Gone are the days when you had to struggle with greasy and ineffective lubricants for intercourse like Vaseline….an oil based product, which, like other petroleum oil-based products, can damage the lining of the vagina and lead to infection.
Nowadays, there’s a whole collection of lubricants for intercourse, including ones made from plant oils, which claim to be natural, work in harmony with your body, and have long lasting properties. Trouble is – in the face of such choice, how do you find the best lubricant for women, or the best product for your particular needs, the one that gives the most enjoyable sensations during sexual intercourse?
It’s not easy if you’re starting from scratch, so our aim is to try and make the choice easier for you. First of all (remember we are disregarding petroleum oil-based lubes for the reasons given above), the fundamental choice you need to make is between silicone based products, water-soluble products (also known as water-based lubes), and plant oil based lubes.
If you’re of the school of thought which believes only “natural” things should go into the vagina, then your choice is restricted to the water-soluble and natural lubricants for intercourse which we describe below.
But if you have an open mind about silicone, you might want to try one of the silicone lubes, simply because they do tend to be longer lasting than the water-soluble ones – the latter may dry out and require refreshing during intercourse. Silicone is also a best lube for fleshlight and good for sexual activities which simply aren’t compatible with water-based lubes – such as sex under water – where a water-based lube will just wash away.
In case this is getting a bit confusing, let’s wind back a bit.
We’ve already established that silicone lubricant for intercourse has the advantage of being long-lasting, and not washing away with ordinary water. So if you’re looking for a lube that has a persistent quality, and won’t dry out, silicone is probably a good place to start. Because of silicone’s long-lasting qualities, it is also good for anal sex, where greater persistence is useful. However, it’s advisable not to use silicone lubricants for intercourse in conjunction with sex toys made of silicone, because the lubricant can dissolve the outer surface of the silicone sex toy and make it sticky. One way to get round this problem is to cover your sex toy with a condom before you use it with silicone-based lubricant.
Another advantage of silicone is that it is compatible with latex condoms (although of course the same is true of water-based sex lubricants).
If you decide to try a silicone product, then your next decision will be about which one to buy. This can be quite challenging, since there are many different brands of silicone lubricants for intercourse on the market. Our advice would be to go with a simple one that has no additives, and which also represents good value for money. Our favorite choice is to use own brand products from the sex toys store ” Babeland.” They sell a good one called “Babelubes silicone.” their products feel like they are designed for women’s benefit and safety as well as men and women’s sexual pleasure for intercourse!
By the way, in case you’re wondering about safety, silicone lubricants cannot pass into the bloodstream and are quite safe (unlike silicone breast implants).
If you’re still a little bit dubious about the benefits of silicone lubricants you might want to try a water-based lubricant for intercourse. Unfortunately, you will find the choice of these products even more bewildering than the choice of silicone-based lubricants.
First and foremost avoid products with glycerin or other sweetening agents which can seriously disrupt the acid / alkali balance of the vagina and promote yeast infection. You might also want to avoid any lubricants for intercourse which contain Nonoxynol-9, a spermicide and contraceptive jelly ingredient, which can be extremely irritating to the lining of the vagina and anus. It can actually cause tiny little tears in the lining of the vagina and anus and therefore may actually promote transmission of HIV.
Overall, once again we recommend Babeland as suppliers because their product range does not include any lubricants or condoms with Nonoxynol 9 as an ingredient.
Even after dismissing products with glycerin and Nonoxynol-9, you’re left with a bewildering choice, but essentially the difference between the various sex lubes comes down to whether they are “natural”, how thick they are, and whether or not they are flavored.
We would personally avoid any product that contained organic paraben molecules (compounds used as preservatives) because there is some evidence that parabens are carcinogenic.
So, if you’re looking for something that is completely natural, then you need to buy a product that is branded as “natural” or “organic”: these tend to be made from vegetable products that are known to be safe and have not been tested on animals. Note that this may include plant oils, and as such you may not be able to use a latex condom with them. Examples include Babeland Naturals Organic lubricant, and Sliquid Organics, and Firefly natural lubricant (which is an updated version of the first certified organic lube to be made in the United States, originally called Nude), and a product range called Yes!, made from Aloe Vera (Yes! also have an oil based range – made from natural plant oils, that is).
There are plenty of other lubricants for intercourse available which contain greater or lesser amounts of chemicals that promote slipperiness, water retention, or act as preservatives. Whether or not you object to these depends partly on personal choice, and, more practically, on whether or not these products produce an adverse reaction when you use them.
One of the most commonly known products is called Astroglide, which contains polypropylene glycol; there’s nothing inherently wrong with this; as we say, it’s a matter of personal choice, and it’s a popular product which is both effective and safe (it uses grapefruit extract as a preservative).
Apart from the need to refresh some of the water-based lubricants during intercourse with a spray of water every so often, one of the facts that you might need to take into account when making your choice of lube for lovemaking is how much sensation you’re able to achieve when you use any of these lubricants for intercourse. Vaginal lubricant, though slippery, is somewhat thin; the thicker the product, the more likely that sensation will be dulled: this may not matter during anal intercourse, where persistent and thick lubricant is probably a real bonus, but it may matter significantly during vaginal intercourse, where you don’t want your pleasure to be dulled by an excessively slippery product.
Friction produces feeling! Slipperiness promotes pleasure – but only up to a point. When a woman is naturally “too” lubricated her man loses the pleasant feeling of sliding his glans penis against her vaginal walls – excessive lube can have the same effect. If this is a problem for you, then start with one of the thinner lubricants like Astroglide or Babelands Natural.