Choosing the best anal and vaginal lubricant can be a challenging task. There are various types of lube, ranging from the area of the body we use it on to composition - water-based or silicone, from famous brands like Durex to different Amazon selections of lubes, and the search doesn't stop there. We will have a closer look at what personal lubricants are, what types of lube there are on the market, as well as where to buy the best lube online.
What is lubricant?
When we are sexually aroused our genital areas begin to lubricate as a reaction to prepare for sex. The Bartholin’s glands and/or the Skene’s gland for females, and Cowper’s glands in males are considered to play a part in the production of arousal fluid. Sometimes, however, natural lubrication is not enough to ensure comfortable intercourse. Therefore, to avoid friction and maximize the sexual experience, we can make use of sexual lubricants, be they for anal or vaginal play.
Thus, we could conclude that personal lubricants are products employed during sexual intercourse (vaginal or anal), masturbation and during sex toy play with the purpose of facilitating anal penetration or vaginal penetration. There are also flavored sexual lubes, as well as intimate gels, meant for massages. As we will see in the following excerpts, sexual lubricants can be classified depending on the area they simulate or depending on their composition.
A personal lubricant can be used in many ways and for many purposes, they're not only used to lubricate the intimate areas but also for:
Enhance the orgasm
Masturbation, alone or with a partner
Lubrication inside and outside the condom
Although the majority of the intimate lubricants are aimed at vaginal intercourse or toy play, there are certain specific options depending on the area you're targeting.
Anal lube is a necessary accessory during anal sex, and the majority of lubes can be safely used for anal play but there are more specific ones available on the market that can truly maximize the sexual experience.
The typical anal lubes tend to be in gel form which means they have a thicker consistency and they don't dry out so fast. Silicone-based lubes are highly recommended because silicone is hypoallergenic, it has a higher viscosity (indicating it’s more slippery), and helps minimize heat and friction. This is why it's usually considered the best lube for anal sex.
There are also types of lube designed to mitigate the possible unpleasant sensation of the first time and they include a numbing solution. Specialists advise against anal lubes with numbing agents as it could put you out of touch with important reactions your body is having.
Vaginal lubricants are the most common type of personal lubricants and they are used to reduce vaginal dryness and discomfort during intercourse or masturbation. Some brands include temperature play with warming or cooling lubes that by using heat/cooling sensations intensify the sexual experience. There is no wrong way of using vaginal lube, you apply it either on the condom, on the penis on the entire surface covered, or on the vaginal opening - using as much or as little as you need.
Sexual lubes can also be classified depending on their composition and each option has its pro and cons in such a way that there is a product out there for everyone. If the lubricant you are using is causing you irritation, inflammation, or any other type of allergic reaction, discontinue its use immediately, wash the product off and consult your doctor should it be necessary.
Water-based lubes are generally thought of as “all-purpose” lubes because they are pretty much safe to use with any toys and condoms. They're also the most similar to a woman's natural lubrication. They're easy to clean, but their downside is that they dry out relatively quickly and have to be reapplied often during intercourse.
Oil-based lubes are tricky to use because of how they interact with latex. Never use an oil-based lube with latex condoms (this includes, baby oil, coconut oil, etc.) or you run the risk of condom breakage, pregnancy, as well as contracting STDs/STIs.
This option tends to represent the best anal lube option as well as appropriate for pool and shower use as it is more consistent and long-lasting. It's a bit messier to clean than other lubricants and, on occasions, it has been reported to cause allergic reactions. Remember to always wash off the lubricant after having sexual intercourse.
These are 100% natural lubricants that tend to contain probiotics that help maintain the skin's Ph balanced as well as moisturize it. Coconut oil could be considered a natural personal lubricant although you risk condom breakage due to the oil's interaction with latex.
The world of sexual lubricants is bigger than one would imagine and there is an array of brands available for purchase. Durex and Trojan are the most well-known ones, followed closely like names such as Aloe Cadabra Natural Aloe Lubricant or Isabel Fey Natural Water-Based Lubricant which can be found on Amazon.
Durex is one of the most popular brands on the market and it has many options available, such as water-based lubes, silicone-based gels and natural lubricants. Durex lubricants are safe to use on all types of condoms. The brand is also famous for its flavored option which is water-based, safe to ingest, and sugar-free. One of their best sellers is Durex Massage & Play 2 in 1 lubricant which retails at a price of 7,91€.
Another famous condom and sexual lubricant brand are Trojan. Their water-based option is a personal lubricant for penile and/or vaginal application, intended to lubricate and moisturize, to enhance the ease and comfort of intimate sexual activity, and supplement the body's natural lubrication.
Other popular lube brands include Astroglide and their selection of lubes, Organic Glide personal lubricant, or the Amazon best selling lubricants all suited to reduce friction during sex and make sex more enjoyable.
Durex España. (2018). ¿Cómo usar un lubricante íntimo? [online]. Disponible en: https://www.durex.es/blogs/articulos-sobre-sexo/como-usar-un-lubricante-intimo [Consultado 6 dic. 2018].
International Society for Sexual Medicine (s.f.). What is a lubricant? [online]. Disponible en: https://www.issm.info/sexual-health-qa/what-is-a-lubricant/ [Consultado 6 Dic. 2018].