Lube is like Maldon salt—it just makes everything better. Sex with and without condoms, solo-masturbating, inserting tampons, and making your foreplay into a downsized version of my favorite Japanese television program, Nuru Nuru Treasure Hunter. Or as I call it, Lube Stairs:
This is what I want for you. The bodysuit, the hype, and the lubrication. OK? Because growing up, I think most of us experience this hush-hush misconception about lubricants as a kind of compensation for our body’s sexual failures, or inability to produce the juice, which is toxic AF and just not true. Your body is smart. It knows what it’s doing. (To the FTC agent reading this: I am *not* a science/medicine lady, so please take this with a fatty grain of Maldon.) But if your body is about to go to Pound Town, USA, it could probably benefit from a helping, slippery, aloe-enriched hand. And there’s nothing unnatural in asking for help. [Slides down lube-stair soap box].
You can’t just buy lube willy-nilly, though. I mean, you can, but it might suck. I can tell you what I will not be buying: anything that looks like it’s from a Chevy commercial, an energy drink ad, or is written in what I call “Righteous Christian Billboard Font.” Contrary to human instinct, water alone is also a terrible lubricant, and one of the many reasons why shower/beach/Water World role play sex can suck (it just wasn’t Kevin’s best work; fight me). Generally speaking, there are four lube categories: water, oil, silicone, and hybrid. Water-based lubes are usually compatible with silicone, latex, and pretty much everything, but you always want to check the directions on your sex toys to make sure. Silicone lasts longer and feels best, IMO, but risks deteriorating your vibrators—as do oil-based lubes.
Into anal? Unless you are Aquaman, you will also need some help getting your tailpipe moistened and ready to receive (and lube not only makes the sex more pleasurable, but safer). You can use water-based, oil-based, and silicone-based lubes for anal penetration, but silicone is ideal because your sphincter will absorb the water faster, and you’ll just need to keep reapplying. There are also great combo silicone-water lubes out there, like Naked Silk. Hell, you can even go full Olive Garden and use EVOO to make that ass breadstick-ready.
There’s no right or wrong amount of lube to use. It’s a choose-your-own-adventure thing. Just clock your body’s needs, and build a rotation of a few different kinds of lubricants to live by your bed.
All of these lubes go through a rotation of holding a place on my nightstand, because they look so damn nice. Maude is one of the coolest, woman-founded intimacy and self-care/self-pleasure companies to emerge in recent years; its sex toys look like post-modern objets d’art from the MoMA gift shop, and its lubricants are cruelty free, vegan, and hydrating (and don’t throw off my vaginal pH). For me, they’re neck-in-neck with the products from Dame, which is an equally rad, woman-founded sexual wellness company whose water-based lube is also aloe-enriched but comes in a groovy blue bottle (hot tip: add the grip sleeve to your lube purchase. Your fumbly sex self with thank you) with an O-face smiley. But as for user ease, I think Lola’s lube wins; there’s a little slide pump feature on that stylish, frosty bottle—which looks like it was designed by Calvin Klein or something—to swiftly squirt your lube.
I remember the first time I got Überlube, and just marveled at it’s swankity swank umlaut and luxe bottle. Next to Maude’s silicone lube, it’s one of my favorites for its vitamin E-enriched formula, and inoffensive design. On days when I’m feeling a little more granola, though, I’ll reach for Sliquid’s organic lube, which is enriched with sunflower seed oil, aloe, and green tea extracts for sensitive skin.
Again, these will often deteriorate latex, so be mindful of what your condoms and toys can tolerate. That being said, you can kind of raid your pantry and find a lot of body safe lubricants (pleeeease be mindful and wary of your own allergies/medical needs). Golden Girl jelly will always have a special place in my heart, because it looks like it rolled off the set of Wet Hot American Summer, and I love coconut oil and olive oil sans condom; I actually use the latter to hydrate my skin after the shower (which I’ve been told is actually legit). Any quality oils will do (organic, refined, you know the key words), but please: Smash that order button on the “Astarte” EVOO below, and let me know how it works for your anus. They knew what they were doing with that branding.
I know, I know. The world of CBD wellness can feel like a circus of snake oil. But *these* particular oils really got me. Common Bond’s fragrance free botanical lube is just damn beautiful, doesn’t smell like a tire, and is one of thee most vibe-heavy lubes; it always feels like I’m casting the calming, horny mists of Avalon over my sexual experiences. If you’re on a smaller lube budget, try Bella’s water-based Aqua D'Amore for a little 5-star rated slip and slide glide. “[It’s] a really great lube,” wrties one reviewer, “It feels great and it's not sticky. It's also not tested on Animals which is something I've been being very conscious about lately.”
If you prefer a scent with your lubes, Foria’s organic CBD lube integrates pesticide free, USA-grown hemp and a base of a base of tree nut coconut oil. Yum.
There are a lot of wild sex toys out there, man. Have you seen the Vajankle? Anyways. Don’t forget that your lube-time doesn’t have to be this expedited hurdle during sex. Make it part of the experience instead, and take your time applying it to yourself and your partner(s) during foreplay. Hell, squirt it on with a syringe, if that’s your jam.
Happy lubing! As a dear friend once told me, “Live, laugh, love, and leave a slug trail behind.”
The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the stuff featured in this story.