Choosing a lubricant can be complicated. You have so many options! Do you want a water-based or silicone lubricant? If you want a flavored lubricant, which will you like best? Now, you can even get a lubricant with CBD. Which is the best option for you?

Your Consultant is a great resource to find the perfect lubricant. Remember: one size does not necessarily fit all. It depends on your personal needs. Read on to learn more and ask about the different types to find the right ones for you.

You will likely need more than one product but keep in mind adding lubricants to your pleasure collection! We recommend sexual exploration with small bottle sizes or single bottles before taking the plunge and investing in a larger supply. Trying out different types enhances your sexual exploration and sensual playfulness.

Oils and Oil-based Lubricants

Most sexual medicine experts advise women to avoid this type of lubricant. It can alter the vagina’s natural acid-base (pH) balance. If you have frequent yeast infections, this may not be the lubricant for you.

This type of lubricant may be associated with increased risk of vaginal infections and bacterial overgrowth. If you are prone to vaginal infections, you may consider avoiding this type of product. Also, keep in mind that oil-based lubricants can compromise the strength, efficacy, and integrity of latex condoms.

Still, many women enjoy these types of lubricants without significant medical issues.

Water-Based Lubricant

Water-based lubricants are the most common type used for sexual activity. They often contain deionized water and may have some smaller concentrations of glycerin or propylene glycol.

Here’s why these are so popular. Water-based products typically do not stain fabric, sheets, or clothing and are generally safe to use with silicone/latex sex toys or accessories. Water-based products rarely cause vaginal or penile irritation, though individual sensitivities vary. These types of lubricants are considered non-greasy and have a natural-feeling glide.

One water-based lubricant you may be curious about is a CBD infused lubricant. It has all the benefits of a water-based products, but it also reduces discomfort with vaginal dryness.

One shortcoming is that you’ll have to reapply more often since they dry out quickly with extended activity. Keep the bottle handy when planning a long sexual adventure.

Some may find these products sticky or tacky when they dry, and they may even leave residue. Fortunately, this can easily be washed off with mild soap and water. A versatile water-based lubricant is essential for everyone to have on hand. It is perfect for self-play or couple’s intimacy.

Silicone-Based Lubricants

Silicone-based lubricants are long-lasting, slick, and silky. They remain slippery and will not soak into the skin unlike water-based lubricants, so you won’t need to reapply if you’re have a sex marathon. Plus, a little goes a long way.

Because these lubricants have staying power and remain sleek and slippery, they’re ideal for anal sex or play. Using this type of product with anal activities provides ample lubrication to prevent any possibility of micro tears or abrasions.

Want to add another element into your sex life with water play? A silicone lubricant is a must as it’s water-resistant. Sex in the shower, hot tub, swimming pool, or the ocean are all ideal places to use a silicone lubricant and enhance your pleasure.

A silicone lubricant is also ideal as you age and can help during menopause or andropause. Consider this scenario. An older man on an erection-prolonging medication wants to please his partner, a menopausal woman experiencing vaginal dryness. Combine these factors with prolonged time to reach arousal or climax and you’ll find a silicone lubricant is the perfect solution. The staying power of this type of lubricant would make all the difference.

Additionally, silicone lubricants have no taste, smell, stickiness, or tackiness. Some sexual experts say it serves a dual purpose, as a personal massage lotion. The skin is the largest sexual organ, and a sensual massage is never a bad idea. Take your time and read product labels, since many low-grade silicone or plastic toys will not be compatible with a silicone lubricant!

Hybrid Lubricants

Plain and simple, these lubricants are a combination of excellent qualities of both water and silicone lubricants. A hybrid lubricant is often the preferred lubricant of choice for many couples. They last long and have the glide of most water-based lubricants.

Flavored & Warming Lubricants

Many choose lubricants that act as sexual enhancers by adding warming or flavored effects. For some, these are exceptionally pleasurable while others who may have sensitive or dry, irritated skin may report some mild irritation.  Know your body and choose your lubricant accordingly.

If you are considering these products, do a patch test on a small area. Wash the area completely if you experience any side effect such as burning, itching, or discomfort.

Pantry Solutions

Extra virgin, coconut, vegetable, avocado, or peanut oils, may not irritate the vagina and typically do not affect latex condoms or toys. However, most health care professionals frown upon using food products or pantry solutions since scientific data indicates a possible link to increased vaginal infections that maybe be persistent and difficult to treat. That being said, many have no issues with these lubes and report using coconut oil as a wonderful sexual lubricant and moisturizer.

Final Note

One lubricant doesn’t meet all sexual needs. It’s perfectly reasonable to have several in your collection and you may even use more than one type during sex.

Don’t be embarrassed to schedule an appointment with your gynecologist, primary care clinician, or sexual medicine specialist. Talk to your Consultant. Ask questions! With the ability to make a virtual telehealth appointment, it’s even easier to get some advice and find the right lubricants for you.

Michael Krychman
Michael L. Krychman, MDCM, is the Executive Director of the Southern California Center for Sexual Health and Survivorship Medicine located in Newport Beach California. He is the former Co Director of The Sexual Medicine and Rehabilitation Program at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer. He also is a clinical sexologist and has completed his Masters in Public Health and Human Sexuality. Dr Krychman has a degree in Erotology, Sexual Education and Forensic Sexology. Dr Krychman is also an AASECT certified sexual counselor. He is an Associate Clinical Professor at the University of California Irvine, Division of Gynecological Oncology and the Medical Director of Ann’s Clinic, a high-risk program for Breast and Ovarian Cancer Survivors.

His special interests include menopausal health, hormone therapy, sexual pain disorders, and loss of libido, chronic medical illness and medical devices and their impact on female sexual function. He is a well-known speaker who is featured locally, nationally and internationally. He has published many articles in peer-reviewed journals and has been featured in many scientific journals and lay magazines. Dr Krychman is an active reviewer for the Journal of Sexual Medicine. He was the Scientific Chairman for the 2010 International Society for the Study of Women’s Sexual Health annual educational meeting. He is an active member in good standing in North American Menopause (NAMS), International Society sexual Medicine (ISSM), European Society Sexual Medicine (ESSM), International Society Study of Women’s Sexual Health (ISSWSH), American Society of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) and American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). He was a member of the Standard Committee for ISSM and has been a guest professor at the ESSM Sexual Medicine Summer School in Oxford, England. He was the creator of the recent WISH Initiative (Women’ Initiative on Sexual Health: and the 2013 recipient of the WISH Outstanding Achievement award given by the ISSWSH. He is also on the professional advisory board for the Patty Brisben Foundation.

Dr. Krychman’s has published 7 books including his most recent one: The Sexual Spark, 20 Essential Exercises to Reignite the Passion, 100 Questions & Answers for Women Living with Cancer: A Practical Guide to Female Cancer Survivorship has been recently published, 100 Questions and Answers about Women’s Sexual Wellness and Vitality and Breast cancer Sexuality, Sensuality and Intimacy. He has been featured on the Today show and in the New York Times and US News and World Report World Report, The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Health Magazine and many others. He was named one of Orange County Top Doctors for 2015 and 2016 in Menopause, Sexual Dysfunction and Vulvar Pain. In 2019 and again in 2020, he has been named an Orange County Physician of Excellence by Orange Coast Magazine in Survivorship, Sexual Medicine and Menopause.