Where would I be without lube?
Without the handy help of lube, I wouldn’t be able to shove things inside myself and then write about it on the Internet. Lube makes things easier and slicker, but a good lube to me is one that makes things slippery without reducing all friction.
Though I’ve tried many, lube isn’t an easy thing to write about. It’s hard to describe. And I know from working on the floor of a sex shop that people have feelings about lube.
There’s a really pervasive, incorrect cultural myth that if you need to use lube, it means you’re broken.
Lube reduces discomfort with penetration, can really help out with oral sex, and is completely necessary for some things, like butt stuff. When it comes to vaginas, science actually tells us that there’s no direct causation between “wetness” and desire (stop what you’re doing a grab a copy of Come as You Are. Do that? Ok, let’s proceed). We are taught to believe that our bodies respond in perfect harmony to our sexual whims. Not always the case, and that’s ok! Lube is something to have in your pleasure toolkit. It’s a cheap, effective new thing to try out and let enhance any experience. Lube is good, lube is your friend, don’t buy into that shit about being broken.
But because there’s a stigma around lube, we also don’t get much information about it or how to find ones that are safe and right for us.
When I first started blogging, I was fucking clueless about lube. Most of what I had heard came from listening to sales reps whose products were subpar at best and disgustingly gummy/tacky at worst.
Like so many other baby sex bloggers, I found the light of Sliquid, a brand trusted by professional masturbators everywhere. And after finding out what makes some lubes better than others, I’ve tried quite a few, tackling different textures, flavors, and ingredients.
We don’t have much in the way of popular images of lube. Except for one brand: KY. Even though KY contains both glycerin and parabens (potentially harmful preservatives) we believe it’s fine because it’s everywhere. It’s the only lube that has that kind of brand recognition.
Many times on the floor of a sex shop, I would have customers who refused to buy a particular material (often a body-safe material like high quality 100% silicone, glass, ABS hard plastic) because someone they knew had a bad experience or was “allergic.” Confused I would make sure they didn’t mean TPE or jelly, and they wouldn’t. It would dawn on me what it probably was: lube.
The lubes we see the most of are often times the ones that can actually do our bodies harm: triggering yeast infections, irritation, and discomfort. Even the new FDA regulations won’t weed out the likely culprits of so many’s discomfort.
So when picking out a lube check the ingredients first. Shy away from ones that contain glycerin and parabens.
And no one’s silly for believing that lube must be body-safe if it’s on the shelves or on TV. It means you have high standards and think that being body-safe is priority for lube companies. Unfortunately, it’s not always, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find a great lube that does all the things for you.
Lube Companies I Trust Across the Board: Sliquid, Good Clean Love, Uberlube, Please, Blossom Organics
Water Based Lubes:
Water based lubes are the most common and recommended for use with silicone toys. They can be the trickiest to get right, as when they dry they can feel all sticky or tacky. The body absorbs water fairly quickly so you’ll likely need to reapply. Despite this, water-based lubes are easy to use and clean up.
Sliquid Organics water based is a solid choice for a no frills plain water based lube to use with toys or a partner. Its consistency is on the thinner side but not runny. It’s tasteless and odorless and I don’t notice any sticky residue, but I’m not particularly picky.
Sliquid Sassy is my favorite water based lube. Designed for anal play (you can use this lube any way you please), its thicker viscosity helps keep it around for longer. Sassy minimizes friction beautifully and I highly recommend it for toys with a lot of drag (Fun Factory is a prime example), larger toys, butt stuff, and toys with extreme texture.
Wicked Sensual Care’s Aqua Sensitive is one that I recommend not because I’m head over heels with it, but because I’ve worked with so many who are. It’s by far the thinnest water based lube I’ve ever come in contact with and in feel tests it sways even the pickiest of lube consumers. Despite it’s extremely thin consistency it somehow manages to stick around.
The word “silicone” seems to make people skittish. Never fear folks, silicone lubes contain fewer ingredients than water based and don’t require preservatives! That being said, some silicone lubes can feel thick (not in a good way) and oily depending on the manufacturer.
Silicone sticks around, as it doesn’t absorb into the body like water does. They usually leave a soft finish behind when they dry and are ideal for long play sessions. They are slippery, like really slippery, and be careful not to spill it. I’ve seen more than one person almost bite it in a puddle of silicone lube.
Silicone (oil) and silicone (rubber) like to stick to each other, which can cause toys to degrade. Water based lubes are traditionally recommended, and it’s a very tricky thing to suggest. Spot test a silicone lube on the base of a silicone toy to check for any disfiguration before using, just to be safe.
Uberlube is my silicone lube of choice. It’s thin and non-greasy. It has a really light finish to it that makes it great to add to mosturizer for a makeup base or to tame frizzy hair. Uberlube is super slick and leaves softer skin behind. It’s packaging is discreet and fancy. It’s a sophisticated lube that I’ve used with multiple silicone toys without issue.
Good hybrid lubes can feel creamy, smooth, and luxurious. Bad hybrid lubes can feel like bacon grease. It just depends. But if I had to only have one lube in my life it would be a hybrid.
Hybrid lubes are usually just fine to use with silicone toys because the amount of silicone they contain is really low. The silicone gives the lube a boost and helps keep it around for longer than a plain water based.
Sliquid Silk made the top spot in lubes I tried in 2014 and is my first choice for really anything. Please Cream is very similar and another top choice. I don’t know how to describe why but they just feel better to me. I don’t think it has anything to do with feeling “more natural,” they’re just softer, providing cushion without detracting from the sensation of texture.
Every once in a while a little added sensation might be nice. I must confess, though, I’ve never really committed to testing a heating or a cooling lube. Temperature play is just something I’m not that into.
There are some body safe ones on the market: Sliquid makes a warming lube which other bloggers seem to enjoy.
I enjoy using their Stimulating O Gel, which I’m pretty sure came in a larger size as a lube, but I can’t seem to find it anymore. Anyway, it basically creates a tingly, sort of buzzy sensation wherever you apply it. The sensation can help jumpstart things or just add a little something extra. As a lube, it worked well for using larger toys.
There you have it, folks—some starters for finding a good, quality lube.
Browse the lube sections of my awesome affiliates: Good Vibrations, SheVibe, Tantus, Early to Bed