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What is lube?

26th May 2020

Lube or lubricant, pretty much offers exactly what it says on the tin; it lubricates to minimise friction and allow smooth movement. Apply that to a sexual context and it sounds pretty good right? And yet, lube is still wrongly assumed to only be designed by older women or those who can’t naturally lubricate. That couldn’t be further from the truth!

Lube is designed to increase sexual pleasure, add moisture, and allow a little more gliiide. Lube can either mimic a woman’s natural lubrication or add different depths and dimensions to sex. And because a woman’s natural vaginal moisture can vary throughout her cycle (based on hormones), lube is far from beneficial to only menopausal women.

Is lube just for those with vaginal dryness?

Far from it. More than 30% of women experience vaginal dryness (even when they feel aroused), and this can occur at any age and for various reasons such as menopause, pregnancy, medication and stress.

But even if you feel naturally lubricated, lube will always help things to feel smoother and more comfortable. You should always keep a bottle on hand to increase sexual pleasure and to reach for during your time of the month when you may feel a little less naturally moist.

Should I use different lubes for different things?

Absolutely. The one that you’ll definitely want in your bedside drawer is a good water-based lube. They’re non-sticky, have a natural feel and are compatible with most condoms and toys.

If you’re a woman suffering from vaginal dryness (especially due to menopause) then you may want something light with a natural feel. Something like KY Jelly is good for mimicking your natural moisture and Durex also make a Real Feel lube.

For adventurous, rough or water-based sexual activity, you may want a lube that stacks up a little better; something richer, long-lasting and thick enough to make things comfortable. An oil-based or silicone-based lube is great for this kind of thing, but you need to be careful with them as they can be damaging to condoms and sex toys.

How do I choose the right lube for me?

Like with most sex-related products and topics, it’s a very personal choice and all about what feels the best for you and your partner. If you’re looking for something light and natural then go for a water-based lubricant. If you want something thicker and more luxurious then go for something oil or silicone-based.

Some important things to note when choosing a lube is to make sure it’s compatible with the condoms you’re using. Even though condoms are lubricated to begin with, it may not always be enough so it’s usually a good idea to add more.

If you’re looking for a lube to use with sex toys then you should ensure it won’t damage them. Silicone-based lubes can damage silicone toys so if your toy is not made of silicone then it should be fine but generally speaking, a water-based one is best.

It’s also important to remember that lube is designed to enhance sexual pleasure and make things more comfortable - most of them do nothing to protect against pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections so it’s important you’re also using suitable contraception.