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Lubrication - How-To Guide
Personal lubricants, or “lubes,” are a great enhancement to any sex play, smoothing the way to sexual pleasure. For anal sex, they are essential. For those of you that may be unfamiliar with the types, pros and cons of different types of lubricants, the following is a basic guide for you. The two main types of lubricants are water-based and silicone-based, with some additional variations on these groups.
Before we get into the details, let’s eliminate lubricants with parabens and glycerin. Lubes with these ingredients should be avoided. Parabens are believed by some to be cancer-causing, and are reported to impact sperm count and lead to reproductive problems. Some people can be allergic to parabens. Glycerin is linked to raising the risk of yeast infection in women and can dry out mucous membranes, raising the risk of other infections.
Water-based lubricants are the most commonly used lubricants. They have a light and natural feeling and are ideal for vaginal, oral and anal sex. They are also safe for all types of condoms and sex toys, are non-staining and many condoms include water-based lubricant. These lubes also come in a variety of scented, flavored and warming options.
Two of our best-selling water-based lubricants are the Slippery Stuff Water based Gel and the Wet Original Water Based Gel. Slippery Stuff is excellent for both vaginal and anal use. Wet Original contains soothing pure Vitamin E and Aloe Vera, and is a popular favorite.
Water-based lubricants have their downsides. They are absorbed quickly into the body, and so may need to be re-applied frequently, particularly during anal sex. These lubes may also have a sticky consistency and feeling, and are not waterproof.
Silicone-based lubricants are waterproof, and are especially useful and fun for sex in the bathtub, shower, hot tub or pool. They require only a small application, and last far longer than water-based lube. To some, silicone sounds more “artificial” and less “natural” than water-based lubricants, but is safe and often has fewer chemicals than water-based lube.
Silicone-based lubricants are especially recommended for anal sex, as the anus does not produce natural lubricants, and quickly absorbs water-based lube, requiring repeated applications. Anal-designated lube uses an even thicker and longer-lasting silicone-based lube. Silicone-based lubricants should not be used with silicone sex toys, as the silicone lubricant will react poorly and break down the silicone sex toy material.
Some silicone-based lubricants use Benzocaine, a “climax-control” lube designed to de-sensitize. This can be useful for men that are challenged by premature ejaculation. It’s also advertised for use with anal sex, but we recommend against it, as it may numb the necessary feeling of pain that is telling you to slow down or take a break.
All natural lubricants are also available, which use no chemicals. They may contain natural ingredients, such as aloe, Vitamin E and carrageenan, and are available in a liquid or spray form, along with a variety of flavors. These are ideal for those that have had allergic reactions to other types of lube.