How To Use Lube: Your A to Z Guide for Partner or Solo Play

It doesn’t matter if you have sex with yourself, a partner, or multiple partners; lube is the one thing you should include in any sexual encounter. Good lube is universal and can take any type of sex to a new level. 

Why wouldn’t you want the slipperiest, most pleasurable sex possible? The right lube can be a game-changer, but there are a few things to watch out for! 

What Is Lube?

Regardless of what type of lube you ultimately go with (don’t worry, we’ll help you with that decision!), all lube performs the same essential function — reducing friction during sexual activity. A little bit of friction is hot, especially if you’re grinding on each other with your clothes on. 

Too much friction is uncomfortable, though, and can ruin a sexual encounter if things get painful.

When Should I Use Lube?

“But I make my own lubrication!” If you have a pussy, it’s definitely possible that you can make all the natural lubrication you need to keep penetrative sex fun and comfortable right now. Unfortunately, nothing lasts forever. 

Even small dips and swings in your hormones can cause vaginal dryness, not to mention those bigger life changes like pregnancy, breastfeeding, and menopause. 

Does that mean you don’t deserve sexual pleasure when you hit your 50s and 60s? Hell no! We’re firm believers that everyone deserves to have as much consensual sex as they want, regardless of their age or life circumstances. 

Can’t self-lubricate? No problem — use lube! But guess what? The benefits of lube don’t stop with vaginal sex. 

It doesn’t matter what body you were born into; everyone has a butthole. If you’re into it, everyone can experience anal play — it’s not specific to any gender or sexual preference. 

One thing that makes butt stuff different from other types of penetrative sex is that the bootyhole can’t lubricate itself, even in the best of circumstances. If you’re going to mess around with the backdoor, especially if you’re planning on putting anything in there (fingers, a vibrator, dildo, penis, etc.), you have got to use lube. 

Not using lube with anal sex puts you at risk for pain, tearing, and even STIs. It’s non-negotiable; you’ll thank us later. 

But that’s still not all! You don’t even have to participate in penetrative sex of any variety to use lube. 

Lube is just as fun for foreplay, even just fingering or handjobs! You can also use it to give a massage before getting down and dirty; the possibilities really are endless.

What Types of Lube Are There?

There are three main types of lube, categorized by their main ingredient — water-based lubricants, silicone-based lubricants, and oil-based lubricants. Each has its pros and cons, so let’s talk about them! 

Water-Based Lube

Water-based lube is the most popular type because it’s also the most accessible! If you tend to have sensitive skin or are prone to yeast infections, a simple (non-flavored), water-based personal lubricant is the way to go. 

Water-based lube washes easily off the skin and out of most fabrics and is safe with latex condoms. These lubes are also the closest to the feel and consistency of natural vaginal lubrication.

But it’s not all sunshine and roses. While they go on smooth and slippery, they don’t last as long as the other types of lubes and can get sticky fast. 

They also absorb quickly, so you’ll have to reapply frequently to keep the good times rolling. Lastly, water-based lubes wash off quickly in water, which means shower or tub sex is off the table.

Silicone-Based Lube

Next up are the silicone lubricants. Silicone is a synthetic ingredient, unlike the more natural water-based options, which also helps these lubes to stay extra smooth, slippery, and long-lasting. 

While you may still need to reapply, you won’t have to do it nearly as frequently. They are also safe to use with latex condoms.

However, one major con of silicone-based lubes is that they can’t be used with silicone sex toys. Unfortunately, many sex toys are made of silicone because they feel closest to the real thing! 

Using silicone-based lubes with silicone sex toys can cause the material to break down more quickly, meaning you’ll have to replace them more frequently. They may even end up as an infection risk because you can’t clean them as thoroughly. 

Silicone-based lubes also may not rinse out of fabric as easily, and some of them may even stain if not washed out right away. If you use silicone-based lubes, don’t break out your best sheets!

Oil-Based Lube

And finally, oil-based lube. Like silicone-based lubes, oil-based lubes are super long-lasting and slippery. If you’re looking for a way to keep your sexual encounters going and going, oil-based lube is a great option. 

Plus, you can easily take them into the water, so you and your partner can comfortably bang in the shower, the hot tub, and any other humid place.

But one big con to using oil-based lubes is that they’re incompatible with latex condoms. Using them together can increase the risk of breakage, leading to unintended pregnancy or STIs. 

Oil-based lubes are great, but only if you’re not relying on latex condoms for birth control or STI prevention. 

Hybrid Lubes

If you want to combine the benefits of certain types of lube, you can also try out a hybrid! Most hybrid lubes combine water and silicone, giving you the best of both worlds when it comes to how they work for you! 

However, while they may be safer to use with silicone sex toys, it’s still better to use caution. If you decide to use them together, wash them off immediately, so they don’t sit too long on the toy.

How Do I Use Lube?

Enough talk about the kind of lube available. Let’s talk about the fun stuff — how to use lube to have the best sex ever! 

Our first tip is that you shouldn’t just slather lube directly out of the container. We totally understand wanting to get right down to business, especially if you’re super turned on and ready to go. 

But, with a bit of forethought, you can avoid that vibe-killing chilly lube. Just put it in a bowl of warm water while you make out or start to mess around; by the time you’re ready to use it, it’ll be at the right temperature and feel even more like natural lube.

Using lube with a condom? Try a few drops of lube on the tip of the cock inside the condom, then apply more to the outside. For even more hot, slippery fun, lube up the area being penetrated, too — the pussy, butthole, etc. Why not get the most out of your lube?

Trying lube out for a little solo masturbation? After checking to make sure the lube you’re using matches up with the material on your sex toy (unless you’re just using your fingers — then just go for it), apply as much lube as you need to your toy and your pussy or clitoris and blow your own mind. 

Just wash your sex toys off thoroughly after you’re done — although you should always do this, even if you don’t use lube with them.

Lube seamlessly fits into any sexual activity. The only limit is how creative you are and what your boundaries may be. 

Want to give mind-blowing oral sex? Wrap your lips around your teeth and use lube on the outside of your mouth, or put some in your hands and give your partner a slippery hand job while you’re blowing them. The sky’s the limit.

Make Sure You Check With Your Partner

Lube is great, and learning to use it can be a massive boon to your sex life, no matter what it looks like. However, just like anything in the bedroom, you should always discuss using lube with your partner before breaking it out. 

Some people may be offended if you just grab the lube without a discussion, even though using it doesn’t mean the other person is doing something wrong. It’s also possible that your partner may have a paraben allergy or other allergies you’re unaware of, and nothing kills arousal quicker than an allergic reaction. 

Just a quick conversation before you get out the lube (“hey, is it cool if we use this?”) is all you need; then, just sit back and let the results speak for themselves. They’ll be believers, too; trust us. 

In Conclusion

With any type of sex, the wetter it is, the better. Applying not just lube but the right type of lube for any sexual activity is only going to make your sex life that much better. 

Remember the rules of how to use lube — no oil-based lubes with latex condoms, and no silicone-based lubes with silicone sex toys — and you’re good to go! 

From oral to anal and everywhere in between, Simpli Pleasures is here for you. 


Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) | WHO

The impact of lubricants on latex condoms during vaginal intercourse | PubMed

How do you use lube with condoms? | Planned Parenthood

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