Slip and slide into some friction-free love with the ultimate lube guide!

Diving into the lube scene can help level up your sex game, whether it’s for a party of one or more. But picking the perfect slick sidekick is important to ensure a smooth ride. Keep scrolling to unlock the secrets of choosing the right lube that won’t leave you high and dry.

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Whether you use lube to fight against vaginal dryness or you’re looking to amp up the pleasure factor, here are the main types of lubes you can choose:

  • water-based
  • silicone-based
  • oil-based
  • hybrid

Let’s take a closer look at some pros and cons of each kind of lube.

Water-based lubes are the versatile crowd-pleasers in the lube world. Harmless to sex toys and friendly to condoms, water-based lubes are also easy to clean off your sheets or any costumes you might be using for role play. No muss, no fuss.

But, since they tend to have a thin consistency, you’ll probably have to reapply a few times to keep the slip’n’slide fresh. (And they won’t help much if you like to get busy in the shower.) Also, avoid water-based lubes containing glycerin, a sneaky ingredient that can fuel yeast infections for those susceptible.

If you have sensitive skin or you’re looking for a longer-lasting lube, silicone-based lubes are the way to go. Hypoallergenic and silkier than water-based lubes, they’re perfect for those marathon sessions, especially in the shower. But silicone-based lubes are a little harder to tidy up, and they tend to stain sheets and leave little slick spots on your floors. (There’s nothing like wiping out because you got busy the week before.)

Also, silicon-based lubes can damage silicone-based sex toys, but feel free to douse your steel, hard plastic, or glass devices.

Oil-based lubes like petroleum jellies, baby oil, or mineral oils provide a lasting, slick feel. These lubes don’t have to be reapplied very often, so they’re ideal for everything from a bit of self-love to full penetration to massages. But if you’re using a latex condom, steer clear of oil-based lubes, as they can degrade latex and heighten the chance of breakage. (Try a polyurethane condom instead!)

The biggest bummer about oil-based lubes is that they are associated with a higher risk of yeast infections. Petroleum jelly and other petroleum-based products have also been linked to throwing your vaginal microbiome off-kilter, resulting in a painful bacterial infection.

Hybrid lubes combine water-based and silicone-based formulas, offering the best of both worlds. Check the label to see what you’re getting, but these lubes can offer the benefits of multiple lube types in one convenient product.

Do your due diligence when looking for the perfect lube. Some lubes contain specific ingredients that might cause irritation or increase your chances of infection.

  • Sugar alcohols like glycerin and glycerol: Though more research is needed, there is some evidence that glycerin may increase your chances of getting yeast or bacterial infections.
  • Propylene glycol: If you have sensitive skin, be on the lookout for this ingredient which can trigger allergic reactions in your vaginal skin.
  • Antibacterial ingredients: Some lubes contain parabens, chlorhexidine gluconate, and nonoxynol-9, meant to kill bacteria. But it’s a good idea to steer clear of these additives, as they might go a bit too far in eliminating the microorganisms that help keep your vagina healthy.
  • Fancy special effects: If your lube promises to warm things up or add an extra tingle, take that with a grain of salt. These added bells and whistles might turn out to be overwhelming, ruining the mood as fast as you can say, “liar, liar, vagina on fire.”

Some folks might lick it before kicking it. For vaginal masturbation, saliva might be the best option, as some research suggests your spit might help prevent vaginal bacteria infections. But when it comes to sex with a partner, saliva can be a risky choice, as exchanging bodily fluids with each other could put you at risk of contracting a sexually transmitted infection (STI) like chlamydia or gonorrhea.

As you slide into the world of vaginal lube, take a sec to check out which is best for you.

  • Water-based lubes are all-around champs, condom, and toy-friendly with easy clean-up, but may need frequent reapplication.
  • Silicone-based lubes offer long-lasting slickness but can be trickier to clean and might play poorly with certain toys.
  • Oil-based lubes provide lasting glide but can degrade latex condoms and up your risk of infections. Hybrid lubes blend the best of both worlds, offering versatility in one bottle.

Monitor ingredients like glycerin, propylene glycol, and antibacterials that could cause irritation or disrupt your natural balance. While saliva might work for solo play, it’s a risky bet for partner sex. Take your pick, and enjoy some friction-free loving!