what is lubeLube is a staple in any overnight bag, right next to your favorite toy and an extra pair of panties. A bottle is something that every naughty woman should have in her nightstand, too. If you’ve gotten away without lube this far, you might not know what you’re missing! Don’t worry, though, because we’re here to fill you in.

Lube Does A Body Good!

what is lube used for

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Lube eases insertion, both of toys and your partner’s penis. You may have heard stereotypes about lube being necessary with a woman who is frigid or not turned on, but this isn’t true! Women produce various quantities of natural lubrication, and a lower amount doesn’t mean that you’re not turned on. Although, this could be due to medication, age and other health or lifestyle issues, so having lube on hand is always nice.

With a bottle of lube nearby, you can also prolong your sexual activities comfortably. Perhaps your partner likes to go for a few rounds, but you’d never be able to achieve multiple orgasms without your favorite lube. Of course, lube is an absolute must when it comes to anal play and sex because the anus doesn’t produce any lube of its own.

Lube isn’t just about feeling good, however. Without lube, you increase the risk of getting tiny – and sometimes not-so-small – lacerations in the vaginal canal and anus. Not only can these be painful, but these can lead to potential infections. This could also make the risk of transmitting STIs greater.

However, not all lubes are made the same. The types of lubricant that you’re typically going to find in grocery and drug stores can actually increase the risk of infection and STI transmission. KY, Astroglide and ID brand lube are among the worst offenders because they have an osmolality – a measurement of saturation. With an osmolality hundreds or even thousands of times greater than the natural osmolality in either the vagina or anus – there’s a small difference between the two – these lubes can actually damage cells in those sensitive tissues and increase this risk of infection. Plus, high osmolality isn’t sperm-friendly, which you’ll want to keep in mind if you and your partner are trying to conceive.

Types of Lube

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There are two main types of lubricant that you can buy: silicone-based and water-based. Water-based lubes wash off easily with a generous amount of water, like when you’re having sex in a body of water and a lick or splash or water can rejuvenate them. These lubes can be thicker or thin depending on the formula, but they may get sticky as they dry. Furthermore, water-based lube might need a reapplication or two

In comparison, silicone lubes are often thinner and tend to feel slicker for longer, which makes them good for longer sessions. Silicone doesn’t get sticky as it dries, so it can double as a sensual massage product. The trade-off is that silicone-based lubes are harder to wash off. You’ll definitely need soap and water to get the feeling off your hands and naughty bits, and some people think that silicone lubes feel unnatural.

Both types of lube are compatible with latex condoms. You don’t want to use silicone-based lubes with silicone toys unless both are the highest quality. The molecules can bond together, ruining the finish of your silicone vibe or dildo. This chemical reaction could also cause tiny holes within a toy, negating its nonporous state.

Because silicone lube is thinner, you might prefer something thicker for use with sex toys or anal sex.  Check out our tips for anal sex positions in this guide. Keeping a few lubes on hand for different activities is always a good idea!

Beware Of What’s In Your Lubricant

These two types of lube may contain some potentially harmful ingredients, so you’ll want to check the list before you check out online or at the store. Here are a few chemicals and compounds that you’ll frequently find on ingredients list, along with their unintended side effects:

  • Parabens are easily absorbed by your body, which is bad news because they chemical has been linked to breast cancer.
  • Glycerin and sorbitol are sugar-like ingredients that can increase risk of yeast infections; although, they do not directly cause yeast infections. Glycerin content also leads to higher osmolality.
  • Acetate is a type of alcohol that may dry your skin.
  • Propylene Glycol might be one of the ingredients in your lube that is causing irritation.
  • Petroleum is one of the main ingredients in Vaseline, which should never be used as lube. Not only is it made from fossil fuels, but it can lead to an increase in bacterial and yeast infections according to Joelle Brown of the University of California.

Unfortunately, the shelves are full of lubes containing these ingredients. What brands are safe to use? Try Good Clean Love and Intimate Organics. The latter company offers a variety of organic lubes while the former even has flavored options, which can make giving head easier. Sliquid also has an organic lube without nasty chemicals an with osmolality that’s safe for vaginal use.

Even if your lube has only healthy ingredients, you may still experience negatives. This most often happens with lubricants that have a special feature. For example, some women report that warming lubes create burning sensations. You should spot test any new lube before you use it for sex or masturbation to avoid negative reactions. Click here to learn how to masturbate for more pleasure.

What About Oil-based Lubes?

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lubricant for sex

There is technically a third type of lube; although, it is less common. Oil-based lubes are not condom compatible, and they can also degrade sex toys made of latex. They’re slick, which makes them good for massage. They do leave a coating on your skin, and the same can happen internally – possibly leading to infection. Similarly, coatings left on sex toys may harbor bacteria.

Because of this, experts such as those from Go Ask Alice recommend against using oil-based lubes for either vaginal or anal sex, but say that it’s just fine if your man wants a little solo time or you’re giving him a hand job — tips here. Some people still do use oil-based lube, however.

If you want to try an oil-based lube, you have to look not further than your own kitchen. A high-quality coconut oil is one of several types of oils that you can use as lube or just for massage. At room temperature, coconut is a solid, but it melts at body temperature, which makes it ideal for use during sex.

Anti-fungal properties in coconut oil mean you can rest assured it won’t increase chance of infection. It smells and tastes better than most lube, too. On many forums, users rave about how much like they enjoy coconut oil as their preferred lubricant.

You can easily create your own custom lube with a base of coconut oil by adding essential oils or other natural ingredients. Some women like lavender because of the calming scent. A hint of peppermint can add a tingling sensation while ginger will provide a warming feel when you use the coconut oil as lube. However, it takes just a drop or two for this effect, so make sure to test on your hands first before applying it to your genitals.

You can also experiment with some natural substances as lube. These include aloe, vitamin E, sea kelp and guava bark, among others. Aloe and Vitamin E are common ingredients in most commercially-available lubricants. In fact, you could harvest aloe from a plant you grow right in your own home! Another ingredient, carrageenan, is extracted from seaweed and may be able to help your body fight some infections.

Lube can be slippery fun inside the bedroom, and you can experience different sensations. The lubes on the market come with unintended side effects, so you’ll want to take care when choosing the right lube for you to ensure your sex life is both happy and healthy.

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