How to Choose the Right Lubricant

Any solution—usually water, silicone, or oil based—that helps to reduce friction during sexual acts to enhance pleasure. (And who wouldn't want that?)

Why Are Lubricants Necessary?

Some women think their wetness indicates their level of arousal, and if they are not wet, there is something wrong with them. Rest assured—n one of this is true. A woman's natural wetness can decrease at times due to a number of things, like stress, birth-control pills, time of the month, antihistamines, decongestants, menopause, antidepressants, and decongestants. Whenever this happens, lubrication can help ease penetration to make sex more pleasurable.

Even during times when vaginal dryness is not occurring, lubricants boost genital sensation, allowing for a man to last longer without causing discomfort for his partner.

Practicing safe sex is important, so if you're not in a long-term relationship, you're probably using a condom. Lubricant can also help maximize the experience when a condom is being used. Applying lube to the tip of the penis before the condom is rolled on increases sensation. We wouldn't want to leave anyone unsatisfied, now would we?

With the use of sex toys, considering of dryness of the materials they are made from, lubricants can be quite helpful. Just be careful in which type of lube you choose, because some will damage our toys. It's best to take care in protecting what is important to us, after all. *Wink*

With anal sex, lubricants should always be used simply because the anus doesn't have sufficient natural lubrication like the vagina often will. Without the use of lubrication during anal sex, you increase the risk of severe damage occurring. Anal-specific lubricants are often made of a thicker gel. These thicker gels help enhance enjoyment by keeping the lubricant in place. Be careful—lubricants that contain benzocaine, an anesthetic numbing agent, can be dangerous to use, as they increase the likelihood of accidental injury. Who would want to be numbed, anyway? I had no idea what I was missing before I tried it, and now, I can't get enough…

Lotions, warming/massage oils, and body toppings which are great for use during foreplay, are not meant for lubrication during sex (aka, not for use on the genitals). Their use as a lubricant can cause irritation on vaginal and anal walls—itching, burning, and possible infection may occur.

With lubes, there are plenty of choices, all with their own perks and limitations. Read up about the different kinds of lubricants below, so you can get to the fun part—picking out the perfect lube (or lubes, one kind is never enough) for you!

Kinds of Lubricants

Water Based: Water-based lubricants are the most widely available lubricants in today's market. These are the best all-purpose lubricants because they are (what do you know!) water-based, specifically designed not to irritate. Its two main ingredients are water and glycerin. Water-based lubricants can sometimes dry out during use, but simply adding a bit of water can reactivate them. Because water-based lubes don't stain, are safe to use with latex and all other methods of birth control, and almost never cause irritation, they are the most recommended by medical professionals (as well as experienced couples). I, also, personally recommend always keeping around a water-based lubricant (as well as a few others, *g*). Flavored lubricants are usually water based, but because they contain sugar, they are not always safe for use during intercourse—the sugar can cause infections inside the vaginal tract. Make sure to check the label to see if your flavored lube contains sugar before you use it for sex.

Silicone Based: Silicone-based lubricants are unique in many ways. They are completely waterproof (for some extra fun in the shower ...). They are not absorbed by the skin like water-based lubes, so they can remain useful longer. *Wink* Also, silicone-based lube is generally safe to use with condoms and other birth control methods—most pre-lubricated condoms come with a silicone-based lubricant. However, silicone lube may cause damage to silicone sex toys, so it's best to stick with a water-based lube when using them. And even though it's a little more difficult to clean up than water-based lubricants, all it takes is bit of extra soap and water to wash up. I'm a big fan of this one in particular, because the spray is quick and easy, so I can get right down to business.

Oil Based: While they are safe of use during sex, typically, oil-based lubricants are made from natural products like vegetable and nut oils, so they easily stain fabrics, and can be hard to wash off, increasing the likelihood of infection. Oil-based lubricants also include petroleum-based lubricants, like petroleum jelly, Vaseline, and baby oil . An important word of caution for all of these: they destroy latex, so do not use them with most condoms, diaphragms, cervical caps, or any other product made of latex. That said, oil-based (especially petroleum-based) lubes are common for male masturbation. Also, polyurethane condoms, which are now on the market, are safe for use with oil-based lubricants.

Now that you have all the facts, it will be easier to pick out a few lubes that will work for you. I like to have some available for every possible situation. That way, no matter what, opportunities for hot and/or kinky sex are never missed. Make sure to keep it within easy access –like one in the shower, next to the bed, in the spice rack… *g*

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