Picking The Right Lubricant

There are more lubricants on the shelves of drug stores and sex toy stores than ever before, and they are definitely not all the same. Some are much better suited to anal sex and prostate play, and you’ll want to be sure to get the right one. You might have to do a little experimentation. Different formulas work better for different people, in terms of texture, longevity, and how your body responds to them. Here are some helpful hints to make it easier.

Water-based Lubricants

These formulations are easy to use. They last a while and they’re super simple to clean, since they just rinse away, and they’re safe to use with pretty much every sex toy available. Plus, you can use them with any kind of condom or glove. They generally come in two general categories- glycerine-based and non-glycerine-based.

The lubes with glycerine tend to last longer, but when they dry out, they get sticky. That’s especially relevant for anal play since one function of the rectum is to absorb water, which means that your lubricant will dry out. Also, some people find that although glycerin-based lubes are great for vaginal sex, they can irritate the rectum so they don’t work for everyone for anal sex.

Water-based lubricants without glycerine also dry out, but they don’t generally get sticky when they do. Instead, they soak in like hand cream. They tend to be less irritating to sensitive tissues, too.

Silicone Lubricants

Since they came on the market, silicone lubricants have become the favorites of a lot of people, especially for anal sex. They don’t dry out, they last forever (Literally. Be sure to clean it all off the bathroom floor if it spills- it’ll be slippery weeks later!), they’re hypoallergenic, and they have no taste. Since they aren’t water-based, they don’t soak in like other products, which makes them especially good for prostate fun. These products also work with any condom or glove.

The big downside, however, is that some silicone lubes will bond to some silicone toys and ruin them. If you want to use these products together, you can simply cover your toy with a condom, all the way over the base, and avoid the worry. You can also do a spot test on the base of the toy: put a drop on the bottom side of the base, let it sit for 5 minutes, and wipe off. If it leaves a sticky or raised spot, you have a mismatch and should cover your toy. Or go with a plastic, glass, or metal toy.

Since silicone is waterproof, you’ll need to wash with soap and water. A washcloth also helps.


Several companies have developed blended lubricants, which have both water-based and silicone ingredients. The advantage they offer is that they’re exceptionally slippery, while still being easy to clean up. And while they do contain some silicone, it’s much less than in 100% silicone lubes, so they don’t damage your toys.


Although oils will make latex condoms and gloves break within a minute or so, they have a lot of fans for anal play because they last a long time without being as difficult to clean as silicone. Use a nitrile or polyurethane barrier with them for best results. And be sure to use a vegetable oil like almond or coconut. Mineral oils, like baby oil or vaseline, actually dry out sensitive tissues.

Thick or Thin?

Whichever lube you use, the consistency matters. Thick lubes tend to stay in place better and give you a little cushioning, but they often don’t last as long. Thinner products are herder to keep where you want them, but they have staying power. Some people like to use a little of each, alternating between them as needed.

Take Them For a Test Ride

Since everyone has their own opinion about which lubricant is “best,” you’ll need to experiment and see what works for you. One good way to do that is to get smaller bottles or individual packets, so you don’t get stuck with a large bottle you won’t finish. Besides, they’re easier for traveling, whether you’re just going across town on a date or flying across country. Just be sure to bring enough!

Want More?

Anal penetration and prostate stimulation are a lot smoother when you have more information. We have lots of advice, quotes from prostate players, and suggestions for how to make sure you have a great time. Get a copy of The Ultimate Guide to Prostate Pleasure and see how easy it can be.