Lube is generally not considered a sex toy by itself, but using it can make it easier to use other toys (as well as make it easier to masturbate without a toy). Lube is anything that makes something slippery. There are a wide variety of lubes available. They are made in a number of different consistencies (from lightest to thickest), including liquids, gels, jellys, and creams. Lubes are also made from different substances, all of which have different properties and different pros and cons.
If you’re unsure about how much lube to use, use less than you think. Lube’s sort of like hot sauce in that way. If there’s too little lube, you can easily add more, but if you put on too much, you end up with an unpleasant mess. Too much lube can actually take away some sensations, because a little bit of friction can be a vital part of some forms of stimulation.
Types of Lubes:
Water Based lubes are compatible with condoms and most toys and safe for vaginal use, but tend to dry out or become sticky faster than other lubes. If they dry out, a little bit of water or saliva will rejuvenate them. Water based lubes are typically easy to find in the sexual wellness section of any drugstore or supermarket. (Where the condoms and yeast infection treatments are.)
Silicone lubes are compatible with condoms and safe for vaginal use, but will damage toys made from certain materials and can be harder to clean up. Silicone lubes tend to work better in water than water-based lubes (which will just wash away). There may be a silicone lube available in the sexual wellness section of a drugstore or supermarket, but they are often more expensive than water based lubes.
Oil Based lubes are NOT compatible with condoms and many of them are not safe for vaginal use. They can be used externally, such as for body massages or on the penis. Oil-based lubes tend to work better in water than water-based lubes (which will just wash away). They can also be harder to clean up. Oil based lubes are generally not available in the sexual wellness section, as they’ll destroy condoms. Instead, look for hand lotion, cooking oil, Vaseline, mineral oil, or massage oils elsewhere in the store.
Saliva is a somewhat decent lube, if you can get past the “ick” factor. It’s free and it’s safe for use with toys.
Natural Lubrication often occurs when a person becomes aroused. This is why getting aroused is sometimes called “getting wet”. The vagina often produces natural lubrication, which can potentially be enough for use with a toy. The penis also can produce some lubrication sometimes, although it is often not adequate for use with a toy or a hand.
WATER IS NOT A LUBE. Water may seem slippery, but it cannot be used as lube. It can even wash away natural lube.
There are a number of different lubes with special features. Here are a few of the more common ones:
Warming Lube contains a substance that produces a warming sensation for certain people. (Think like hot sauce, where it feels hot, but isn’t actually hot.) Some people enjoy this, but for some people, it’s too hot feeling, for others, it has little effect.
Tingling Lube contains a substance that produces cooling/tingling sensation. (Think along the lines of mint.) Some people enjoy this, but for some people, it creates an uncomfortable cold burning sensation, for others, it has little effect.
Numbing Lube contains an anesthetic substance that numbs the area it contacts. This is primarily used with a partner, where one person uses it on some side of a condom to numb their genitals so that sex can last longer. This feature is of limited use to someone who’s alone. Sometimes numbing lubes are sold for anal use, but that’s generally not considered a good idea, because certain types of pain can be a sign that activity should be stopped, and a numbing agent will block that pain.
Flavored Lube contains a flavoring agent. This is primarily designed for oral sex, so this feature is of limited use to someone who’s alone. (Although, you may enjoy the scent…)
Uses Of Lube:
Lube can be beneficial for use with almost any sex toy, particularly if you go in the toy or the toy goes in you. Lube is required for using sleeves and for anything that is used anally, or friction burns and discomfort will result, if you’re even able to do anything at all. Additional lube may be used for vaginal penetration, if you feel that the natural lubrication is not enough. Lube can also be used when stroking your penis by hand (especially if you’re circumcised) and for clitoral stimulation in general.