Think you know all there is to know about personal lubricants? Think again...
What's lube got to do with it? In this article, everything. Whether you're looking to spice up your relationship or just want to enjoy sex more, a personal lubricant may be exactly what the doctor doesn't have to order. You can pick it up at any drugstore, no prescription necessary! But before you visit that special aisle, get informed with these six essential lube facts.
1) There are four basic types of lube. Most lubricants, including most Astroglide products, are water-based and safe to use with condoms. They're easy to clean up and are reabsorbed during prolonged sexual activity, so you may need to reapply them. Oil-based lubes provide good lubrication, but can tear latex condoms. They're best used by couples who've consensually decided not to use condoms. Silicone-based lubes contain no water and aren't reabsorbed, so they're extra moisturizing. If you're looking to have sex in the shower, go with silicone. All-natural lubes have fewer additives and generally use organic ingredients. They may be ideal for people with allergies and sensitive skin.
2) Before lube, people used... olive oil?! Yep. But that wasn't the only food item people used to bring to the bedroom—think Crisco, butter, and even peanut oil! Not only could these food lubes break down condoms, they could also lead to infections. (And can you imagine having an allergic reaction to peanuts in your private parts?) Astroglide was one of the first personal liquid lubricants. Dan Wray, a subcontractor for NASA in the 1970s, accidentally invented it when he was trying to create a lubricant to help space shuttles re-enter the atmosphere. One small misstep for space, one giant leap for couples. Take the Astroglide Pop Quiz to test your lube knowledge!
3) Different strokes for different folks. Just as the same perfume can smell different from one person to another, people have different experiences with the same lube. Your best friend's favorite lube may not be right for you. (Also: Don't share the same bottle of lube with your BFF. Awkward.) Your new partner might not like what you used with your ex. And that's OK. Be safe, have fun, and explore your lubrication options!
4) Research shows: lube makes for better sex! Researchers have confirmed what many lubricant users already know: using lube makes for a better bedroom experience—even if you don't necessarily "need" it. A 2009 Indiana University study of 2,400+ women revealed 65 percent enjoyed their sexual experience more when lube was involved, and that one-third of women reported using lube in the bedroom not for any particular reason like dryness or discomfort but because it was "fun."
5) Every lube is a "his and hers" lube. In recent years, some lubricants "for him" or "for her" have hit the market. One product might produce a warming sensation; another might leave a cool tingle. But the truth about lube is that it's a shared experience. Both partners can usually feel the difference, no matter who applies it where. Male and female genitalia don't biologically require different types of lubricant.
6) Lube isn't just for sex. There are plenty of intercourse-free ways to use lube. Some couples break out the flavored lube during oral sex. Others use it to enhance sex toy play and masturbation. (Just make sure not to pair silicone toys with silicone-based lube, as it can make your sexytime gadgets slowly disintegrate.) Silicone-based lubes can even work as massage oils. On a less erotic note: Women can also use a little lube to help insert tampons. It's not as fun as a vibrator, but it's good to know.
Brought to you in partnership with Astroglide.