A little-known fact is that lube can be a real game-changer when it comes to pleasure – whether you are masturbating solo or having sex with a partner. But what exactly is lube, and what can you do with it?
Lube: A smooth operator
Lube, short for “lubricant,” often comes as a slippery, smooth gel. As you can imagine lube reduces friction. It also helps increase pleasure, making sex wetter and more enjoyable. Lube can be used for many types of sex, like vaginal sex, anal sex, sex with toys, etc.
What’s it good for?
To level up your sex game, consider:
- Using lube for penis-vagina sex. Most people with a vagina get “wet” when turned on. But some don’t. Even for those who get wet naturally, it’s sometimes not enough. Using lube can make sex more enjoyable.
- Using lube for penis-anus sex. Lube is a must-have for anal sex. Since the anus doesn’t naturally get wet, lube should always be used. It’s good to reapply lube whenever you start to feel friction.
- Using lube for solo sex. Lube is a good tool for masturbation. Whether on a toy or fingers/hands, lube can add to your experience.
Always start out with a dime-sized amount of lube and continue to reapply as needed. You’ll know if you need to reapply when sex feels a little rough or if you want to feel more sensation.
There are three main types of lubes:
- Oil-based lube. Oil-based lube has a nice texture thicker than water-based lube, but it is unsafe to use with most condoms. Oil degrades latex (one of the main ingredients in most condoms) and increases the risk of tearing. Also, when oil-based lube is used vaginally or anally, it can cause serious infections since it is more likely to trap bacteria. So, when should you use oil-based lube? Honestly, it’s best used for massage.
- Water-based lube. Using a water-based lube is your best and safest bet since it is compatible with all toys and condoms. It’s also great for sensitive skin and is easy to clean up. However, this lube tends to dry out faster, so you might need to reapply it frequently.
- Silicone-based lube. Silicone lube is a great option for both vagina-penis and penis-anus sex because it’s very slippery and doesn’t need to be reapplied frequently. It’s condom safe and far less likely to cause irritation or infections because it doesn’t trap bacteria like oil-based lubes.
Always check in with your partner to make sure they’re comfortable. Lube can make sex more fun, but talking with your partner about what feels good helps ensure a good experience. Communication is key.
To learn more about lube and sex, check out these resources:
- Sex 101
- Masturbation: Totally Normal (video)
- How do you use lube with condoms?
- Heads up – Sex Starts with Consent
Author: Stephanie Paz is a Tigua Indian of Ysleta del Sur Pueblo. She has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from The University of Texas at El Paso and is working towards a Master of Public Health in Health Behavior and Health Promotion from New Mexico State University.