Literally Everything You Need To Know About Lube

Whether you’re interested in vaginal play, anal play or merely some solo masturbation, you need lube. But, with so many different types of lube out there, where do you even begin? Why do I need to use lube when I’m having sex? What are the different types of lube and what are they used for? And, ofc, wtf is the deal with flavoured lubes?

To best answer all your pressing lube-related-Qs, Syrup spoke to global sexual wellness brand Lovehoney’s resident psycho-sexologist, Chantelle Otten. Read on for her advice and some recommended lubes from us. If you want to know about how to have anal sex, click here.

Why do I need to use lube when having sex?

Lube is a great addition to your sex life, whether you’re going solo or with a partner. Primarily, it is excellent for making exploration a little bit smoother. Still, lube has many other benefits like increasing our sensitivity and opening us up to new sensations, for example, there are cooling, heating and tingling lubes! Also, lube is a great addition to maximising the pleasure of sex toys. And honestly, I recommend everyone use lube, it also protects the cooch from any friction.

What Types Of Lube Are There?

 When it comes to lube, it’s important that you find the right one for your needs. The major lube categories are:

  • Water-based lubes, which are great to use with latex condoms
  • Silicone lubes, which are perfect for all types of play except with condoms and silicone toys. Wonderful for water play as it won’t wash away 
  • Hybrid lubes, which are normally a combo of silicone and water-based lubes

Once you have decided on the lube that is best for you, the next step is to work out how you’re going to incorporate it in your bedtime play.  And trust us, there is a lube for pretty much everything. 

How do I know what type of lube to use?

When choosing your lubricant, think about what is going to enhance your pleasure best. A water-based lubricant is a great all-rounder, particularly if you’re using it with toys or using condoms, as other lubricants can break down their material. Lovehoney Enjoy resembles natural wetness, so it is perfect to have on hand. Although, as it is a water-based formula, you may need to reapply more as it can dry out faster than other types of lubes. 

Silicone lubricants on the other hand don’t dry out as quickly – just be careful as these lubes are very slippery! But major fun.

While not to be used with silicone toys, a silicone lubricant has a more silky-smooth feeling on our skin, which can really enhance erotic feelings during sexual play. They usually last a lot longer than water-based lubricants too, so they’re a great option for a long erotic session or anal sex. If you are looking to try anal sex, I recommend investing in a lubricant design for the anus as it’s generally much thicker to help protect the skin around that area.

Warming lube is great for dipping your toe into temperature play. It actually increases blood flow, amping up pleasure and arousal to help you achieve the Big O—try Lovehoney’s Glow Warming Lube. 

Not forgetting flavoured lubes which make a great edition to oral sex and come in a variety of flaavours such as Strawberry, Peppermint and even Gin and Tonic. 

Lube should never be left out when it comes to any type of anal play!

Anal lubricant differs from regular lube as the consistency is much thicker, which helps to protect the sensitive skin of the anus. It’s not just a safety issue for the health of your sensitive anal tract, it’s also a pleasure thing.

Just like other sex lubes, anal lube comes in a variety of types. Choosing the right anal lube depends on what you’re doing and which toys you’re using.

If you’re new to the anal game, reach for the water-based anal lube (such as the Lovehoney Discover Anal Lubricant)  as it’s specially formulated to be thicker and longer-lasting than normal lubricants, but are still easy to wash away after use. For the more advanced, silicone-based lube, such as pjur,  is great as they often allow both parties to experience more sensation than water-based lube as it doesn’t need to be as thick.

 Lovehoney reports that over 70% of women find sexual experiences more satisfying with lube, so it is no surprise that there is no shortage to choose from. When choosing a lube, think about what you want it to do—do you want it to increase wetness, enhance sensations or add an element fun to your sexy time? 

If you are dealing with dryness, long-lasting silicone lubricants like Lovehoney Indulge Silicone Lubricant is a good option. If you’re using condoms, avoid oil-based lubricants as they affect the latex. If you are noticing any kind of irritation to lubricant, organic lubes are a great way to go as they are formulated using as many natural ingredients as possible to ensure a body-safe sexual experience that won’t irritate your body. 

There’s also a great selection of flavoured lubes on the market, which adds a new dimension to oral sex!

