Your Guide to Using Personal Lubricants


Your guide to using personal lubricants

Lubricant is always recommended for all forms of sexual activity, especially when using sex toys and for those experiencing vaginal dryness.

Using lube is an effective, inexpensive and fast way to improve both comfort and pleasure during sex for both partners. 

Reasons to use lube:

  • Prevent dryness and friction.
  • Allow for more pleasurable stimulation of sensitive skin.
  • Reduce fear of sex and penetration related to vaginal irritation and dryness.
  • Make sex more pleasurable when using condoms and other barriers.

Adapting the regular use of lube is a winning strategy for better sex, even if dryness is not a noticeable issue for you and your partner.

Lube has been found to improve a women's sexual pleasure regardless of age or vaginal symptoms.

Using lubricant is a simple, quick way to improve sex for you and your partner.

Using lubricant is a simple, quick way to improve sex for you and your partner.

How to Pick the Perfect Lube

According to the sex therapists, there is no one lube solution for everyone. The list below will help you choose a personal lubricant that suits your needs. However, you may want to experiment with a few different products to help find what meets your needs best. 

Lubes can basically be categorized as:


great examples of water based lubes


  • Can be used for all types of penetrative sex including, vaginal sex, anal sex, and sex toy play.
  • Can be used with latex condoms, and any silicone sex toy.
  • Best for easy cleanup, washes off with water.
  • Most versatile, and can be used having sex in the shower or anywhere water is involved


  • Sometimes requires reapplication because it can dry out more quickly than other types of lube.


great examples of silicone based lubricant


  • Very slippery.
  • Very long-lasting like oil-based lubes, but less likely to upset good vaginal bacteria.
  • Works well in water, doesn't wash off in water.
  • Great for shower sex and bath sex.
  • Most popular anal play lube.


  • Least compatible with silicone sex toys (Silicone melts other silicone).
  • Can be messy to clean up.
  • Can't be used for oral sex.



great example of oil based lubricants


  • Longest lasting of all the lubes.
  • A more natural choice for women who are sensitive to additives found in water and silicone lube.
  • Oil based lubricant is the most natural lube available (check brand and additives).
  • Can be used with silicone toys.
  • Can also be used for a sensual massage.



  • Can be more likely to cause an infection (like bacterial vaginosis).
  • Can stain sheets.
  • May cause condoms to break.
  • Can't be used for oral sex.


Hybrid lubricants

great example of hybrid lubes

Hybrid lubes are available on the market that are made of a combination of two or more of the base ingredients above, to get the best of both worlds.

Natural and Organic

great examples of natural and organic lubricants

There are also many organic and natural lubes available. One brand we recommend is the SUTIL brand of lubes. SUTIL believes that lube should be as simple and natural as possible, not contain any harsh chemicals, parabens and glycerin.

They always choose organic and ethical ingredients and have considered the impact of their packaging with the use of bio-degradable tubes.

SUTIL is recommended by Doctors, Pelvic Floor practitioners, sex therapists and educators. SUTIL is sold around the world in select Sex-Positive Boutiques. SUTIL is a Canadian Family run business located on Vancouver Island on the west coast of British Columbia.

Astroglide also has a range of natural and certified organic lubes.

What to Avoid

Here’s a quick list of ingredients to avoid in lubricants:

  • Menthol and capsaicin. These are added to lubes for “cooling” and “warming” effects, respectively. They are great if you want to add spice to your sex life, but some people can experience skin irritation. If you want to try these types of lubes, it is best to try a few drops on the soft skin of your inner thigh to see if you experience any discomfort.
  • Chlorhexidine. This is a preservative added to some lubricants (eg: KY Jelly and Surgilube). It can kill off some of the helpful bacteria in the vaginal microbiome.
  • Petroleum Jelly. This includes Vasoline. They are made from petrochemicals and should never be used internally.
  • Too Much Lube. There is nothing dangerous about using too much lube, it just makes the experience less enjoyable and requires a cloth or towel to remove the excess.

When using lube for the first time, start with a small amount and apply more if necessary.

Pro Tips when Using Lube

  • Keep lube in a handy spot (eg: bedside table) so that you can access it during foreplay.
  • Start with just a few drops, about the size of your thumbnail. You may need more or less depending on the type of lube to get enough lubrication.
  • Be generous with your application and add lube as needed, especially if you are using a water based lubricant.
  • Not enough lube when using a condom may cause too much friction and cause the condom to break.
  • Lube is not just for penetration. Use it anytime internal or external friction is being experienced.
  • When you use lube earlier (eg: during foreplay) you will experience a more satisfying sexual experience overall.
  • Lube can be applied to the vagina (internal), vulva (external), penis, fingers, and toys to reduce friction.
  • Lube can be a mood dampener in cold temperatures. Try by either warming it between your hands or putting the tube in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes before using.

Menopause and Sex

For some women, menopause can change their sexual experiences. Some reasons include vaginal atrophy, which sometimes leads to pain, dryness, and discomfort.

Fortunately, there are a number of resources available to aid with menopause-related changes in women's health.

Lubricant is defiantly your friend during this period of life, as natural lubrication tends to be produced less.

A decrease in estrogen and vaginal tissue can change during midlife. Vulvovaginal atrophy (VVA) is the official term that represents the thinning and shrinking of vaginal tissue.

Post menopausal women experiencing VVA may have the following symptoms: vaginal dryness, pain with sex, burning, general discomfort, itching, pain when urinating, and spotting during intercourse.

Treatments include topical estrogen, vaginal moisturizers and lubricants, avoiding douching, and including supplements like probiotics or herbs (for more details on this, check out Natural remedies for Overcoming VVA). 


When starting out with lubricants it takes a bit of trial and error to find the one that best suits you and your partner.

There are bound to be a few mistakes along the way. Remember to laugh and not take things too seriously.

You will eventually find what fits your personal preference and then you will take your sex life to a new level.

The information contained in this site is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice on any subject matter. You should not act or refrain from acting on the basis of any content included in this site without seeking professional medical advice.

Erica Cuff

Author: Erica Cuff

Erica Cuff has been involved in the sex toy industry since 2000. Working behind the motto “Sex Toys should be fun”, Erica provides useful tips & advice from years of hands on experience and research with adult products. 

Happily married since 2005, she knows first-hand how our sex lives can become repetitive if we don't give them the time and effort they deserve. If you're looking to spice things up in the bedroom, then Erica is your gal! She lives to cover topics that empower men, women and couples needing inspiration to keep lovemaking exciting and fun.

Her other focus is teaching women how to properly master the “bald man in the boat” to achieve the best orgasms ever (partner or no partner!) Her informative and unique tips, techniques and advice is up there with certified sex therapists and Sexologists, but with the added advantage of her expereince in the adult toy business.

Erica Cuff's Linkedin profile highlights her professional background, experience and training.

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