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How to choose a lubricant

Whether you’re looking to maximize pleasure during sex, reduce friction during intercourse, find a quick remedy for vaginal dryness, or engage in any type of anal sex, including use of anal toys, lubricants are an exciting, sensual way to add a twist to your sexual routine. Fun aside, it’s also important to know that, because of their ingredients, certain lubes can interfere with certain contraceptives and sex toys, which is why it’s important to weigh the risks and benefits of each type. You may find you prefer one lube for all your sexual encounters, or different lubes depending on the type of sex or toy you’re using.

We know just how confusing it can be given all the brands out there, but fortunately, all lubricants can be grouped into three easy categories, which we’ve outlined below:

Water-Based Lubricants

  • Most common, all-purpose lube that’s easy to clean off
  • Safe to use with sex toys and latex contraceptives like condoms, diaphragms, and sponges
  • Formulated to be nonirritating, though some contain glycerin, which can cause yeast infections
  • Dry up easily, but adding some water or saliva can replenish its slippery feeling
  • Flavored, edible water-based lubricants are also popular and fun option, though they often contain yeast-encouraging sugar and glycerin

Silicon-Based Lubricants

  • Typically more expensive, but they last longer than water-based lubricants
  • Cannot be used with silicone sex toys because of silicone-on-silicone reactions
  • Safe to use with latex contraceptives
  • Perfect for sexual encounters in and underwater: showers, pools, tubs, lakes, you name it!
  • Harder to wash off bedding and clothing
Best brands that double as sensual massage oils:

Anal Lubricants

  • Typically more expensive, but they last longer than water-based lubricants
  • Cannot be used with silicone sex toys because of silicone-on-silicone reactions
  • Safe to use with latex contraceptives
  • Perfect for sexual encounters in and underwater: showers, pools, tubs, lakes, you name it!
  • Harder to wash off bedding and clothing

Now that you know the basics, go ahead and experiment with different lubricants to find one that works for you. Remember, a little lube can go a long way toward enhancing your sex life!