To the average person, all lube seems pretty much the same, right? You go into the pharmacy, or maybe the grocery store, and head to the “family planning” aisle. They might have some KY Gellee, Astroglide, maybe Durex or Wet. You might see a flavor or two, or a bottle marked “premium”. But how do you decide? I’m here to help you decode one of the greatest mysteries of the universe: “What lube do I want, and why?”
First, let’s tackle the easy part: Why?
Lubricant often gets a bad rap because people assume that the body’s natural lubrication should be enough. In reality, there are all kinds of reasons you might need lube. If you have a vagina, medications like birth control pills, antihistamines, and antidepressants can affect your natural moisture and arousal. If you’re interested in anal play, you’re going to need something to help ease things in. And, of course, a little extra moisture can just feel great and can keep things going long past when your natural moisture might start to wane. In short, there’s no shame in the lubrication game. Now we can move onto what kind of lube is best for what you’re doing.
Now, let’s look at what we want to avoid. If you or your partner has a vagina, you want to stay away from lubricants containing glycerin, especially cheaper lubricants. Glycerin can be irritating, and worse, it can actually cause dryness. Many people prefer to avoid parabens as well. Parabens are a preservative that have been used for decades, and are generally considered safe. However, some studies suggest that perhaps they’re not so great for the body. Many people like to avoid parabens in a “better safe than sorry” kind move. This means that Astroglide, KY, and most other drugstore brands are best left on the shelves.
Head over to KIIROO.com to read the rest of this post, including my top lube picks!
Discount code at bottom of entry!
You’ve probably seen me mention Sliquid before, or at least I hope you have. They’re hands down my favorite lubricant company, and in my opinion, make the best and safest lubes on the market.
If you’ve never tried a lubricant before, I really encourage it. It’s not for people with a “problem”. Your partner isn’t doing anything wrong if you need a lubricant (and neither are you!). If you’re taking hormonal birth control, antihistamines, or antidepressants, you might notice a decrease in natural lubrication. You can use lube to last longer (no chafing!), have shower sex (silicone!), or add flavor to oral.
Sliquid has two lines, Natural and Organic. Both are glycerin- and paraben-free, which makes them suitable for even the most sensitive bits. Both are completely vegan. The big difference is that the Organic line uses – duh – organic ingredients. It’s entirely up to you which you try. My body gets along perfectly with the Naturals line, and I don’t make too great an effort to shop for organic food.
My absolute favorite lube of theirs is Sassy. I’ve written about it before, both as an anal and a vaginal lubricant. It’s a thick gel that doesn’t get gloopy, dry up too fast, or smell funny. The thickness provides a really nice cushion for anal play and makes it longer lasting for anything vaginal. Essentially, it’s the ultimate in basic, water-based lubedom.
Sliquid was awesome and sent me some lovely sample packets a few weeks ago. I’m happy to report that their Cherry Vanilla Swirl is tasty, subtle, and great for oral. If you’re a vagina-having-individual and you’ve ever tried another flavored lube only to be left with a yeast infection, this is a lubricant worth trying. Made without the usual suspects, this could be your vagina’s best friend.
If you want to try a new Sliquid lube but you’re not sure what to get, I always recommend picking something multi-purpose. Silicone isn’t safe for toys, but if you want something great for water play and long-lasting sex, it’s the way to go. Water-based lubricants like Sassy (gel), H2O (liquid), and Sea (made with seaweed extracts) are great choices. I swear by Sassy, but friends of mine go crazy for Sea. You really can’t go wrong. Don’t believe me? Check out what Epiphora has to say.
Better yet, if you click through my affiliate banner or the link in this post, and use the code “DARLING10″, Sliquid will give you 10% off your order.
This post was not sponsored by Sliquid. All opinions are my own. I am an affiliate and do receive affiliate compensation on sales made through my link, but I was not paid for this individual post.
Ah, the long awaited Toy Chest post! Er, hopefully somebody’s been waiting for it. Or is excited about it now. Anyway, for your reference, I will be bolding my favorite products, ones that I recommend the most fervently.
Oh, we fancy huh. That’s right. I keep my toys in a Sterilite 3-drawer box, next to my rat cage. Give me a break, I just moved!
Ah-ha! The top drawer! This is where I keep my chargers, my lubricants, my spare bottles of cleaner, edible body powder, and all of my samples. It’s also where I throw my neck massager, because I’m a weirdo and I actually have a vibrator that I use on my neck.
Body Candy, System JO H20 Cherry Burst, Pure Romance Sensations in Hot Buttered Rum, Intimate Organics Defense, Sliquid Sassy, and Pure Romance Pure Silk
The middle drawer is kind of a clusterfuck, pun intended. It houses all of my odds and ends as well as our couple toys. I absolutely love that Intimate Organics Massage Oil in Sensual, which doesn’t stain my sheets. This drawer houses our Sportsheets Doggie Style Strap, our furry handcuffs, our WeVibe II, our favorite cock ring, and some plugs.
