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Personal Lubricant 101

Posted Apr 14 2009 12:00am

Lubrication can be an important component of pleasurable sexual play. While we may produce enough vaginal lubrication to allow for penetration, at times it may become necessary to use additional lube to help out.

Here is a basic  comparison of the two types of lubes generally available:

WATER-BASED, w/ GLYCERIN:

PROS:

  • Easy to clean up
  • Safe to use with latex condoms
  • Come in a variety of flavors
  • Stays slippery longer than non-glycerin lubes
  • Very slippery – excellent lubrication
  • Easy to find (KY and AstroGlide are available at every WalMart, pharmacy, etc.)

CONS:

  • May cause yeast infections in women who are susceptible to them
  • Don’t have long staying power (must be re-applied or reactivated)

WATER-BASED, w/o GLYCERIN:

PROS:

  • Easy to clean up
  • Safe to use with latex condoms
  • Very slippery

CONS:

  • Dries out faster than lubes containing glycerin
  • Must reapply often

SILICONE-BASED:

PROS:

  • Long-lasting, doesn’t dry up
  • Water-resistant (great for sex in the shower!)
  • *Very* slick (great for prolonged anal sex)
  • Safe for use with latex condoms

CONS:

  • Kind of hard to clean up (since it is not water-soluble)
  • Not safe for use with silicone-based toys
  • Vagina has hard time flushing this stuff out on its own

OIL-BASED: (Vaseline, vegetable oils, etc.)

PROS:

  • Very slippery
  • Easy to find

CONS:

  • Not safe for use with latex condoms
  • Very hard to clean up
  • May cause pH imbalances in females
  • Hard to flush/clean out of orifices!

OTHER NOTES:

1. Do NOT use lubes containing Nonoxynol-9. This has been show to cause minute skin tears in anal and vaginal walls, and these are no longer considered safe to use. Additionally, some people are allergic to it.

2. Be careful using lubes containing anesthetics such as Benzocaine or Lidocaine (i.e., Anal-Ease). These do help reduce pain, but pain is nature’s way of telling us that we’re doing something less than wonderful, and you need the feedback of pain to know when you are going too far.

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