Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier
WebMD

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine
WebMD

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion
    WebMD

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community
    WebMD

    Community

    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Health & Sex

Font Size
A
A
A

Lube Up for Better Lovin'

Slip Slide and Away
By
WebMD Feature

Tucked away in New York's Lower East Side, among a jumble of old tenement buildings crisscrossed with iron fire escapes, is a boutique called Toys in Babeland. The storefront doesn't scream "sex shop" to passers-by, but it's a famous emporium of sexual aids.

There I met the store's co-owner, Claire Cavanah, to learn about sexual lubricants. Having opened Toys in Babeland in 1993, she's had nearly a decade of experience selling and using the stuff. Bottles and tubes of various lubes stand in rows on a counter, color-coded according to their properties: water-based or silicone-based, gloppy like hair gel, slick like saliva, or silky like lotion.

Recommended Related to Sex & Relationships

Create Quality Time With Your Partner

By Jenn Sturiale "For it is in giving that we receive." -- St. Francis of Assisi While I know we all agree in theory with that St. Francis quote up there, putting it into practice is a whole different story. It's so easy to get wrapped up in the day-to-day that we can let our relationships glide along on autopilot -- and while autopilot is super for road trips, it's a lot less super for partnerships, which need conscious attention and care to run smoothly. "When we're in a relationship, it's vital...

Read the Create Quality Time With Your Partner article > >

Silicone-based lubes, Cavanah says, tend to be her customers' favorites. They stay wet for a long time, which is good for extended intercourse. "According to the manufacturer, it will stay wet for 10 years in the lab," she says. But silicone-based lubes may not be the best choice for people using sex toys made of silicone. Cavanah and others who sell them recommend silicone dildos and vibrators over those made of rubber because they're easier to clean. The surface has fewer tiny pores that could trap germs. But she says customers have reported that silicone lubes, over time, seem to react with the silicone toy and make its surface feel tacky, in effect ruining it.

A brand of water-based lube called Eros could be a good stand-in for those who like silicone products and also value their toys. "The water-based Eros really does feel a lot like silicone," Cavanah says. One advantage of water-based lubes, of which there are many other brands, is that they're water-soluble, so they wash away easily. But they dry up faster than silicone-based ones do. Also, Cavanah says female customers have complained that water-based lubes containing glycerin seem to promote vaginal yeast infections -- the idea being that glycerin, a sugar, feeds the yeast naturally present in the vagina. This notion has spread widely around the Internet, but there's scant scientific evidence to support it.

Consistency is another consideration in choosing a lube. The desired consistency depends partly on what you intend to do with it. "The thicker ones are better for anal sex," Cavanah says. Rectal tissue is more fragile than vaginal tissue. A thick lube reduces friction and abrasion more than a thin one does. Besides that, there aren't any rules about consistency. "I think thick lube is great all around," Cavanah says. But try rubbing a dollop between your fingers to get a sense of the consistency, and choose whatever feels best to you.

1 | 2 | 3

Today on WebMD

couple not communicating
How to tell when you're in one.
couple face to face
Get your love life back on track.
 
couple having an argument
Turn spats into solutions
couple in argument
When to call it quits.
 
Life Cycle of a Penis
Article
HIV Myth Facts
Slideshow
 
How Healthy is Your Sex Life
Quiz
Couple in bed
Video
 
6 Tips For Teens
Article
Close-up of young man
Article
 
screening tests for men
Slideshow
HPV Vaccine Future
Article