Look no further - we've got all the answers. Whether you're looking to use lube to aid vaginal dryness or are just keen to add it in as a fun addition to your sex life, figuring out how to use lube is the first step on your journey to wetter and better sex. Don't just take our word for it - a study from the Journal of Sexual Medicine concluded that sex is more pleasurable and satisfying for those who use lube.
Another paper, published last year, found that reasons for loving lube included better comfort, pleasure and foreplay for both parties, reduced pain, dryness and discomfort, and more fun sex, too, not to mention better ease of orgasm. Those that used lube also ran a reduced risk of tearing the vulva, vagina or anus. Phew, that's a good few reasons, hey?
Want in? Good news: we've asked our experts how exactly to use lube for the best effect.
How do you use lube?
"The good thing about lube is there isn’t really a right or wrong way to use it - it’s about figuring how much you need and what works best for you," says Hope Flynn, founder of Feed Me Female and content editor at sexual wellness and medical brand iPlaySafe.
In fact, there are so many different places you can put lube:
1. On your genitals
"You can apply a few squirts of lube to your genitals to increase wetness which helps reduce friction during sex," says Flynn. MeLube isn’t just for our bits, you can use it on sex toys to make them more slippery and you can even squirt a little onto your hand for an extra smooth hand job."
Megwyn White, certified clinical sexologist and director of education at Satisfyer adds: "When using lubricant it’s really best to think of it as an extension of your own body fluids so that it feels most natural, which is why warming it up in your hands before placing it on your genitals works well."
2. On your body
"Drizzling lube on the body in a seductive way, particularly on areas like the clitoris, glans penis, nipples, and anus, is especially arousing," says White.
3. On your hands
"If you are using lube during a hand play with a partner, you may want to apply it first to your hands. Apply a few drops to your fingertips and then use it to touch sensitive areas like the clitoris, labia, glans or frenulum. Slow strokes when applying lube can feel especially nice. Take your time finding sensitive areas and go slow and gradually increase the speed," says White.
4. On your sex toys
"You can use lube on sex toys to make them slip in more easily," says Flynn. White adds that it's best to apply lube directly on to your toys or onto your hand then rubbing it along for full coverage.
What to remember when using lube:
There are certain things you might want to remember before applying lube.
Firstly, stashing it somewhere close by is a good idea so that it doesn't kill the mood while you rummage. "Keep your lube in a place where you can grab it easily, like your nightstand," says White.
If you are using an oil- or silicone-based lube, you might want to put a towel down as these products can sometimes stain.
While water-based lube is fine, never use an oil-based lube with a latex condom, advises White. "They can undermine the strength of latex and polyurethane or polyisoprene condoms, increasing the risk of breakage," she explains.
Similarly, she advises never using silicone-based lubes with silicone toys. Not only can they damage a toy you've paid good money for, but can result in pores or tears in the material where bacteria can harvest.
Shop our expert's pick
pJur Analyse Me! lube
This silicone-based lube will last the wrong one and is made from natural ingredients, too.
Sliquid Organics Natural Gel lube
After a water-based option? This option is made from certified organic botanic extracts and promises to work effectively on all skin types (not to mention toy surfaces).
Into the Wylde Intimate lubricant
Vegan? So if this lube, with an intimately balanced pH, too - key for vaginal health.
When should you use lube?
If you couldn't already tell, there are no lube rules! But the most important part is that you use it when you're ready. Lube might be a taboo - the same 2022 study from earlier found that one reason participants didn't use lube was that they perceived it was “only for older people” or that they didn't need it.
While it's true that lube can be great for people who are dealing with post-menopausal vaginal dryness, for instance, using lube doesn't have anything to do with age. "Eight out of 10 women and people with vulvas have experienced pain during sex," explains Cecile Gasnault, brand director at Smile Makers. "It is absolutely OK and common to need or want lube. Many factors can disrupt our natural ability to lubricate, including stress, dehydration, hormonal changes (pregnancy, childbirth, menopause, chemo and more), contraceptive pills, medication and more. Lube is a great solution to give a helping hand to our body and not settle for unpleasant sensations during intimacy."
And remember - lube is often introduced because it's a safe way to experiment, not only for pain reduction.
As for when in the act of sex you can use lube, it can be introduced from the very beginning. "You can use lube application as a foreplay experience," she says, noting that drizzling it on the body is a good place to start with lube. Plus, if you are doing hand stuff before other forms of sex, adding in lube can really get you in the mood.
If you are doing anal sex, lube will only make the sex better. "Unlike the vagina, the anal canal is not self-lubricating," reminds Flynn (check out our roundup of the best lubes for anal, too).
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