How do I choose the right lubricant for me ?
It depends what are the goals for your lube ; anal sex, compatible with silicone toys, alleviate dysphoria ? There is 3 kinds of lube, water base, silicone base and oil base
and a bunch of subcategories for each kind
Water lube is the most versatile of all lubes, it is compatible with silicone toys and with condoms and other safer sex supplies. It’s goal is to reproduce the texture of « natural lubrication » so it tends to be a bit more sticky then silicone and oil base lubes. A lot of water base lubes have ingredients that can provoke allergies like glycerin or paraben.
If you have sensitive skin, be sure to check the ingredient list before buying your next water base lube! Hypoallergenic lubes tend to be more expensive (around 20$ for 125ml compared to 15$ for a cheaper lube). A trustworthy brand would be Sliquid or Good Clean Love, they both have a wide range of texture, are always paraben and glycerin free and are not tested on animals. There is many subcategories of water base lube, I’ll concentrate here on the gel lube, silk lube and flavoured lube.
Gel water-based lube
Gel water base lube is just like the « regular one » but a bit thicker. Because it is thicker, it tends to be long-lasting and more slippery then the regular kind. It is great for anal sex and for people who struggle with lubrication. Just like regular water based lube, it is safe for your silicone toys and compatible with condoms and other safer sex supplies like dental dams or internal condoms.
Silk/hybrid lube is a water base lube with little bit of silicone in it. The silicone gives a more silky texture, but it is still compatible with silicone toys! if you are not a fan of sticky lubes but you have a bunch of silicone toys at home then silk lube would be perfect for you. It also usually cums in a white colour which can be a good way to alleviate dysphoria for trans-masculine folks.
Flavored lube an lube with sensation are the tricky ones, they can be really fun for oral play or to explore new sensations, but they are also not the best for folks with sensitive skin.
Most flavoured and sensation lube contain sugar, which causes yeast infections when in contact with mucous membrane. There is some flavoured lube without sugar, like the Sliquid Swirl collection or Exsens but be sure to look at the label for any sugar derivatives! For sensation lube, I personally think that the most body friendly one would be the one with menthol as a tickling agent (Like this one from Sliquid) , which is cooling when you first apply and gets warmer with friction.
Silicone lube is characterized by its oily texture. While water-base lube recreates a “natural lubrication”, silicone lube on the other hand is made to be slippery and long-lasting. Try not to drop it on your floor or you will be slipping for days! Little trick, you can clean it off with a little bit of dish soap! Silicone lube is not compatible with silicone toys, when in contact, they will do like water on ice and the lube will slowly fuse with the toy and make it lose its texture. You can use silicone lube with toys made out of glass, stainless steel, ceramic or even crystals like the Chakrubs. It is important to note that the chakrubs are safe to use with any lube, but that many stores like The Pleasure Chest Store for example, recommend to use water-base lube to preserve the energy of the crystal. Silicone lube is compatible with condoms and other safer sex supplies, and it is great for anal sex and for people who struggle with lubrication. Silicone lube is hypoallergenic but it clogs pores. However it is personally the only lube I do not get allergic reactions from!
There is some branded oil-based lube you can buy at any sex shop, but you can also just grab oil from your pantry! I prefer using coconut or almond oil, but I will be talking about coconut oil more specifically here because it is the one I have more experience with. Because they are really slippery, oil-based lubes are great for anal sex and for people who struggle with lubrication. The biggest downside of oil-based lubes is that they are not compatible with most safer sex supplies. Fun party trick, blow up a condom and rub some oil on it, in less then in a minute it will explode and make all your guests aware that condom and oil do not match ! Coconut oil is compatible with nitrile and polyurethane but not with latex and polyisoprene, which most condoms are made out of. The cool thing about using coconut oil as a lube is that it is anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory. So it is perfect for people with sensitive junks and for people prone to yeast infections! Before reading a couple of articles on the subject (Namely this one), I was sure that silicone toys and oil-based lubes were not compatible, but what a surprise to learn that they are! Being someone who is allergic to most lubricants, being able to use coconut oil with my silicone toys gave me a big relief. It is important to note that oil-based lubes are not compatible with porous sex toys, so the ones made out of rubber, latex, pvc, etc. Those sex toys tend to be cheaper (around 20$ to 30$+) then the nonporous kind that are made out of silicone, pyrex, ceramic and stainless steel (30 to 90$+) . If you have the money for it try to invest in a nonporous sex toys, but if you cannot, you can put condoms on porous toys to reduce the risks.