Lube 101: What Lube is, the Best Lubes for You, & More
Lube: it’s something you’ve heard about, maybe tried once or twice, but never fully understood the purpose (or benefits!) of. It’s commonly referred to in media like TV shows & movies as something that you only need if you’re “not wet enough,” and could use a little help. But lube is so much more than that, so it’s time we get rid of the stigma around using lube. Because lube is helpful for everybody, not just vulva owners who can’t get “wet” at the drop of a hat like they’re often expected to (*cue eye roll*). It’s also a great way to make sex more pleasurable for both parties! So who’s ready to learn about the different types of lube, the best lubes for you, and why you should buy some ASAP?
Lube 101: The Important Stuff You Never Learned
What is lube?
Let’s kick it off with the basics – what even is lube?
Lube is a liquid or gel that you use to help stay lubricated & avoid friction during sex (of any kind – solo, partnered, with/without toys, with all genders). It’s incredibly helpful in not only making your sexual experiences safe by preventing chafing, dryness, and irritation, but also in making sex much more pleasurable! With lube, you never have to worry about not being “wet” enough (for you vulva-owners), and can simply focus on enjoying the experience. You can even buy special lubes that add extra fun & sensations to your sexy time, such as warming, cooling, or flavored lubes!
Who uses lube?
Anyone and everyone can benefit from using lube. There is some stigma around using lube for vulva-owning folks because culturally, we put a lot of value on the idea of being “wet” (i.e. producing vaginal lubrication).
The truth is that a lot of factors can affect our bodies’ abilities to produce lubrication, including genetics, hydration, where you’re at in your menstrual cycle, and more. So adding some extra lube in there can not only feel good, but can be really supportive to our bodies and help keep sexy play safe! Using lube can help avoid excess friction that could lead to chafing or microtears, which can increase our susceptibility to contracting STIs.
And lube can be used in all kinds of sexy situations, too. Lube can level-up your solo play, can be added in for oral sex (think flavored lubes!), and can even be a fun way to experiment with cum play!
Who NEEDS lube?
Anyone who likes slippery fun!
Also, anyone engaging in anal penetration absolutely must use lube. The booty isn’t self-lubricating the way the vagina is, so to keep tearing from occurring, lube is essential!
Lots of folks going through any drastic hormone changes (think menopause, HRT, etc.) can also benefit from extra lubrication.
The 4 Main Types of Lube + Our Favorites
There are generally four main types of lube: oil-based, water-based, silicone-based, and hybrid. Each type has its own benefits and functions, so we laid out a simple guide to each one below, to help you understand what to look for when lube-shopping!
1. Oil-based lube
Oil-based lube is a great option for folks who want a longer-lasting glide that will eventually absorb into the skin.
Oil-based lubes cannot be used with latex condoms (!!) since they break down the condom, rendering them ineffective to protect against pregnancy and STI’s.
Oil-based lube provides a slick glide, and won’t dry up or get tacky - though because our skin can absorb the good moisture that oil offers, you may need to reapply a time or two if you’re having a marathon session!
Keep in mind that oil-based lubes *can* stain fabric, so be careful with any clothes you wear & consider putting a towel (or a sheet you don’t care about) underneath you during playtime.
WinkWink Fave: Motion Potion by Seagrape Apothecary ($30.00)
Motion Potion is a thin, oil-based lube in an adorable bottle made by our queer witch friends in Portland!
2. Water-based lube
Water-based lube is a slippery, wet-as-hell, juicy lube option. Water-based lubes mimic our bodies’ natural lubrication closely, so their texture can feel...familiar (yum!).
Water-based lube is compatible with all materials (think toys, condoms, etc), so you won’t have to worry about what you put it on!
Water-based lubes can vary a lot in their viscosity (thin liquid all the way to thick gels), so considering your preferred thickness of lube can help when preparing to purchase a new bottle. They’re also water soluble (duh!), so it’s super easy to clean up afterward(no soap required).
Because water-based lubes are primarily made of, well, water, this kind of lube is prone to needing a refresh mid-session. You can either apply more lube or add a few drops of water to help reactivate the lube that is already on the skin.
When choosing a water-based lube, be sure to avoid any lubes with glycerin in them, as this can be particularly irritating to vagina-owning folks.
WinkWink Fave: Sutil Body Glide Rich ($17.99)
Sutil Rich, an all-natural lube, has a thick, gel-like consistency (meaning it won’t run everywhere). It has an added bonus combo of horny goat weed and hyaluronic acid, which support blood flow and tissue hydration. It’s also great for anal play because of its high viscosity!
3. Silicone-based lube
Silicone-based lube is the longest-lasting type of lube on the market! Because silicone molecules are too large to pass into the body, silicone stays on top of the skin, meaning it won’t dry up or be absorbed.
Silicone-based lube shouldn’t be used with silicone toys, since the silicone in the lube can actually degrade the surface of the toy. However, silicone-based lube *is* safe to use with condoms, skin to skin, and with most other toy materials.
Silicone is actually one of the simplest lubes you can use - many silicone-based lubes contain only two or three ingredients. It just takes soap and water to remove silicone-based lube, and remember that, similarly to an oil-based lube, silicone-based lube can stain fabrics.
WinkWink Fave: Uberlube ($19.99)
Uberlube is a long-standing favorite of ours for its thinner consistency and easy-to-use pump bottle!
