There are a ton of brands of lube on the market today, so it can be difficult to know exactly what type you should be using for your adult fun. First, let’s get the shame out of the way, shall we? There shouldn’t be any. I remember the first time I brought up using lube in the bedroom. I hadn’t been married to my first husband for very long and I was pretty young, not quite 21 years old. Back then, I couldn’t express why I was having issues with self lubrication, but now I can tell you it probably had a lot to do with stress. Regardless of why, adding a little wetness from a bottle should never have been an issue, but apparently, according to him, it was.
He made me feel like I shouldn’t need it and even asking about it was a personal affront to him. Guys, don’t do this, ever. If your partner says they want to use lube or even if they don’t, and they break out the bottle during sexy time, go with it. Lube, just like sex toys, is a bonus feature in the bedroom, not something to be shamed about. It enhances things, it doesn’t take away from a damn thing.
It’s 2023 and I really feel like I shouldn’t have to make this statement but using lube is absolutely necessary when doing anything anal, just in case you weren’t aware. The anus is not self lubricating. Just putting that out there.
What types of lube are there?
Water based lube
When you think of using lube, water based lube is what probably comes to mind first. It’s the most basic lube available and literally goes with everything. You can use it with all of your sex toys, it’s compatible with latex condoms, and it’s typically available at your local drugstore. But be aware, not all water based lubes are created equal and there are some ingredients you’re going to want to avoid.
Remember: Your skin is an organ! Any product you use on your body gets absorbed into your body.
Ingredients to Avoid: Parabens (synthetic preservative that mimics estrogen), Glycerin (can cause yeast infections and UTIs if you are prone to them, if not, then this is fine. It is widely used in lubricants so it’s difficult to avoid), benzocaine (a numbing agent, we’ll talk more about this later), Propylene glycol (this is an ingredient in antifreeze!), Nonoxynol-9 (this is a spermicide that can lead to BV in some women, as it kills the good bacteria in your vagina).
My favorite water based lubricants also have ingredients that moisturize and don’t leave a sticky residue. Since they are water based, they don’t always have a ton of staying power, but the good news is, adding just a few drops of water reactivates the lube and you’re good to go!
Demeter’s Water Based Lube Recommendations
Gleam by Velvet Co–Formulated using purely sea-kelp-based glycerin, this top-selling lubricant is designed to provide a silky smooth, and comforting glide with no sticky or tacky residue. Sea kelp based glycerol is excellent for skin that is prone to dry irritating conditions. The sea kelp provides Omega 3 which soothes and softens, reducing sensitivity.
Sliquid Naturals Satin–Moisturizes with aloe, carageenan, and vitamin E, it doubles as a long-lasting lube. You can use it daily for relief from vaginal dryness. Cruelty free and vegan.
Sliquid Naturals Sassy–Formulated for anal play, but definitely can be used for any type of play, this extra cushiony water based lube is never tested on animals and vegan. No scent, no taste, glycerin-free and paraben-free.
Pros of Water Based Lube:
- It doesn’t stain your sheets
- Washes off easily in water
- Compatible with sex toys/condoms
Cons of Water Based Lube:
- May not be thick enough/long-lasting enough for anal/long sex sessions.
- Some people find it to be too sticky.
Silicone based lube
If you have sensitive skin or you really enjoy having sex in the shower, silicone lube is a great option for you. One of the pros of water based lube is that it washes away easily with water, but that’s a con if you’re having a good time in the bath or shower–but with silicone lube, that’s not a problem. It stays put and has the added bonus of leaving your skin feeling pretty amazing. It’s also compatible with latex condoms. It is not, however, compatible with your silicone sex toys, as it can erode them and cause damage, leaving them susceptible to bacteria, which is never a good thing.
Silicone lube is also fantastic for anal play, but remember, if you’re going to be incorporating a toy, be sure it’s not a silicone one (or cover it with a condom just to be on the safe side).
Demeter’s Silicone Lube Recommendations
Wicked Sensual Care Ultra–Sensuous and long lasting, it feels silky smooth on your skin. Paraben free. Never sticky. No aftertaste. Vegan no animal by products or testing, Made in the USA, glycerin free, Propylene glycol free. Use code DEMI to get 10 percent off when shopping at Betty’s.
JO Premium Original–Their original silicone lubricant, paraben and glycerin free, buttery smooth with a soft finish, won’t wash away easily in water, and compatible with most toys. This lube is condom friendly (not with polyurethane) and is FDA licensed. Use code DEMI10 to receive 10 percent off anything you purchase from the JO store when you shop.
Pros of Silicone Lube:
- Good for sensitive skin
- Long lasting
- Made with high quality ingredients
- Safe to use with most condoms
Cons of silicone lube:
- Not safe to use with most silicone sex toys
So is there an in-between? Of course there is. If you really like the pros of water based lubes but also want some staying power of silicone lubes–but you want to be able to use it with your silicone toys, then hybrid lube is going to be your new best friend. It’s really the best of both worlds. You can use it with toys, condoms, in the shower, the tub, for anal, not have to worry about re-applying very often, and for the most part it doesn’t stain (though it can, so I would still recommend putting down something like The Layer or Liberator Throw just in case)
Demeter’s Hybrid Lube Recommendations
Wicked Sensual Care Hybrid–A water and silicone hybrid, unscented and flavor free, super silky water based lube that is easy to clean as well as toy and latex friendly, blended in harmony with a rich bodied silicone that lasts and lasts. This fusion hybrid lube is an excellent choice for all types of play. Use code DEMI to get 10 percent off when shopping at Betty’s.
