You’re Using Lube Wrong

You’re Using Lube Wrong

Lube is one of those amazing sex hacks you’re probably not using enough. Want better orgasms? Use lube. Want less pain and friction? Use lube. Want better sex all around? Use lube.

“Lube should be an essential component of your sex life,” says Gigi Engle, a certified sex educator and the resident intimacy expert at 3Fun. “It provides a barrier against friction from a penis, hand, or sex toy. It helps you experience less pain during penetration and increased sensitivity. Lube makes everything better. It can even make your orgasms better and stronger. It enhances everything.”

But for something so right, there’s also an awful lot we get wrong about lube. Here, Engle tackles some of the most common misunderstandings and myths about lube.

Myth #1: All lubes are the same

Not all lubes are created equal, which is why it’s important to check the box before you purchase depending on what you’re looking for. You might also want to try out different types to determine what works best for you.


“Water-based lube is kind of the jack-of-all-trades of personal lubricant,” Engle says. “It goes with every kind of sexual act and you never really have to think about it. When in doubt, always choose a water-based option.” Water-based lubricants also work best with condoms and sex toys.

Downsides: “It absorbs quite quickly (and can also become a bit tacky) and needs to be reapplied during sexual play,” she says. “This won’t be the case for all brands, but definitely most of them, even high quality ones.”

What she recommends: Sustain Natural, Lovehoney, Unbound Jelly, Good Clean Love


“Silicone lube is great for staying power,” Engle says. “You barely ever have to reapply. It’s ideal for anal play. It is super slide-y, making it perfect for easy access.”

Downsides: “Silicone toys are not compatible with silicone lube,” she points out. “This can be tricky when you’re trying to use a vibrator during sex (or solo-play), an anal plug, or any other toy made of silicone.”

What she recommends: Sliquid, System Joe


“Hybrid lube is a blend of silicone and water-based lube,” Engle says. “You get all the benefits of water-based versatility and silicone-based slipperiness. It’s kind of a little miracle in a bottle.”

Downsides: “Sometimes a hybrid lube can still damage silicone toys, but it’s less likely,” she says. “Check the labels to be sure. The recommendations below won’t damage your toys.”

What she recommends: Babelube Silk, Sliquid Naturals


Flavoured lubes, Engle says, should only be used for oral sex. “Flavored lube can irritate the vulva,” she says. “They are often full of glycerine, which feeds the yeast in your vagina. Hello, yeast infection! Don’t go there. Stick with some flavourless, odourless, and organic.”


For those who want something more organic or homemade, Engle recommends a plant-based option. “If you want to go all-natural, a plant-based lube is your go-to,” she says. “[Plant] oil-based lubes stay the F on there. Aloe vera, while not oil-based, is a favourite of Sex Coaching legend Betty Dodson. She even uses it in all of her hands-on workshops. Plus, you can buy all plant-based options at your local health food store.”

Want to get more creative at home? Coconut oil does make a good lube, “it’s just not compatible with latex condoms and can damage toys so I wouldn’t recommend it if you’re using those items,” Engle says.

Myth #2: Lube is only for older people and those who are not as “experienced”

A number of people might still assume lube is only for a dry vagina, but Engle asserts lube is for everyone. “It makes sex better, no matter your age,” she says. “It’s true that when you get older you stop producing as much natural lubricant, but a lot of people produce less no matter their age.”

Engle adds that no matter what your age is, “friction does not make vulvas or anuses happy. It doesn’t mean there is something wrong with you. It doesn’t mean you are broken. No matter how wet your vagina gets naturally, there’s always room for lube.”

Myth #3: Lube is only for penis/vagina sex

Lube is for all kinds of sex, Engle says, because lube is good for all types of penetration. “It’s especially important during anal, as the anus doesn’t naturally lubricate the way a vagina does,” she says. “If you don’t use lube during anal, you will definitely be in pain and could cause tearing. Lube should also be used during hand sex, as your hand is dry and this will cause friction.” Additionally, she suggests lube to be used with toys as it “creates a barrier and heightened sensation.”

Myth #4: A lubricated condom is good enough

Many condoms come already lubricated, and while Engle says the lube on a condom is helpful, it’s definitely not enough. “It tends to be only lightly lubricated to keep the condom from getting dry, but it doesn’t give you enough lube to keep sex pleasurable and comfortable,” she says. “Always put lube on the penis first, then apply the condom, then put a bit more lube on.”

Myth #5: There is such a thing as too much lube

“Here is the tea: When it comes to sex, the wetter the better,” Engle says. “That’s why I, as a certified sex educator, recommend every single person with a vulva to have a high quality lubricant on their nightside table at all times.” According to Engle, you don’t need to use lube if you feel like you don’t need it since it’s everyone’s personal preference. “But no, being ‘too wet’ is a myth born out of shame and misogyny,” she says. I’d say the only really common mistake is not using enough of it. Be as generous as possible. When you don’t use enough, it doesn’t work as well. If it gets tacky or starts to feel dry, don’t be shy about getting some more.”

The Cheapest NBN 50 Plans

Here are the cheapest plans available for Australia’s most popular NBN speed tier.

At Lifehacker, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. We have affiliate and advertising partnerships, which means we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. BTW – prices are accurate and items in stock at the time of posting.


Leave a Reply