Lube, you might have heard of it. But, what is lube? It’s a slippery substance that can make anal sex feel oh-so good while also helping to keep you and your partners safe from HIV and other STIs. Ready to explore lube? Let’s squirt out all the slick lube info you didn’t know you needed.
I know I should use lube, but why?
Put simply, you should always be using lube for sex, especially if the activities you are engaging in include anal sex. When you use proper lubrication, you reduce friction – and this is beneficial, whether you’re the bottom or top. If you’re the bottoming partner, without lube, you can get small tears inside the rectal lining of your bum which make you more susceptible to contracting HIV or other STIs. And if you’re the topping partner; lube will prevent tears on the cock. Who knew keeping it slippery was helping protect you from STIs!
Anal sex shouldn’t hurt
Another reason that you want to use lube is that it makes the experience more comfortable! Although it is commonly believed that pain in anal sex is a normal and okay part of anal sex, this is not true. Learning to relax and enjoy anal sex of any kind can take time and doesn’t come easy for everyone, so using lubrication is only going to make it that much more comfy and bearable. By applying it to both the butt and the insertive object (be it a finger, sex toy, dick…) you are making sure that you have adequate slippage that may have you saying ‘oh my’.
What type of lube should I use?
When it comes to lube there are options! The question is which is best for the job at hand? 😉
Water-based lube is widely used that will work well in almost every scenario. Not only does water-based lube wash out of sheets and clothing, but it also works well with condoms and sex toys. It’s also usually tolerated well by people’s bodies. Water-based lube can come in a number of different consistencies, from watery to gel-like to creamier or lotion-type formulas.
Water-based lube will be absorbed more quickly into the body, which means you will need to reapply regularly. So if you are feeling like the pumps are generating a bit more friction, check if your partner wants some more lube. There is no such thing as too much lube!
Silicone-based lubes are a great alternative to water-based lubes, and they’re especially good for anal sex as they last much longer inside the rectum. If you hate having to stop to apply more lube mid-session this could be the stuff for you. But be wary that it can stain sheets and clothing, so keep a towel down, take off your good shirt and protect your linen!
Silicone-based lube can also damage sex toys made from silicone, so for this reason it’s best to stick to water-based lube if you are going to be playing with toys.
Thinking about getting into some watersports? Or maybe you just like doing it in the shower? Silicone-based lube will work great as it won’t wash away as easily, so you won’t need to use so much. That way, you’re spending less time applying lube and more time getting wet and wild.
Water and silicone-based hybrids
Sometimes you can have the best of both worlds. In this case, you could consider a water and silicone-based hybrid – they can last longer than a standard water-based lube while not being as thick as a lot of silicone-based lubricants.
Oil-based lubricants like Vaseline, cooking oils and massage oils may be easy to come by or smell great but should be avoided if you are relying on condoms to protect you from HIV and STIs. Condoms are most commonly made of latex, and they will quickly deteriorate and be destroyed by oil-based lubricants. So why not keep oil to the massage section of your foreplay.
Other tips and tricks for using lube
While you might be surprised by how many options there are out there, here are some handy pointers.
Keep it plain Jane!
The butt is a sensitive area, so if possible, it’s better to avoid lubes that include heaps of chemicals – or at the least, be cautious of how much you use. This could include flavoured lubes (you aren’t going to taste it when it’s going in 😜), warming, tingling and numbing or desensitising lubes.
In particular, you should take extra precautions if you decide to use numbing or desensitising lubricants as they can prevent you from knowing if something is hurting or if you get injured during sex. You can always test any new lube out first in case you’re sensitive to it or don’t enjoy the sensation.
If you do have a reaction you should check if it might be linked to one of the ingredients (check the label), and if in doubt, consult your doctor.
By the bedside
Keep your lube handy, if you don’t want to throw off the flow of your hook-up, have the lube bottle (and anything else you may need, such as condoms) within arms’ reach.
Could it be time for a sub-spit-ute?
As hot as it may be, spit is not a great substitute for lube. It often dries out quickly during anal and won’t be nearly as effective as a purpose-made lube. Perhaps your partner has a mild case of the stank breath? (A bit ew, yes, but it happens!). No one is looking for a lube that smells like halitosis, so why use spit when other lubes come scented or even flavoured!
Clean up in aisle 69
If you spill lube on the floor (especially tiled surfaces), make sure you clean it up straight away as surprise, surprise, that stuff is slippery! If you don’t do it straight away, you may forget about it while in the heat of the moment. Just like the banana peels in Mario Kart, slippery objects can bring a stellar performance on the racetrack can also and end with a slip and crash (🍌 we see you).