Why we love lube (and you will too) - Play Safe
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Have you ever been having sex and noticed that things were getting a bit…dry? It happens to the best of us and there’s a super easy solution.

ENTER: lube.

Honestly, lube does not get the love and attention it deserves. Not only can lube make sex feel more comfortable, but it can actually reduce your risk of STIs.

As much as we love lube, we know that buying or using lube for the first time can be overwhelming. There are so many options to choose from, and not every type of lube is safe for every type of sex. So how do you know what kind of lube is right for you? And what exactly *is* lube anyway? 

Read on as we slip and slide into the wet and wonderful world of lube.

What is lube?

Lube, short for lubricant, is a liquid or gel that is designed to reduce friction during sex (making things move more smoothly). It can be used during anal, vaginal or oral sex and can also be incorporated into masturbation and sex toy play.

What is lube made of?

Lube is made up of a heap of different ingredients which are heavily influenced by the type of lube (water-based, oil-based, silicone-based etc.). Although every lube is different, some common ingredients include:

  • H20 (water)
  • Glycerin (sugar like compound)
  • Parabens (a group of chemicals used as preservatives)
  • Propylene glycol (a preservative and humectant – the name given to chemicals that help retain moisture)
  • Chlorhexidine gluconate (an antibacterial)

Some of these ingredients may sound a little scary, but we can assure you, they’re totally safe and can also be found in things like soaps and skincare products. 

Because lube varies so much from brand to brand, if you try one kind of lube and don’t like it, try another! With more variety than ever before, it’s important that you find a lube that is compatible with the type of sex you’re having, the contraception you’re using and that you enjoy using.

Why should I use lube?

Although you don’t need lube to have sex, it does have a whole range of important benefits.

  • Lube reduces the risk of getting an STI: Friction during sex can cause tiny tears in sensitive areas like the anus or vagina and make you more susceptible to STIs. Using lube and wearing a condom is the best way to protect yourself from STIs.
  • Lube is the MVP of anal sex: Unlike the vagina, the anus doesn’t produce its own lubricant so using a silicone or water-based lube for any anal play is highly recommended to keep everything moving smoothly.
  • Lube reduces the likelihood of condoms breaking during sex: Yep, less friction = less chance of a broken condom. Remember to steer clear of oil-based lube if you’re using latex condoms (but more on that later).
  • Lube can make vaginal sex more comfortable: Although vaginas typically produce their own lubricant, vaginal dryness is more common than you might think and can make sex uncomfortable or even painful. That’s why using lube to reduce friction can make vaginal sex more comfortable for everyone involved.

What types of lubes are there?

There are three main types of lube — water-based lube, silicone based lube, and oil based lube.

Water based lube

Water-based lubricants — you guessed it — are primarily made of water. They’re thin, slippery and because they’re made of water, they are super easy to clean up after the fun is over. Water-based lubricants are the most common type of lube and available at most supermarkets, petrol stations and pharmacies.

The biggest upside of a water-based lube is that they’re compatible with all condoms (unlike oil-based lubricants which can damage latex condoms, making them more prone to breaking).

The only downside is that water-based lubricants tend to ‘dry’ quickly, so it’s a good idea to keep the bottle handy so you can add more as you need.

Silicone based lube

As the name suggests, silicone-based lubricants’ use silicon as the main ingredient to provide a smooth and slippery feel that is usually thicker than water-based lubricants. Known to be long-lasting, silicon-based lubes stay ‘wetter’ for longer making them popular among those having anal sex or experiencing severe vaginal dryness. They are also typically waterproof, making them great options for use in the shower or around water.

Silicone based lubes can be used with latex, latex free and polyurethane condoms, but avoid using them with silicone sex toys as it can degrade them over time.

Oil based lube

Oil-based lubricants, sometimes referred to as ‘natural lubes’ use oil as their main ingredient and are usually thicker than water-or-silicon-based alternatives. They are made using any type of oil as a base, most commonly, coconut oil, mineral oil, olive oil and jojoba oil. Some people even use baby oil or petroleum jelly (Vaseline).

