How good is lube? At Max we really, really love lubricant. Like, we really love it. Our lube wall is a glistening beacon of sexual hope. Perhaps that’s a slight exaggeration [ed. Note: it’s not, lubricant is amazing] but at the VERY least lubricants have and continue to be a bedroom asset for so many - it can be the difference between enjoying sex and not.
Unfortunately, lube often gets a bad rap due to stigma and misinformation around what lubricant is and why we use it. Many bodies will produce their own form of lubrication, but sometimes they don’t. This can come down to many things - dehydration, stress and anxiety, discomfort, trauma, menopause, menstrual cycles, age, prescription and recreational drugs… you get it. What we need to remember is wetness does not necessarily equate to a lack of arousal. Sometimes our mind may be stimulated, but our bodies don’t always respond by self-lubricating. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this and it is totally normal, but if you want less friction and higher comfort: slip, slop, slap, ammirite? Sorry that was disgusting. Buy some lubricant and you’ll be one happy camper on the comfort front.
So the point-eroo of this article is to say that not all lubricants are the same. Some stain, some can sting, some will ruin your toys, some are better for back door play and some are better for clitoral play. A big one is that many, many lubricants will have crummy ingredients that can do more damage than good. Read below to find out more about different lubricants and what you need to consider when buying so you can live your best lubed up life.
Ah yes, our old faithful, never staining, always toy-lovin’, washable water based lubricant. Sounds like the perfect lube right? Kinda/kinda nah.
First off, the good stuff: water based is friendly for all material types, so when in doubt about what your toy is made out of, go for water based. Water based means it’s water soluble and the easiest lubricant when it comes to washing off skin and out of clothes and sheets. Ok, now for what to watch out for.
Although available at most chemists and supermarkets, be very wary of the ingredient list on water based lubricants. Some mainstream brands of water based will put nasties in there, like:
- Non-vegan glycerin (Sometimes labeled as Glycerol, is derived from animal fat and not PH balanced).
- Parabens (these have been known to disrupt hormone function, have been linked to reproductive issues, and exposure can increase the risk of some cancers).
- Sugars and flavouring (food for thrush).
- And just an array of weird chemicals from who knows where, that will do who knows what to our bodies.
Unlike external moisturisers, lubricants used internally have a direct path to the bloodstream, so bad chemicals can get into our bodies without a filter like the skin or gut. Poor quality lubricants can also lead to skin irritation, itchiness or discomfort during use, UTIs, or yeast infections. At Max, we only sell body friendly water based lubricants, so you’re always safe with us, but when in doubt go for a vegan lubricant and check that none of the above are included on the ingredient list.
Yes! To never ending slipperiness! Yes! To ease and comfort for penetrative play! YES! To condom friendly lubricant! NO! to using with toys!
Silicone is sick. It’s silky, it lasts forever, and after using it you'll just want to quote the great John Mayer in saying that indeed ‘your body is a wonderland’.
Silicone is a blast for body on body lubricant, and contrary to many online sources, perfectly safe for internal and external use. Unless you’re allergic to silicone, a high-quality silicone lubricant will be fine for your vaginal and anal PH levels. However, your silicone, cyberskin, or soft plastic toys are not compatible with silicone lube. Silicone on silicone can sometimes get too intimate, bonding together and in turn making the surface of your toy sticky, porous, and no longer body-safe. This sucks. So when it comes to silicone lube, keep it to body play, massage, glass, metal, stone, and porcelain toys only.
Hot tip: Silicone lubricant can be used to alleviate skin chafing, primer under makeup, and to loosen up stiff or squeaky hinges [ed. Note: legit, tried and tested many times, in many a rental house]. It does have the potential to stain sheets and if dropped on the floor can be a real liability, use with a certain level of care.
Look, we’ll be real with ya, we don’t think oil is that great a lubricant. We can hear you scream holy hell from your bedrooms, falling on your knees, holding aloft a well loved tub of coconut oil and a blog post from a spiritually guided, well intentioned celebrity, but mates, we’re not going to lie to you - oil really isn’t your best option for lubrication. Here’s why:
Sure, oil is slippery, yes, that's why we use it in our cars [ed. note: the writer knows nothing about cars], but it’s not toy friendly, it breaks condoms, and it’s not body-safe.
Oil is great for massage, but when it comes to more intimate play our bodies can’t flush out oil with as much ease as other lubricants, this is particularly the case for vaginal use. Oil can cause an internal build-up, and mess with our natural bacteria, resulting in nasties like thrush and bacterial infection. We do hear the line of ‘but coconut oil is a natural anti-bacterial’ a lot, and although this is true, this also means it’ll kill off our good bacteria too. It’s also not particularly hygenic to stick your hand into the same jar of coconut oil every time you play… As well, cooking oils are meant to be broken down through our gut and digestive system, so don’t use them the other way around, if you catch our drift.
In short - we vote you stay away from oil. When you have silicone as an alternative, why even bother, y’know?
Disclaimer: there are, of course, exceptions to oil use and if your doc is prescribing certain oils post surgery or after intense treatments like chemotherapy, of course always listen to your doctor. WE ARE NOT DOCS! We just love lube.
Hybrid lubes aren’t super common, but are a great middle-man for when silicone is just that little bit too slippery, and water based isn’t quite enough. They usually don’t have as many ingredients as straight water based lubricants do, which is a good thing for folks with sensitive or irritable skin. Most hybrids are not safe to use with toys, but the Wicked Hybrid and Sliquid Silk are both just the right ratio of water to silicone to make them fine for use on silicone products. Faboosh!
Welcome to flavour country. Not long ago the range of flavoured lubes was something left to be desired, but the field has expanded in the most delectable fashion. Be aware though, most flavoured lubes will have sugar and flavouring in them, not suitable for internal use as it can act as food for microbes which causes an overgrowth of yeast. If you’re unsure, just stick to flavoured lubes for body play, or go for the Wicked range of water based, vegan, flavoured lubes, which use stevia, a plant based sweetener and are pH neutral.
For whatever reason, folks just love a heating and cooling lubricant! Yes, these can be a lot of fun to play around with, but many sensitive bodies find menthol, ginger, peppermint, and cinnamon - some of the key ingredients of warming and cooling lubricants - to be a little irritating. Not everyone will find these to be a problem, but if you’re worried try a little on the skin before going to town on stimulating lubricants, and stick only to good quality lubes.
Aight that's all from us, remember to stay hydrated, and [insert amusing metaphor about staying wet].