Despite being one of the most recognizable and accessible sex accessories on the market, personal lubricant is still wildly underutilized. Whether that’s because its varying forms (and uses for each) seem complicated, “needing” lube carries an implicit stigma, or something else entirely, it seems there are numerous barriers to entry for sex-havers to get on the lube train.
When you smash the myths and misconceptions about using a personal lubricant, you’ll start to wonder why it didn’t become a nightstand mainstay long ago. And whether you’re looking to buy your first bottle or expand your collection, we wanted to make sure you could get some lube 101 before you buy. Below, Sadie Allison, PhD, sexologist, and co-founder of GoLove CBD lubricant, debunks the biggest myths and points of confusion about what a personal lubricant is and all the pleasure it stands to offer.
Below a sexologist busts the most common myths about what a personal lubricant is
1. Myth: Silicone lube will destroy all of your sex toys
“Silicone-based lubes are totally fine on toys made of hard materials like plastic, aluminum, ceramic, steel, granite, wood, and marble,” says Dr. Allison. “But silicone lubricant can interact negatively with sex toys made of soft materials, like silicone, or jelly—and deteriorate them.”
Well, we absolutely don’t want that. The solution? If your toy is made of one the aforementioned soft-materials, aim for a quality water-based lube.
Silicone-based lube option:
Shop Now: Shine Silicone, $25
Shop Now: Cake Toy Joy, $22
2. Myth: Coconut oil works perfectly as a natural lubricant
While you technically can break out a jar, you’d probably be wise to not use coconut oil as lube. While it can sometimes be used as a safe and effective lubricant, it’s not great for everyone, partially because it might mess with your vaginal pH levels.
“Any oil, including coconut oil, can weaken latex condoms and lead to increased risk of breakage,” says Dr. Allison. “Oil can also trap unwanted bacteria in a woman’s vagina, which can lead to infection. If you’re using latex condoms and/or are sensitive, the safest choice would be a water-based lubricant.”
Shop Now: Coconu Water-Based Lube, $25
3. Myth: People only use lube when something is ‘wrong’
Nope! Many people understand lubricant as a solve for vaginal dryness or another medical-focused issue, when it can, in reality, jazz up your sex life.
“While lubricant certainly can aid in many sexual issues, the truth is it’s a great addition to anyone’s sex life. Using lube does not necessarily mean anything is wrong. The bottom line is lube can enhance pleasure—and who wouldn’t want that?”
4. Myth: All CBD lubes are created equally
Mmm, not so much. Dr. Allison notes that before you go for that CBD sex product that promises to chill you out for karezza-style sex, you want to do a label check. First look for a batch number and an expiration date that doesn’t exceed two years; this means the product is in compliance with the most stringent regulations in the country. Next, look for a Certificate of Analysis (COA) for the batch noted on the packaging.
“Testing should validate the amount and type of cannabinoids in the product and verify the product is free of heavy metals and pesticides,” says Dr. Allison. “Review the label for body-safe ingredients, and stay away from formulas with potentially harmful ingredients, like alcohol, sugars or glycerin.”
Finally, she points out that most CBD lubes are oil-based. That’s not inherently a bad thing, but oil-based lube can be tricky for the same reasons you don’t want to slather up with coconut oil; it can be an issue for those prone to infections, and can degrade latex condoms.
Shop Now: GoLove CBD Lube: 200mg, $68
5. Myth: Lube is only effective for penis-in-vagina sex
Definitely not, friends!
“Lube is great for all couples with all combinations of genitals,” says Dr. Allison. “Plus, don’t forget lube is often a great addition for mutual masturbation, solo play, erotic massage and sex toy use, and so on.”
6. Myth: All water-based lubes get sticky and tacky, and don’t last very long
“Some water-based lubes with chemicals and low-quality ingredients may unfortunately live up to this reputation,” says Dr. Allison. That said, a number of lubes on the market use a high-quality blend that offers optimum slide, like the beloved Sliquid Sassy.
Shop now: Sliquid Sassy Lubricant, $12
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