Bodysafe Lubricant Guide
(Disclaimer: This blog post was written by our friends at Good Clean Love)
Lubricant can make good sex great sex by reducing friction and facilitating penetration of all kinds. It can make vaginal penetration comfortable and effortless, oral a decadent experience for both partners, and its application is crucial for safe anal sex.
Lubricant can even be an aid when it comes to contraceptives - condoms are proven more effective when used with lubrication (as long as it’s not oil-based!) Whether shared or solo, lubricants are a sensual (and functional) tool for exploring sexuality.Are you a lubricant lover? Total newbie? Maybe a skeptic? With so many types out there, it’s normal to have some questions about the slippery stuff. To help you navigate the options, we’ve compiled answers for the most frequently asked questions we receive about lube. We hope you find them informative and helpful! If you have any remaining questions concerning lubricants (or our lubricants), feel free to contact us!
The Team at Good Clean Love
What are the differences between water-based lube, silicone-based lube, flavored lube, and oil-based lube? Can they all be used with condoms or sex toys?
There are four different bases for lubricants: Water, Silicone, Oil, and Hybrid (otherwise known as combination lubricants). Any of these lubricants could be flavored or unflavored, those are just additives. Each lubricant base has pros and cons.
- Pro: Long lasting
- Pro: Dual use as a sensual massage oil
- Con: Degrade latex and polyisoprene and thus are not considered condom compatible
- Con: Difficult to clean up, may stain sheets
- Pro: Condom Compatible
- Pro: Long lasting
- Con: Not compatible with silicone sex toys
- Con: Silicone does not wash off with soap and water, rather is sloughs off slowly which can impede natural vaginal immunity
- Pro: Safe with latex & toys
- Pro: Iso osmotic products are physician recommended as most are compatible with healthy vaginal eco-system
- Pro: Does not make a mess although may need more than a single application
- Con: Commonly available heavily concentrated petrochemical lubes (ie. Propylene glycol) can create toxic vaginal conditions.
Hybrid lubricants ( water based with added silicone)
- Pro: Slick and long lasting like silicone based lubricants
- Pro: Condom and toy compatible like water based lubricants
- Con: Depending on the brand, added silicone content may vary. Check label to be sure the lubricant is actually toy/condom compatible before use
- Con: New in the industry, there is less readily available information on them at this time
(*Note that all Désirables' porcelain product are compatible with any type of lubricants!)
Can lubricants do harm?
As it turns out, a lot of commercial lubricants can contain harmful chemicals and irritants.
Regardless of branding, a lubricant that is safe for sex is one that A) provides sufficient lubrication and B) is not too chemically dense, or ‘hyperosmolar.’
Remember osmosis from biology? It’s the flow of water between the cells. When there’s too much solute on the outside, the water inside the cells exits to balance the pressure. That’s why hyperosmolar lubricants made with a lot of petrochemicals will draw the water out of cells in the mucous membranes of your cells, dehydrating them. This can be serious. When the cells in your rectal or vaginal tissues are dehydrated and damaged, they are more susceptible to tearing. Tearing is not only painful, it also increases your risk for contracting STDs and STIs.
Now here’s the real scary part: According to the World Health Organization, the osmolarity of lubricants should not exceed 380 mOsm/kg, and yet most commercial lubricants ring in at 2000-6000 mOsm/kg! That’s way denser than bodily fluids.
So, how do you pick a safe lube?
Look at the labels on the lubricants you purchase and seek out products made with natural ingredients instead of petrochemicals. Also most lubricants with any kind of “warming” sensation are generally hyperosmolar. Avoid lubricants with glycerin as the primary ingredient because it is associated with yeast infections. Try to find something that is organic and natural for the most sensitive tissue in your body.
Another helpful resource for selecting a lubricant based on osmolarity can be found on SmittenKitten.com!
Is lube even necessary?
Lube makes penetration better for everyone. It allows you to try more positions, protect your most sensitive tissues, reduces friction and increases comfort. Keep in mind that the anus doesn’t have any form of natural lubrication, so lubricant is key to having a comfortable and SAFE anal experience. As for vaginal sex, that extra glide can actually make it easier to orgasm!
Is coconut oil an effective lubricant?
Coconut Oil makes a decent lubricant because it is cheap and accessible, however, because it is oil-based it is not compatible with latex condoms and it can be a struggle to clean up. Additionally, it is more dense than say, aloe, and can clog pores as well as disrupt the delicate pH balance of vaginas.
Can saliva be used as a lubricant?
Let’s be real, the most commonly used lubricant is spit. Aside from being readily available and free, there are not a lot of good reasons to keep using saliva during sex. For one, it dries up incredibly fast, can cause yeast infections in vaginas, may pass sexually transmitted infections, and last but not least, could be a turn off.
Vaginas self-lubricate, so why use lube?
Porn definitely exaggerates the idea that arousal can be measured by “wetness”. While we are strong advocates for foreplay, we also recognize that there are times when “natural lubrication” isn’t always enough. For instance, many factors can cause dryness: such as diet, medication, exercise, and hormonal changes (like during or after menstruation!) Knowing that a good lubricant will prevent painful sex is a great reason to start experimenting to see how lovemaking can be made both longer and more pleasurable for both partners. Don’t let any stigma keep you back from experiencing pleasurable sex!
How about options for people who are trying to be eco-friendly?
There are a variety of ways to lead an eco-friendly sex life. Depending on your needs there are organic, fair-trade, vegan, non-toxic, and sustainable alternatives for all intimate products. This includes toys, condoms, lubricants, aphrodisiacs, hygiene, apparel, and more. A great place to start is with responsible retailers!
➡️ For a list of Organic Canadian Lubes, click here!