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Lube is a wonderful thing--it reduces friction and adds slippery, feel-good fun to all kinds of play. With certain types of sexual activity (like anal sex), lube is an absolute must. Read on for some detail that will help you find the perfect lube for you.

Consider the kind of activity you will be using it for, and personal preference regarding consistency. A lubricant’s composition, including any ingredients you may be sensitive to, are key factors in determining what to use.

Types of lubricants

water-based: liquid & gel

Quick Reference Info:
Consistency: Varied, light to thick
Best uses: Internal and external; gel especially good for anal
Compatible with condoms: Yes
Compatible with silicone toys: Yes

picture of water based lubes Water-based lubricants most closely resemble the body's own fluids. Since they do not contain any oils, they are easy to clean, and do not tend to stain fabrics. Some will prefer a lubricant without glycerin, and we carry a variety of lubes to give people a choice. While water-based lubes are slippery, they tend to absorb faster than oil-based or silicone lubes, so they may need to be reapplied. (You can also add a little water to rehydrate them and make them slick again!) Water-based liquids are usually fairly light in consistency, while gels are thicker and may provide a little more cushion.

hybrid lube

Quick Reference Info:
Consistency: Creamy and moisturizing
Best uses: Vaginal play, hand play
Compatible with condoms: Yes
Compatible with silicone toys: Yes

picture of cream lubesHybrid lubricants bring together the best of silicone and water-based lubes. They are essentially water-based lube mixed with a little bit of silicone, so they are more long-lasting, like silicone lube, but are easy to clean up like water-based lubes. Though most formulations don't have enough silicone in them to damage your toys, you should still rinse toys off immediately after using them with hybrid lubes.


Quick Reference Info:
Consistency: Light and slick
Best uses: Internal and external play, users with sensitivities
Compatible with condoms: Yes
Compatible with silicone toys: No

picture of silicone lube Silicone-based lubricants are appreciated because they are quite long-lasting. They feel more like oil than water-based lubes, and never get sticky. They are the most slippery, so they are also good for intercourse as well as hand jobs, and can be used for massage since they don’t dry out. Unlike water-based formulas, silicone lubes do not evaporate. They are waterproof, which makes them a great option for use in the tub or shower, but be careful not to spill–we really mean it when we say this lubricant is slick! Some silicone lubricants cost a little more, but remember that a little goes a long way with this long-lasting lube.

*special note:

Keep in mind that silicone-based lubes should not be used with most brands of silicone toys! Silicone-on-silicone can cause a reaction that can damage the surface of the toys.


Quick Reference Info:
Consistency: Varies based on ingredient combinations
Best uses: Varies with the product’s consistency
Compatible with condoms: If lube is water-based
Compatible with silicone toys: If lube is water-based

picture of organic lubeNatural lubricants have become increasingly popular as more people have become mindful about ingredients. Many natural lubes are designed for compatibility with the body's pH balance; many include botanical essences as well. If you are prone to yeast infections, natural or organic non-gycerin lubricants may be a good option for you.


Quick Reference Info:
Consistency: Rich and slick
Best uses: Internal and external play, massage
Compatible with condoms: Not compatible with latex condoms, but compatible with polyurethane
Compatible with silicone toys: Yes

picture of oiled based lubesOil-based lubricants are great for massage that turns into intimate play. They stay slippery longer than water-based lubes and are typically safe to use with toys. A little goes a long way, and because these are oils, take care that they don’t spill on (and possibly stain) your sheets. Keep in mind that oil will damage latex.

get the lube where you want it to go!:

picture of lube applicatorsWhat are these? They are lube shooters, ingenious items that let you put lubricant into the vagina or anus before a toy or body part enters, making the path slippery, sexy, and comfortable.

Commonly Asked Questions:

What if I have sensitive skin/allergies? Choose a lube with fewer ingredients and fewer chemical preservatives; some of the organic choices might be a better fit for you, but remember that if a lubricant has an ingredient you are sensitive to... read more

Is silicone safe in the body? While any person might find an ingredient in lube doesn’t agree with them, silicone lubricant has a good reputation and seems to be non-irritating to most users.

Do people need lube if they’re turned on? It’s a myth that a person who’s aroused is always wet enough for comfortable penetration--many things can affect how wet we get, including hormones, stress, hydration, whether we smoke, and... read more

Are desensitizing lubes safe? What about warming/tingling lubes? We do not recommend using desensitizing lubes or creams. They’re frequently sold with the promise they’ll make anal more comfortable... read more

Which lubes are best for anal? Generally, thicker lubricants work best for anal play because they provide some extra cushion. Silicone and oil-based lubricants are also popular for anal sex because they don't dry out... read more