4. Hybrid lube
Finally, hybrid lubes are perfect for the most indecisive among us. Combining the longer-lasting properties of silicone with the juiciness of water-based lubes, these are perfect for folks wanting something that will stick around for longer play sessions while still being slick in the way a water-based lube can be.
Due to their (generally) low concentration of silicone, hybrids tend to be toy-safe (though it’s always a good idea to check the bottle for recommendations from the company!).
WinkWink Fave: Wicked Simply Hybrid ($15.99)
The Best Lubes to Use for YOU
You’re familiar with the four main types of lube now, but you may also be wondering what the best lube is for certain scenarios. Below is a list of the best lubes for [insert something here], from our favorite lubes for fertility, to sensitive skin, to oral sex!
Best latex condom-safe lube: Uberlube ($19.99)
Best lube to use when trying to conceive: Good Clean Love Biogenesis Fertility Lubricant ($22.99)
Best flavored lube: Apple Candy Flavored Water-Based Lube ($9.99)
Best lube for sensitive skin: Good Clean Love Almost Naked Organic Water-Based Lube ($17.99)
Best natural lube: Sutil Body Glide Luxe ($15.99)
Best lube that won’t dry out: Yoni Bliss Homeopathic Gel ($32.99)
Best lube that won’t get sticky: The Butters Cocoa Butter Oil-Based Lube ($9.99)
Best long-lasting lube: Wicked Simply Aqua Jelle ($16.99)
Best lube to use with silicone toys: Sensuva Erosense Sync Hybrid Lube ($14.99)
Best lube for oral sex: Lic-O-Licious Oral Delight Gel ($12.99)
Best water-resistant lube: System Jo Silicone Warming Anal Lube ($21.99)
Best cooling lube: System Jo Agape Cooling Lubricant ($18.99)
Best massage lube: System Jo All-In-One Fragrance-Free Massage Glide ($9.99)
BONUS - warming massage lube: System Jo All-In-One Warming Massage Glide ($9.99)
A Quick Guide to Lubes Sold at WinkWink
It’s important to note that all the lubes we carry at WinkWink have been carefully chosen because of their non-toxic ingredients. We ensure every lube we stock is free of glycerin and unnecessary additives. Check out the list of all the lubes we offer below, separated by base-type (oil, water, silicone, hybrid, or other)!
Our Oil-Based Lubes:
- Seagrape Motion Potion Oil-Based Lube ($30.00)
- Southern Butter Enhance Stimulating Butter ($24.99)
- The Butters Cocoa Butter, Oil-Based Lube ($9.99)
- The Butters Palm Grease Oil-Based Lube ($12.99)
Our Water-Based Lubes:
- Apple Candy Flavored Water-Based Lube ($9.99)
- Bionude Ultra Sensitive Water-Based Lube ($16.99)
- Earthly Body Waterslide Water-Based Lube ($14.99)
- Good Clean Love Almost Naked Organic, Water-Based Lube ($17.99)
- Sensuva Aqua Water-Based Lube ($12.99)
- Watermelon Flavored Water-Based Lube ($9.99)
- Wicked Simply Aqua Water-Based Lube ($13.99)
- Yoni Bliss Homeopathic Gel ($32.99)
Out Silicone-Based Lubes:
- Pjur Silicone Lube ($19.99)
- System Jo Agape Cooling Lubricant ($18.99)
- System Jo Silicone Warming Anal Lube ($21.99)
- System Jo All-In-One Fragrance-Free Massage Glide ($9.99)
- System Jo All-In-One Warming Massage Glide ($9.99)
- Uberlube ($19.99)
Our Hybrid Lubes:
- Sensuva Erosense Sync Hybrid Lube ($14.99)
- Sliquid Silk Hybrid Lube ($16.99)
- Wicked Simply Hybrid ($15.99)
- Wicked Simply Aqua Jelle ($16.99)
- Extra-Thick Version: Wicked Simply Hybrid Jelle Extra-Thick Lube ($15.99)
- Aloe-Based: Alu Aloe-Based Lube ($18.99)
- Water & Aloe Combo: Sliquid Organics Sensation Warming Lube ($9.99)
- Thicker, Gel-Like: Sliquid Sassy Booty Formula ($14.99)
- Botanical Formula: Sutil Body Glide Luxe ($15.99)
- Thicker Version: Sutil Body Glide Rich ($17.99)
Additional Resources & Products for Safer, Better Sex
Now that you’re a total expert on all things lube, why not keep the learning journey going and explore even more of WinkWink’s educational resources & products below?
Safe Sex Products at WinkWink (condoms, dental dams, & more)
At WinkWink, we sell plenty of products to help you lead a safer, healthier sex life, including a variety of condoms, dental dams, and more. Check them out here!
We also host public classes & events, with our newest upcoming event (made ever-popular by the news) being the Uncringe Academy. We believe there’s a lot to learn when it comes to bodies, puberty, reltaionships, gender, and sex, and are excited to offer honest, inclusive sex eudcation classes to help young people of all ages, genders, and sexual identities.
You can learn more about the Uncringe Academy and get all the details here – we hope to see you there!
If you’ve ever even had a slight interest in getting a little spicy in your sex life via kink, you won’t want to miss our blog post about how to get startd with kinky play.
Our newest blog post is all about "purity culture," the harmful effects, and how to heal from it and have a healthy sex life - we can't recommend reading it enough!
Need a new toy? Or want to buy your very first one? Hear what all the buzz is about (pun intended) – head over to our blog post dedicated to sex toys, from what material to choose to what functions you’re into & more.