The best sex lubes, plus how to find the right lube for you

·5-min read
Photo credit: Anna Efetova - Getty Images
Photo credit: Anna Efetova - Getty Images

If life between the sheets is feeling lacklustre and you need a little boost in the bedroom, there’s one trick that might just give your relationship the leg up your desire. Cue, the best lubes for sex.

A squeeze of lube can work wonders for your sex life, whether you're having some much-needed me time with your favourite vibrator or enjoying partnered sex. The right lubricant is a bedroom staple that could dramatically perk up your after-hours antics. Here's everything you need to know about sex lubes, and expert-approved tips for making the most of your time in the bedroom, whether alone or with a partner.

What is lube?

If you’re new to the concept, lubricant does a lot more than you might think. "Lube is basically a liquid substance that is meant to reduce friction while increasing pleasure," says Megwyn White, Certified Clinical Sexologist and Director of Education at Satisfyer. "But it also expands sensations during sexual activities such as erotic massage, penetrative sex, and masturbation." Many women also turn to lube to combat menopausal dryness.

The benefits of sex lubricant

Women can benefit greatly from introducing lube into their sexual self-care routine and it’s great for partnered sex too. "Friction is basically the enemy of pleasure," explains Megwyn. "Lube allows the body a slick surface area to glide on. It also expands sensations to feel more nuanced by buffering the delicate skin with a soft layer of liquid that naturally mirrors sensual fluids."

Megwyn maintains that lube can also help you to relax, enabling you to tune into your body in a more sensual way. "Where there is fluid, there is flow," she explains. "Sexual energy requires you to be in a state of flow if you are to connect with your body and invite pleasure at a deeper level. Using a lubricant can also help a woman who is struggling with vaginal dryness, or anyone that needs a bit more fluid to enjoy the sensations of sex or self-stimulation."

Photo credit: Megan Madden  - Getty Images
Photo credit: Megan Madden - Getty Images

What to consider before buying sex lube

There are generally four different types of sex lubricant: water, silicone, oil and hybrid based. If you're using condoms, it's best to stick with water-based lubes and avoid oil of hybrid lubes as these can cause condoms to break down. When using silicone sex toys, avoid using silicone-based lube as it can react and possibly damage your toy.

If you're particularly sensitive or prone to experience vaginal dryness, look for lubes that cater specifically to you. It's also important you choose a product that doesn't disrupt your vagina's natural pH, so look out for a pH-balanced product with a pH of roughly four.

The best lubes for sex to shop now

Choosing the right lube can increase your pleasure tenfold, so it pays to do your research. From skin-tingling oil products to luxurious water-based lubes, keep scrolling for our pick of the best lubes for sex on the market right now.

If you’re new to using sex lube in the bedroom, this classic from Lovehoney is a great place to start. Water-based lubricants are designed to mimic the body's natural fluids, such as, mucus, saliva and vaginal secretions. According to Megwyn, this type of lube is suited to people with sensitive skin.

Silicone-based lubricants tend to be the slipperiest, making them especially good for anal sex. We love this aloe-based silk lubricant infused with green tea extract that feels extra silky on the skin. "Silicone-based lubricants are safe to use with condoms and are easy to wash off with soap and water," says Megwyn.

Sex lubricant containing oil tends to feel more luxurious, like this organic moisturising lube made from shea butter and almond oil. "Oil-based lube allows for a longer play time without drying out, warms up naturally with the body, and as a bonus also moisturises the body," says Megwyn.

This plant-based lubricant from new UK-based sexual wellness brand Quanna has been infused with CBD oil! But don’t worry, it won’t make you feel high. Cannabidiol has been found to aid relaxation and increase pleasure, so it's a win-win in the bedroom department.

To mix it up, this green tea infused water-soluble lubricant doubles up as a relaxing body massage gel. What’s more, it promises not to affect your natural PH balance, which is good news for candida sufferers.

Another great water-based option, this classic lubricant made using an oil and grease-free formula is ideal for friction-free sex and thanks to its water-based formulation, it is also gentle on sex toys.

How to use lube in the bedroom

Need a helping hand? Megwyn offers the following expert tips to get the most from your lubrication adventures:

  1. Experiment with lube when you masturbate. It’s a great way to get comfortable incorporating it into your play.

  2. To help you to connect with your sensations while you masturbate with your hand or a sexual wellness product, start with a small amount around the area of your clitoris and use it to wet areas that feel good, as you invite your fingers to stroke and explore. Try to focus on the sensations just underneath your fingertips as you breathe deeply.

  3. If you’re using lube with a partner, you may want to start by putting it into your hands and massaging them gently together before you move them onto your lover’s body. Let your hands glide over the lube as you navigate their skin. Keep your lube nearby and you can even put it into a bowl for easier access.

  4. Oil lubricants can also be warmed in glass containers while being set in bowls with hot water. This can help warm the lube to body temperature.

  5. The most important thing to remember is don’t be afraid to use as much lube as you need. It is meant to add to your pleasure, so be generous and willing to use it.

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