When it comes to “things that make life better,” lube is right up there with puppies and red velvet cake. It makes every type of sex-whether penetrative or not-a zillion times more enjoyable. Really, it just makes things more fun, more comfortable, and more fulfilling.
It’s also a way to up the safeness of your sex. “Some lubricants may help prevent sexually transmitted infections (STIs),” explains Amy Roskin, MD, chief medical officer of The Pill Club. Without enough lubrication, sex can cause too much friction, which may cause small skin tears, cuts, or irritation that can make infections more likely.
Now that you know the benefits, let’s break down the different types of lubes you could be using: There’s water, oil, petroleum, silicone, and hybrid lubes (which are normally a combo of silicone and water-based lubes), says sexuality educator Tanya Bass.
Generally, you should use water-based lube with latex condoms (since oil-based lubes can actually break down the latex), and silicone lube is great for when you’re getting it on in the water or having anal sex since it stays stickier for longer and won’t wash away. (More details on when to use every kind of lube right this way).
Once you’ve selected the lube best for your sitch, here are 18 ways to incorporate the gooey goodness into your sexpertoire.
1. Use it in the hot tub and/or shower
You might not think to bring your lube with you into the shower or tub, but certified sex therapist and resident sexologist for Adam & Eve, Jenni Skyler, PhD, highly advises it. Water is not a natural lubricant (and could actually make things more dry), which is why it’s The Move in the shower.
Keep in mind you’ll want to use a silicone lube since it won’t wash away, but not an oil-based lube since it can break down condoms. And don’t be afraid to reapply frequently since the body’s natural lubricant tends to gets washed away with the motion of the. well, you get it.
“Many people feel shame or embarrassment for needing lube in the first place. If they get over that hump and use it, they may still not feel comfortable with a re-apply,” says Dr. Skyler. “I think lube should be your bedroom [or hot tub. Or shower. Or wherever] best friend and re-applied with great generosity.”
2. Use a lube launcher
Exactly as it sounds, a lube launcher literally launches lube high up into the vagina or anus (as opposed to just putting some on your fingers and getting it knuckle deep). Erotic educator and founder of Organic Loven Taylor Sparks suggests using a launcher to actually pre-lube before sex.
The lube slowly works its way down so by the time you’re getting frisky, you’ll already be ready to go. Sparks also notes a lube launcher is great for anal sex since you’re “able to insert a good amount of lube to reduce the friction and make for a smoother entry.”
3. Use it for any type of anal play (penetration or not!)
Lube is pretty much a necessity when attempting any sort of anal penetration for obvious reasons, but it should also be used for anal play in general (think: fingering, rimming, massaging the anus, etc.), recommends Krysta Monet, sexpert and founder of The Feminine Truth. “Adding a little lube onto your favorite butt plug for yourself or partner makes the glide-in a lot easier,” she says.
4. Use a CBD lube
If you want to take your sex to new heights, get your hands on some CBD lube. Since CBD acts as a vasodilator, it opens up the blood vessels and brings more blood to the area, thus increasing arousal and decreasing discomfort. “It can also be used on those with penises after sex or a bath to moisturize their penises too,” explains Sparks.
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