Lube 101

A Crash Course in Personal Lubricant

Birna Gustafsson, Kynfræðingur hjá Losti.is 

There is a personal lubricant out there for everyone, but with so many options how does one choose the right one? As an answer to our most frequently asked question, here is a crash course in lubrication 101, complete with a breakdown of our own personal recommendations. 

Personal lubricant is broken down into three main categories: water-based, oil-based, and silicone. There are benefits and caveats to each and are each great for different activities. Not all lubrication is made equally: look for body-safe and responsible brands like the ones we carry at Losti, to ensure your maximum satisfaction. Overall, the perks of extra lubrication are safety and increased satisfaction. In some cases, using the right lube can minimize the risk of a condom breaking, skin friction, or anal tearing. It can also heighten sensation for some, and it is especially important for vaginal penetration to prevent injury or irritation. Natural vaginal lubrication can occur in different amounts for different people; factors such as medication, hydration, and illness can also play into how much lubrication one makes on their own. As a reminder, “wet” doesn’t always mean “turned on” and vice versa! 

 Personal lubricant is great for solo play, reducing chafing, penetration, hand stuff- an important tool any time you’re getting busy. The perks of lubrication don’t stop there, special formulas exist with other effects such as flavor, stimulation, and relaxation compounds. For those of us with sensitive skin, it is best to avoid parabens, glycerin, fragrance, or petrochemicals. It is important to be especially picky when choosing a sensation formula, and here at Losti we choose to sell formulas from brands we trust to provide safe experiences. 

Let’s break down the difference between the three main base formulations: water, oil, and silicone: 

Water-based lubrication is the most versatile of the three, as it is compatible with toys of all materials and condoms. Water-based can have a thinner texture, so it is great for those who need extra nerve sensation, as it won’t leave behind a thick layer on the skin. This formula is the easiest to clean up, and most brands don’t leave behind a stain. You may need to reapply more often when using water-based formulas, as they tend to dry up quicker. This formula is great for oral sex, as the taste and texture are closest to natural lubrication. 
Sliquid H2O is our biggest crowd-pleaser when it comes to water-based lubrication. Free from parabens, glycerin, fragrance, and flavor, this formula covers all the bases for those of us with sensitive skin. Easy to reapply, with just the right amount of slip, it is a best-seller for a reason. This formula is compatible with condoms and all of our toys- including silicone ones. Since it dries a bit quicker than other formulas, we recommend our Sassy by Sliquid for anal play. With a slightly thicker formula, it is perfect for anal play without the worry of reapplication. 
For those who love the benefits of water-based lubrication but crave a more natural feel, our Hydra Natural Glide is quickly becoming a favorite. This water-based formula includes aloe vera, for a thicker feel that can also be used as aftercare. Vagina-owners in particular will love this soothing formula. 

Oil-based lubrication ranges from natural coconut oil to special formulations in a bottle. We love the multipurpose effects of this formula- you can turn a massage into a happy ending pretty easily, for instance. Oil-based lubrication is generally not safe for condoms, as oil can break down latex and non-latex condoms alike, increasing the risk of breakage or slipping off. Oil can also impact certain toys and can be the hardest to clean up after using. For some people, coconut oil can be comedogenic, meaning it might lead to clogged pores around your genitals. Some oils can also trap lubrication in the vagina, causing an increased risk of yeast infection or other irritation. This is a personal experience, so always do a test run before committing to this formula. However, many penis-owners love the massage-like feel oils can provide! For a massage oil that is safe to use for the penis, check out our Sliquid oil line. 

For a thicker, longer-lasting, and water-resistant formula, silicone-based lubrication is the way to go. This formula is great for anal play, as it doesn’t need as frequent lubrication and is safe for most condom brands. One caveat: silicone-based lubrication can bond to silicone toys, which can wear them down or change their shape over time. This can also lead to trapped bacteria, so if you’re a lover of silicone toys make we’d recommend a water-based formula (or a thorough scrub down of your toys after!). The cult classic Uberlube has a unique silky formula that glides over any surface. This best-seller is amazing for those of us who love to incorporate some sexy time in the shower or bath, this formula is more likely to stay on even when splashed with water. That being said, silicone-based lube can be the toughest clean-up, but nothing a bit of soap or powder can’t fix. Uberlube comes in a glass pump bottle, but we do sell a compact travel version for those who love to take this formula on the go. 

When choosing a formula with added benefits, it is important to use them responsibly and to test it out on your thigh or arm before diving into genital play. Although the brands we carry are body-safe, everyone’s body is unique and the way you react to these benefits may vary! 

Stimulating formulas can be an amazing addition for those who want a heightened sensation. The benefit of stimulating lubrication is the increased blood flow to the genitals and for many, this can increase arousal or the chance of orgasm. For a natural formula (hello, tingling peppermint), try our Sliquid Organics stimulating lubricant. We also carry a gel, oil, and lubrication from High on Love, which delivers even more stimulation… the beautiful packaging doesn’t hurt, either! 

Arousal gels or creams can be a great option for penis-owners who want some increased blood flow. Mojo gel delivers a powerful stimulating sensation in a small amount and comes in penis or anal stimulating formulas. Our Boners brand formulas are also a great option, especially for those who prefer lotions and creams over gels. We recommend trying out a small amount first as a masturbation aid to see how your body reacts before diving into partner play. These creams can also be a tool for those who love edging or want to sustain their erection a bit longer. 

Relaxing formulas are meant to be tools to use with safe practices, so we don’t recommend using them for the first time you engage in anal or oral. It is important to know how you feel about these bodily sensations first, and once you know you like them, feel free to explore the relaxing or coating sensation gels. This can be a great aid for those who want to overcome a subconscious tension, for instance. This formula from Mojo is not intended for vaginal use but can be a great addition to anal play. 

Flavored lubricants can be a fun addition to oral sex, and can shake up a routine and add a dimension of exploration. Avoid formulas with parabens or sugar, as these are often irritants (especially to vaginas!). Sliquid makes great body-safe flavored lubrications with flavors ranging from candy-sweet to light and fruity. 

No matter your lubrication preference, we have you covered. Stop by our store in Borgatun 3 for more individualized help or to experiment with our testers.