How to Pick & Find Lube

Lube should be your best friend. Seriously, sliding is fun. Rug burn, on the other hand, isn’t. In terms of female-bodied individuals, the clit is where it’s at when it comes to getting off and the fabulous lube producing vaginas are south of the magic button, making it hard for things to get to where they are useful. In terms of people who have an anus (that would be all of you) using lubricants during anal play can make it safer and non-traumatic while experiencing butt adventures.

To boot, with all the medications people are taking nowadays, vaginas are also producing less lube. For example, antihistamines. If it’s drying out your nose, vaginal owners, it’s also drying out your cooch; they’re both mucous membranes.

Now many have heard of Astroglide and KY, but The CSPH is suggesting you fondle with other, higher-quality lubricants as these two products usually contain the ingredient glycerin. Glycerin lubes are still able to be used safely both vaginally and anally. However, we continue to advise against using them on the basis of potential yeast irritation, higher rates of STI transmission, and the fact that glycerin usually makes lubes sticky and tacky in an uncomfortable way – but just because your lube contains glycerin doesn’t mean it is innately unhealthy and should be immediately thrown away.

Here are some types of lubes that last a long time (energizer bunny long time), are tack-free, and won’t trigger a vaginal/anal freakout.

ALL LUBRICANTS LISTED BELOW ARE LATEX COMPATIBLE. Oil based lubricants (like massage oils, hand cream, baby oil) are not listed as they can destroy latex and/or cause infections in the vagina.

 

Silicone Lubes

Tasteless, odorless, condom-safe and great for those who have genital pain or sensitivity issues. “Pink” is a favorite, not only in function, but bottle design. It comes in a glass bottle that looks like perfume. Other silicone based lubricants we recommend you check out would be: Eros, Wet Platinum, Id Millennium, Gun Oil, Jo Premium, Swiss Navy, Ride Silicone, and Amorist Silicone Lube.

Of special note: The International Rectal Microbicide Advocates researchers identified the most commonly used sexual lubricants and found that most of the popular water-based lubricants have so low of a PH and so much salt and/or additives in them that they’re actually toxic to rectal and cervical cells as well as to the healthy bacteria that keep a vagina clean and happy. Individuals who used lubricants likely to irritate rectum saw their chances of contracting an STI triple. On the other hand, silicone lubricants were found to be much safer and non-toxic in these same tests. These studies indicate that while using some lubricants can increase one’s chances of contracting an STI, silicone-based lubes most likely do not.

Do not play with silicone-based lubricants near fire.  Silicone lubricants, unlike water-based lubricants, can spread flames fast, so put down that massage candle. Also remember to never use silicone lubricants with silicone sex toys– it can seriously damage their structure.

 

Glycerin Free Water Based Lubes

“Liquid Silk” feels very much like vaginal lubrication, so for those who want something that feels a bit oilier/creamier, like the self-produced vaginal lubrication, but lasts longer, pick this item up. It’s also great for those who are prone to urinary tract infections, as it has ingredients in it that reduce your chances of developing one.

Here are other specific lubricants that are water-based and glycerin-free: Maximus, Sliquid, Slippery Stuff, Oh My, Sensual Organics, Hydro Smooth, Probe, Carrageenan, Good Clean Love, Capotain Organic, Pre Seed, and of course, the ever free and always available, saliva. Keep in mind that some will last longer than others and each will feel different, so experiment and see what feels best to you (and your partner).

What better way to promote self-sufficiency, empowerment and everything else The Center for Sexual Pleasure and Health has to offer you than feeling better about yourself and learning what makes you (and your clitoris, bottom and penis) happy?

So get those fingers ready to pounce on your privates, and remember, our hands wouldn’t fall where they do if they weren’t meant to do something down there!

 

Want to Learn More?

This fabulous comprehensive lubricant chart has been provided by Nicole Mohoruk and YouthCO in Vancouver, British Columbia. Please note that The CSPH does *NOT* endorse all the listed products, but is including them here so that people can learn more about what is available and make informed decisions. In fact, we actively suggest AGAINST using lubricants with desensitizing/numbing agents (such as benzocaine), especially when engaging in anal sex. If something hurts it’s the body’s way of giving a signal that something might be wrong. People using anesthetics are more likely to go further than they wish to in terms of vigorousness and cause tears or fissures in delicate genital tissues. These can hurt, get infected, and/or increase the chance of transmitting STIs.

Nicole Mohoruk (nicole.e@live.ca) is a Canadian social worker residing in British Columbia, Canada. She has had an interest in sexual health since her pre-teen years, and her dream job is to one day teach sexual health in school to youth. Currently she is part of a working board that is in the process of establishing a local Options for Sexual Health clinic. Nicole can be found online at her personal blog, and on Twitter.

YouthCO is a peer-led social profit agency located in Vancouver, British Columbia. Since 1994, they have been providing education, support and advocacy for HIV and Hepatitis C-positive youth aged 15-29. They strive to uphold the values of inclusivity, harm reduction, sex positivity, anti-oppression and being youth-driven in all levels of their organizational decision-making and programming.