Harmony's Guide to Lube
Water-based or silicone, hot or cold, numbing or (spine)tingling, strawberry, banana, cherry, even hazelnut espresso gelato flavour…
Yes, we’re talking all things lube. You can use lube for all kinds of sexual activity and sexual pleasure, and Harmony’s extensive range of luscious lubricants can turn the human body into a slick, wetter playground for the senses.
It’s a common misconception that lubricant is only needed by people going through menopause. An incredible addition to the body’s personal lubrication, bottled lube is a fantastic addition to anyone’s sex toy collection. But with so much choice, how do you know which type to go for? More importantly, how do you know which ones to avoid?
In this guide, we go all in on this particularly slippery subject so you can choose the best lube for your sexual preferences. Let the slip n slide commence.
What’s the difference between lubes?
There are three main types of lubricant to heighten sensations in the sack and make your sex play friction-free, but not all of them behave the same way. You can’t use some of them with certain toys, and some are better than others for different types of sex. Confused? You don’t have to be. Below we’ve broken it down for you, taking an in-depth look at the three main different types of lube – Water-based, Silicone-based and Oil-based.
Why invest in a premium lube?
In a recent episode of 'The Happy Vagina Podcast', Sexuality Educator Amber Mallery shares a fascinating insight into why your lube choice is worth being selective about.
She refers to a scientific term - osmolality - which is, if you think back to GCSE science class, related to 'osmosis' AKA the movement of molecules between cells. When you apply a lube, it pulls existing moisture from your skin to the surface giving you that 'instantly moisturised' feel but it should also return this moisture and replenish your skin.
Mallery warns that lubes with high osmolality only offer a superficial and very short-lived super wet feeling because they're not replacing the moisture that's been drawn out from your skin. Subsequently, that initial sticky wet feeling is often followed by dryness and friction - the complete opposite of what you want from your lube.
As a general rule, cheaper drugstore or supermarket lubricants have higher osmolality rates whereas premium lubes tend to have more natural-based formulas, with fewer chemical ingredients and lower osmolality. In short, they are gentler on your skin, have actual moisturising properties and offer better-lubricated sex.
So get choosy about your lube! Avoid ingredients like propylene glycol and glycerol (drivers of high osmolality) and consider spending a little more on a premium lube.
Water-based lubricant is the most popular type of lubricant at Harmony, and with good reason. The workhorse of sexual pleasure, some of our best lubricants are water-based, coming in a wide range of consistencies, flavours and sensations.
What can you use it for? You name it, water-based lube can get involved, and the good news is it’s safe for your entire collection of sex toys. Masturbation? Use a dollop of lube to easily insert fingers and vibrators or glide your palm smoothly along the length of your penis for knee-trembling pleasure. Foreplay? Pump lube from the bottle and turn a trembling vulva into a slippery pleasure playground.
Oral sex? The range of different flavoured lubes available is mind-boggling. Our favourites? Go all in with Butterscotch, Bubble-gum, Raspberry, Watermelon, Mango Passion, Cherry, Strawberry, Mint Chocolate, Salted Caramel, Tiramisu or even Crème Brulee! (Remember with flavoured lube to check the bottle as some include Glycerin and preservatives as active ingredients). Want a bit of fizz in the bedroom? Warming and cooling lubes heat up or cool down after a few seconds on the skin. Spanking or slapping on heating lubes, or blowing gently on cooling lubes, can drive you or your partner(s) wild with desire.
Vaginal sex? For those experiencing vaginal dryness, potentially due to changes in estrogen levels caused by menopause, lube will be your new best friend and can revive a sex life that’s on its knees (and not in a good way). But don’t think lube is reserved for those going through menopause only. Many people like a little extra something to supplement their natural lubrication, and once you know how good it can feel, you’ll be reaching for that lube bottle time and time again. Trust us on this one.
So first up, what’s the actual difference between water-based lubricant and its silicone counterpart? Probably the most important thing you need to know when it comes to silicone lube is that you must never, ever use it on your silicone-coated sex toys. We’ll repeat that – never, ever use it on your silicone-coated sex toys. Why? Well, there’s a scientific term that for once doesn’t overcomplicate the message: “like dissolves like”. The silicone in the lubricant can fuse with the silicone in your toy and causes it to degrade over time, leaving you ... high and dry with one less toy in your collection!
Why is this an issue? Well, the great thing about silicone sex toys is that they have a non-permeable outer layer that keeps all manner of sticky liquids from penetrating the toy. It means you can safely use them for bedroom activities like anal sex and you won’t carry bacteria from one session to the next (as long as you clean them). It keeps the toy, you, and your sexual partner(s) safe, and also means, looked after properly, your toys will last you years.
So that’s what you can’t use it on. Now for the fun bit. You can use it on any non-silicone sex toy, so if you’ve got materials like glass, hard plastic, metal, steel, marble and so on, silicone-based lubricant really comes into its element. Unlike water-based lubes, (which often dry out and require reapplication) silicone-based lubes can last for as long as you do. Plus for those of us with easily irritated or sensitive skin, silicone lube is also handily hypoallergenic. And the best bit? It feels divine on the skin. It has a deliciously silky feel that some people prefer over the sometimes sticky, tacky nature of some water-based lubes.
If you enjoy anal play, long-lasting silicone lubes are particularly fantastic, and one application is usually all you’ll need to take you and your partner(s) to booty heaven. Silicone lubes are also good at protecting the delicate interior walls of the anal cavity, which, unlike the vagina, don’t produce their own natural lubrication.
If you indulge in a hot and steamy shower session from time to time, silicone-based lube’s waterproof nature means it won’t get washed away. Having said that, please make sure you’re careful in the tub as it obviously does make things very slippery... and not always in a sexy way.
There are all kinds of oil-based lube, from the ones we sell here at Harmony, to the ones you probably already have lying around the house. Raid the kitchen cupboards for coconut oil or olive oil, the bathroom cabinets for that barely touched bottle of baby oil, or break out the massage oil.
Is oil-based lubricant the same thing as silicone-based? Not quite. While both are fantastic to use on the skin, giving silky soft coverage that can feel wonderful when you’re gliding between the sheets together, oil-based lube should not be used internally in the vagina or anus.
You’ll also need to give oil-based lubes a (very) wide berth if you’re using latex condoms, as the oil degrades the latex material making them porous and completely negating any birth control properties they have.
No limit with lube
Sexual lubricants are by design made to make your sex life smoother, more sensual and ultimately, more fun. Whether it’s your first time using lube or you’re a seasoned pro, the Harmony Lube range is at your disposal, a huge selection for you to dip your fingers, fist, penis or vibrator into, and the only limit is your imagination.