It can be tricky to choose a lube when there are so many different types. Luckily for you, we've taken the hard work out of it! Read on for our guide on choosing the best lube for you.
There is no doubt about it. Lube makes every kind of sex feel better and last longer. Gone are the days when it was somehow 'embarrassing' or 'shameful' to invest in a bottle of the slippery stuff (this was never true anyway). It just means you're investing in your pleasure.
But, choosing a good lube for sex can feel overwhelming:
- What does a good lube feel like?
- Does taste matter?
- How long should the slipperiness last?
- What ingredients should be avoided?
It's easy to walk away from the lube shelves and grab a bottle of baby oil instead - that stuff is still slippery, right?
It is, but your genitals won't thank you for the inconsideration...
Baby oil, petroleum jelly - those things are likely to cause an itch in the ditch and are best avoided. Seriously. You'll give yourself an infection. Put down the bottle of baby oil and read on for tips on picking a lube that will enhance the kind of sex you are having.
1. The best lube for every kind of sex
Think about the kind of play this lube will mostly be used for. Lube enhances every type of sexual activity, increasing glide and sensitivity, whatever your gender or sexuality and whether you're playing solo or with a partner. As one of the least expensive pleasure-intensifying products, it's worth having a dedicated lube for specific sexual situations.
- All Sex: Choose a water-based lube. Water-based lube is the best allround lube for every kind of sex, including sex play that incorporates toys. Most of the lubricants we stock are water-based, as it's the most body-friendly type. It's also the easiest to wash from your body and bedsheets.
- Safer Sex: Choose any lube. Lubricant is the cornerstone of safer sex. Use lube with condoms to prevent them from splitting. Every lubricant we carry is latex-safe, so whichever lube you choose will be safe for use with condoms.
- Anal Play: Choose an anal lube, a thick, long-lasting lube or a silicone lube. The delicate tissue in the rectum isn't self-lubrication, and lashings of high-quality lube must be used during anal play.
- Shower, Bath or Jacuzzi Sex: Choose silicone lube. Silicone lube isn't water-soluble and you need soap to wash it off, which is why it's great for sex in water. But - a word of warning here: Silicone lube becomes incredibly slippery on bathroom tiles so tread carefully!
- Silicone Sex Toys: Choose water-based lube. We don't recommend using a silicone-based lube together with sex toys made from silicone. There is a possibility of the two silicones reacting to each other, causing damage to your favourite vibrator or dildo.
- Baby Making: A number of lube ingredients are harmful to sperm, so if you're trying to conceive, we recommend using a sperm-friendly lube. There are not many on the market, so do your research before buying.
2. Do you want a natural lube?
Some lube ingredients can irritate delicate vaginal membranes. It's worth paying attention to the ingredients list if your vagina is sensitive. A common lube ingredient that can cause a reaction is paraben, a preservative (see below).
If you are sensitive, choose a natural lubricant like Yes Organic. With aloe vera among its gentle ingredients, Yes is unlikely to upset the delicate pH balance in the vagina.
- Prone to Thrush? If you are prone to thrush, we recommend choosing a glycerin-free lubricant such as Intimate Earth Hydra Natural Glide. Glycerin is a form of sugar. Thrush thrives on this, so avoiding it makes good sense.
- Want to Avoid Parabens? Our range of Sh! lubes are all paraben-free and water-based. Sh! Pure is our bestseller. It's gentle, slick, and has no taste or lingering scent.
- Looking for Vegan Lube? Sliquid is the lube for you. Using certified organic ingredients, 100% vegan-friendly, Sliquid is glycerin, paraben, & petroleum-free.
3. How would you like your lube to feel?
There are many options for lube out there, and how your lube feels will depend entirely on the type of lube you go for.
Haven’t found a lube with the right consistency yet? Or have you just started experimenting? We recommend trying out different types before you write lube off as not for you.
Want a lube that isn’t sticky?
Sh! Lube Liquid feels and acts more like a lotion than a regular lube; it simply absorbs into the skin after a while which makes it a great lube for erotic massage too.
Which lube lasts the longest?
Silicone lube acts and feels oily, sitting on the surface of the skin. It delivers a slippery glide that feels similar to baby oil, though slightly thicker. The downside to its long-lasting properties is that silicone lube doesn't wash away easily and, like any oil, it can mark sheets and clothing. Also, as silicone isn't water soluble, you might find it clings to the internal walls of the vagina, which can eventually cause an itch.
Want a gel-like lube that washes away easily?
Sh! Pure has a clear gel consistency that isn't gloopy or sticky. After playtime, it washes away without leaving any residue.
Need a thicker lube?
Sh! Pure Plus contains less water which makes it extra thick, providing substantial lubrication.
4. Is using flavoured lube important?
If you're likely to get some in your mouth during play, you want to ensure you don't mind the taste. However, you want to be careful that you're not getting any flavoured lube in places you shouldn't! For some flavour-free fun, we suggest the following options:
- Sh! Pure is a pretty much taste-free.
- Silicone-based lube isn't flavoured but tastes oily.
- Liquid Silk has a slightly bitter after-taste.
Whilst not recommended for everyday use, flavoured lube adds a delicious lickability to oral sex.
5. How do I choose which lube to buy?
Buying lube on the net can be tricky as you can't feel the consistency or do a taste-test, but here's something that'll help: A lube sample kit.
Available in either plain or flavoured, each kit contains 6 lube sachets so you can test which one you & your genitals prefer before investing in a larger bottle.