Your guide to lubes – types and tips for use

Lubricant use for sexual pleasure is at an all-time high! People are realising it enhances sexual play and is not just for those pelvic or prostate exams. The stigma of using lubes is over – you do not need to have vaginal dryness or any other condition to use it. The main job of lube is to ease any friction between surfaces rubbing together, so give yourself over to that glide and get out the lube for all your sexual adventures!

With this abundance of lubes to choose from, where on earth do you start? We thought we’d put together a guide on what to expect from different kinds of personal lubricant and when they should be used.

Water-based lubes

Your all-round bedroom buddy! Water-based lube is body-safe and can be used with all sex toys. It is lightweight and can give a very natural feel to solo play and vaginal sex. Wrapping a lubed up fist around your erection can give a very different experience if you aren’t used to that solo slip and slide. Running your fingers over your clitoris with silky fingers can really enhance the delicious sensations. People might forget that lube doesn’t have to only be about penetration, gliding is good wherever you’re touching.

Whilst most water based lubes are condom safe, always check just to be sure.

Cons – they can disappear fairly quickly and reapplication might be frequent. So keep your tubes and bottles handy and remember to give them a little rub in your hand first to heat them a little, unless you love a little temperature play. We’d always recommend something longer lasting for anal sex too.

Silicone lubes

Silicone lubes – the main advantage of using silicone lubes is that they are very long-lasting – and waterproof, excellent for those sexual adventures in the bath or shower! They are also great for solo/ partnered and anal sex. Commonly safe for condoms but always check just in case!

Cons – not to be used with silicone or realistic sex toys as they can be corrosive and cause damage to the toy or make it susceptible to absorbing bacteria.

Oil lubricants

Great for external play or genital massage.

Cons – not recommended for any sort of internal vaginal play, there are some specialised anal oil-based lubes but always read the label. Oil lube shouldn’t be used with sex toys or condoms as it can damage them.

Anal lubes

Generally thicker or more viscous in consistency, anal lubes are usually water or silicone-based. Choose a long-lasting lube for anal play to make the experience much more comfortable. Because the anus isn’t self-lubricating in any way it’s important to keep applying or use a really long-lasting product, especially if you are using more than fingers for penetration. Again, check the label to see whether the lube is condom and toy safe.

Cons – if you choose a great anal lube that glides and leaves your bottom tear-free, we can’t really see any cons! Jut check for compatibility with toys and condoms. As before, silicone lube shouldn’t be used with realistic or silicone toys. Glass and body-safe metal is fine.

Body balanced and organic lubricants

Using natural, organic ingredients these body balanced organic lubes can work in harmony with your body to ensure maximum pleasure and minimum irritation.

Regardless of all the label reading and checking ingredients, there will be some of us who are sensitive to lubes causing imbalances to our vaginal bacteria. Luckily with so much innovation around we all have choices in this particular lube department.


One woman pioneering body-safe lube that can be used if you’re prone to thrush and other sensitivities is Kathie Bishop, a medical herbalist who has dedicated her career to making a pH appropriate organic, plant-based lube, Wylde One.

“Intimate irritation is quite commonplace for women and many have confided in me about how regular lubricants have stung their intimate areas, often leading to yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis. This really isn’t acceptable. It disconnects people from their sexual selves, playing havoc with their health and comfort. I wanted to break that cycle with Into the Wylde by creating something completely natural with top-notch ingredients that would make sex more enjoyable, allowing women and vagina owners to feel that they were looking after themselves and their bodies’ needs. To provide an alternative and reawaken play.”

How about some good old slippery fun!

Novelty personal lubricants

So you may be looking for something to spice up your sexy times and something you might not have thought of is a different kind of lube experience.

The cons are all the same with these ones – be sure to choose a good quality product and check the ingredients to be sure they are body safe. Vaginal flora can be a delicate balance and making sure you stick to good quality and possibly keep these lubes to the external genitalia to be careful. Always check before using in combination with toys and condoms!

Warming/ cooling – perfect for some temperature play. Almost like someone is going down on you having just cleaned their teeth, menthol type lube can bring shivers to your spine and beyond. Warming things up, wow, set your sex life sizzling with some hot lube.

Consider some flavoured lubes

Add some extra fun to your oral exchanges! You can bet you can probably get any flavoured lube you can imagine. There’s even a lube company with lubes so delicious they added them to cocktails and poured over ice cream to prove how yummy they are. Flavoured lubes might also be a fun way to introduce oral sex if you are a little shy of it. Going down on someone can be an incredibly intimate act so being able to feel confident by adding a little fun can be a great ice breaker.

Renee Dyer, Senior Manager of Sh-Womenstore explains: “Lube is great for oral sex too – lips, teeth and mouth stay moist, and flavoured lubes can help with the smell and taste if you’re not keen on the scent and taste of genitals.”

Tingling – much like heat or cooling, tingling lubes can add a really different sensation to your sexual experience. Orgie do a fabulous range of lube that fizzes and crackles, just like putting popping candy on your dingaling!

How about an entire bath of lube! Take the slip and slide to a whole new level with Slube – added to the bath, this water based experience turns the tub into a tank of tantalising total body fun!

Believe it or not, this list is but a snip of what’s available out there! Why not take some time to research some options and experiment with some new sensations all because of lube. Still not convinced? Read our article, Can lubricant really transform my sex life? Oh YES!

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