Slowly stroke yourself so you’re teetering on the edge of climax with a long-lasting silicone lube. Lap up the delicious taste of our partner during oral sex with flavored lube! Or plunge deep into your climax as you swim on the oceans of ecstasy with water based lubes. Whatever you choose, get creative, be curious, and have fun!

References:

  1. https://earthjustice.org/features/petrochemicals-explainer?gclid=CjwKCAjwiaX8BRBZEiwAQQxGx4k54MrfKfdb0Lbn1vKYXTOFkJhVTMqbEGL630peD0NJit-vwkOL1hoC1RgQAvD_BwE
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23211029/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3948026/
  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24583634/
  5. https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/76580/WHO_RHR_12.33_eng.pdf;jsessionid=B68A8416C8145584EDB54B7E7BB4BBB4?sequence=1
  6. https://academic.oup.com/jid/article/195/5/703/843236
  7. http://www.e-lactancia.org/media/papers/Studies_Raise_Questions_About_Safety_Of_Personal_Lubricants_2012.pdf

Author Bio: Bryn Wolf, The Kinky Yogi

Bryn is a Los Angeles born writer, sex educator, pleasure activist, and intimacy coach. She has a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology from CSULB, and her studies focused on culture and relationships in the world of BDSM. Having taught yoga for ten years, she blends the practical with the pleasurable, the spiritual with the sexual, and teaches the balance between them. She believes sex and pleasure is a way of life, and a healthy, human right. You can find out more about her at www.TheKinkyYogi.com or follow her on Instagram for more tips! @KinkyYogi.Bryn 

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