All About Lube




There are numerous sexual lubricants on the market. What is the difference between them? Almost all manufacturers of sexual lubricants will claim silky-smooth texture, long-lasting formula, moisturizes, enhances pleasure and intensifies sensitivity. Select the product that best suits your sexual activity: Will you be using condoms? Is the lube edible? Will it stain the sheets?

Essentially, these are the most readily available types of sexual lubricants:

1) Water-Based: cream or gel, latex-friendly, compatible with plastic, rubber and silicone toys, clear, non-staining, cleans off with water; mostly edible (ingesting a small amount is safe). Generally, water based lubes are reasonably priced in comparison with silicone and oil based lubes. They may not last as long as silicone or oil based lubes (i.e., may require several applications during extended sex play).
2) Water-Based Light: cream or gel, lighter texture, latex-friendly, compatible with plastic, rubber and silicone toys, clear, non-staining, cleans off with water; mostly edible (ingesting a small amount is safe); reasonably priced; may not last as long as other formulas.
3) Silicone-Based: gel, thick texture, long-lasting, latex-friendly, compatible with plastic and rubber toys, not compatible with silicone toys, stays slick underwater, cleans off with soap and water; some folks are sensitive or allergic to silicone; may stain fabrics; not edible (ingesting a large amount may be hazardous). Generally, more expensive that water based lubes but requires less application during extended sex play.
4) Water-Silicone Blend: gel, thick texture but lighter than regular silicone-based lube, long-lasting, latex-friendly, compatible with plastic, rubber and silicone toys, stays slick underwater, cleans off with soap and water; some folks are sensitive or allergic to silicone; may stain fabrics but not worse than silicone-based and oil-based lubes; not edible (ingesting a large amount may be hazardous); lasts longer than water based lubes; priced somewhere between water based lubes and regular silicone lubes.
5) Oil-Based: gel, thicker texture, longer-lasting, not latex-friendly, not compatible with plastic, rubber or silicone toys, stays slick underwater, cleans off with soap and water; may stain fabrics; not edible (ingesting a large amount may be hazardous); great for extended sex play; comparably priced as silicone based lubes.
6) Hot: water, silicone or oil formulation containing a warming agent (typically menthol) that heats on contact; see water, silicone or oil attributes above depending on formulation.
7) Desensitizer: cream or gel, typically water-based with a numbing agent like Benzocaine as an active ingredient to relax sphincter muscles and dampen nerve sensitivity for anal sex. (Male top can wear a condom to keep the topical from desensitizing the penis.) See water-based attributes above.
8) Flavored: water-based gel, latex-friendly, compatible with plastic, rubber and silicone toys, clear, non-staining, cleans off with water; mostly edible (ingesting a small amount is safe). Generally, flavored lubes are priced slightly higher than regular water based lubes. These lubes are great for oral play but supplement with your favorite water based lube for penetration and extended sex play.
9) Enhancer: spray or gel, typically water-based with a stimulant that promotes a more rigid erection; enhances performance. Products in this category are mostly not considered sexual lubricants. You may supplement with your favorite lube. For best results, apply enhancer first, then apply lube.