Lube – The Lowdown

Poor old lube, wrongly convicted by the court of public opinion; often mistakenly thought of as an older person’s necessity or solely a sex-aid for anal sex, nothing could be further from the truth. Let the appeal process commence!

By the end of this article, any stigma surrounding lube will be shown to be grossly unfounded as its benefits as an essential bedroom accessory gets proven beyond reasonable doubt, regardless of whether you’re 18 or in your 80’s.

One mis-truth our staff members often hear from customers is “if you’re good at it, you shouldn’t need it”. Sorry Joe-public, and an extra-special sorry to our valued customers, but you’re talking rubbish. Utter rubbish. When it comes to sex, lube makes everything better … except kissing (we’ll concede that point).

Little fact: women, including young women, aren’t always wet. And no, it isn’t because you’re not doing it right or something’s wrong. We’ll spare you the verse-and-chapter sex-ed lesson and skip straight to the bit where they tell you it’s completely natural and is all to do with women’s bodies and their different times of the month. So relax, it’s time to get your head around all things lube.

Lube is not some remedy for a so-called problem, but a gift from the sex-gods to help us enhance what is already bloody brilliant! Being well-oiled feels great for both parties. For guys, it can intensify pleasure without making you climax any quicker than normal, not to mention it prevents damage to your pecker! For women, it makes the experience more comfortable and thus, pleasurable, meaning you can relax and enjoy it more. The simple added ingredient of a liquid lubricant can add a whole new level of pleasure to your sexual experience, and that’s before the any specially formulated sensation/flavoured lube is bought into this equation.

We know it can be quite confusing if you’re new to using lubricant, you’ll be in your local adult store at their lube display and all you see is different varieties with very little or no information telling you what the differences between each lube are, it’s tough to know which lube will be suitable for your needs.

With these needs in mind, it only makes sense we start at the beginning.

What is lube?

A lubricant is any substance that helps to reduce friction, it’s highly likely you’re already using some form of lubrication on bike chains and squeaky doors so even if you haven’t used lubricant for sexual purposes, you’re familiar with the general gist.

Personal lubricants obviously contain vastly different ingredients to the industrial kind (we’re not suggesting you grab your WD40) but the idea is the same, to reduce friction.

But I’m young – why do I need lube?

A lot of people think lube is only intended for older people who produce less natural vaginal moisture because of hormonal changes which comes with ageing. This is one of the biggest myths around.

Argh!! Why is there so many lubes on the market?

Think of lubes like vibrators, different lubes have different features so they offer the user different benefits, just like vibrators with different features will offer different benefits.

As we all know, people’s sexual desires are as varied as their music collections, so naturally people are going to want different things from their lube, which is why there is a healthy selection to choose from.

Some will just need to increase vaginal moisture, others will want to apply some to their sex-toy(s) so it can glide over their intimate areas (or slide in ‘n’ out without incurring any discomfort due to the nature of the toy’s material). Some will want to make their bits taste a certain flavour, improving oral-sex for both giver and receiver. For others it’s a prerequisite, if you’re going to partake in anal-sex lubrication is much more than an accessory, it’s a necessity. No if’s, no butt’s, no shortcuts, no substitutions; the back-side doesn’t produce any natural lubrication, so if you want to avoid serious injury; lube up (both of you!).

Lube comes in either a thin liquid or a thicker gel-like texture. Each style of lubrication has a different base-ingredient, it is this base-ingredient that determines the texture of the lube.

Standard types of lube: the main players

1. Water based lube

Water-based lubrication is the most common type of lubricant and for good reason. Because it’s water-based, any remaining lube-residue is easy to clean up (we’re talking bed-sheets and rocking chairs people) and as water is one of nature’s most natural ingredients it’s compatible with every type of adult toy available – silicone, all varieties of rubber (inc. TPR, skin-like/cyber/real-feel material), jelly, glass, metal etc.

Water-based lubes can also be used with condoms without causing the condom to rip or tear.

To sum up, water-based lube is suitable for every conceivable sex-based activity you’re thinking of doing: masturbating (with your hand or with a toy), intercourse (vaginal and anal), even oral (though make sure it’s the flavoured kind, more on that further down).

2. Silicone based lube

Silicone is a material which is made from alternative chains of silicon and oxygen atoms, it can come in many different forms including rubber, resin and oil. Its liquid form is especially effective when used as the main ingredient in a lubricant, hence why it is now a popular form of lube.

Why is it so great? Next time you’re in a shop that sells both water-based and silicone-based lubricant, give both bottles a gentle shake and you’ll notice the silicone lube moves more freely as it’s thinner than water-based lube and is normally more silky smooth too.

Many advocates of silicone-based lube say its best feature is it lasts longer than most water-based lubricants, meaning more bang for your buck.

Silicone is also hypoallergenic so it’s ideal for users who have sensitive skin or allergies. Like water-based lube, it’s latex friendly (meaning it’s condom friendly) and is great for water-play, unlike water-based lubes it doesn’t wash away quite as quickly.

The only chink in silicone-based lube’s armour is it’s not compatible with sex-toys made from the following materials: silicone and certain types of rubber (TPR, skin-like/cyber/real-feel). If you use a silicone-based lube with a toy made of these materials, don’t be surprised if your toy starts to depreciate quite rapidly, even the expensive luxury toys.

3. Oil based lubes

Petroleum (or petrolatum) based, oil-based lubes are long lasting.

We’re not going to lie, this is the least popular type of lube. Not only will it ruin latex (so clearly using it with condoms is a gamble), it’s not recommended for vaginal intercourse as it can mess with the chemistry down there.

