Using lubricants is an easy way to maximize your pleasure during sex. They can make sexual activity more slippery, sensual, and fun, so use them when exploring the world of sex toys or trying to add a little twist to your sex routine!
It’s always important to find a lubricant that’s right for you, since they can interfere with certain contraceptives and sex toys. It can be confusing, and a bit overwhelming to figure out what one is best for you, given all the brands out there. Fortunately, all lubricants can be grouped into these categories: Water-based, Silicone-based, Hybrid, and oil-based*. Any lubricant can cause irritation, or sensitivity issues, so be sure to test it on a small part of your hand. Wash the area with mild soap, then apply, if you develop a burning sensation or topical irritation, wash it off immediately then try another lubricant when the irritation clears up.
*While great for hand jobs and fisting, oil-based lubes are not latex compatible. For this blog I’ll be focusing on your water-based, silicone-based, and hybrid lubes – all of which are totally condom/dental dam safe!
Silicone lube is great for all kinds of play, especially anal. The high viscosity of silicone has a great purpose that serves for limiting the friction and giving you long lasting use. Some pros to using silicone lubes are that they are safe to use with latex condoms, stay slick in water, are odorless and tasteless, and last three times as long as water-based lubricants. The only con of using silicone lubricant is that they cannot be used with silicone or Cyberskin sex toys. Over time if you use silicone lube on silicone pleasure products it may ruin the toy and slowly start to break it down, to the point of having to be thrown away. Once a toy starts to break down, it’s nearly impossible to keep clean and you will also run the risks of harming your body if that toy contains carcinogens.
• So what is a carcinogen? It is any substance that has the potential to cause cancer in living tissues. Carcinogen exposure can occur from the inhalation, ingestion, or absorption of many different types of substances into our bodies. Carcinogens act on our DNA, causing dangerous changes at the cellular level. These include a change in the rate of cell division, which increases the probability of abnormal DNA synthesis. This can lead to cancer, a group of diseases involving abnormal cell growth with the potential to metastasize or spread to other parts of the body.
• Special note: many jelly-like sex toys (especially the cheap ones) are made with PVC and almost all jelly toys contain phthalates and carcinogens. PVC (polyvinyl chloride) is considered the Poison Plastic. At Tulip, we do not carry any of these toys, as they are not body-safe.
Water-based lubricant is one of the most common types of lubricant that is in use; the reason being that these types of lube are water soluble and relatively easy to clean off of your sexy bodies and sheets. Some pros to using water-based lubes are they tend to be silky and slick in texture, they usually avoid clumping, and are safe to use on your favorite toy!
If you’re incorporating pleasure products and various toys into your play, sticking with a water-based lube that you enjoy is definitely best if you’re unsure of what type to purchase. This is because it won’t break down your latex condoms or silicone & Cyberskin playmates over time. The biggest con about using a water based lube is that you will need to be periodically reapplying if you’re engaging in an all night tasty tussle.
• Quick tip: If you have sensitive skin or react easily to certain products or are recurrent to yeast infections, these are the lubricants to use. Majority of water-based lubes do not contain Glycerin or Cellulose Gum, which is the content that’s more commonly found in flavor or edible lubes, and can cause various uncomfortable infection, especially yeast and bacteria infections. Make sure you are checking the products label, for Glycerin products can also be found in some brands of water based lubes!
Hybrid lubricant is a kind of personal lubricant that is primarily water-based and contains a small amount of silicone. Hybrid lubricants are said to provide the benefits of both water based and silicone based lubricants. They are versatile like water based lubricants, but they are long-lasting and don’t dry out as fast.
Hybrid lubricants are typically creamy in texture. Some find them to have a slightly bitter taste. Hybrid lubricants can generally be used with sex toys, including ones made from silicone. This is counter to conventional wisdom that says silicone lubricants will destroy silicone toys. The reason for this is that the amount of silicone in hybrid lubricants is too small to damage the toys. However, always perform a small spot test with the lubricant on the silicone toy to ensure that your toy won’t be damaged.
Edible and flavored lubes are perfect to spice up the bedroom. There is a large variety of edible lubes, with different uses. Some are just for oral pleasure, and some have added stimulation for things like temperature fun containing ingredients that provide a gentle warming or cooling sensation, both of which can quickly spice things up.
Read the instructions carefully before using. Know that most flavored lubes usually contain Glycerin, which means that they can cause yeast infections and other serious side effects. Although glycerin tastes sweet, it doesn’t actually contain sugar. However, it may convert to sugar inside the vagina, which can cause yeast infections in some women, especially women who are prone to getting them; this is a main reason why we discourage internal usage of flavored lubes.
We know perusing the list of ingredients on your bottle of lube can seem daunting, so here are some of the ingredients included in the lubes carried at Tulip to help demystify your shopping experience!
• Plant Cellulose, made from cotton is naturally occurring plant matter, used to create the body and thickness of many lubricants.
• Aloe Vera & Hibiscus are plant derived extracts and both help heal, moisturize and sooth the skin.
• Cyamopsis is a non toxic and natural additive that enables the plant cellulose fiber to move and feel incredibly slippery.
• Green Tea is added as an anti-inflammatory.
• Sunflower Seed is used as a cleansing and calming tonic.
• Citric Acid is used as a natural antiseptic and preservative.
• Food Grade Menthol is the stimulating agent, which goes on cool and warms with friction.
• Carrageenan is natural seaweed, and one of nature’s most effective lubricants. It has also been shown to help prevent transmission of HPV. NOT recommended for people with sensitive skin!
• Dimethicone is a non toxic, medical grade silicone that adds longevity to the lubricant and makes it feel incredibly slippery.
• Dimethiconol is another slick silicone based polymer which has anti-foaming and ideal skin moisturizing and conditioning properties.
• Cyclopentasiloxane: This is the most expensive and most luxurious silicone. It’s the silicone compound that makes silicone lubricants ultra slick.
• Polysorbate 20 is a surfactant made from Lauric Acid (Olive Oil) that along with Emollient Ester helps prevent the separation of water and cellulose from silicone.
The variety in lubricants that are on the market today is enough to give you little excuse to not find something that turns you on.
Some of my personal favorite lubes in my toy box are:
Remember to avoid
• Acetate, which contains alcohol and is naturally drying and can be irritating to delicate skin.
• Propylene Glycol, which is used as a preservative in many popular lubes that can be very irritating to the skin.
• Parabens, which can sensitize the skin and induce an allergic response, and may have long term consequences such as breast cancer and other tumors.
Before you buy anything, or if you’re unsure of what a certain product may contain, check the labels, and ask your friendly and knowledgeable staff at Tulip!
Written by: Mistress Elena Croft