However, we do not recommend using oil-based lubricants. Why? Because oil-based lube can break down latex condoms, making them more likely to break or disintegrate, increasing the risk of STIs.

If you are set on using an oil-based lube, opt for a latex-free condom and be sure to read the instructions on the box before getting down to business.

How do I choose the right lube?

As lube continues to gain mainstream attention thanks to the rise of social media influencers promoting sexual health and ‘wellness’ brands, so too does the number of brands producing and selling lube. While this is great news for all the lube lovers out there, it can make choosing the right lube even trickier. Don’t stress though, we’ve got you!

Here’s our top tips to choosing the right lube for you:

  1. Think about what kind of condoms you’ll be using (this is super important). If you’re using latex condoms or aren’t sure what type of condoms you will be using, always opt for a water or silicon-based lube. If you ALWAYS use latex free condoms, you could consider using an oil base lube, but if you’re not 100% sure, opt for water-based lube.
  2. Ask yourself why you want to use lube. Whether you want to reduce friction during anal sex or are looking to experiment with a new sex toy, knowing what you want from your lube will play a big part is narrowing down the type of lube that’s right for you.
  3. Do you have any allergies or sensitive skin? If you’re allergic to anything like scents, dyes or preservatives, make sure you check the ingredients list before using a new lube. Alternatively, if you’re concerned or have sensitive skin, go for a fragrance-free lube. 
  4. Have fun with it. Chances are, you won’t find your favourite lube on the first go, so you may as well have some fun finding ‘the one’. Be sure to try different brands, textures, types, scents and colours. What do you have to lose?!

If all else fails, always read the label and choose a lube that’s designed for the type of sex you’ll be having.

How do I use lube?

  1. Choose your lube (see above).
  2. Talk to your partner/s about using lube before you get started (consent matters).
  3. When you’re ready, dispense a small amount of lube on your fingers, genitals or anywhere you’d like! A little lube goes a long way so start slow, you can always add more!

If in doubt, here are some lube laws to live by:

  • Read the label. Your lube should have heaps of helpful info on the box it came in. If you’re not sure about something, check there first.
  • A little lube goes a long way. Start with a pea sized amount or smaller, you can always add more. There’s no ‘right’ amount of lube so go with your gut on this one.
  • Anal? Use lube. It’s a good idea to use lube anytime you’re having anal sex or exploring anal play. 
  • Lube can stain. That’s right, many types of lube can stain your clothes and sheets so be careful where you put it.
  • Keep your lube handy. As you’re having sex, you may need to add more lube. Avoid any interruptions by keeping the lube close by. 

We ❤️ lube.

So there you have it. Lube may not always get the recognition it deserves, but it plays an important part in a safe and happy sex life.

Lube – FAQs:

What is lube used for?

Lube is used to decrease friction during sex. It can be used for anal, vaginal or oral sex and can also be incorporated into masturbation and sex toy play.

Less friction = less chance of condoms breaking = lower risk of STIs
Less friction = less skin tearing or irritation = lower risk of STIs
Less friction = more pleasure = happier you!

Can lube cause a yeast infection?

Using lube that contains glycerin or sugar, or one that interferes with the natural pH of a vagina, can increase the risk of developing a yeast infection in some people. If you’re susceptible to yeast infections, look for a lube that is designed to balance vaginal pH and is free from glycerin, sugar and any other ingredients you’re sensitive to.

What is a vaginal moisturiser?

Where lube provides temporary slipperiness during sex, vaginal moisturisers aim to increase moisture levels in the vagina throughout the day and night and support the production of natural lubrication.

The terms lube and vaginal moisturiser are often used interchangeably, so if you’re not sure which one you may need, chat to a doctor or pharmacist.

Can you use coconut oil as lube?

Oil-based lubricants like coconut oil are safe to use but should never be used with latex condoms as it makes them more prone to breaking. If you’re looking for a lube for solo play, go nuts!