Technically it can be used for anal sex but as previously mentioned it’s incompatible with condoms, so using it for this purpose is only possible if the anal-sex is bareback (ie. without a condom) and we at Pulse & Cocktails strongly recommend you never engage in anal-sex without a condom, no matter how much bareback anal-sex you’ve watched in porn movies … and yes, even if you douche!

The specialist lubes: the supporting cast

4. Flavoured lubes

Mint, strawberry, tropical passion, cherry. Just some of the mouth-watering flavours available from Pulse & Cocktails.

Flavoured lubes are water-based, so sure you can use it with your toys (regardless of the toy’s material) but why waste the yummyness on a toy … unless that toy is your partner’s joystick or landing strip.

Flavoured lubes are great for spicing up oral sex; apply some (not too much, even chocolate gets sickly after a while) to your partner’s bits and then simply chow-down like never before, kissing, licking, sucking, slurping, all the while salivating over the delicious flavour swirling round your mouth whilst the lucky recipient salivates over getting some mind-blowing oral-relief.

Hotly recommended.

5. Tingle lube

The Sambuca of the lube world. Tingle lube divides opinion: some love it, others aren’t so keen.

Designed to enhance stimulation when applied to your body’s most sensitive areas (basically your intimate bits), it produces a tingly sensation other lubes don’t produce.

How intense the tingle is varies from user to user, some find it too mild, some feel it’s too intense, happily many users consider it to be just the right strength and say it enhances their orgasms (both the build-up and the climatic moment itself).

If trying a tingle lube for the first time it’s a wise idea to just apply one or two drops, if you feel the sensation is too intense for your nether regions then don’t apply anymore and wash off what lube you’ve already applied.

As for the lube, give it to a friend, chances are their body will respond to it in the desired way.

6. Anal lube

Throughout this article we’ve been stressing the importance of using lube for your sexual activities and with good reason, it does genuinely enhance your pleasure (toy or no toy) even if your body produces a sufficient amount of natural lubrication.

But when it comes to anal-sex we don’t recommend you use lube, we insist, nay, we ORDER you to use lube. Attempting to have anal-sex without lube will not only cause the receiver (the person being penetrated) acute discomfort, they risk damaging their anal tissue due to the anus being incapable of producing its own natural lubrication, unlike the vagina. Hence, lube being a necessity.

Another prerequisite for enjoyable anal-sex is getting those anal muscles to relax (the sphincter) and be receptive towards what action the body is attempting. This is where a dedicated anal lube comes to the fore, by having a special relaxant blended into its recipe not only will it provide as much slippery moisture as your average water-based lubricant, it will also perform the crucial task of putting the sphincter into a relaxed state, primed for being penetrated with minimal fuss and maximum enjoyment (for both parties).

OK – I get it, lube is important! Can’t I just use Vaseline or Baby Oil?

Not all lubes are created equal. A perfect lube should be slippery, safe for the skin tissue, long lasting and shouldn’t increase the risk of vaginal infections (or any sort of infection).

Vaseline was not created to be used as a lubricant. So, no, Vaseline is not a great idea. It isn’t slippery enough – which means it’ll make things very sticky (yes, more sticky than some water-based lubes). It’ll be very messy and hard to get off. Plus, using Vaseline can also put you at risk of a bacterial infection and break down the latex in condoms! Vaseline isn’t a smart choice.

Baby Oil might be something you regularly stock at home but there’s a reason no adult store follows suit: it’s not a good lubricant. There are many cons to using baby oil. Firstly, the oil harbors bacteria and promotes the growth of yeast in the vagina. Like Vaseline, Baby Oil destroys latex (condom-friendly it ain’t). It also destroys rubber or polyurethane, meaning it’s not sex-toy friendly either. It also makes the post-sex clean up harder than it needs to be, staining most fabrics.

Some statistics show that women who use Vaseline and /or Baby Oil as a lubricant have a 50% higher chance of having frequent yeast infections or contracting bacterial vaginosis. Since both of these can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease you can see why neither Vaseline or Baby Oil should NEVER be used inside a vagina. All of the above pretty much rules out it being suitable to use as a lubricant, both vaginally and anally. It really isn’t worth the risk, don’t damage your health (or your toys).

How do I apply lube?

Don’t overthink it – it’s really simple. Start with a pea sized amount of lube and apply it onto yourself, your partner or your favorite sex toy.

Remember lube is cold, so make sure you place it on your hands first. It can be applied before or during intercourse (applying some during intercourse can be part of the fun).

It isn’t a onetime thing – reapply as you go along, just work it into foreplay and use it as another way to touch each other (as if you crazy kids needed an excuse).

How do I use lube for anal sex?

Whether you’re someone who is experienced in anal sex or you’re a beginner, our top tip: start slowly, gently, and don’t be shy; apply a healthy amount of lube to the receiver’s anus in addition to the penis that’s about to penetrate it.

As previously mentioned, unlike the vagina, the anus cannot self-lubricate so it needs plenty of lube to keep things moist, pleasurable and assist the receiver in allowing their anal-muscles to relax. If anal-sex is going to be something you’re doing regularly, apart from the person lying beside you, lube is your best friend.

Many who partake in anal-sex prefer to use a dedicated anal lubricant as they’re specially formulated with a relaxant, enabling the receiver to relax their anal-muscles easier than if they were using a standard lube.

Can I use lube for oral sex?

Hell yeah! It’s why flavoured lube was invented! Pour some on his penis/her clit and then treat your partner to an oral masterclass.

We hope our quick Q&A about lube helped you out. Head over to our full range of lube to see what we have on offer!