Health

15 Best Lube Brands to Try Tonight, According to Experts

Lube is a glorious substance. Despite sex myths that claim lube is only necessary if you can’t naturally get wet enough, lube can make sex easier and more enjoyable for everyone (especially if friction and chafing aren’t what you’re aiming for). But if you’re not quite sold on the virtues of lube, let’s go through a quick refresher, shall we?

“Some people believe that they shouldn’t need lube, and that needing lube means they’re not aroused enough, or that something is wrong with them,” Rosara Torrisi, Ph.D., a certified sex therapist based in Plainview, New York, tells SELF. And lube is absolutely amazing for people who have vaginal dryness, which can happen after menopause and is totally normal. But the extra slickness lube offers makes sex more enjoyable all around. For one, lube is essential for anal sex, given that the anus doesn’t lubricate itself. It’s also amazing for any penetrative sex, which can always benefit from extra slipperiness.

“I’ll often put a little dab on [a patient’s] hands so they can get a feel for how luscious lube really is,” Torrisi says. That said, not all lubes are right for every situation. “You might prefer one type of lube for masturbation, and another for partnered sex, or different types of lube for different sex acts,” sex educator Cassandra Corrado tells SELF. There are several types of lube (silicone-based, oil-based, water-based, and hybrid), and which one you grab depends on a few factors.

Water-based lube is the most versatile of the bunch because it can be used for almost any type of sex you’re having, but you’ll want to make sure that there isn’t any glycerin in it. As SELF previously reported, glycerin contains sugar, and that can alter vaginal pH. Water-based lube is also the best lube for sensitive skin.

Silicone-based lube is long-lasting because silicone doesn’t absorb into your skin as quickly or easily as water-based lube (so it requires fewer reapplications). But silicone-based lube isn’t the best choice if you’re using silicone-covered sex toys. The two silicones want to bond to each other, so silicone lube will not only ruin silicone sex toys but also make them less sanitary, Lexx Brown-James, LMFT, certified sex educator, and founder of the Institute for Sexuality and Intimacy in St. Louis, tells SELF.

Oil-based lubes are also an option, but they aren’t that easy to find (and to be honest, none of our experts listed them as faves). However, a lot of people like using coconut oil (like the kind you can get at the grocery store) as lube because they feel a “natural” lube is better for the body. But that’s not necessarily true, Corrado says. “Coconut oil can be great for things like hand jobs, but I don’t recommend it for internal vaginal or anal play,” she says. First of all, any oil-based lube, including coconut oil and products like petroleum jelly or baby oil, can destroy latex condoms, making safe sex much less safe. Oil-based lubes can also clog the mucus membranes in the vagina, Corrado says, making it harder for your vagina to self-clean like it usually does.

Hybrid lubes—which can be a mix of water and silicone—would require the same precautions that you’d take with each ingredient separately.

The main thing to remember: “There isn’t one type of lubricant that is inherently best for everyone,” Corrado says. If you’re new to lube, she suggests buying a box of sample packs. That way, you can try a bunch of different types of lube and see how they feel for you.

Below you’ll find a list of favorite lube brands from our experts. We hope it helps you find the best lube for the sex you want to have.

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