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How to Choose a Lubricant

by Good Vibrations



Lube is a wonderful thing—it reduces friction and adds slippery, feel-good fun to all kinds of play. With certain types of sexual activity (like anal sex), lube is a necessity. To find the perfect lube for you, take a few things into consideration: ingredients, what kind of activity you will be using it for and personal preference regarding consistency (cream, gel or a liquid). See Good Vibration's Lubrication Information Chart for a handy list of lubes at a glance.

Generally, thicker lubricants work well for anal play because they provide some extra cushioning for the sensitive tissues. Silicone lubricants are also popular for anal sex because they don’t dry out.

Some may find they have allergies to certain ingredients like glycerin or propylene glycol, so please read the descriptions for each lube carefully.

There are several different types of lube.

Water-Based Lubricant

Water-based lubes come either with glycerin or without glycerin. Glycerin, also known as glycerine and glycerol, is a sugar alcohol.

Water-Based Lubricants with Glycerin


  • Rinse out of the body easily and are easy to clean up
  • Are condom-compatible
  • Can be used with virtually any sex toy, even silicone
  • Because they stays slick longer, the gels work well for anal sex and fisting
  • Sweeter tasting


  • Can feel sticky on the skin, especially when they dry out
  • Are not as long-lasting as silicone but last longer than lubes without glycerin
  • Are not good for use in water (bath, etc.)
  • May stain some linens and towels
  • Are not recommended for women with sensitivities and chronic yeast infections

  Buy a Water-Based Lubricant (Glycerin)

Water-Based Lubricants Without Glycerin

  • Rinse out of the body easily
  • Are easy to clean up
  • Are condom-compatible
  • Can be used with virtually any sex toy, even silicone
  • Don’t contribute to health issues like yeast infections


  • Are prone to drying up faster than other types of lube
  • Can feel sticky on the skin
  • Are not as long-lasting as silicone
  • Are not effective for use in water (in the bath, etc.)
  • Creamy lubes often taste bitter

Buy a Water-Based Lubricant

Silicone-Based Lubricants

Silicone-based lubricants are appreciated because they’re long-lasting. They feel more like oil than water-based lubes.


  • Last longer than water-based lube
  • Are very cost-effective since you only need to use a few drops
  • Are condom-compatible
  • Never get sticky
  • Stay on in water
  • Can be used for massage since they don’t dry out


  • Can compromise integrity of some brands of silicone toys
  • Can compromise integrity of softskin and Cyberskin toys
  • Are more difficult to rinse off/out (especially out of the vagina)
  • Tend to cost more for the same amount

Buy a Silicone-Based Lubricant

© 2012 Good Vibrations. All rights reserved.

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