Lube is all-important when it comes to sex that involves penetration. Not only does lube make anal and vaginal intercourse more comfortable for the partner receiving penetration, but it can actually prevent friction injuries to this partner. Friction burns can be mildly irritating at best and at worst, they’re downright painful. Lube also makes condoms feel better and helps prevent them from breaking or slipping during vaginal or anal intercourse. If you have a clitoris, lubes can make playing with sex toys more fun by allowing the toys to glide smoothly over the sensitive tissue of your clit.
The 3 basic types of sexual lubricant are oil-based, silicone-based, and water-based. Oil-based lubricants should never be used with condoms, as they can cause erosion of the condom material that makes the condom less effective for STI prevention and pregnancy prevention. Water-based lubes are safe to use with condoms.
An advantage of water-based lubricants is that they easily clean up with plain water. These lubes wash away without leaving any kind of a sticky residue behind. Sticky residues are not only unpleasant but can also trap viruses and bacteria, which is the last thing you want when you’re trying to practice safer sex. People with vaginas and their partners should look for water-based lubes that do not contain glycerine. Glycerine can contribute to yeast overgrowth by providing a food source for the yeast that naturally live in the vagina.
Water-based lubricants can be used for manual manipulation (solo or with a partner), with vibrators and other sex toys, or for intercourse. You can apply lube to your fingers, to the genitals, to condoms, or to the vagina or anus, or alternatively you can use lube applicator. Lube applicators are especially useful for anal intercourse because they can get the lube deeper into the body than can be managed by hand. Adding a small amount of lube to the inside of a condom allows for more sensation for the condom-wearer.
Yes, water-based lubricants can be used for either sexual or non-sexual massage.