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If you suffer from vaginal dryness, find sex uncomfortable, or your love life might simply benefit from a bit of extra slip and slide, you have come to the right place. Lubricant (AKA lube) is the solution to your arid undercarriage woes and there is no shame in seeking help if it benefits your sex life.
Reluctant to get sticky? Sex is supposed to be messy! And trust us, when it comes to keeping your vulva happy, a blob or two of lube is the very least you deserve. The right lubricant can work wonders in the bedroom, keep your skin supple and transform your orgasm power in the process.
The best sex lubes for women
Here's our pick of the best lubricants for women at a glance. Keep scrolling for the full list.
What is lube?
Sexual lubricant is a type of emollient that is designed to reduce friction during solo or partnered sex. 'Lube, by definition, is something that can help ease friction by making surfaces smooth or slippery,' explains Lindsay Wynn, CEO and Co-founder at vulvovaginal wellness experts Momotaro Apotheca.
'Lube can be made of a variety of ingredients depending on your specific needs,' she adds. 'From homemade to store bought, lube is a wonderful addition for both mind and body when it comes to personal or partnered sex.'
What are the benefits of using lube for sex?
Using lube with your lover(s) or adding a pea-sized blob or two to your favourite sex toy during solo masturbation can sidestep vaginal dryness, make penetrative sex a whole lot more comfortable and can even help combat chafing should things get really heated in the bedroom.
'Sex of all types can benefit from lubrication,' says Wynn. 'Be it vaginal or anal penetration, the use of toys, tribbing or scissoring, sex can cause micro tearing to the vulva, vagina or anus. Adding a body-safe lube can help prevent tearing and reduce discomfort associated with these small tears. Beyond the pain points, lube can be used to enhance pleasure.'
'Lube is great and I honestly believe it should be used by everyone who wants to experience penetration,' agrees Kelly Gordon, Head of Creative at Sex Tech Brand Hot Octopuss. 'It makes penetrative sex comfortable, highly pleasurable and it also means that you can always have a quickie if you don’t have time for foreplay.'
Whatever gets you off, there is likely to be a lube for you. But with so many options to choose from, where do you start?
What are the different types of lube?
Lube comes in various forms, so do your research before you make a purchase to ensure you choose the best lotion for the motion:
This is our go-to lube for most sexual scenarios. 'Water-based lube is great and can be used in almost all situations!' says Gordon. 'It can also be used with your favourite silicone sex toys without damaging your toy. Water-based lube is also said to reduce condom breakage, plus it's easy to wash off.'
This is often thicker and more luxurious than its water-based counterparts. 'Silicone lube is long lasting, so it doesn’t need to be applied often,' explains Gordon. 'It is also incredibly smooth, giving an amazing and sensual feeling when using it for penetration. Silicone lube is also great for use in water, as it doesn’t wash away as easily as other lubes.'
This type of lube is also long lasting, but it can damage condoms and play havoc with your bedlinen, so proceed with caution. 'Oil-based lube is known to work well with the body and your natural lubricant,' says Gordon. 'There are a few downsides to it though, as it can leave oily stains on sheets and it can also increase the chance of upsetting your natural pH level and increasing the chance of yeast infections.'
Some brands have caught onto the fact that no two people are the same and created hybrid lubes to suit differing tastes, so it's worth shopping around to find the shoe that fits.
Does lube give you thrush?
If you regularly suffer from yeast infections, you might be concerned about lube leading to thrush. 'This is highly dependent on the quality and ingredients of your lube,' explains Wynn.
'Lube should not be scented or flavoured with any sugar, dye or fragrance or a derivative of,' she adds. 'The vulva, vagina and anus contain mucous membranes that are highly absorbent and can be easily irritated when introduced to suboptimal ingredients.'
If you're concerned, shop around until you find the lube that fits. 'Do your research and find lubes/products that work with your body. Sexual health isn’t one size fits all and neither is lube,' adds Wynn.
The 24 best lubes to shop now
From the best anal lube to water-based emollient for partnered sex and oil-based gels that are ideal for solo sessions, keep scrolling for our pick of the best lubes for every sexual scenario...
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