Everything You Need To Know About Lube

lube illustration

Illustration by Sarah Wintner

So, what’s the deal with lube?

I never thought I’d ever write a sentence like that but hey, it’s a legitimate question for a lot of people who are new and familiar with the whole, you know, sexual stimulation thing. It’s funny because lube is still treated as this awkward piece of the sexual puzzle that people don’t really want to talk about despite the fact that it’s so…harmless. It’s not like it’s a glow in the dark dildo that sings show tunes, it’s lube, a substance that has one purpose and one purpose only: Making it easier to slide things in and around sexy body parts.

You don’t have to be having sex to use lube either. So if you’re curious about lube and its many wonders, check out the rest of this post. We’ll tell you everything you need to know.


What’s lube? 

Lube is a substance that is used to reduce friction during sexual acts. For example, during sexual intercourse it allows for less awkward, uncomfortable chaffing during penetration. But it’s not just useful for cis-hetero penis and vagina sex. It can be used with sex toys, during masturbation and any other sexy times that could benefit from some easy gliding.


What is that stuff made out of, though? Are some lubes better than others?

Okay, so here’s the quick and dirty about different types of lube:

Water based: Water based lube is the most popular kind of lube. It’s water soluble, meaning that it comes off easily with water, which is great as long as you aren’t doing sexy stuff in the water. Plus, it’s the most gentle type of lube you can use. Because it’s water based, it has a tendency to dry out due to a little thing called evaporation, but a little additional application should solve that problem pretty easily.

Silicone based: Silicone based lube doesn’t absorb into the skin, which means that it is longer lasting than water based lube. Also, if you’re using lubricated condoms you should know that that lubrication is usually made with silicone. That doesn’t mean that all silicone lubes are latex safe, though, so make sure it is before using it in addition to condoms. Silicone lube  doesn’t contain water, it can be used in water, such as bathtubs, showers, etc. But you’ll want to avoid this kind of lube if you want to use lube on your sex toys that are made of silicone because it can ruin the material and become a breeding ground for nasty bacterias. You don’t want that goin’ up your cooch, dude. The other downside is that silicone is a little harder to clean up, but if that’s not a deal breaker for you then there might be more pros than cons.

Oil based: Oil based lubricants are petroleum based are the least popular lube options for two good reasons. First of all, they can ruin latex, which means they’re a big no-no for condoms. Second of all, they’re really really not safe to use during vaginal activity since it really screws up the chemistry down there; basically, prepare for the yeast infection from hell. It’s great for folks who have penises and want to use it for masturbation or anal purposes, but for those of us with vaginas? Eh, it’s best to stay away.

There are also organic lubes, lubes specifically for anal action and lubes that warm up and cool down. But it’s important to know what bases you’re dealing with first and whether or not they’l fit into your sexual lifestyle before you get all fancy.

will ferrell lube

Is there flavored lube?

Yes, there is! Seriously, you can find lube in almost every flavor under the sun, including mint, strawberry, vanilla, chocolate, citrus, melon etc. Taste the rainbow…seriously.

Is lube only useful for intercourse?

As mentioned earlier, lube doesn’t only benefit penis in vagina sex. It is great for reducing the pain of penetration in general, whether it’s genitals or a sex toy. It’s also useful for masturbation, too. Yes, vaginas are able to get wet all on their own, but sometimes it’s nice to have a little help. That’s where lube comes in! So it’s great for sexy times with a partner or when you’re all by yourself. It’s not just for stickin a penis in a vagina, y’all.

Is lube awkward to introduce into your sex life?

Source: Giphy


It’s awkward if you make it awkward. Yeah, some people might think that lube is a little funny to throw into the mix, but if you’re mature about it it’ll be awkward to act as if it’s weird. You follow me? If you get some lube, introduce it to your partner and playfully suggest throwing it into the mix, it shouldn’t cause any drama.

Come on, how much more awkward is this than bumping each others bits into each other and making weird noises?


I want to use lube during hookup sessions with my S.O. but they aren’t feeling it. What should I do?

Some people, especially straight cis dudes in relationships with straight cis women might feel a little blow to their pride when lube is suggested. They may think, “what? I can’t get you excited enough without help?” In case this is the issue and they just don’t vocalize it, emphasize that this ain’t about them, it’s about you and your comfort!

You can’t force someone to like lube, but you should be able to convince them to give it a shot without it killing your relationship. If this is a deal breaker for your S.O. then you two might need to re-evaluate compromises that are being made in your sex life.

Can’t I just use [SOMETHING THAT ISN’T LUBE] as lube?

No. No. No no no no no.


So, do you have any thoughts about lube? Would you be apprehensive to bring it into the mix of your sex life? Tell us in the comments!

You can follow the author, Ashley Reese, on Twitter or Instagram. Don’t worry, she doesn’t bite!


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  • Rob

    Ashley – Would you be interested in trying an oil-based lubricant that is FDA cleared and proven to not facilitate yeast infections and is compatible with Latex, Polyurethane, and Polyisoprene condoms? If so, please contact the manufacturers of Simply Slick. We would be more than happy to send a sample and FDA tests if you’re interested in reviewing them 🙂