 Whether you’re using your hand or a toy to masturbate, adding a lubricant can enhance the sensations and makes masturbation better and more comfortable. Remember, water-based lubricants and silk lubes are fine to use with sex toys, and silicone lubricants are great to use with fingers, and with plastic or glass sex toys, but you should never use silicone lube on silicone or real-feel sex toys.

What should I do if I get a reaction to a certain type of lube?

 If you or your partner are prone to reactions, a silicone-based lube is the choice for you. It’s hypoallergenic, meaning it’s very unlikely to give you or your other half an allergic reaction. Another amazing advantage is that it doesn’t contain any water, so it won’t wash right off—perfect if you want to get it on in the pool or shower.

Organic lubes are another option—using plant extracts, botanical oils and other naturally sourced ingredients, they are the most natural way to enhance your physical pleasure.

If you’re concerned about allergic reactions, read the ingredients carefully and don’t use it if there is an ingredient you’re sensitive to. If you experience a reaction when using lube, stop using it straight away and wash it off. If you’re concerned about sensitivity, you can do a quick skin test on a small area of your skin to see if you react before applying it to any intimate areas. 

What advice do you have for someone who wants to buy lube but is too shy?

Using lube is perfectly normal, and when it comes to great sex, the wetter the better. A common myth is that  it’s only needed to ‘fix’ a sexual problem, but it can actually transform your sex life. Think less friction and smoother skin, no matter your gender or age.

If you’re too shy to put your lube through a cashier, the great news is that you can shop online. Lovehoney, the sexual wellness brand, has over 130 varieties to choose from that you can get delivered to your door in a discreet brown box. No-one would ever know.

What’s the deal with flavoured lubes?

 Flavoured lubricants are always a fun and delicious idea to use during foreplay, particularly when it comes to oral sex. They can be used just like any other lube, with the bonus of a tasty flavour to lick off any body part.

Lovehoney Passion Fruit Lubricant is a fun and delicious change from the classic strawberry flavour.

Do I need to use lube if I’m already wet?

Heard the saying ‘wetter the better’? It’s so true. Adding lube to your sex life will allow you to experience a new sensation during your playtime while reducing friction. 

Is it possible to use substitutes for lube?

When it comes to lubes, it’s best to use products that are made for the job and the body in mind.  

Is it possible to use too much lube?

 Good news, you can’t use too much lube. The only downside is that your bedsheets may need a wash after! Remember that a little goes a long way, so start by applying your lube liberally and continue to add if needed.

What’s the best way to use lube during sex?

There are a number of ways lube can be used during sex and masturbation. Pick the right one according to your needs and wants, as a guide only:

If you’re new to anal sex, water-based anal lube is best for beginners, as slick silicone anal lube is far more slippery. 

Waterbased lubes are great all-rounders for masturbating with or without sex toys and penetrative sex. 

There are so many lubes on the market offering a range of benefits, from increasing orgasms to heating and tingling sensations, so make the most of it and have fun finding what works for you.

Best Water-based Lubes In Australia

Wicked Sensual Aqua Salted Caramel Flavoured Lubricant 120ml, $19.95 on Lovehoney.

Dame Products Alu Aloe Vera Lubricant

Dame Products Alu Aloe Vera Lubricant, $27.95 on NourishedLife.

Lariese Evolve Personal Organic Lubricant

Lariese Evolve Personal Organic Lubricant, $18.95 on NourishedLife.

Lovehoney Enjoy Water-Based Lubricant 500ml, $29.95 on Lovehoney.

Best Silicone Lubes In Australia

pjur Original Silicone Lubricant 100ml, $26.95 on Lovehoney.

best personal silicone lubricant glass bottle for men and women

Überlube luxury Lubricant 100ml bottle, $34.95 on Überlube.

Lovehoney Indulge Silicone Lubricant 100ml, $14.95 on Lovehoney.

Best Hybrid Lubes In Australia

System JO Classic Hybrid Lubricant 60ml, $19.95 on Lovehoney

Lovehoney Crave Hybrid Lubricant 250ml, $24.95 on Lovehoney.

Julian Rizzo-Smith is a writer and producer. He also claims to be a vine historian, avid connoisseur of low-fi beats, indie hip hop and Kermit memes. In a perfect world, he’d be married to Tyler the Creator, own an Arcanine and a Lapras, and don his own Sailor Scouts uniform. He tweets @GayWeebDisaster, which is also, coincidentally, how one might describe him.