I can’t even tell you how much I love this ring. Cock rings have this stigma, and many men will say things like “I don’t need that!” Here’s the thing: you’re up, you stay up, you get harder than normal, a good ring doesn’t cause a big loss of sensation, and it can even make you a little bit bigger. I love this ring in particular because the beads make it ultra easy to roll down and roll back up to remove. (We got ours at Adam & Eve Pittsburgh.)
The WeVibe II is one of those novelty toys that’s very cool, but doesn’t seem to find a place in our day-to-day sex life. I’m a small gal, and I find the design to be a bit overbearing. The silicone collects dust like no other. I still recommend the WeVibe III to couples who are looking to spice things up and want a couples’ vibe that can be used underwater, but I really prefer the design of the Lelo Tiani 2 overall.
I never thought I’d add a plug to my collection. Legitimately was not even on the horizon for me. After working for a while at A&E, though, I began to view the butt as “just another hole.” (Eloquent, right?) I ordered the Doc Johnson Mood: Naughty plug in Medium, and I’m kind of in love with how soft and velvety the silicone is. At only $15, it’s a pretty great starter plug if you’re also thinking of exploring the other side. Please note: I have very small hands – the plug is actually quite a manageable size!
The vibrator drawer! As you can see, I like to store mine in satin drawstring bags, with the exception of my Je Joue Mimi, which is stored in its own little keepsake box. I also keep a bottle of toy cleaner with my vibrators to make that drawer a one-stop shop (Sliquid Sassy usually sits on our nightstand, tbqh).
Oh, Mimi, my egg-shaped love who looks kind of like Eva from Wall:E. Now that there’s a new 3 button version, I more highly recommend Mimi than ever before.
Standing O, Thumbs Up, Micro Bullet, Ultimate 7th Heaven, Daddy from the ‘Nati (all from Pure Romance)
These are what make the Standing O so great: the nubbies. For me, those are 10x better than those piddly rabbit ears you usually see. Three little stimulators, right in a row! You can no longer buy the Standing O through Pure Romance, but you can find it on Eden Fantasys by looking through the Cal Exotics dual stim vibes. For the price, though, I think you can do better – it’s nearly $100.
I really did not expect to fall in love with this toy. It has 3 speeds, it’s hot pink, it’s soft and it looks kind of like a jaw bone. Seriously, though, if you see the Thumbs Up at a Pure Romance party or a vibrator of the same design (made by Cal Exotics) like the one we carry at Adam & Eve, pick it up. They’re $19-26 and they’re definitely one of the best bargain vibes around. They are also phthalate free.
I received this glass dildo as a free gift with an Eden Fantasys order. It had gotten rave reviews, so I was pretty excited about it. As easy as it is to hit my g-spot with this toy, it just refuses to finish the job. I actually got it caught behind my pubic bone at one point (ow) so at the moment, I’m less than thrilled with its performance.
…and last, but not least, I present you an awkward photo of me with my Mini Winachi. It is really freaking hard to take a selfie using a DSLR on manual settings.
All photographs were taken by me with a Canon Rebel XS. All opinions are my own and no companies paid to have their products shown on marvelous-darling.com.
Everyone at Adam & Eve knows that I have some kind of weird obsession with finding The Perfect Lubricant. I mean, really. Is there anything more integral to good sex than the perfect keep-it-going-juice? I think not. Besides, you know, a sex partner or a good toy. So the running joke is that if anyone has lube questions, they can be directed to me. Flavored, warming, cooling, natural, organic, vegan, silicone, hybrid, water, liquid, gel… Is your head spinning yet? Let’s break it down…
Water based lubricants are probably the most common lubricants on the market. They include KY Liquid (which is superior to KY Jelly, which is frankly kind of disgusting and medical), Astroglide, and specialty names such as JO H2O, Intimate Organics, and Sliquid. A lot of women lean towards water based lubes because they’re familiar, and hey, water is kind of important to us as a species. There are a couple things to watch out for in your water based lubricants, though:
Glycerine – It’s still argued whether glycerine can really lead to yeast infections, as not all glycerin is created equal. Cheaper, less quality glycerins are more likely to cause an infection. Glycerine is also what makes some lubricants taste sweet, and because it is a sugar derivative, it can feed yeast. Bottom line: I would caution you to stay away unless you have a vagina of steel.
