Tidbits; All Lubes Are Not Created Equal

Lube Wall

So, the time is now for you to start thinking about lubes, lotions, and potions, because as well all know, finely tuned machines never run dry! Besides what’s wrong with a little lube to start that engine purring? NOTHING!

It’s funny how a good part of the young male population don’t think twice about this. Most are used to the o’l “spit and polish” method used in the early discoveries of what else that erection is good for, not to leave out the ever popular dry rub into a used sock. However when a partner is involved or a particular type of sex practice, you know what I am talking about, a little help is usually required! The women already know what I’m talking about here, unless you are one of those gifted with the water that runs perpetually warm and ready to dive right in. I only have one for that, lucky “BEEYOTCHES” because given my special anatomy requirements a love lotion is always required!

Now off you go to your local friendly sex shop, come on hop to it! Before long you’ll be standing in front of a giant wall of lube options engulfed in endless visual delight…or confusion.

Let me paint a picture; you have water-based, silicone, oil, and hybrids. What is a hybrid? Simply a mix of silicone and water-based, made for those wanting the feel of a water-based but the durability of a silicone lubricant. Packed in bottles, tubs, tubes, vats, viles, sachets, packets, pouches, pillows, even make at home kits. Consistencies range from thick, to thin, goopy, watery, greasy, sticky, slippery, silky, and slick. There’s regular, warming, cooling, tingling, and numbing. How about the scents, the colours, and the flavours? Ranging from fruity, sweet, and chocolatey! Formulated to look like freshly whipped up batches of the sticky stuff with long lists of unpronounceable chemicals and claims of  being organic or all natural. All with questionably varying prices.

So, where do you start? Which one is safe? Which should I avoid? Are they compatible with what you are doing?

Let’s play twenty questions, give or take a few.

Ask yourself these for starters;

Is it for solo play? Will you need it for external use, internal, or both? Can I use it with my favourite toy? What about a partner? What are their needs? Am I allergic?

Personally I have what I call my own private arsenal of lotions, potions, and lubes. I love water based because I find it easy to wash off and it works well with all toys! However, partners find it dries out to fast and they need the longer lasting of a hybrid. The decision to use came from answering the afore mentioned question. It’s not just about you when it comes to play partners. Most men I have come across even in mature years still don’t care what they lube up that pole with, as long as it does the job.

A partner on the other hand, will most likely have a different set of needs!

Let’s break it down and keep it simple.

Water based; good for use with all toys and are condom compatible, generally don’t stain, and can be flavoured. Thicker than silicone it cleans up easily with soap and water. They do dry out faster, but that’s nothing that can’t cured with a spray bottle on hand to reactivate. Now available in gel forms and good for anal use. To make them palatable, (good to taste) some have glycerin or aspartame added. Glycerin can turn into a sugar in the vagina and lead to possible yeast infections, not good. Aspartame according to some documentation affects the brain and has been shown to be linked to Alzheimers. The thickening agent (hydroyethylcellulose) is derived from plant cellulose extracted either from aloe vera, flaxseed, and in some cases beechwood, so be careful of allergies. Read the labels, as some are laden with parabens (preservatives known to be carcinogenic).

Silicone; good for use with all activities and is condom compatible. The choice of toys starts to diminish here, because of a bonding reaction with the silicone in the toys, and is not recommended, even with use on medical grade items. Simply put, it makes them melt. That includes “silagel” “silaskin” tpr, jellies. It’s a liquid that’s clear, odourless, thinner in consistency and feels oily. It has a tendency to stain, but nothing a couple table spoons that Oxy Clean can’t cure. It doesn’t dry out and can be hard to wash off leaving a lingering feeling on the skin. Smaller molecules here means a better feel, good for anal play. At this point it’s a matter of personal preference.

Oil based; thicker consistency, of a vegetable, petroleum, mineral or animal (depending on what’s available) base that can be a clear or coloured liquid, or solid depending on the temperature. Not recommended for vaginal use because of the high risk of yeast infections. Best for external masturbation, and according to recent studies the decrease in recommendations for rectal use. A trip to the folks at IRMA (Internal Rectal Microbicide Association) will tell you that! It is not compatible with latex condoms or latex toys and there are a lot out there. It will make them dry out and crack/break. On the increase is the use of coconut oil, a natural anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, that tastes great, and is absorbed into the body without the risk of yeast infections, although still not compatible with latex and does have a risk of allergic reactions. I use a lot of this!

So you see the types are not so endless, but choices are, and given the amount of companies producing lubricants it is easy to see how confusing it can be.

Watch for my next article, for all you science geeks with enquiring minds. I’ll delve a little deeper into some science facts!

My suggestion is to ask and educate your sex shop professional what it is you’ll be getting up to and share your list of your requirements and parameters. We can’t help you if you don’t tell us!