Dating and Relationship Advice

It's the year 2021, and we need to toss out the idea that natural lubrication is the only indication of female arousal. We also need to ditch the stigma that if a woman needs (or wants) lube, her vagina is somehow failing.

Lube. Is. Normal. Hell, lube is fun. In fact, a study conducted at Indiana University found that 70% of the women surveyed said that lube made sex better. In what world is that a bad thing?

If you’re new to the wonderful world of lube, you might be super intimidated. There are rows and rows of options at even the most basic drugstores. Where do you start?

The easiest place is with basics, or what the lube is mostly made of, like:

Water: These lubes are versatile and can be used for a variety of activities, including ones involving silicone sex toys. Water-based lubes are popular because they’re easy on the skin, won’t stain sheets, and are easily washed off. They are also safe for use with non-latex and latex condoms, and some experts say they decrease the risk of the condom breaking. Score!

Silicone: The best for super sensitive skin, silicone-based lube is hypoallergenic and lasts a long time (if you hate pausing to reapply). Oh, and if you’re a fan of shower sex, silicone-based lube won’t wash away. They’re also safe with condoms. Keep in mind though that these lubes can break down the surface of silicone toys, which can increase the risk of bacteria growth.

Oil: If you really hate pausing to reapply, oil-based lubes are for you. The Energizer Bunny of lubes, this type just keeps going and going and going. Oil-based lubes are also great for a sexy massage moment. But they do not play well with latex condoms (they increase the risk of the condom tearing and ripping), and they absolutely will stain sheets and clothing.

Natural: There’s still no exact criteria for what’s a natural lube and what’s not, but the gist is products that have a small number of natural ingredients (things you recognize), like coconut oil. This stuff is super slippery, free from chemicals, and safe for sensitive skin, but will stain your sheets and increase the risk of the condom breaking.

These are the most basic types of lube. There are also all kinds of other varieties that have additional features beyond simple lubrication — warming, flavored, tingling etc. While these can be super fun, they do increase the risk of vaginal irritation from pH imbalances and harsh ingredients. Be wary of lubes that include:

  • glycerin
  • nonoxynol-9
  • petroleum
  • propylene glycol
  • chlorhexidine gluconate

You might also want to look for lubes that are free from glycerin, parabens and petroleum to decrease the risk of infection.

Just remember, no reason for using lube is bad or shameful. As long as your vajayjay is safe and you and your partner are having a consensually fun experience, go out and lube up with confidence!