A short while ago I wrote some simple guides for buying toys. While they included a little bit of information on the sort of things you may want to include with your purchase, in terms of maximising fun and caring for them, I thought a more detailed post on the kind of lubricants we stock would be helpful.
Many people snub the idea of lube because they feel like it implies their body isn't working properly, or that they can't get their partner "wet" enough. But this isn't the case! Added lubricant is proven to make sex more enjoyable for all genders, makes orgasm more likely, and reduces the risk of painful sex and tissue damage.
Even knowing all of this, it can sometimes feel a bit overwhelming to be met with a massive selection of options. But here are the main types of lube you will find along with some useful information on how they're best used, to help you make your decision.
Probably the most commonly used lubricants are of the waterbased variety. These are gel-like and usually have no additives which could incite allergic reactions, so they're great for sensitive folks. Waterbased lubes are completely safe for use with all toys and kinds of condoms. They make penetration a lot more comfortable, as well as reducing friction when using toys externally. Specially formulated anal lubes are another great option, as they are extra thick to make sure anal penetration is as pleasurable as possible.
It's also really easy to clean up after using waterbased lubes, as they absorb into skin, evaporate, or can simply be wiped away. Unfortunately this is why they have a reputation of not lasting long, as they tend to "dry" into skin. However, it's actually really easy to reactivate a waterbased lube: simply add a few drops of water or saliva to wherever you applied it before, and get back to that slippery sensation!
If you want to avoid the hassle of topping up your waterbased lube all the time, silicone could be the answer! These incredibly slippery liquids are usually made from compounds like cyclopentasiloxane, dimethiconol, and dimethicone. Dimethicone is a very common skincare and cosmetic ingredients, so you might find that silicone lube reminds me of your mattifying primer or moisturiser!
With silicone lubricants, a little goes a long way. So they may seem expensive at first, compared to waterbased, but their longlasting nature means that a bottle of silicone lube will take much longer to run out. This also makes them ideal for anal sex.
As well as this silicone lubes are waterproof, so they're great for shower sex! Though watch them on the bathroom tiles, silicone is very very slippery and not as easy to clean up as other lubes.
These are also not suitable for use with any jelly/rubber/TPE/TPR toys as it will degrade them. If a toy is 100% genuine silicone it should be safe to use with silicone lubricant, though many will tell you otherwise. If in doubt, check with the manufacturer. Or, if you're into experiments, rub a tiny amount of silicone lubricant onto an inconspicuous area of your toy and check for any breaking down of the material.
For a "best of both worlds" option, silk lubricants are combi-waterbased and silicone! This means that they will last longer than regular waterbased lubes and will dry less tacky. At the same time they aren't quite as intensely slippery as silicone lubricants, which makes them a lot easier to handle.
The lower silicone concentration does make them safer for use with silicone toys, but I would still recommend avoiding any jelly/rubber toys coming into contact with silk lubes.
Overall, these are touted as the best lubricants for masturbation because of their smooth texture and the fact that you don't need to constantly re-apply. Though these are always going to be benefits for coupled sex as well!
While the main lubricant bases have already been covered, some include extra ingredients which are designed to simulate different sensations. Menthol is a common addition, which creates a cooling, tingling sensation. Other lubricants use propylene glycol to stimulate warmth.
Our favourites at Scandals are the Liquid Vibrators, which use all natural and vegan ingredients to create their incredibly strong, buzzing sensations. Some also have added flavours, as well as hot and cool sensations.
Sensation lubricants are best kept to external play, as their active ingredients can sometimes irritate the sensitive internal tissue of the genitals and anus. If you're worried about how your body will react, you can try rubbing a bit of the lubricant on the inside of your elbow first, then the inside of your lip, before trying during sex.
Similarly, flavoured lubes are great fun but it's best to avoid using them for penetration as they can upset the pH levels of the body.
This doesn't really matter as the best way to use flavoured lubes is of course: oral sex! If you or your partner aren't the biggest fan of going down, their favourite dessert flavour may be all the encouragement that's needed.
Finally, massage oils can also be used as lubricants but this comes with a few caveats!
Oils will break down latex condoms, so they should never come in contact with one another. Similarly to silicone they will also damage any jelly/rubber/TPR/TPE type toys. However they should be fine for use with silicone, glass, and metal toys. The only risk is the build up of heat from friction, which may get uncomfortable! In which case a hybrid lube may be best best option.
Petroleum jelly (also known as vaseline) should never be used as a lubricant. It harbours bacteria and upsets pH levels, which could lead to all sorts of nasty infections!
If you know how you want to use your lubricant, it shouldn't be too hard to decide which to go with. But if you're still feeling lost, waterbased is a great all-rounder that can be used with anything, and anywhere. Or you can always sort out a pic'n'mix selection of a few different kinds for whatever mood you're in!