YEP Youth & SHBBV Sector Blog Post – Megan Elias, SHQ: “The Wonderful World of Lubricants”

So what’s the deal with lube? Why is it something we should be thinking about when we’re getting frisky…and something we should be thinking about before we even get close to getting frisky?

Lubrication helps avoid condom breakage (really important for safe sex) and can be used to increase pleasure (WIN!). Lubrication can be provided by vaginal secretions, adding lube or using pre lubed condoms, or a combination of the three. Lubrication makes sure everything is moving together smoothly and comfortably.

Lubricants should be applied on the outside of the condom, in the vagina or in the anus. Lube shouldn’t be put on the penis because it can make the condom slip off. A drop or two of lube can be put in the condom before it is unrolled (it may increase sensation), but it can only be a small amount as too much can make the condom slip off.

There are three main types of lube:

Water based: Safe to use with all condoms and other latex products (dams, gloves etc.). Water based lubes are the most common, tend to be affordable, come in a range of arousal varieties (warming, cooling, tingling, flavoured etc.) and are a great all-rounder. Water based lubes might dry out or become tacky, but just add a little more water or lube to reactivate them. They are also really easy to clean up.

Water based lubes are safe to use with sex toys of all materials. Remember to clean or sterilize your toys after use, and practice safe toy sex.

Silicone based: Safe to use with all condoms and other latex products (dams, gloves etc.). Silicone based lubes are longer lasting and can be used safely for sex in or around water as they are water resistant and don’t just wash off. However, some people report silicone based lubes can cause irritation if not washed off soon after sex and they can be more difficult to clean out of bedding etc.

Do not use silicone based lube with silicone, silicone containing or soft sex toys. The silicone lube will begin to disintegrate the toy.

Oil based: Do not use with latex condoms. Oil based products can damage latex and cause condom breakage. Examples include oils (cooking, coconut, massage, baby, mineral etc.), Vaseline, moisturizer, butter, cocoa butter.

Do not use oil based lube with sex toys. The oil based lube can coat the toy and be difficult to remove without chemicals that are not friendly for the toys or your body.

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