It’s okay to talk about lube. Really. In fact, let’s say it out loud together, “lube.” See? No...
BY DR. MICHAEL KRYCHMAN
Everything you always wanted to know about choosing a correct lubricant, but were afraid to ask!
Choosing an intimate lubricant for sexual pleasure can sometime be considered a daunting and complicated task. So many choices with so many different ingredients. Consider this the next time you visit your local adult store: Stand by the intimate shelf where they keep personal lubricants, and take some time to look at the diversity of lubricant selections. It’s easy to become flabbergasted with the overwhelming number of choices. Water? Silicone? Hybrid? Colored or flavored? Expensive or cheap? Enhancing? Compatible with condoms? We don't want condom breakage! Here is a quick and easy guide that helps to debunk some of the lubricant myths (like lubricants are only for those with vaginal dryness - not true - or they cause yeast infections and STIs - not necessarily true) in an effort to make purchasing your next personal lube easier.
Choice selections to use lube can be simplified, transforming something complex into something made easy for your sexual health needs. But, always keep in mind that one lubricant does not always fit all practices in your sex life. Develop your lubricant pleasure chest by adding different types of lube. It’s important to have a variety of lubricant choices of the best lubes since one size does not fit all. It is also helpful to consider smaller sample sizes or lubricant gift sets specifically for sexual experimentation in the bedroom - including anal sex and oral sex. For example, the JO Beginner's Luck gift set provides a variety of 10 ml samples of eight top selling products. The set includes H2O Original, Premium Original, All-in-One Warming Massage Glide, H2O Cooling, Hybrid, H2O Strawberry Kisses, and Gelato Salted Caramel. It also includes a sample of Agape Original - an amazing personal lubricant designed to mimic the natural lubrication of the vagina. With a water-based formula, Agape is free of glycerin, propylene glycol and parabens; ideal for individuals who may have sensitive skin or other sensitivities down below. Individual preference for different types of lubricants based on your mood or desires can enhance your sexual exploration and sensual playfulness. So lets go down the road to understanding personal lubricants.
Types of Personal Lubrication
Oils and Oil-based Lubricants: Most health care professionals’ advocate avoidance of this type of sexual lubricant. Why? It may alter the vagina’s natural acid base (pH) balance. This type of lubricant may be associated with increased risk of vaginal infections and bacterial overgrowth. If you are prone to vaginal infections, you may consider avoiding this type of product. The strength, efficacy and integrity of latex condoms are also compromised with oil-based lubricants. All that said, many women enjoy these types of lubricants without significant medical issue.
Water-Based Lubricant: Water-based lubricants are the most common type of lubes that most people use for sexual activity. They often contain predominantly deionized water, and also may have some smaller concentrations of glycerin, or propylene glycol as part of their listed ingredients. However, JO Agape breaks all the rules, it is ideal for those who are ingredient oriented as it a premium water-based product free of glycerin and propylene glycol and paraben-free.
Water-based products typically do not stain fabric, sheets or clothing and are generally safe to use with latex/silicone sex toys, vibrators and accessories, though you will want to follow the guidance of the toy manufacturer. Water-based products rarely cause vaginal or penile irritation, but some men and women may have some sensitivities. Water-based lubes have a natural feel and are not considered greasy, but must be reapplied as they can dry out with extended activity. Some water-based products can become tacky when they dry and some may leave a residue on your body. But, they are typically easily cleaned up with mild soap and water. A versatile water-based product is a must for everyone to have in their lubricant treasure chest. Some suggestions: JO H20 is their top selling lubricant designed to provide a silky smooth and comforting glide with no stick or tack residue; JO Natural Love Organic is USDA certified organic created with all natural ingredients - more than 95% natural lube. Both of these lubes are perfect for masturbation and couples intimacy.
Silicone-Based Lubricants: Silicone-based lubricants are typically longer lasting. Because they do not soak into the skin like water-based lubricants, they remain slick and slippery, with little need for reapplication. It is perfect for prolonged sexual experiences. For those who engage in anal sex or anal play, silicone lube is a must, not just for the first time, but for every time, since it provides ample lubrication to prevent any possibility of micro tears or abrasions. JO Premium Anal is a quality product designed to moisturize and enhance the anal experience (and it comes in cooling and warming, as well). Silicone lubricant should also be a part of your water play experience. Aqua sex, shower sex, hot tub, or swimming pool, or ocean all would be ideal places for silicone lube to enhance your sexual experience. JO Xtra Silky is definitely the best product for the ultimate water play experience as it is super slick and thin, formulated with high quality silicone for a long lasting glide and Vitamin E. Not to mention, it is also siloxane and preservative free. (Pssst ... it can also be used as an anal lube.)
Silicone lube is ideal when menopause and andropause collide. A man who is on a medication that prolongs and intensifies his erection (may have prolonged staying penile endurance), coupled with a woman who is in menopause which often presents a need for foreplay due to prolonged time for arousal or climax, a silicone lube may be the perfect solution.
Silicone lubricants are tasteless, odorless and have no stickiness or tackiness. They also have a dual purpose: they can be used as personal massage lotions as they do not dry out. While some feel that clean up may be a bit more cumbersome, soap and warm water are all that is needed for clean up.
Reminder: It is very important to read product labels on dildos, vibrators and other toys since some will not be compatible with silicone lubricant.
Hybrid Lubricants: Plain and simple, hybrid lubes are often a combination of both excellent qualities of both water and silicone characteristics. They have the qualities of each product and are often the preferred lubricant of choice for many couples, as they are long lasting and have the silky feel of a quality water-based lube. System JO carries two amazing hybrid-fusion lubes: Hybrid Classic and Hybrid Coconut, which contains a small amount of coconut oil.
Flavored Lubes and Enhancing Lubricant: Many couples will choose these lubricants that contain ingredients enhancers, cooling, warming or flavored properties to tantalize and spice up a sexual interlude. For some, these are exceptionally pleasurable while others with sensitive or dry skin it may report some mild burning or irritation. Know your body and choose your lube appropriately. JO has a huge array of flavored lubricants as well as enhancing lubricants. All 510(k) certified and FDA
If you are considering these products, be certain to do a test in a small skin area. Wash the area completely if you experience any side effect such as burning, itchiness or pain.
Pantry Solutions: Extra virgin and coconut, vegetable, avocado or peanut oil, may not irritate the vagina and typically do not affect latex condoms or toys. Most health care professionals frown upon using food products or the pantry solutions within the vagina area since there is scientific data indicating a possible link to increased vaginal infections that may be be persistent and difficult to treat.
A Final Lube Note: One lube doesn’t meet all sexual needs. It’s perfectly reasonable to have several lubes available and you may even use more than one type during a single sexual encounter.
For the educated consumer, if you still have some concerns, do not be embarrassed to schedule an appointment with your gynecologist, primary care clinician or sexual medicine specialist. It’s now simple and easy to make a virtual telehealth appointment where you can always get some lube advice from your health care professional or sexuality expert.