Choosing the best lubricant for the job

Choosing a lubricant that suits your body and the task at hand will make whatever you do with your vagina – sex, tampons, medications – easier.

If you are lost, water-based usually doesn’t pose any problems, however, there may be a better tool for the job that provides superior results.


Oil clings and sticks around for ages even after washing with soap, and oil-based products are not safe to use with condoms.

Lube for condoms – there’s more to it than you think

When condoms are manufactured, some lube is applied to the top and the base ring, making the rest of it unlubed when you unwrap it.

This tiny bit of lube can be enough if she is wet and the sex is short, but as a general rule if you are using condoms, your life is far better with a good lube properly applied to key areas. It is also far safer – a properly lubed condom is far less likely to break.

Hot tip

A great addition to lube and condoms is to put a drop inside the top of the condom before putting it on. This makes the end slide around a little better and provides a better sensation for both partners.

Lube for sex toys – choose your materials

Non-silicone toys

Water or silicone-based works well on everything: marble, wood, metal, glass, plastic, aluminium, granite, ceramic.

Silicone toys

Never use silicone lube on silicone toys. There is a fun trick where silicone, as a substances, wants to be with itself so completely it will start to melt your silicone sex toys into the lube, and vice versa. Interesting science, but no good for your body or your toys.

This applies to leaving silicone sex toys touching each other in your sex-toy box – they will meld into each other eventually, so keep your silicone toys separate.

Science Lesson – silicon or silicone?

Silicon is a naturally occurring chemical element, a metalloid, and the second most abundant element on earth after oxygen.

Silicone is a synthetic polymer made up of silicon, oxygen and other elements, usually carbon and hydrogen, found in a liquid or rubber-like plastic form. It has low toxicity and is heat resistant making it perfect for sex toys and lube.

Water-based lubricant overview

Pros: A water-based lube (like famous KY Jelly) works well with penis-in-vagina activities and won’t degrade any type of sex toy. Safe for use with condoms.

Cons: Water-based lube can need a top-up more often than you might like, and if you put too much on, it can get pretty sloppy – less can be more until it isn’t. It washes off easily with water.

A major consideration is to ensure it doesn’t contain poisonous chemicals – look for lubes that boast their non-toxic nature, glycerin-free and paraben-free.

Silicone-based lubricant overview

Pros: Safe with condoms, lasts longer and doesn’t rub in or dry up too fast. Usable in water (spas, swimming pools, shower, ocean). A little bit goes a long way.

Cons: Need soap to wash off. Can get all over everything and not wash out properly, like on sheets or surfaces.

Other types of lube

Flavoured lube

Flavoured lubes are water-based, since they are more or less intended to be used as ‘food’ and ingested. You can now buy organic flavoured lube, with the variety of flavours staggering.

Tingling lube

Some lubes spice things up with added sensations of warm, cold or tingling or a combination. Usually water-based.

Desensitising lube

This can be useful for guys who struggle with premature ejaculation, allowing the sensation to be dulled so sex can last longer. Pjur makes a good one. Watch out for irritants for vaginas.

Original price was: USD $9.95.Current price is: USD $0.00. ex GST/VAT/TAX
Original price was: USD $9.99.Current price is: USD $0.00. ex GST/VAT/TAX
Jessica Lloyd - Vulvovaginal Specialist Naturopathic Practitioner, BHSc(N)

Jessica is a degree-qualified naturopath (BHSc) specialising in vulvovaginal health and disease, based in Melbourne, Australia.

Jessica is the owner and lead naturopath of My Vagina, and is a member of the:

  • International Society for the Study of Vulvovaginal Disease (ISSVD)
  • International Society for the Study of Women's Sexual Health (ISSWSH)
  • National Vulvodynia Association (NVA) Australia
  • New Zealand Vulvovaginal Society (ANZVS)
  • Australian Traditional Medicine Society (ATMS)