Spoiler alert ... it's always better to lube.
There seems to be many misconceptions around lube and why lube is needed. Lube shouldn't only be about overcoming dryness. It should be about enhancing pleasure, having more fun and introducing new sensations either by yourself or a partner.
But if you've never used it before where do you start?
There are many different types of lube; water based, silicone based, oil based and natural, and then there are flavoured, cooling, warming, tingling, relaxing.
So before we look at what lubes to get, let's start with what not to get. There are chemicals you definitely don't want to put down there incase they cause irritation or inflammation. Firstly, avoid things like glycerin, petroleum, nonoxynol-9, propylene glycol and chlorhexidine gluconate. Easy to say but how do you make sure of this? Look out for products that state they are paraben, glycerin and petroleum-free.
So what SHOULD you look for? This is going to depend on what you want to do with the lube.
Water based - pro's and con's: Water based lubes are a good all-rounder. Great for use during penetrative sex, masturbation and toy play. They are safe to use with condoms and with sex toys. They also aren't likely to stain your sheets or clothes. However, water based lubes tend to need reapplication frequently; you'll notice it starts to feel sticky after a while. They are also rubbish for water or shower play as they'll just wash away. It's best to use water based lubes with a pH that matches the natural pH of a vagina - so pH 3.8 to 4.5.
Silicone based - pro's and con's: Silicone based lube is super slippery and long lasting. They won't wash away easily with water so great for playing in the shower. This is also one of the con's as it needs washing off with soap. Silicone based lube should not be used with silicone based sex toys as it will risk damaging the surface of the toy making the toy less hygienic over time. Non-silicone based toys are fine to use with a silicone based lube; so hard plastic, glass and metal. Make sure you aren't using your fancy bed sheets when playing with silicone based lube as it can stain them.
Oil based - pro's and con's: Oil based lubes are slippery and long lasting. They are great to use for sensual massage as well as penetrative sex, masturbation and toy play. But never use oil based lubes with condoms as the oil may damage the latex of the condom.
Anal lube: Lube is always recommend for anal play as there is no natural lubricant produced to aid penetration. Water based lube works well with condoms, so that's what would be recommended. apply it often, and apply it to the outside of the condom. As well as aiding penetration this also will help ensure the condom stays in place! When using lube for anal play ensure the pH matches the more neutral acidity levels of the anus pH 5.5 to 7.
Flavoured lubes and sensation producing lubes (warming, cooling, tingling) - pro's and con's: Always check the ingredients and check there's nothing in there that may irritate you. If in doubt test it out yourself before having a proper play. Check that the cooling, warming or tingling sensation is enjoyable to you, and doesn't feel overwhelming. Adding flavours and sensations can bring new sensations into play, and over a different experience so can be great to explore. These sensations are often produced by adding compounds known as glycerols (alcohol based sugars). Research says different things about glycerols and vaginal health. They may cause dehydration which can cause discomfort. Our recommendation is read the ingredients, go easy to start with, and moderation!
We are big fans of lube at Kinkerbox, you'll quite often find something exciting and slippery in your Kinkerbox, along with guidance on how to use it.