Using lubricants: all you need to know

Lubricants are gel-like substances that are used during sexual intercourse or masturbation to reduce friction. They are chosen by many couples to enhance sexual pleasure by decreasing friction and irritation.

When a woman is aroused, the first thing that happens is that she becomes ‘wet.’ This ‘wetness’ is a natural lubricant. However, the amount produced each time can vary according to certain factors like the woman’s menstrual time, age, stress levels, etc.

But it isn’t necessary that we only use lubricants to overcome the dryness in the vagina. They can also be used to make sex and masturbation easier and enjoyable. It is known that lubricants increase pleasure during sexual intercourse.

Like different products, such as condoms and sex toys, even lubes come in different types and different lubes have different benefits. There are three main lubricant bases -

  • Water-based Lube 

    These are water-soluble lubricants and by far the most widely used. As they are water-based, it is easy to clean them up from the clothing. Also, since we find natural ingredients in pure water, these lubes are gentle as well as soothing to the skin. They can be used with condoms without causing any rip or tear in it. They can also be used with toys like vibrators. 

  • Silicon-based Lube

    Silicon is a compound made up of alternating chains of silicon and oxygen atoms. It comes in many forms like rubber, resin and oil. The liquid form of this material is the most important ingredient of personal lubricants. Silicon-based lubes are great because of their silky feel that soothes the skin leaving it soft and smooth; they even last longer. As Silicone is hypoallergenic, lube users with sensitive skin or allergies can use them without any worries. They are latex safe i.e. the applying on a condom won’t break it. However, they shouldn’t be used with silicone toys as they can break the toy down over time.

    In a water play, they are the best option for you. Unlike water-based lubricants, silicon ones won’t wash away in shower or tub quickly. 

  • Oil-based Lube

    If you want a lubricant that seriously lasts for long, then Oil-based lubes are your best bet. They are long-lasting and give a luxurious silky feel. Some people even prefer these for giving massages because of the oil sensation. But you must know that these lubes aren’t safe to be used with condoms, as they can cause it to rip and tear. Moreover, it is a little hard to clean off the toys and skin. So, if thinking of using these, be prepared for some extra effort afterwards.

  • Hybrid Lubes

    Hybrid lubes are the combination of water and silicone based lubes. These are just like water based lubes but with a longer lasting silicone formula. But you must keep in mind to avoid using them with silicone toys as the cause some serious wear and tear.

    Since it is you who has to use the lubricants that too in the most sensitive part of your body, make sure it isn’t harsh for your skin and the effects stay as long as you need it to. 

Some things to consider before you use a lubricant:

1. Pain is for a reason. Lubricants contain lidocaine and benzocaine to lessen discomfort but these ingredients can dull or numb the skin and reduce perception to pain. But pain indicates if something is wrong in the body. It is imperative to know as someone can end up being hurt during a sexual act when lubricants are involved.

2. Sugars. Glycerin can cause increased yeast infections in women who are susceptible to yeast infections. Flavoured lubricants can also be irritating for some women.

3. Pay Attention to Your Sensitivity. Some lubricants have menthol-like components and for some women that is extremely irritating. Make sure to test first, before using.

About the Author

WHL Staff

The WHL staff comprises a group of ladies out to give you exhaustive, practical health tips and resources.