Lubricant often gets a bad rap, and people, especially people with vaginas, often feel shame about using it. Sadly lube gets left out of sex scenes and porn, despite 65% of the population reporting they use it. We are here to break that stigma and shed some light on lube to showcase how wonderful it can be!
Have you experimented with lube? Whether you are a lube virgin or someone who uses it all the time ( woohoo!), this is your go-to guide for all things lube!
In this article, we will go through some commonly asked questions to help clarify some questions and dispel some common misconceptions about
First Off, What Exactly is Lube?
Sexual lubricants, or lube, are liquids or gels used during sexual activity to reduce friction. Friction during sex can cause microtears of the delicate genital tissues, which can increase the risk of infection and cause discomfort. Research has also shown that the addition of lube for both masturbation and intercourse was associated with higher levels of pleasure and satisfaction. Lube can be used at any stage of your sexual adventure, from foreplay to anal, masturbation to penetration! Everyone can benefit from the magic of lube, yet it is still the topic that is talked about the least!
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Why Do I Have to Buy Lube, Surely I Can Improvise?
When it comes to lube, improvising is not recommended, and there are a few things you definitely shouldn’t use:
- Spit or saliva – see our recent TikTok for WHY!
- Baby oil, vaseline or olive oil – although readily available, these can damage condoms and cause infections.
Okay, So Types of Lube…
Yes, there are multiple types of lube, which are designed for different types of sexual activity.
There are 3 main types: water-based, silicone-based, and oil-based.
Water-based lube is the most common type of lubricant. It’s usually inexpensive and easy to clean up. Importantly, it is a safe lube to use with condoms. The downside of water-based lube is that it is easily washed away and isn’t great for water-based sexual activities, like shower sex. This lube also does not last as long as the others and often requires frequent re-application.
Silicone-based lube is slightly more expensive, but worth it! This type of lube is very slick, so it reduces friction during intercourse, and lasts for a long time. It’s good for anal sex (as the anus is not an area that makes its own natural lube) and shower sex (as it won’t wash away as easily). Silicone-based lube can also be used safely with latex condoms! The biggest downside with this type of lube is that it cannot be used with silicone-sex toys because it can degrade them.
Oil-based lubes are very slippery. They can double up as a massage oil, and are great for external lubrication. The downside is that they cannot be used with condoms (as they can render them ineffective), should not be used with sex toys, and should not be used internally, as they can contain irritants.
You may also find speciality lubricants. These include sensory lubricants that promise tingling, warmth or heightened pleasure, and flavoured lubes that enhance the experience through taste. These can be great fun, but the ingredients may result in some irritation.
Remember, lube does not protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs), so condoms are always advised for sexual intercourse. If you are worried about STIs, check out Yoxly’s at-home STI test kits, which are simple to use! If you want to read more about condoms, check out Yoxly’s article on how to choose the right condom!
How Do I Use Lube?
Lube can be applied to parts of the body where you want to reduce friction and increase pleasure. To apply lube, squeeze a small amount onto your hands, penis, vulva, or sex toy, and then gently rub it to spread it over the area where you wish to experience pleasure. Then you are good to go and enjoy!
You can use lube anytime during foreplay or intercourse, even if you are already naturally “wet”, to enhance the experience. Lube can be great for people who are experiencing vaginal dryness for a variety of reasons, like hormonal changes or certain medical conditions such as dyspareunia, or painful sex. When surveyed, 9 out of 10 women believed that sex was more pleasurable, comfortable and enjoyable when using additional lubrication.
And How Should I Choose My Lube?
The type of lube you choose will, in part, depend on the type of activity. See our handy table for choosing the right lube in different circumstances!
Handy table to help with lube decision-making:
|Types of Lube||Good For...||Not Good For...|
** Lube is always recommended for anal sex to reduce the risk of condom breakage; as previously mentioned, the anal canal does not make its own lubrication, and thus there is an increased risk of condoms breaking due to dryness. A broken condom will not provide effective protection against STIs, so this is really important!
Right, Some Quick-Fire Questions:
What lube can I use with a condom?
If using latex or non-latex condoms, you can use water and silicone-based lubes. Check out this Instagram reel for more information on choosing your condom-lube combo!
Does lube kill sperm?
Most lube does not kill sperm. It doesreduce sperm’s motility and viability, but this should not be used as contraception because it is unreliable. There are specialist lubes that are “fertility-friendly”, which may be less likely to harm sperm, and others that are “spermicidal”, which have been specifically developed to kill sperm.
Do lubes expire?
Yes, lubes do expire, just like any other product. Always ensure that you check the expiry date. If the lube has been opened, you should store it in a cool, dark place. Most manufacturers give lube a shelf life of approximately 1-3 years.
Do men get pleasure from lube?
Yes, as already mentioned, 9 out of 10 women found sex more pleasurable when using additional lubricant. However, lube can also enhance the experience for men too, with 70% of men reporting having used lubricant for a variety of reasons, including enhancing sexual pleasure.
Can you eat lube?
You should avoid eating lube unless the product states that it is safe to do so.
Can lube cause UTIs?
Lube is unlikely to cause a UTI, but it may alter the pH of the vagina, causing an imbalance in the vaginal microbiome, which can lead to a condition called bacterial vaginosis. Certain lubes can also foster the growth of yeast, which causes thrush. If you think that you have either of these conditions, please consult a medical professional.
Is lube safe during pregnancy?
This may depend on any risk factors or medical conditions that you have. Please check with your midwife or doctor, and show them the lube you plan to use! A water-based lube would likely be your best option due to the low risk of irritation.
We hope this article has helped to break down some of the stigma and clarify a few misconceptions about lube. Using lube can help reduce the risk of condom breaks and infection, and up to 75% of couples found lube enhanced their pleasure during intercourse, so why not give it a try?! So lube up folks, and, ahem, enjoy the ride!