Whether you're a little dry downstairs or just fancy experimenting, lubricant is a useful addition to the bedside drawer. But what is lube? And how you do you use it?

couple on waterslide

Lube is fun...probably not this fun though.

Lube. Just saying the word is fun isn’t it? Luuuube. But why use it? Because, in general, the wetter sex is, the better. Just ensure you know how and when to use lubricant before you squeeze an entire bottle into your pants.

Natural lubrication and vaginal dryness

Women’s vaginas are clever things. When a girl gets turned on, her vagina starts to produce a natural lubricating fluid. This cuts down friction during sex and protects all the delicate tissue down there.

However, sometimes a gal’s lady parts don’t always moisten up enough for penetration. This could be either due to a lack of foreplay, changes in menstrual cycle, breastfeeding, and also if you’re on antidepressants, antihistamines or the pill. Rather than just going for it regardless – which will hurt her – consider helping things along with lubricant.

Lubricant and anal sex

The anus doesn’t self-lubricate and the tissues inside a bum hole can tear very easily. Therefore it’s recommended you use lube when indulging in anal play. STIs are more easily passed through anal sex, so it’s uber-important you use a condom as well. And stick to water-based lubes, as oil-based ones can erode condoms.

When should I use lube?

We recommend you don’t substitute foreplay for lube. If the lady’s not ready, don’t think “I’m horny, she’s taking too long, let’s lube her up and get on with it”. However, if she’s mentally ready for sex, just her vagina is misbehaving for one reason or another, using lubricant’s a good option.

But even if she’s naturally as slippery as an eel, lube can still be used to enhance your lovemaking. It makes hand jobs easier, increases the pleasure of finger-love, and makes the actual sex slippier, slidier and more fun. Fancy some self-love? Lube can make masturbating more thrilling, help sex toys get where you want them and increase sensation.

How do I use lubricant?

A little usually goes a long way. If you’re using it for foreplay fun, then whoever’s doing the pleasuring at the time might want to rub it between their hands first to warm it up. If you’re using it for penetrative purposes, add a dab to the entrance of vagina, anus, or on the tip of your sex toy. An extra blob of lube inside the tip of a condom can give a guy added sensation, too.

How to use lube safely

Here are our tips for safe lube-loving:

  • Most important! Only use water-based lubricants if you’re using condoms. Anything oil-based – Vaseline, massage oil etc. – will rot away condoms in seconds and leave you at risk of STIs and unwanted pregnancy.
  • Always clean lube off a penis or sex toy before re-entry.
  • Lubricants DON’T protect you against STIs and pregnancy.

What can I use as lube? And what different types of lube are there?

Common brand names include Durex, KY Jelly, Liquid Silk and Astroglide. These can be found in most high street chemists next to the condoms.

Use :

Saliva: A little bit of spit can be used as lube, but water-based lubricant lasts longer (and is little less gross).

Heated lube: Creates a gentle warming sensation – great for winter sex.

Tingling lube: Makes lady parts tingle and can increase the chance of orgasm.

Flavoured lube: Can make giving head easier to stomach. Although remember to use a condom/dental dam too, as oral sex isn’t safe sex.

Silicon based lube: Good for using in water for shower and bath fun.

Liquid beads: Available from America, girls can insert these small beads into their vagina and they’re supposed to keep you lubricated for four days. (Useful for dirty weekends.)

Don’t use!:

Vaseline/petroleum jelly: Will rot condoms almost instantly. And can cause irritation in the vagina.

Olive oil, or any other oil, including massage oil: also rots condoms and might sting

Next Steps

  • Chat about this subject on our Discussion Boards.
  • Need help but confused where to go locally? Download our StepFinder iPhone app to find local support services quickly.

By Holly Bourne

Updated on 29-Sep-2015