How To Find The Best Lube For You

hand covered in lube in front of pink bcakdrop

If you’ve listened to my show for, say – five minutes, you already know I’m a huge fan. From CBD-based lubes to flavored lube, there truly is one for everybody and every occasion. But because it’s important to use the right kind of lubricant at the right time, let’s talk options, and start laying down the lube law.


Did you know that some lubricants are intended to be used at different sexual times? Yup – not just when you suddenly need more moisture. 

“Pre-lubes” are growing in popularity, and largely fall into the relatively new, CBD-infused lube genre. These products are intended to be applied roughly 10-30 minutes before climax, though some folks can take less or more time to feel their delicious effects. 

While these types of lube affect everyone differently, vulva owners report feelings of enhanced warmth and blood flow, tingling, relaxation, and ease in reaching orgasm (or, multiples). For some, the orgasms are also longer or more intense. Vulva owners: this lube has your name written all over it. 

Water-Based Lubricants

Water-based lubricants usually have a natural sensation and can be used with silicone and latex products (unless indicated otherwise). If you’re using toys, water-based is the way to go. These typically don’t stain the sheets or anything else they may splash on. They are also not particularly greasy, but this light texture does mean that you may want to re-apply during play. Sometimes just adding a little water (or saliva) does the trick.

Water-based lubricants often contain deionized water, and also may have glycerin or propylene glycol as part of their listed ingredients. While they rarely cause irritation, some people do have sensitivities, so a patch test is a good idea. If you are someone who is sensitive, there are water-based options that use more organic ingredients – and leave your genitals feeling moisturized and healthy. Ooh la la. Personally, I’m super into Playground’s line of top-shelf lubes: their plant-based formulations are pH balanced, and made with ingredients like vitamin E and hyaluronic acid, so each one is like a facial for your vulva. All their essences smell legit amazing, but if you wanted to experiment with just one, I’m a sucker for After Hours.

Silicone-Based Lubricants

These are the longest-lasting type of lubricants, are very slippery in texture, and generally don’t need much reapplication during use. Silicone-based lubes usually have no taste, odor, or stickiness unless buying a scented type. This is the best lube for anal sex and prolonged vaginal intercourse. If you’re feeling frisky in a swimming pool or shower (let’s hear it for shower sex!), silicone lube will also be the best choice, as it won’t wash away.

Silicone lubes are safe for use with most condoms, but not silicone sex toys – so if you’re using silicone-based lube, best to keep things “acoustic” (i.e., no extra bells and whistles in the toy department, unless those toys are made out of something other than silicone). For easy one-stop shopping on toys and lubes, Good Vibrations can hook you up. Just pick out a toy, then head on over to lubes, where you can search by formula base to ensure compatibility.

Oil-Based Lubricants

Oil-based lubricants have, you guessed it, an oily texture – lovely to the touch if you prefer a more heavily-moisturized feel. And bonus…you can use most of these for erotic massage, as well as intercourse. 

If you’re curious about using an oil-based lubricant, there are a few very important things to consider. For one, it isn’t a safe choice to use this type of lubricant with latex condoms or sex toys made from rubber, PVC, or latex. It can damage them, and we don’t want our condoms or our toys to be compromised, at all. 

Another consideration is that some vulva owners find that oil-based lubricants alter their PH balance, which can lead to an increased risk of vaginal infections and bacterial overgrowth. So, test them out first before going ham. They can also stain the sheets, so throwing down an old towel is a good idea.

Many health professionals recommend washing off oil-based lubricants after use in unscented soap and warm water. The concern is that the oil can leave a coating on the rectum or vagina that may increase the risk of bacterial infections. I also don’t recommend products like baby oil or mineral oil, as they often contain petrochemicals and other potentially harmful ingredients. So rather than rooting around in the medicine cabinet, look for lubes whose label clearly indicates that they’re safe for sex.

Think of lube like you think of hair products – not always necessary, but always available, when you’d like a little extra sparkle. So spread the good word (and the lube), and enjoy finding the perfect blend for you. 

For more, check out my recent podcast  “The Lube Show: The Wetter, The Better.”

*Shop Playground & use code SEXWITHEMILY for a 15% off discount*