Parabens – Parabens are widely used in cosmetics, foodstuffs, and pharmaceuticals as preservatives, and have been declared unsafe by the FDA in certain amounts. Because they’re deemed unsafe in quantities larger than what we find in cosmetics, lubricants, and even food, many people choose to avoid them altogether. Women who are sensitive, prone to yeast infections, or are concerned about the safety of these chemicals should avoid lubricants containing parabens.
Fortunately, many lubricants are now being marketed as Glycerin and Paraben Free, such as Sliquid Organics, Intimate Organics, and JO for Women. Babeland’s BabeLube is also glycerin and paraben free, and they even make a natural organic version. All of the lubricants mentioned in this paragraph are also Vegan, apart from JO for Women (as far as I know).
My favorite? Intimate Organics Defense (Adam & Eve Pittsburgh, represent!), which contains carrageenan, an algae extract. Defense actually helps protect the natural pH and microflora levels in the vagina, effectively preventing yeast infections. The carrageenan actually keeps the lubricant slick and thick, great for vaginal intercourse or use with toys. It doesn’t get sticky or tacky during handjobs, either, which you know is a rarity if you’ve ever tried pleasing your man with a water based lubricant. Bonus: Carrageenan has been shown in some studies to help prevent the spread of HPV.
Silicone lubricants are the marathoners of sex lubes. They might even outlast you, unless you’re Sting and you’re into tantric sex or something. Seriously. The most common ingredient in silicone lubricants is Dimethicone, which can be made from sand. Which, honestly, freaks me out because imagine sand in your vagina. No, actually, don’t. Just keep reading.
Silicone lubricants do not dissolve in water and do not sink quickly into your skin, which is what gives them their staying power. Instead of being absorbed by the vagina tissue like water based lubricants are, they stay slick laying on top of the tissue. So what are the drawbacks? They’re not natural or organic products, and if you are concerned about the safety of dimethicone (Canada is, the US isn’t), you might wish to stay away. Also, you cannot use silicone lubricant with silicone toys, or you will risk ruining your toy. You can, however, use silicone lubricants with condoms.
But why choose silicone lubricant? If you have a very sensitive vagina and even Sliquid Organics causes you pH grief, a simple, quality silicone lubricant could be just what you need. Pink is very popular among women with sensitivities, and Babeland makes a high quality silicone lubricant of their own that is supposed to be very similar. Some people love silicone lubricant for anal sex and anal play, too, though it is harder to find a thicker formulation which is usually favored for backdoor entry.
Hybrids are a mix of silicone and water based lubricants, which sounds silly and a bit pointless, but they can actually be quite nice. I like them for the fact that they’re long lasting, but easy to clean up. Dare I say they’re the Hannah Montana of lubricants: the best of both worlds. Oh yeah, I went there. Things you don’t want to picture. Sorry.
Despite my parting ways with Pure Romance, if you attend a party any time in the near future, I do recommend their Pure Silk lubricant. It’s a hybrid, but it’s somehow safe to use with toys. I’ve never used any other hybrid lubricant, but JO makes one that I wouldn’t hesitate to try out. Warning: most hybrids cannot be used with silicone toys. Do not ruin your investment pieces.
Yum! There are many, many types and brands of flavored lubricants, from the cheapo jelly-like tubes to the warming, saccharin-sweet “massage liquids” to higher-end, more body friendly options. What you really need to know is that what’s suitable for the penis isn’t always suitable for the vagina. A friend of mine swears by warming, flavored massage liquid for blowjobs. Would I ever suggest using that for oral sex on a woman? Nope. It’s simply too sweet, and the sweeter a lubricant is, the more sugary and potentially yeast-causing it is.
My personal favorite flavored lubricant is JO H2O (again, holla to Adam & Eve Pittsburgh!), which is available in several tasty but not too sweet flavors, and is made with top quality glycerine to keep it safe for vaginal use for most women. I have the cherry flavor, while most others seem to prefer pomegranate or strawberry. If you’re looking for a certifiably vegan option, check out Intimate Organics, which also warm to the touch.
Things That are Not Good Lubricants and/or Will Make Your Vagina Very Sad
Spit – Stays wet for, what, five seconds? Unless you’re using it to refresh some water based lube (yep, it works!), spit is not a lubricant.
Oil based lubricants – Great for handies, awful for vaginal sex. At best, you’ll have an oily vagina and stained sheets. At worst, you’ll have bacterial vaginosis and/or a urinary tract infection. If it’s creamy, don’t put it in you. The worst culprit of this is Whipped, from Pure Romance. That stuff is satan in a squeeze tube, and a large part of why I quit the biz.
Soap or shower gel – Sex in the shower is great. Soap in your vagina is not great. No fingering with soap, no vaginal intercourse with soap. Soap has a completely different pH than your vagina. Don’t make your vagina sad.
Whew! What’s your favorite – or least favorite – lubricant? Do you have a new one on your must try list now?