Let’s Talk About Lube
One of the first sex related products that anyone ever buys is lubrication. This sex aid is so mainstream that it gets sold in grocery and drug stores, but so taboo that no one is quite sure how to spot the best ones. Do you know that there are certain toys and certain lubes that don’t mix? Can you get lube that will help in the bedroom? How long can you keep lube for? We’re here to answer those questions!
What are the basic kinds of lubes? Lubes generally fall into two categories – water based and silicone based. Each have their own pros and cons – water based is safe for condoms and silicone based sex toys, silicone is not; water based tends to be thinner and runnier, silicone is thicker and lasts longer; water based lubes can be ‘edible’, silicone not so much; some prefer silicone over water based for anal sex, but others use water based as it is condom compatible. Your own personal needs the best determination as to which lube base is best for you.
Can lubrication help in other sexual health areas? In addition to the lube basics, there are other additional ingredients that lubrication manufacturers add to their products to enhance their use. Adding benzocaine to lubes will make the nerve endings in skin less sensitive, helping men last longer before reaching orgasm. Using capsicum and cinnamon in lubricant makes the vagina feel ‘tighter’. There are others that just add to the overall feeling of the lube, with either warming or cooling qualities. Oral sex lubes often have flavors to enhance the experience.
Does lube have an expiration date? While most lubes don’t have a “use by” date stamped onto the side, it won’t last forever. The rule of thumb is to only buy a size large enough that will get you through a year. After a year, the materials in lubes start to break down. Those with antimicrobial agents to prevent things like pregnancy or infections will start to lose their effect after 12 months. So come summertime when you are replacing your sun tan lotion, stock up on sex lube as well!
How should I store my lube? Lube should be kept in a cool dry place. If your lube comes in a transparent bottle, you should also keep it out of direct sunlight. If you store your sex lube in the same place as your sex toys, be sure that silicone lubes and silicone toys are kept apart to prevent damage to the toys.
How do you clean lube out of things? Lube on the skin can be washed away with warm soapy water. If you need to clean lubrication off your sex toys, there are specially made cleaners for this purpose. (If your toy is waterproof, it can be given a bath in warm soapy water to clean off as well.) Lube on sheets and clothing can generally be washed as normal in the laundry.