Everything You Need to Know About Personal Lubricants (But Were Too Afraid to Ask)

Everything You Need to Know About Personal Lubricants (But Were Too Afraid to Ask) Image

When you work around personal lubricants for a living, it’s easy to take for granted that not everyone is aware of the wonderful benefits lube provides to people who are seeking a more comfortable, intimate experience. Every now and then, we have to step back and remind ourselves that there are still many folks out there who have either a) never tried lube or b) don’t even know that it exists or what it’s for. One of our goals at Astroglide is to help educate the public on the role lube can play in enhancing their sexual experience.

Everything You Need to Know About Personal Lubricants (But Were Too Afraid to Ask) Image

Of course, one of the easiest ways to learn about lube is to try it out for yourself, which is why we're happy to offer a variety of free samples and a coupon for $1.00 off of a full-size bottle (get yours here!). But we also think it’s important to debunk myths about personal lubricant, and provide a reliable source of information for people to learn about lube before making up their own minds about which type of lube is right for them. Ultimately, whether you decide to incorporate personal lubricant as part of your sexual experience or not is up to you, but we want to be certain that if you choose not to, it isn’t due to any outdated stigma or misinformation. 

This is why we’ve created the following list of things you need to know about lube, but may have been afraid to ask.

What is a personal lubricant?

A personal lubricant is a water, silicone or oil-based substance that is used to reduce friction, dryness and chafing of your body parts during sex. Lubricants, such as those made by Astroglide, can also be used to help relieve vaginal dryness which can result from dehydration due to menopause, breastfeeding, medication side-effects, stress or any number of factors. 

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There are many different formulas for the various types of lubricants on the shelves today, but the reason Astroglide has become an industry leader in this market is that we keep our product line narrowed down to two basic categories: water based lubricants and silicone based lubes

We also believe that the public has the right to know what goes into any substance they’re applying to their body, which is why we list the ingredients of each of our lubes on their individual product pages. We believe this transparency builds a level of trust with our customers, and allows each person to discover which product is the best fit for their body and lifestyle. 

Which is better, water based or silicone based lube?

This is one of the most frequently asked questions about personal lubes and, again, the answer as to which lube base is best for you depends on many factors. For example, if you’re someone who loves to play in the water with your significant other, the waterproof qualities of our silicone based lubes are a great fit for your fetish. 

If, however, your favorite pastime involves self-play on fancy satin sheets with a variety of soft silicone sex toys, then you’d want to choose one of our water based lubes for that. Water based lubes rinse off easily and won’t break down the silicone coating used on certain sex toys. 

 

Whichever lube you decide to try next, we strongly urge you to avoid using oil based personal lubricants for several reasons. The most important reason we do not include oil based lubes in our product line is because they can weaken the latex in condoms (causing potential breakage which may lead to unwanted pregnancy or STDs). Oil based lubricants can also clog pores and are generally messy in terms of clothing, bedding and skin.

Do I really need to use a personal lubricant? 

There are as many answers to this question as there are people who ask it, because the true answer is unique to each individual. Even if you’ve enjoyed sex for years without any additional lubrication, you might want to broaden your horizons and see what all of the hype is about when it comes to the sensations many people enjoy after adding lube to their repertoire. 

Keeping your sex life fresh and exciting requires a bit of creativity. If you’re the type of lover who likes to go above and beyond the missionary requirements, you should consider introducing a few special effects to your performance. Why not stimulate all of your partner’s senses next time by surprising them with the subtle, sweet taste of Astroglide Strawberry Liquid for an oral experience they’ll never forget? 

Like it spicy? Astroglide Warming Liquid will make those sensitive spots tingle in ways that no ordinary lube can. Gentle, yet exhilarating, the sensation of this specialty lube will turn the heat up on your passion even on the coldest of nights. 

Why should I use a personal lubricant? 

Think back to your high school physics class when you learned about the potentially harmful impact of friction. Better yet, let’s look at the Merriam-Webster Dictionary definition. 

friction noun fric·tion \ˈfrik-shən\ - the force that causes a moving object to slow down when it is touching another object 

When you’re in the throes of passion, the last thing you probably want is to have your moving objects slow down. The slippery effect that lube has on intimate body parts in motion can perpetuate longer-lasting enjoyment and ease the pain that some people encounter after prolonged sexual activity (or any sexual activity, particularly if vaginal dryness is an issue). 

In addition to the purely mechanical benefits of lubrication, once you’ve got that trusty bottle on your nightstand, you’ll be tempted to explore some advanced techniques, like those described by our Resident Sexologist, Dr. Jess, in her post 10 Ways to Enjoy the Magic of Lube

Doesn’t the body produce enough lubrication on its own? 

