Lubes, Lubes, Lubes
Everything feels better with lube, whether its using toys, giving hand jobs, penetrative sex or anal. With so many lube choices what one is the right one for you and your chosen activity.
The three main types
Silicone lubricants have some great benefits and a few drawbacks. Of all the lubricant types silicone lubricants will last the longest, they reduce friction the most and normally feel the most silky. They are barrier protection (condom) compatible and compatible with most non silicone toys.
If your using silicone toys this is where things get a little complicated. Although medical grade silicone toys and good quality silicone lube should not interact negatively most manufacturers will tell you that silicone lube will void your warranty of your toy. The reason for this is that they can't guarantee what quality of lubricant your using. If you have some 'less than high quality silicone' toys then we would encourage you to either avoid silicone lubricant or use a barrier between the toy and the lubrication to avoid negative interactions. Although it won't hurt you - it could discolor or warp your toy.
When silicone lube dries up it leaves a little silicone residue which also reduces friction. There also some non traditional uses for silicone lubes that some of our staff have used in the past :- Polishing latex clothing, a foundation for makeup, or even using it to blow bubbles for cats to chase around the room ;)
Water based lube is pretty much the go to for most people. Its compatible with everything (including barrier protection), comes in various consistencies and textures, flavors and scents.
Water based lube doesn't have the best staying power so you'll generally use a bit more than other types of lubes to get the same lubrication as silicone or oil based. However water based lube can be re-activated by simply adding a little more water to the surface (or saliva if your fluid bonded).
Oil based lube is the last main type of lubricant. Generally it is not barrier protection safe and will break down most barrier protections (or at least cause micro tears which could weaken and potentially cause the protection to burst/tear).
It does have a good staying power and will require less than a water based lube.
It is also not safe for most toys as it can cause discoloration of your toys and will generally void your warranty.
Although coconut oil falls into this category we would advise some caution when using. Coconut oil is generally considered anti-bacterial and anti-fungal which when used with vaginal penetration can cause pH balance upsets which may lead to yeast infections. However having said that there has not been any mass studies on the safety of coconut oil to date - so the jury is still out. Sliquid have a good coconut oil based lubricant that tries to address some of the pitfalls of raw coconut based oil.
There are many varieties of flavored lube out there from super sweet to super sour, from green apple to chocolate and you can indeed mix and match.
However the majority of flavored lube contains glycerin which if used on a sensitive vagina or is prone to yeast infections then it has the potential to upset the vaginal flora and encourage yeast infections.
It is however great if your not using it as a penetrative lubricant!
How to pick the lube that suits you?
First select the main type of lubricant you want (you may even want to use more than one type depending on your plans), silicone, water or oil.
Then try and find the properties you want, this is generally a case of trial and error, some lubes are super runny, some are tacky, some are thick and some are thin, some have a natural scent and taste and some have stronger scents or tastes. This is where trial and error comes into play.
When you find that perfect lubricant, you may want to invest in a hand-soap style dispenser - they also make perfect lube dispensers. When things are getting down and dirty you may have all sorts of bodily fluids on your hands and flipping the lube bottle upside down and popping the lid is sometimes tricky and can cross contaminate - however with a hand-soap dispenser it makes the process a little easier.