When it comes to personal lubricants, the sheer variety of choices can make you feel like grabbing your little dog, clicking your heels together and running right back to Kansas.
There’s liquids and gels and formulas that are water-based and silicone-based and oil-based — oh my.
Which one is right for you? Which one is right for tonight? How do you even begin to choose?
That’s where we’ve got you covered. For a complete overview of the different types of lube, check out our comprehensive guide to personal lubrication.
However, if you’re curious about oil-based lube, this is the guide for you.
If you’ve ever used a personal lubricant, you’re definitely not alone. A 2014 study conducted by researchers at Indiana University found that 65.5 percent of women reported using a personal lubricant at some point in their sexual lives, and 20 percent had used one within the past month.
Participants in the study said they used lube for a number of reasons, including making sex more comfortable, more fun and less painful.
Lube can definitely make sex better by enhancing the body’s own natural lubrication and temporarily reducing vaginal dryness, but choosing a lubricant can be overwhelming. There are a lot of options online and on drugstore shelves, and knowing which bottle belongs on your bedside table isn’t always straightforward.
It’s also important to pick a lubricant that works in harmony with your body — not against it. Maintaining a healthy vaginal pH can often be a delicate balancing act, and even something as simple as using a perfumed soap can upset this balance, leading to an uncomfortable and annoying infection. This is why many women are drawn to a lubricant with natural, plant-based ingredients.
Astroglide O is an oil-based personal lubricant and massage oil that contains a blend of organic and essential oils. As the only major brand to carry the USDA stamp of approval, Astroglide O provides long-lasting lubrication in a plant-based oil blend formula that is 99% organic.
One of the best things about oil-based lube is that it can pull double duty. Because oil-based formulas are long-lasting and ultra-hydrating, they can be used as a personal lubricant during intimate activity, as a luxurious massage oil, or both. (Our vote is for both.)
Eager to give oil a try? Here are five ways to introduce oil-based lube into the bedroom.
According to Dr. Laura Berman at Everyday Health, oil-based lube can be a good choice for hand jobs.
Because a little tends to go a long way with oils, it should only take a small amount to create the slippery sensations needed for an amazing hand job. Here are five suggestions to try out the next time you have a little, uh, time on your hands.
Oil-based lubricants also work great for masturbation and massage, as they are moisturizing and long-lasting. In addition to providing a smooth, luxurious feel, they deliver much-needed hydration to the skin.
Oil-based lubes can also be used for non-genital stimulation, including non-genital — or “hands-off” — orgasm. As the name indicates, a non-genital orgasm involves sexual orgasm with a body part other than the genitals. This can include stimulation of the nipples, nape of the neck and any other area of the body.
As a bonus, many oils smell good enough to eat, which can set the mood when you’re looking to get extra close to your partner at the end of a long day.
Oil-based lubes can be a good option for a sexy massage, as they reduce friction and give plenty of glide across the skin, which is essential for soothing sore, tired muscles. And with some oil on hand, you don’t have to be a massage pro to give your significant other a relaxing rubdown.
According to board-certified physician Cathy Wong, oils are often blended to create the ideal texture and scent for massage.
Astroglide O contains a blend of the following oils:
Sweet Almond Oil – A pale yellow color, sweet almond oil contains antioxidative properties that are great for the skin. And because it’s hypoallergenic, it can also be used by those with sensitive skin.
Jojoba Oil – If your lover suffers from back acne, jojoba oil can pull double duty (we told you oil-based lube is a hard worker!) as both massage oil and acne treatment, as it’s believed to contain antibacterial properties.
Coconut Oil – Coconut oil has become quite popular in recent years, with people using it for everything from a sweetener to a staple in vegan recipes. It can also be used as a massage oil — and because the fractionated form only contains a fraction of the whole oil, it’s less prone to staining towels, sheets and clothing than other oils.
Sunflower Oil – Extracted from sunflower seeds, sunflower oil is known for being light and non-greasy, which makes it an ideal oil for massages. It also contains the essential fatty acid linoleic acid, which is good for the skin.
Argan Oil – You’ve probably seen argan oil in a variety of haircare products, but did you know it’s also good for your skin? The levels of Vitamin E in argan oil can boost cell production and make the skin look healthier.
If you’re going to use an oil-based lubricant for sexual intercourse, it’s important to note that oil-based lubricants break down latex, which means they aren’t safe to use with latex condoms, latex diaphragms or latex sex toys.
And when it comes to latex condoms, we’re not just talking the occasional tiny hole here and there. In lab tests, it took just 60 seconds’ exposure of commercial latex condoms to mineral oil to result in a 90 percent decrease in strength. In layman’s terms, that’s fast enough to flash-freeze your libido in everlasting permafrost.
Other types of oils didn’t fare much better. Baby oil caused latex condoms to break down in a measly five minutes.
In the same test, scientists also exposed latex condoms to water-based lubricants and found them to be safe for both contraception and AIDS prevention.
The takeaway? If you’re going to use a personal lubricant with a condom, go with a water-based or silicone-based formula — both of which are usually safe to use with latex and other types of condoms. Check the individual package before use.
If you’re still uncertain which personal lubricant is best for you, why not check out our lube advisor? Plug in your preferences and browse suggestions to find the perfect fit. You never know — you might find you prefer a couple different options for different types of play. You can also get a free sample of Astroglide to try before you buy.
What types of lube do you love? Let us know @Astroglide.