Although the human body often does provide adequate natural lubrication for sex (such as the additional fluid a woman’s vagina produces when she’s sexually aroused), there are times when this doesn’t happen or isn’t enough. Many factors can contribute to vaginal dryness, including side effects of medication, dehydration and menopause to name a few. Let’s face it, sometimes you just want a quickie and the body’s natural process might not respond fast enough to provide the desired amount of moisture.

Because many people associate a woman’s tendency to produce vaginal lubrication with being aroused, it can cause a form of performance anxiety that temporarily shuts down the flow. Think of it in terms of a guy who experiences temporary erectile dysfunction due to “stage fright.”  For women, “getting wet” may cause the same sort of pressure guys feel to “get hard” on demand when the moment calls for it. 

With the assistance of personal lubricants, such as those manufactured by Astroglide, couples can be ready to enjoy easy, smooth insertion when the mood strikes, not only when the forces of nature align. And don’t even get us started on using spit as a lube. We’ve got three words for why we don’t encourage saliva as a primary source of personal lubrication: bacteria and viral pathogens. TL;DR version: DO NOT USE SPIT AS LUBE. Ever.

Do I have to go to a sex shop to buy lube?

While we fully support and enjoy the many wonderful items you can find in your local adult novelty store (who’s got time to go to the town livery stable for a new riding crop?), there are many convenient places to purchase personal lubricants these days. 

Chances are, you won’t have to go further than your local grocery store or drugstore to pick up a bottle of Astroglide. In fact, we’ve made it as easy as possible to find places to purchase lube by providing you with a handy store locator link -- including several online options, if you’d prefer to have it delivered to your door!

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Doesn’t personal lubricant cause yeast infections?

You may have read that personal lubricants containing glycerin can be a source of yeast infections. Not only is this untrue, some yeast infection cures actually contain glycerin. What is true is that glycerin contains sugars, which are a food source for yeast. If you’re prone to these types of infections, we suggest using a personal lubricant made without glycerin or parabens, such as Astroglide Natural Liquid or Astroglide Sensitive Skin Gel.

Won’t personal lubricants irritate my skin? 

As we mentioned in our previous blog post, 4 Myths About Silicone Lube Debunked, a lot of personal lubricants are actually hypoallergenic, meaning they’re unlikely to cause an allergic reaction. In fact, many users claim that lubricants prevent them from experiencing the types of skin irritations that non-lubricated sexual contact can cause. Combine this with the moisturizing effect that lube has on skin, and you may find yourself using it more often that you anticipated!

With that said, when trying out a new lube it’s always a good idea to test a small patch of skin before generously applying to your most sensitive areas. As will all substances you put on your skin, it’s best to err on the side of caution and see how your body reacts first. For people with extra sensitive skin, we recommend trying our Sensitive Skin Gel, Natural Liquid or our traditional Astroglide Liquid formula first. 

Also, keep in mind that if you experience skin irritation during sexual activity, it could be due to a variety of reasons (for more details, check out our blog post: 3 Sex Tips for People with Sensitive Skin).

Is there any benefit to using a personal lubricant for masturbation? 

That same slippery sensation that makes personal lubricants so enjoyable for sex with a partner is just as important when you’re playing with the one you love most -- yourself! The friction-reducing properties of lube can create a very pleasurable experience for men and women alike. 

Whether you prefer playing with toys or your hands, a little lube goes a long way. You’ll be surprised at how a few drops can take this routine you’ve been practicing for years into entirely new, sensational areas of ecstasy.  

Which lube is best for me? 

If you’ve read this far, we applaud your dedication to pleasure and knowledge, and look forward to helping you take the next step to exploring a new level of intimacy. We realize that with eight unique products in our personal lubrication line, choosing the right lube might be a bit confusing -- even armed with the facts provided in this article. That’s why we developed this simple lube selector tool

With just three clicks, you pick the qualities that are most important to you in a lube, and our tool narrows down your choices to recommend the best personal lubricant for you! How’s that for better living through technology?  

How’d we do?

Did the research and FAQs that we explored in this article live up to the title - Everything You Need to Know About Personal Lubricant? Hopefully we’ve helped you learn more about the wonderful ways that lube can enhance your intimate experiences. 

Now that you're in the know, don't forget to request your free lube sample and try it out yourself! And if we missed anything or there are still lingering questions that you have about our products or personal lubricants in general, please let us know by tweeting us @Astroglide. We’ll be happy to answer you and, who knows, we may even use your ideas in a future article to help others who have the same questions. After all, we’re all here for the same reason -- to explore pleasure and intimacy and experience the most enjoyable sex imaginable!


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