The Ultimate Guide to Personal Lubricant (Lube)

The Ultimate Guide to Personal Lubricant (Lube)

Personal lubricant, AKA lube, is a bedroom staple. It decreases friction and increases pleasure. It doesn’t matter whether you struggle with dryness or personally relate to “WAP,” it doesn’t matter what genitals you have, and it doesn’t matter whether you’re engaging in solo or partnered play–lube will always make your sex life better. 


Why? A 2015 study on nearly 2.5k women found significantly higher reports of sexual pleasure and satisfaction with the use of lube for all types of sexual activity, solo and partnered. A 2013 study from Indiana University’s Center for Sexual Health found the use of lube made it 50% easier for people to achieve orgasm. If those statistics aren’t evidence enough, it’s important to note that lube’s friction reducing capability means less pain during sex (way less if it’s anal) and longer-lasting condoms. Win-win!

Convinced yet? Perfect! Because now, we’re going to walk you through the ins and outs of lube.

The Dos and Don’ts of Pre-packaged Lube

The Realm of Natural Lubricants


The Dos and Don’ts of Pre-packaged Lube

Don’t Use Manufactured Lubes

Glycerine and propylene glycol-based lubricants can cause sensitivities, yeast infections, and can even dry you out as a result of use. Because they cause cell shedding, they can also make you more prone to contracting STIs.

Another type of lube formula you’ll want to avoid is one using mineral oil. Mineral oil is a synthetic oil, which has been shown to lead to increased infections because it traps and breeds bacteria.

Don’t Use Lube That Contains Sugar

As enticing as turning your butthole into a strawberry shortcake sounds, lubricants containing sugar/glucose should never be used. That means any flavored lubricants (and condoms that come lubricated with them). These are a surefire way to contract a yeast infection (which you can both get and pass to partners), and in general contain a host of awful ingredients.

Don’t Use Silicone Lube with Silicone Toys

Silicone-based lube is fine with glass and metal toys, but not silicone toys. The advantages to silicone lube are a more slippery texture, longer moisture, and a more neutral pH. The downside, of course, is that you can’t use it with everything like you can a water-based lube.

Do pH Test Your Lube, Even if it’s Water-Based

Water-based lubricants are best for use with silicone toys, as silicone lubricant will destroy your silicone toys. They dry out quicker than silicone, but can be rehydrated with a spritz of water. It is worth noting though that while water-based lube is safe, you can still experience sensitivities and yeast infections if the pH of the lube is much higher or lower than your natural pH. You can actually use pH test strips to find a match–we recommend getting trial or travel sizes of some different brands if you have to do this so you don’t waste your money.

Do Read the Ingredients on a Lube’s Label

Always read the ingredients on your lubricants before buying and using. The shorter ingredient list, the better! Here’s a helpful chart from Smitten Kitten and Dangerous Lily on ingredients to look for and avoid.

The Realm of Natural Lubricants

Do Use Aloe Vera

A hippie sex life hack! Using additive-free aloe vera gel is clean and safe to use with any type of toy or condom. If you have a plant, you can snap off a leaf and squeeze out the gel. If you want to prep a batch, you can boil the gel to pasteurize it, then freeze it in an ice cube tray and take the cubes out to thaw when you need lube. Of course, you can also just get a jar of pure aloe vera gel to use if you’re feeling lazy.

Do Use Coconut Oil (with Caution)

Who doesn’t have coconut oil in their pantry these days? If you’re on a keto kick, you might be happy to find out that the coconut oil in your kitchen can double as a safe lube to use in the bedroom. The pros of this are that virgin, unrefined (and make sure it’s unrefined) coconut oil is antimicrobial, pH neutral, and safe to use with silicone toys. The cons are that it can’t be used with latex/rubber (so no regular condoms), it can go rancid, and it will stain fabric. Make sure when you’re using it, especially for anal play, that you’re not sticking dirty fingers or toys into the jar and introducing bacteria–that’s how you’ll end up with a rancid batch.

If you’re prone to yeast infections, then it’s a good idea to steer clear of using coconut oil as lube. Dr. Kiltz, diplomat of the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology and author of The Fertile Feast, says that the coconut oil’s antimicrobial properties as well as potential contamination can increase the rise of infections by disrupting the natural microbiome of the vagina. The normal pH of the vagina is acidic, and coconut oil can make it an alkaline environment, resulting in a disturbance of bacteria that can also lead to issues like bacterial vaginosis.

Don’t Use Essential Oils

If you search DIY lube recipes, you’ll come across all sorts of recipes throwing essential oils into the mix. It might sound like a good idea to add tea tree oil since it’s antimicrobial or rose oil because of its aphrodisiac scent, but it isn’t. Doctors have noticed an uptick in essential oil skin reactions, citing them as “one of the leading causes of allergic contact dermatitis.” And that’s just with external use! Essential oils are highly concentrated and can be astringent and acidic, causing allergic reactions, extreme pH imbalances, and drying effects (ironically enough). So if you’re mixing your own lube, leave the essential oils out of it.


By this point, we’ve hopefully converted you into a true believer in the wonders of lube. By using trusted lubricants and paying attention to how your body responds, you can level up your pleasure game and live your fantasies to the fullest.

Have any questions? Heard any out there stories about lube you’d like to share? Drop them in the comments below or email us at

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