Every Question You've Ever Had About Lube, Answered. Probably.
The Debrief: Sex lubricants: we sort the facts from the friction
The market for personal lubricants is – appropriately enough – a saturated one. Lubes come in a zillion trillion different varieties. There are gels that promise to make you more slippery and slimy than a Foxtons estate agent on the pull; jellies that aim to make a guy’s dick taste like a cocktail; and even liquids that claim to reduce the transmission of STIs.
I’m amazed that no-one has marketed a motion lotion called WD-Naughty yet, but there’s still a gargantuan number of lubricants on offer. So if you want to grab a tube of lube, what’s a good gloop to opt for? And how do you use it?
I’m young! My vag is moister than one of Mary Berry’s victoria sponges. Why would I need lube?
Some folks think that lube is only intended for older women, who tend to produce less natural vaginal moisture due to hormonal changes associated with ageing.
However, lubricant is also fantastic for younger women, even if they have no problem getting wet. For a start, it makes everything feel more slick and sensual, and it stops friction from chafing and leaving you sore after long, intense sex sessions.
Switching between different types of lube that add flavour or sensation is a very easy way of ringing the changes in bed, and if you buy tester sachets rather than full-size bottles, it’s cheap too. (Sachets like this are great for travelling with as well).
If you’re into anal play, lubricant is essential – no ifs, no butts. The ass doesn’t produce its own lubricant, so using a lubricating product is vital to avoid pain or injury. Lubing up also helps to keep anal explorations cleaner.
Plus, lubes transform hand jobs from ‘meh’ to ‘OHMYGODOHMYGODOHMYGOD’, and they make sex toys slide in like they’re wearing ice skates. In a smooth way. Not a slicey blade way.
What’s the difference between water-based and silicone-based lubricants?
Water-based products are generally the friendliest of all lube types. They get on with most skin types and rub along just fine with condoms and sex toys. They offer the widest range of different varieties, and you can slap and slop ’em anywhere you like without worrying. They also wash out of fabrics easily and don’t damage surfaces.
However, water-based lubes do dry out faster than silicone-based products because the H2O in them gets absorbed by the body.
You can always just use more as and when you need it, but if you want a lube that starts out super slippy, and stays that way for aggggessss, then opt for something silicone-based.
Silicone lubricants are also condom-friendly, and fantastic for use in the shower, too – water can wash away natural girl-juices, making bathroom sex uncomfy, but it won’t shift silicone solutions.
A word of warning, though: silicone makes floors and bathtubs as slippery as ice rinks. And trying to turn a door handle if you have it on your palms will make you feel like Zoolander trying to turn left. And it can be a bitch to clear up.
I’ve heard it’s a bad idea to use silicone-based lubes with silicone sex toys. Is that true, or cobblers?
It’s true-ish. Nowadays, good quality silicone sex toys (like the new Ann Summers Moregasm range) are made from medical-grade material. Using them with a top-spec silicone lubricant like Durex Real Feel is A-OK.
That said, cheaper, less premium toys made from poorer quality silicone can react with silicone lubes, causing them to degrade, shred and peel over time, as though they’ve been sunburned, or even to melt, leaving them looking like they’ve been in Noel Edmonds’ Gunge Tank. If in doubt, use water-based lube with your toys, or protect phallic vibes with a condom.
How much lube should I use?
A ten pence-sized blob will do the trick and make you slick to start off with, then top up whenever you want.
Try decanting your lube into a pump soap dispenser, so you can keep it within easy reach of your bed and don’t have to hide the bottle away in between rumpy pumpy times.
Feeling maximal? You might like ‘nuru massage’: a Japanese practice involving you and your partner getting entirely drenched in lube, then slip-sliding your naked bodies over each other. Mr Noris’ Magic Gel is specifically designed for this, and as a bonus, it leaves your skin softer than Bjork’s whisper. Dilute it to make vast quantities, then wrestle, zip, and squidge about on a blanket, PVC sheets, plastic airbed, errr, paddling pool, or whatever takes your fancy.
Flavoured lubes = totally fetch, or scrotally retch?!
A mixed bag. Some taste more fake than Dick Van Dyke’s Cockney accent in Mary Poppins. I rate Durex Play Passionfruit and ID Fruitopia Banana, while at a recent erotic trade show I attended, System JO lubes were being served as sauces on ice cream sundaes!
Flavoured lubes are excellent for foot massages: if you’re dating a sole man with a fetish for tootsies, they turn toes into little lollipops for sucking. This little piggy went… OOooOOooOOhHhhhHhhh!
What about ‘tingling’ or ‘warming’ lubricants? Are they chilling and thrilling, or stingin’ and mingin’?
Some people love them. Others think they feel like their genitals have been smothered with Vicks Vaporub then blasted with Sigourney Weaver’s Alien flamethrower. And then dribbled on by said acid-saliva-spewing alien.
If you’re trying a tingle/warming lube for the first time, just use a smudge. And if you find that a hot lube isn’t your cuppa, don’t ditch the bottle – use it for back rubs instead. It’s like sexy Deep Heat, and fab for relaxing muscles.
I get thrush so often I’m thinking of installing a bird box in my foof and seeing if I can get a robin and a crow to dwell up there, too. Can lube bring on an attack?
Avoid anything containing glycerine or sugar (some flavoured lubes have sugar syrups in them – a bad idea all round). Give Yes Organic lubricant a whirl; I have numerous mates who’ve told me that other lubes gave them yeast infections, but their fannies wanted to trumpet out a fanfare of joy when they discovered this stuff.
Sliquid Naturals Sea is another good option for those with sensitive undercarriages. It contains healing and soothing ingredients, and even claims to reduce the transmission of HPV: Human Papilloma Virus, which is responsible for causing genital warts. If you’ve had warts in the past, the virus will still be present in your body – this lube could help prevent a flare up and possibly help you avoid passing the virus to a partner, although I’d get advice from your doctor.
Got black skin? Noir is the first ever lube developed for darker skins, which can have a different pH and different properties to lighter skins, and can thus benefit from different ingredients.
I’ve spotted some anal lubes. What assets do they have that makes them best for use up the ass?
Anal lubes tend to be thicker, and are designed to stick around for longer. Beware of those containing numbing ingredients like benzocaine, though. They’re intended to reduce pain, but if you can’t feel that you’re hurting, you may not realise that you’re injuring yourself. Done slowly, gradually, and with plenty of specialist lube like Maxiums, anal play shouldn’t be massively painful. If it is, it’s important that you feel that pain, because it’s a sign you should stop.
Wanna slip me any other sa-lube-rious tips?
Silicone lube doubles as a brilliant hair serum for flyaways and frizzies, and is a great shaving gel. You’re welcome.
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