If you’ve ever thought about buying lube, you’ve probably seen the stacks of shelves crammed full of an almost infinite number of lubrication options. Why are there so many different types of lube? Which one is right for you?

Lube is fantastic. Everyone should have some, male or female. It’s great for solo use, or use with a partner. You can use it with toys, in the shower and there are even flavoured ones. Or ones that make your penis tingle. It’s endless.

With so many options, it can be a bit of a mind boggle. How do you know which one to get? What are they all used for? How do find the one you need?

Firstly you need to figure out the lube base you need. There are three types. Water based, silicone based or oil based. The base will have the biggest effect on how the lube feels and acts.

Water based

Water based lubes are made up mostly from water. They are often clear coloured, odourless and they won’t stain your sheets. Water based lube is really easy to clean up. Water based lube can also be some of the most soothing and sensitive friendly lubes.

Out of all the bases, they are most suited for quick sex sessions. They are the quick and easy option for lubes. They are compatible with condoms.

Silicone based

Silicone based lubes last longer than water based lubes. This is good if you want to use the lubrication for anal sex. They’re also the choice if you want to have sex in the shower, as water will wash away water based lubrication as well as natural lubrication. Silicone based lube will often feel a lot more slippery than water based lube.

They are also latex friendly so they are compatible with condoms. However, if you have silicone based sex toys you shouldn’t use a silicone based lubricant as it can break down the rubber of the toy over time.

Oil based

Oil based lubes are the ones you use if you’re planning an intense and long sex session. They have a more luxurious silky feel and can be great doubled up as massaging oil.

Unfortunately, oil based lubes are not compatible with condoms. They can cause condoms to rip or tear. Oil based lubes are also the hardest to clean up afterwards, needing a proper wash with lots of soap.

Flavoured lube

Flavoured lube can be really fun if you want to try something new in the bedroom. It’s also safer than using things such as whipped cream or chocolate sauce. This is because it’s less likely to disrupt the natural bacteria you have. It’s also more suitable for lubrication that food items.

Of course, you also need to be careful with the consumption of flavoured lubrications. Consuming too much can make you feel sick. The taste will also be more chemical than actual food products.

Lubes with sensation

There are now lubes that can make things feel warmer or tingle. These can be fun to experiment with. There are types with different levels of heat intensity. You can find condoms that also have this type of lubrication already in them to also give the same sensation.

It’s important to be careful with the right level. Some people can find these types of lube to be very irratating on their skin.

Which one is best for you?

The best thing to do is try a couple and find the consistency you like the most. Different brands will have different levels of the base. If you want to have sex in the shower, then make sure not to go for water based lubes. If you’re using it for use on silicone based sex toys, don’t get the silicone based lube.

There are also water-silicone hybrid lubrications that claim to give the “best of both worlds”.  The best thing is to figure out what you want from the lube, then experiment with it. When you find one that really feels good for you, look at what it’s made from and look for others that are similar.

Finally, make sure you pick a lubrication made for personal use. There are lubes available for all sorts of jobs, such as mechanics, and using the wrong type can have some very serious health issues.