The vagina is amazing. When aroused, it produces natural lubrication that helps reduce friction and makes sex all the more pleasurable.
Unfortunately, things can get in the way sometimes that affects the vagina’s rhythm and flow. If you’ve been looking for a safe way to make playtime a little more slippery, sensual, and longer-lasting, there’s no shame in turning to lube!
But with so many lubes and targeted marketing campaigns out there, what is the best lubricant for women? And are there other factors you should consider before purchasing lube? Let’s get into it.
What Are the Benefits of Using Lubricant?
When learning what kind of lube is best, it’s important to consider that all bodies are unique. What feels “good” to you may mean different things to different people.
For the most part, lube has a whole lot of pros with very few cons. Even if your body makes enough of its own natural lubricant, adding lubricant can make things even more exciting for you and your partner(s).
Specifically, some of the benefits of using lube for your sexual escapades can include:
- Counteracting painful penetration caused by friction, chafing, or a lack of natural lubrication.
- More pleasurable, comfortable anal sex.
- Safer sex—quality lube can help reduce the risk of micro-tears in the vagina or anus that make you more susceptible to STIs (sexually transmitted infections).
- Sex that can last longer before becoming uncomfortable after orgasm.
Plus, you can use lube for both solo sex and sex with a partner (or multiple partners). It’s the gift that keeps on giving!
What Are the Different Types of Lube?
The word “lube” may be frequently used as a catch-all, but there are many types of lubricants that you can incorporate into your sex life. Each has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, and we’ll cover them all to help you find the best option for you.
Water-based lubricants are water-soluble (meaning they dissolve easily in water). While water-based lube is similar to the consistency of the vagina’s natural lubrication, it may not be the best lubricant for women, as water-based lubes tend to dry up quickly… and you know how we feel about quickies.
Silicone-based lubricants take the slipperiness of a water-based lube up a notch. This added lubrication allows them to provide a longer-lasting time frame for pleasure. They are also waterproof, so they’re excellent for even wetter sex in the shower or tub. Plus, silicone-based lubes are usually hypoallergenic!
Oil-based lubricants are long-lasting and the slipperiest of the available options. Long-lasting and slippery? Say no more!
You can also use oil-based lube as a massage oil, making for sensual foreplay. Just make sure you don’t use oil-based lubes with latex condoms and toys! Scientists found that oil-based lubricants increase breakage, leading to strong evidence that while the damage is not statistically significant, oil and latex simply don’t mix.
They may also stain certain fabrics, like your favorite satin sheets, so you may want to put a towel down to protect your sheets from oil spots.
If you’re concerned about what’s in your lube, using lube with natural ingredients may be a better option (if not, the best).
Organic MCT coconut oil has bedside status for many women, and is a staple ingredient in many natural lubricants, too (including our Intimacy Natural Lubricant with CBD). While natural lube can help you avoid ingredients like parabens, it may also increase the risk of an allergic reaction for those with food allergies.
Things To Consider When Choosing the Right Lubricant for You
Choosing the best lubricant for women is personal, as it depends on each person’s specific needs and desires. However, there are a few things to consider when choosing a lubricant, especially if any of the following apply to you.
Dealing With Dryness
Choose your lube carefully if you struggle with chronic vaginal dryness – especially if you’re in menopause or are postmenopausal.
Lubes labeled ”warming” tend to dry up quickly, so you’ll have to take frequent breaks to reapply, which can put a damper on the mood. Stick with silicone-based lubes, and stay away from anything water-based or with glycerin as the main ingredient.
Glycerin (or glycol) is a sugar alcohol – it even tastes sweet – and sugar’s biggest fan is yeast. It can increase the risk of developing a yeast infection, as it contributes to an overgrowth of yeast in the vagina.
Great news for a tasty loaf, not so great for vulvas.
Speaking of buns in the oven — if you’re trying for a little one, it may be worth looking at the type of lube you’re using.
While there isn’t enough research to back it up, there is some evidence that some lubricants may stop the sperm from being able to swim freely toward their target. If possible, avoid using lube if you are trying to have a baby, or look for a lubricant that says “sperm-friendly” on the label.
Using a Condom
Condoms are crucial if you’re having sex with a new partner or are trying to avoid getting pregnant.
Not all lubes are condom-safe – oil-based lubes in particular do increase the risk that condoms may rip or break during sex. If you’re using latex condoms, stick with water-based or silicone lubes to help prevent unwanted pregnancies or STIs.
Use a Sex Toy
Sex toys are a fantastic way to spice up your sex life, whether playing solo or with a partner. Most toys – like dildos and vibrators – are made of silicone and can be used with lubricants, provided you know what to look for.
Although it would seem like using a silicone-based lube with a silicone sex toy would be a good idea, these lubes can actually break down the toys and create an increased risk of infection. You spend enough money on sex toys – don’t risk using a lube that will reduce their lifespan!
Sex in the shower (or bathtub!) can be one of the greatest joys in life – but using lube in bathtubs or showers can put you and your partner at risk of a slip-and-fall.
Using lube to enjoy some good clean intimacy can make for a more pleasurable, longer-lasting romp – but make sure you choose the right type! Water-based lubes are easily dissolvable in water, so you’ll want to grab an oil-based lube if you're going to enjoy some slippery, sexy fun after your steamy shower session.
Knowing What To Avoid
When choosing a lube, avoid anything that contains synthetic additives, like vague “perfumes” or “fragrances.” These ingredients tend to dry out the vagina and cause irritation – which is the opposite of what we’re going for!
Flavored lubes are off the table, too, since these often contain those pesky sugars we talked about earlier.
We’re proud to say that we never add anything to our products that don’t grow directly out of the earth. And although often a personal preference, many people also stick with preservative-free, glycerin-free, and paraben-free lubes for much the same reason.
How To Use Lubricant for Women
The best lubricant for women is the one that fits your needs, and most importantly, the one that they are excited to use!
How you choose to use them is ultimately up to you, but we have a few pointers (especially for first-time lube users — welcome to the club!).
- If you have sensitive skin, you may want to perform a patch test before going all in to ensure that you won’t have an allergic reaction.
- Don’t just apply lube on the penis for vaginal sex. Lube can also be used on the vulva for external play or anal sex. Add a little lube when you masturbate, too! Just make sure that you’re not using silicone lubricant on your silicone toys!
- Lay a towel down, especially if you’ve got your good sheets.
- Reapply, reapply, reapply! Although silicone-based and oil-based lubes last longer than water-based lube – don’t be afraid to reapply if you want to keep the good times going!
What Are the Side Effects of Lubricant?
When you use the right lube for your sexual needs, the pros far outnumber the cons. However, that’s not to say that there isn’t the risk of potential side effects.
For example, people may experience an allergic reaction to ingredients found in some lubes – especially those that contain nut products or fragrances. If you experience difficulty breathing, swelling, hives, or a sudden rash during or after lubricant use, call your doctor ASAP.
Other than that, the only other side effect we haven’t discussed is that you may be extra tired from all the orgasms you’re having!
Your sexual health should be just as important as your physical or mental health. Everyone deserves pleasure, and lube can be that little extra push you need to help you explore what works for you.
Try out a few personal lubricants to find the best lube for your body instead of buying one that others may like. After all, it’s your sex life — so enjoy it!
Five great reasons to use lube the next time you're getting intimate | IPPF
Effect of Vaginal Lubricants on Natural Fertility | PMC
Lube Dos and Don'ts | University of Texas
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