The Lowdown on Lubes

Water or silicone? Flavored? Warming? Anal? Oh My! With dozens of brands in seemingly endless varieties, picking out a personal lubricant can be intimidating, but fear not my chaffing friend!

Once you've got a few basics down, grabbing the right bottle for the job is easy. Just a little knowledge can make standing in front of that wall of love sauce less overwhelming and a lot more fun. So let's dive in and learn something!

It's Not that Complicated (we promise)

Although there are a load of different brands out there, personal lubricants (let's loosen our collars and just call them "lubes" from here on) really only come in a few basic types and can generally classified in two ways: (1) what they're made out of and (2) what they're used for.

What's it Made of?

Lubes come in three basic forumulas: water, silicone and oil. Each base has it's own qualities and ideal applications and the one you choose will depend on a combination of personal preference and what exactly you're doing with it. Let's take a closer look at the three bases you'll be choosing from:


Water-based lubes are by far the most common sort and are a popular choice because of their no-brainer compatibility (they can be used with any toy material and on any part of the body) easy clean up, and wide variety. Water-based lubes are completely safe to ingest -in fact, the flavored varieties encourage it. The one draw back to water-based lubes is that they dry out as the water in them evaporates and/or is absorbed into the skin, requiring occasional reapplication or rewetting with a few drops of water to get things moving again -not always convenient in the heat of the moment.

Feel Sticky? The quality of water-based lubes will vary. More expensive brands generally last longer and feel slicker!
Popular choices for water-based lubes include: Jo H2O, Swiss Navy Water, Wet


Silicone lubes are super slick, long lasting and stay put even under water. It's staying power and water resistance make silicone great for marathon sessions that end up in the hot tub, but it's also a little more work to clean up and costs more than water-based alternatives. Silicone is generally safe to ingest in small quantities (but don't go guzzling it down or you could find yourself with the runs). Silicone lubricants are not compatible with silicone or "cyberskin" toys. This is because about the only thing silicone will stick to is itself - so putting a silicone toy and lube together is a major no-no (you'll ruin your toy and your night).

Lube Loophole: Although silicone lubes cannot be used directly on toys made of silicone, you can use them together by putting a condom on your toy!
Popular choices for silicone lubes include: Jo Silicone, Swiss Navy Silicone, I.D. Millenium, Eros


People have been doing it with oil since...well...there was oil, but when it comes to use with toys or penetration, oil based lubes are a modern day no-no. Oil based lubes don't play well with condoms, toys or the female anatomy. Clean up requires plenty of soap and water and they can stain fabrics. For all of it's limitations, oil is still around because it starts slick, stays slick and is not at all sticky, making it hard to beat for massages, hand-jobs, foot-jobs, tit-jobs and any other skin-on-skin action that doesn’t involve penetration or toys. Oil-based lubes are generally safe to ingest and some are even flavored for this purpose (just don't go cooking with the stuff).

One Trick Pony: Oils are not compatible with toys, condoms or the delicate female anatomy. The bottom line: keep them outside the body and off of toys!
Popular choices for oils: Kama Sutra Oil of Love, Making Love Oil

What Are You Doing With that Lube?

Along with selecting a base (water, silicone, or oil) you might need to consider what you're going to be doing with it when picking out a lube. Most lubes can be classified as general purpose and are good for just about any use (with a few exceptions as noted previously). However, there are specially formulated lubes available for anal sex as well as products that feature flavoring and "warming" and "cooling" sensations.

Anal Lubes

Anal lubes are formulated to be slightly thicker than general purpose products. This extra thickness helps provide a better, longer lasting barrier for the delicate tissues of the anus - which do not naturally lubricate like the vagina. Anal lubes also come in cream forms for even greater protection; you might consider these if you're a beginner or just trying to tackle something particularly large.

Flavored Lubes

Popular primarily for oral sex, flavored lubes come in a wide variety of flavors and brands. Personal tastes vary so we recommend experimenting with small sizes or pillow packs before committing to a full bottle of any flavored product. All flavored lubes are water-based and so can be used with condoms, toys and during sex. .

Too Sweet? Many flavored lubes contain sugars, which can irritate sensitive systems. As with any product, if irritation occurs, discontinue use.

Warming & Cooling Lubes

Both water and silicone base products offer options for "warming" and "cooling" sensations. These types of lubes can increase sensitivity by promoting blood flow to the areas being stimulated and can add zing to hand-jobs and massages. Try alternately rubbing and blowing on the area where they're applied for varying intensities of heat and warmth.

Still Need Some Help?

There are loads of lubes available in a variety of brands and forumulas, but picking out the best one for you is largely a matter of personal taste. To help you find the perfect lube, Adam & Eve Greensboro offers testers and sample sizes of a wide variety of products -so you can touch, taste, and smell before you buy. As always, if you’re still unsure about which is right please ask a sales associate…we’re here to help!