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How to choose the perfect lube for you


Written by Alice Child, Somatic Sexologist


Sydney-based Somatic Sexologist and Sex & Intimacy Counsellor Alice Child guides you though the world of lubricants, helping you find the ideal match for your body.



Hand squeezing lube
Lube makes everything better - use it every time you have sex (alone or with a partner!)

This guide contains general advice only. If you need more tailored advice, please book in a session.


Lube makes everything feel better - not just penetration. It can be used anywhere on the body, and is essential for any great genital massage. More slippery, more sensitive, more pleasurable! 😍

When it comes to sex, the less friction the better. Or put another way - the wetter the better!


And if you think using lube is only for older women or for people with vaginal dryness you are very wrong - everyone should be using lube - every. single. time.


No matter your age, gender, sexuality or the sexual activity you are about to enjoy (alone or with a partner!), make sure there is always a bottle within easy reach - wetter is always better.


Here is my guide for how to choose a lube that's right for you.


Why don't I get wet during sex?

Many women and vulva-owners have a strange relationship with lube. They think it means that there is something ‘wrong’ with them or that they don’t 'get wet enough’ on their own.


The reality is, sometimes we can be very turned on and our body doesn’t respond the way we want it to. Arousal doesn’t always lead to wetness, physical arousal or engorgement.


Conversely, it’s also possible for our bodies to become physically aroused even when we don’t feel turned on. This is called arousal non concordance - and it’s all very normal.


Plus, menopause and other hormonal changes such as child brith, contraception and medication can also impact natural lubrication leading to vaginal dryness. This can cause a lot of discomfort, including painful sex.


Why is lube so important?

Even if you’ve never experienced vaginal dryness or arousal non concordance, lube makes everything feel better - not just penetration. It reduces pressure for somebody to get 'wet enough', meaning you can get out of your head and focus on the important stuff - enjoying yourselves!


Lube doesn't just reduce friction -it also enhances relaxation, sensitivity, engorgement, blood flow, and arousal.


It can be used anywhere on the body, but is essential for any great genital massage and great anal sex. More slippery, more sensitive, more pleasurable! 😍


How to choose the right lube?

For most people, starting with a certified, pH-friendly, water-based organic lube as a universal go-to. Some great brands are Frenchie, NORMAL, Sliquid, Lucy Lube and LBDO.


However, the world of lubricants is diverse, and it's important to be aware of the different options so you can choose the right lube for you.


Let's delve into the types to consider and, equally importantly, what to avoid.


What are the different types of lube?

There are 4 main types of lube: water based, silicon based, oil based or a hybrid of the above.


1. Water based lube

This is the most popular form of lube and is a great place to start.


Great for: Everyday use (masturbation, with toys & vibrators, during vaginal penetration, internal and external genital massage, handjobs/fingering, using with condoms, etc.)


  • Pros:

    • Versatile for lots of different types of sex

    • Safe for use with silicone toys/vibrators and condoms

    • Won't stain the sheets and washes off easily

    • It's usually good for sensitive skin.

  • Cons:

    • Quality matters—some brands may become sticky, evaporate too quickly, or contain unpleasant additives or smells. Always opt for organic products, and steer clear of sweeteners or flavourings that can disrupt vaginal pH. Check labels diligently.

    • It isn't as long lasting, which means it's not always ideal for anal sex / pegging as the anus isn't naturally lubricated

    • For the same reason, it's sometimes not slippery enough for people with vaginal dryness, sexual pain, or very sensitive skin


Top Tip: Elevate your experience by warming it up for 45 seconds in the microwave or an oil burner until it's slightly above body temperature. This will give a warm, arousing sensation, and helps increase arousal, blood flow, and relaxation.


2. Silicon based lube

Although water-based is very versatile, for some bodies and circumstances silicon lube will be your favourite choice.


  • Great for:

    • Very sensitive skin or people prone to vaginal infections

    • People with vaginal dryness or people who experience sexual pain - it more slippery and evaporates less quickly. 

    • Extended sessions and any activities where you need long build up/ warm up/lubrication eg anal sex, fisting, squirting, gspot massage, pegging

    • Using with glass/metal/ceramic toys

    • Shower sex - it doesn't wash away so easily

  • Pros:

    • Long-lasting

    • Preserves vaginal health

    • Provides substantial lubrication for sensitive skin

    • Doesn't wash away or evaporate quickly

    • Safe to use with condoms

  • Cons:

    • Incompatible with silicone toys (e.g vibrators)

    • not suitable for those with silicone allergies

    • it may feel excessively oily for some - For some people, they experience reduced sensation as it's TOO slippery.

    • May also stain clothes/sheets

  • Avoid When: Using silicone toys.

  • Top Brand: Sliquid


Oil based lubes eg coconut oil

Oil based lubes are also extremely long lasting, making them great for full bodied massage, slow sex and longer erotic experiences.


  • Great for: Whole body massage and external genital massage/masturbation

  • Pros:

    • Long lasting

    • Natural

    • Cost-effective

    • Pleasant fragrance

    • Versatile for full-body use.

  • Cons:

    • May weaken latex condoms

    • Not suitable for those with coconut allergies

    • May cause slight irritation on sensitive or shaved skin or when used internally.

    • It's also slightly less slippery that other lubes so wouldn't be as effective for those who experience painful sex or vaginal dryness

    • It can also be associated with higher rates of bacterial infection if used internally

    • May also stain sheets/clothing

  • Avoid When: Using latex condoms, you have coconut allergies, or for internal use if you are prone to bacterial infections

  • Top Brands: Available at your local supermarket


In your pursuit of pleasure, always read the label and choose products that are body safe and that feel good for you. Try different brands, and remember, the key is finding what works best for you.


Let the journey to better, more pleasurable sex, begin!


Best,

Alice x





Alice Child - Somatic Sexologist, Sex Therapy & Sex Counsellor - helps people achieve happier and healthier sex lives through 1:1 sex coaching, couples sex counselling, hens parties, and workshops. Book a session here.


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