Lube can fill a myriad of needs—whether that’s keeping the engine revving a little longer during a marathon sex-binge, making things a little bit more slippery, or introducing you to some new kinds of fun. Bottom line, lube is pretty fantastic. If you haven’t yet stocked up on a bottle but are in the market, here are some things you might want to know.
1. You are not broken if you use lube (and neither is your partner). It drives me crazy that some women really feel that way. I don’t get it! Using lube doesn’t mean that you’re not functioning. If anything, using lube makes you a connoisseur of sex and the ambassador of your own pleasure!
2. Don’t use oil-based lubes with condoms. Want to use baby oil or petroleum jelly? In the Guide to Getting It On, author Paul Joannides, PsyD, instructs readers to not. Do. That. With. Condoms. It can deteriorate the latex in a condom and cause it to break. Not good. So if condoms are your only form of birth control, think wisely.
3. Don’t use silicone lubes with silicone sex toys. They can cause your silicone toy to break down. That said, silicone lubes are great for water play, as water-based lubes obviously wouldn’t work with that.
4. …But silicone works with condoms. Silicone-based lubes last longer than water-based lubes (which work with both condoms and sex toys). Water-based lubes seem to a popular type of lube, but they also have a tendency to dry out more quickly, so you might need to reapply it during your sex-a-thon.
5. Popular forms of lubes could cause infections. If you are prone to yeast infections or any other non-fun infections down there, pay heed: A 2013 study published in Obstetrics & Gynecology revealed that women who used products that aren’t really supposed to go in their lady parts (like some oils or Vaseline) had higher rates of yeast and various bacterial infections, most probably because these products messed with their pH.
Oh, you might want to stay away from glycerin, too, which is found in a handful of popular ingredients, including many water-based lubricants — because nothing can put the brakes on your sex life like a nasty yeast infection or a case of bacterial vaginosis, a smelly infection, and Dr. Mary Marnach of Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, told Reuters glycerin can lead to both. So if you want to use a slippery friend during sexy time while using condoms, read the ingredients.
Oh! And fun fact from The Guide to Getting It On: Glycerin is also an ingredient in laxatives, which means lubes with that ingredient may not bode well with anal sex.
6. When all else fails … just spit. Spit is relatively cheap (free), organic, and always ready at a moment’s notice. However, spit will dry out quicker, so it’s not the best option if you’re looking for a longer, uninterrupted frolic.
7. There’s no catch-all for what lube works for you. Of course, when it comes to your body and your orgasm, research (and trial and error) is key, but remember: Everyone’s experience is unique. One woman may be into Uberlube, but maybe you’ll prefer Astroglide. All you can do is try and see what puts you on the fast track to crazy pleasure.