Things You Should Pay Attention to When Shopping for a Sex Lube
The term lubricant is rather vague and general. There are so many choices, some designed for certain kinds of sex, some created for compatibility with sex toys. If you’re not sure exactly how to choose a good lube, here’s what you’ll have to pay attention to:
Water, silicone or oil-based: Let’s start with the basics. The market features three general categories of lube. Silicone lubricants, as the name suggests, contain a slippery silicone compound. It gives them longevity and makes them feel silky smooth. Silicone lube is a great choice for anal sex and for more intense experiences. It doesn’t have to be reapplied often but on the downside, it’s not compatible with silicone toys. Water-based lube is more lightweight and reminiscent of your body’s natural lubrication. It’s compatible with all toys and condom materials but it’s not as long lasting as silicone lube. Finally, oil-based lube is very slippery and long-lasting. An added benefit of choosing this variety over the other two is that it can also be used during sensual massages. Oil-based lubes are long-lived but they can get messy. Also, this material isn’t compatible with latex toys and condoms.
List of ingredients: Now that you’ve narrowed it down to one product category, you can start looking at ingredient lists. Search for simple formulas that are free from harsh chemicals. Some of the ingredients you may want to avoid are glycerin, parabens and mineral oil. Artificial scents and dyes could also cause some irritation. Each time you buy a new kind of sex lube, do a patch test on your arm before applying to your genitals. If you don’t experience any irritation, you’re good to go.
Longevity: You don’t want a lube that you’ll have to keep on reapplying in the heat of the moment. Well-formulated products give you sufficient longevity and that’s important. Having to squirt more lube on yourself or your partner can really ruin the mood. To determine if a lube is long-lasting, you’ll need to check out online reviews or buy a sample-sized bottle. Generally speaking, silicone and oil-based lubes are more long-lasting than water-based varieties.
Hypoallergenic, clean formula: If you’re prone to irritation or you’re simply looking for an option that’s good for your skin and your genitals, choose a hypoallergenic product that is scent-free. Scented lubes can be a lot of fun (especially when it comes to oral sex) but some people could be irritated by them. Scented and flavored lubes shouldn’t be applied to the vagina if they contain sugar. That’s a certain recipe for getting a nasty yeast infection. Look for products that have been dermatologically tested if you want to decrease the risk of experiencing side effects.
Completely natural: Some manufacturers claim to have only natural ingredients in their lube. For people who want to stay away from chemicals, that’s a good thing. But being completely natural doesn’t always make lube great. Essential oils, for example, are 100 percent natural. Some people, however, will experience irritation due to their presence in the composition. Natural doesn’t mean hypoallergenic. Do test this kind of lube first, just like you would with any other product.
Formulated for a certain kind of sex: By now, you probably have some idea about how lubes are different from each other. Here’s another thing to pay attention to, especially if you need lube for a certain kind of sex. Some products are formulated especially for a particular activity. Flavored lubes are amazing for oral sex. There are also special formulations for anal sex that are heavy duty and very long-lived. While it’s a good idea to have some general kind of lube available for all occasions, specialized products could also be worthy of exploration.
The pH of the product: This is especially important if you’re going to be applying lube on the vagina for better penetrative sex. The vagina has a naturally acidic pH. It’s very important in terms of maintaining female health. Such a pH creates optimal condition for the maintenance of the vaginal microflora. You should definitely pick a sex lube that has a pH close to that of your body. For most women, a lube with a pH in the range from 3.8 to 4.5 will be perfect. If you’re choosing lube for anal sex, the best pH range is going to be 5.5 to 7 or a bit more neutral.
Ease of cleaning: You don’t want a lube that’s going to make a huge mess of your expensive sheets. Water-based lubes are best if you’re worried about ease of cleaning. They don’t leave stains and they can be washed away with some warm water. Even silicone and oil-based formulas can have the right consistency and be non-staining. Such products will be more difficult to find but they do exist.
Special sensation lubes: Anyone who wants to try out something new has heard about special lubes that enhance sensations during sex. Some of them are warming, some are cooling, some produce a tingling effect. These can be fun to play with but be careful. For a number of people, these sensations can get to be too overpowering and distracting. In other instances, the ingredients that contribute to the special effect can be irritating.
Vegan and cruelty-free: There are lots of lubes out there that haven’t been tested on animals and that are completely vegan. This information is usually available on the label. If you want to make ethical choices, you’ll easily find a good range of high quality lubes that are just right.