How to Choose a Lubricant For Masturbation Or For Your Sex Toy

Nov 10, 2020

Whether it’s called lubricant or lube for short, the use of something extra to make things a little smoother during masturbation, sex or while simply using a sex toy is great and, in some cases, recommended. While many people can masturbate without the added use of lubes, certain sex toys can be uncomfortable without it. Sometimes it can be difficult to know which lubricants work with either your body or your sex toy though. Here’s a quick guide to the types of lubes you might see online and how to use them!

Contents

What is lube?

 

As mentioned, lubricants can be used during sex, masturbation or with a sex toy. There are many reasons to use lubricants during any of these. From enhancing pleasure to preventing injuries during sex and masturbation and even to help medical issues for people who may have difficulty producing their own natural lubrication. As with anything that is used around sensitive areas such as the penis or vagina, it is good to understand the variations of different types of lubrication, their uses and any issues surrounding their use.

Types of lubricants for use during masturbation or with a sex toy.

There are three main types of lubricants available that we will cover here, although there are often slight variations and even hybrid lubricants that can be found. As such, we would always advise you research a little more about the type of lubricant you’re looking to buy.

 

  • Water-based lubricants

 

Water-based lubricants do not tend to damage condoms or sex toys, and are generally one of the safest options for sex and masturbation.There are two main variants of water-based lubricants; ones containing glycerin and those that don’t. Water-based lubricants that contain synthetic glycerin are often the flavored or warming kind. 

Here are some of the pros and cons of water-based lubricants.

Pros: Comparatively safe to use with sex toys, condoms, as well as penetrative sex and masturbation; Does not stain; Low cost.

Cons: Can dry out quicker than other lubes; while safe, some people report both glycerin and non-glycerin water-based lubes can sometimes cause yeast infections; can contain parabens or propylene glycol that may irritate the skin.

 

  • Oil-based lubricants

Often, oil-based lubricants are some of the first that people may experiment with as there are infamous, easily found everyday home products such as baby oil, petroleum jelly, various hand lotions, and similar products that men especially are commonly portrayed using in media. All of these products are oil-based but are not always safe for masturbation purposes or for use with a sex toy. For example, these oil-based lubricants can destroy condoms.

There are natural oil-based lubricants made from ingredients such as coconut oil, olive oil, aloe vera among others. It’s important to note that if you do decide to use this kind of lubricant to do some extra research into if the substances may potentially be harmful and whether it can be used internally or externally.

Here are some of the pros and cons of oil-based lubricants.

Pros: Typically easily accessible; low cost; inconspicuous compared to other lubricants specifically for sex or masturbation; natural lubricants can be safe to eat.

Cons: Destroys condoms; synthetic oil-based lubricants can irritate skin and are not suitable for internal use; can stain fabrics.

 

  • Silicone-based lubricants

 

Silicone-based lubricants don’t dry up as fast as other lubricants on the list and can be especially useful for women who suffer from vaginal dryness, or frequent yeast or urinary tract infections. Silicone-based lubricants are also generally waterproof and not absorbed by the skin as quickly, meaning that they are great for longer lasting masturbation sessions or for helping make sex last longer.

Silicone-based lubricants, as with silicone-based sex toys, can be more expensive than other variants. The lubricants have also been reported to damage silicone sex toys over time if used together. This tends to be if the lubricant is used with the sex toy and not cleaned sufficiently, but again, some extra research depending on the sex toy and type of lubricant is recommended.  

Here are some of the pros and cons of silicone-based lubricants.

Pros: Doesn’t dry up as quickly; good for women with vaginal dryness or sensitivities; safe for use internally; safe for use with condoms.

Cons: Generally more expensive; can take more time to clean up.

How to make sure you use lubricants safely

 

The most important part of using lubes safely is checking if you're potentially allergic to any ingredients in your lube before actual use. A simple patch test is the easiest way of finding out and a great place to test is on the inside of your elbow. Next, if you are using the lube with a sex toy, make sure your lube is safe for use with your toy. As mentioned, silicone-based lubricants can damage silicone toys over time, so water-based may be a safer bet.

Whether you’re using a condom for sex or masturbation, ensure your lube is safe with the condom you're using. As previously mentioned, oil-based lubes are not safe with condoms because they can make them porous, which may lead to them splitting. They can also change the pH and bacteria levels of your genitals, which may lead to infections.

Lastly, lubricants should not be used as contraceptives. Most of them don’t contain any kind of spermicide, so they will not prevent pregnancies nor stop STI transmission.

What lubricant should I choose?

 

Now we know more about what kind of lubricants there are, what kind of lube should you choose and why? 

Water-based lubricants are a great, safe choice for sex toys. TENGA offers a range of four different water-based lubes in the HOLE LOTION series. Each one is rated on a scale of their viscosity, making it easy to understand what LOTION might suit your sex toy needs. If you’re still unsure, our suggestion would be the REAL HOLE LOTION as the best introduction to the series and water-based lubricants in general.

If you’re looking for lubrication for partnered play then it is always recommended that no matter what lube you go for, to always look at the ingredients and make sure you or your partner(s) don’t have any potential allergies.

At the end of the day, lubricants are just like food, everyone has different preferences, likes and dislikes so try them all with the above safety points in mind and find what suits you.