Sliquid Silk–Sliquid is one of my favorite lubes, so it’s no wonder their hybrid makes the list. A water and silicone mix, glycerin free and paraben free, hypoallergenic and non-toxic. Uniquely blended to emulate your body’s own natural lubrication. Use code DEMI to get 10 percent off when shopping at Betty’s.
Pros of Hybrid Lube:
- Best of both worlds (all the pros of water and silicone based lubes)
- Safe for use with all your sex toys
- Safe for use with latex condoms
- Long lasting (washes off easier in water than regular silicone lube, but not as easy as regular water based lube)
Cons of Hybrid Lube:
- Not quite as long lasting as straight silicone lube
- Doesn’t wash off as easily as water based lube
Oil based lubes with and without CBD
I’ll admit, oil based lube wasn’t even on my radar until a couple of years ago, unless you counted baby oil. Let’s not talk about that (don’t use baby oil as lube). We live and learn, right?
Then I was introduced to Foria and I’ve never looked back. Their CBD infused oil based lubricant and arousal oils have been a game changer for me and I am happy to tell everyone I know about them. For those who would rather not have CBD in their oil, they have a line of botanical infused oils as well, CBD free. Today, they’ve announced the release of a study with astounding results surrounding their melts product, a fast acting CBD suppository, designed to help lubricate and ease tension.
- 95% of women found that Foria’s Intimacy Melts (fast-acting CBD suppositories designed to help lubricate and ease tension) increased internal glide during penetration
- 92% of participants experienced increased pleasure while using Intimacy Melts
- The study also found a statistically significant improvement in participants’ ability to achieve relaxation during sex following the use of the Intimacy Melts
I can personally attest to these results. I’ve been using the melts for over a year now and can’t imagine not using them on a regular basis. One thing to note with any oil based lubricant is, they’re not compatible with latex condoms. In theory, lambskin should be okay with oil based lube, but always check the packaging of the condom to be sure.
Demeter’s Oil Based Lube Recommendations
Foria Sex Oil with CBD–With just two clean ingredients – 400mg broad-spectrum CBD and organic coconut oil – it’s designed to provide all-natural lubrication, ease discomfort, enhance arousal, and assist with penetration both vaginally and anally.
Coconu Oil Based Lube–Coconu is a natural, coconut oil-based lubricant that’s silky smooth, non-sticky and safe for toys. If you want natural ingredients, no parabens, petroleum or glycerin, then Coconu is the right choice for you.
Pros of Oil Based Lube:
- Can also be used as massage oil
- Long lasting
- Can help ease tension (if it contains CBD)
Cons of Oil Based Lube:
- Can’t be used with condoms
When giving oral, flavored lubes can really up your game. They not only add lubrication but making your partner taste even more delicious can encourage you to go for broke. Companies like Wicked Sensual Care have so many varieties to choose from–don’t limit yourself to only using one, you can mix and match multiple flavors to create a combination that tickles your fancy. One of my favorites is combining brown sugar and peach–it tastes like peach cobbler!
Demeter’s Flavored Lube Recommendations
Wicked Sensual Care Mango–Any of the flavored lubes in Wicked Sensual Care’s line are great, but the Mango is probably my favorite overall. Use code DEMI to receive 10 percent off your order.
JO Sweet and Bubbly–This set features Champagne and Chocolate Covered Strawberry, which you can combine for a real treat. Use code DEMI10 to receive 10 percent off your order.
JO Champagne and Red Velvet Cake–Featuring a Champagne and Red Velvet Cake, can be used separately or together for a different take on sweet and bubbly. Part of their 20 year anniversary collection. Use code DEMI10 to receive 10 percent off your order.
Bonus Lube Recommendation
Pulse is a lube warming system I just adore. When you purchase your warmer, you can choose water based, oil based, and/or massage oil. How cool is that? As much as I love my bottles of different lubes for various purposes, one of the best things I ever did for myself was invest in this system. When using lube, it can be a shock to your body when it’s cold–almost as much as rolling over into the wet spot! I don’t use it all the time, but when I want to treat myself, especially during self-care sessions, I definitely reach for the lube from Pulse.
When should you be using lube?
Whenever the hell you want to.
Beyond that, using lube every time you have sex can make things slicker, more fun, and just plain sexier. Something I learned only a few years ago when I got into sex education was using lube more frequently while giving oral (and receiving!) can be so fun and make things go down a lot easier. Pun fully intended.
Using lube when you’re masturbating is also fantastic, whether you’re incorporating toys into your play or not. Wetter is always better and when you’re engaging in solo play, why not romance yourself? The stress of the day can cause vaginal dryness, but that doesn’t mean you’re not turned on, so adding lubricant can aid in bringing you pleasure instead of focusing on anxiety about whether you’re really in the mood or not.
There are many reasons why our bodies may not produce enough natural lubrication. Let’s do away with the idea that just because we aren’t wet doesn’t mean we aren’t sexually excited, because that simply may not be the case. Certain medications, stress, and illness can all lead to lack of lubrication–all things that using lube can easily correct.
We need to change the narrative around using lube. There’s no reason to be ashamed about it, using lube is normal and does nothing but add to the fun.
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