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By Dr. Michael Krychman

Choosing a Correct Lubricant

Who would think that choosing a lubricant for sexual activity is complicated? Here is a simple suggestion. Consider standing  by the intimate shelf in your local pharmacy or grocery store and look at the diversity of lubricant selections. It’s easy to become flabbergasted with the overwhelming number of choices.  Water? Silicone? Hybrid? Colored or Flavored? Here is a quick and easy guide that debunks the lubricant myths.  Choice selection made easy.  It is also important to remember that one lubricant does not always fit all sexual practices.  It’s important to have a few choices in your lubricant treasure chest.  Consider trying a few perhaps if they come in sample sizes. Individual preference of different types can enhance your sexual exploration and sensual playfulness.

Water-Based Lubricant  

Water based lubricants often contain deionized water, and also may have some glycerin, or propylene glycol as part of their listed ingredients.  Water based products typically do not stain fabric, sheets or clothing and are generally safe to use with silicone/latex accessories.  Water products rarely cause vaginal or penile irritation, but some men and women do have sensitivities.  They have a natural feel and are not considered greasy, but they must be reapplied as they can dry out with extended activity.  Some find these products tacky when they dry, and some may leave a residue on your body.  They are easily cleaned up with mild soap and water.

Silicone-Based Lubricants  

Silicone based lubricants may last longer than water-based products, will not soak into the skin, are slick and slippery. There is  little need for reapplication.  It is perfect for prolonged sexual interludes or when intercourse is prolonged. Those who engage in anal sex or anal play may enjoy silicone lube as it provides ample lubrication to prevent any micro tears or abrasions. Silicone lubricant is a must for aqua sex – sex in the shower, hot tub, or swimming pool.  Silicone is ideal when menopause and andropause collide. For a man who is on a medication that prolongs and intensifies his erection, coupled with a woman who is in the menopause and has prolonged time to arousal or climax, silicone lube may be the perfect solution.

Silicone lubricants are tasteless, odorless and have no stickiness or tackiness.  They can also be used as massage lotions since they do not dry out. Clean up may be a bit more problematic, and soap and warm water may be needed for a quick clean up!  It is important to take your time and read product labels since many silicone toys will not be compatible with silicone lubricant!

Hybrid Lubricants

Plain and simple, these lubricants are often a combination of both water and silicone characteristics.  They have the qualities of each product and often the preferred lubricant of choice for many couples. They last long and have the silky feel of some water-based lubricants.

Flavored/Warming Enhanced Lubricant

Many men and women will choose these lubricants with warming, flavors or other enhancers in them to tantalize and spice up a sexual interlude. Remember that for some these are exceptionally pleasurable, but for others with sensitive or dry skin, it may cause burning or irritation.  If you want to try these products, be certain to do a test dose in a small area. Wash the area completely if you experience any burning, itchiness or pain.

Pantry Solutions

Extra virgin and coconut, vegetable, avocado or peanut oil may not irritate the vagina and typically do not affect latex. Most health care professionals frown upon using food products within the vagina area since they have been linked to increased vaginal infections that may be persistent and difficult to treat.

Final Note:

For the concerned consumer, schedule an appointment with your gynecologist, primary care clinician or sexual medicine specialist. It’s simple and easy to make a virtual appointment where you can always get some lube advice from your health care professional or sexuality expert.

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