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The Low Down on Lubricants
The Low Down on Lubricants

The Low Down on Lubricants


What's the best lube for you? It depends! Check out some of the basic facts about water-based, silicone-based, hybrid lubricants, and even oils. Plus, what they are compatible (and not compatible) with. Then you can decide, "What is the best lubricant for me?"





Water-based Lubricant
- Compatible with all toys
- Compatible with all condoms
- Easily cleaned with soap and water, easily rinsed away with water


Water-based lubricants are compatible with toys and condoms. This lubricant can be cleanly rinsed away without lasting residue, and will not damage condoms or toys, (or stain fabrics) in most cases.

Water-based lubricants come in a variety of textures, viscosity, and slipperiness. Ingredients and quality can very widely. There are flavors, warming, cooling, and just plain slippery varieties (with no added colors or flavors) available. Some water-based lubricants even feel like, and last almost as long as silicone.

In general, we encourage people to choose water-based lubricants with the fewest, and most natural ingredients possible.


Silicone-based Lubricant
- MAY NOT be compatible with some silicone toys or dental dams
- Compatible with glass, metal, some 100% silicone toys
- Compatible with all condoms
- Must be cleaned up with soap and water, does not rinse easily away


Silicone lubricants have almost unending glide, do not evaporate, and are great for use in the water. They are condom safe, but could stain fabrics or damage the surface of some silicone toys.

Quality of both silicone lubricants and silicone toys can vary, so there is a chance that they could interact poorly. When used together, a silicone lubricant could dull or mar the surface of a silicone toy, or cause it to become gummy and gooey. This can create an unclean environment and allow bacteria to grow.

When choosing a silicone lubricant, look for one with the fewest number of ingredients and no fillers. High quality silicone lubricant may be a good choice for those with sensitivities or allergies to ingredients in natural lubricants.


Hybrid Lubricant
- Compatible with all condoms
- MAY NOT be compatible with some silicone toys or dental dams
- Compatible with glass, metal, some 100% silicone toys
- Must be cleaned up with soap and water, does not rinse easily away


Hybrid lubricants are a mix of silicone and water-based lubricants. They last longer than a pure water-based lubricant because they do not evaporate in the same way, and are generally slightly thicker. They may have a lighter texture than a pure silicone-based lubricant alone.

Hybrids share the best qualities of water and silicone-bases lubricants, but also some of the cautions.

Quality of both hybrid lubricants and silicone toys can vary, so there is a chance that they could interact poorly. When used together, a hybrid lubricant could dull or mar the surface of a silicone toy, or cause it to become gummy and gooey. This can create an unclean environment and allow bacteria to grow.


Oil-based Lubricant
- NOT compatible with porous or semi-porous toys (jelly)
- NOT compatible with latex or polyisoprene condoms
- Compatible with glass, metal, or 100% silicone toys
- Must be cleaned up with soap and water, does not rinse easily away


You can't see it happen, but an oil based lubricant will weaken a latex condom, causing microscopic tears in the surface, almost immediately.

These tears may not be visible to the naked eye, but can be just big enough to allow sperm (and it only takes one!), viruses, or bacteria to slip though the barrier. No oil with latex, ever!

Oil-based lubricants can damage the surface of some toys, and make them difficult to clean completely; especially buttons, cords, controllers. This can create an unclean environment and allow bacteria to grow.

There is some evidence that toys made of plastic blends may breakdown or release phthalates more quickly in the presence of oils.

Oils are for external use, and may create a bacteria-friendly environment if used internally. One possible exception is high quality, pure virgin coconut oil (with no additives).

Coconut oil has some antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, largely due to the presence of Monolaurin, a chemical compound naturally found in coconut oil (and breast milk!).

While coconut oil is generally body-safe, it is NOT condom safe. There is also a small allergy potential with coconut oil, because it is a natural plant substance.

Copyright ScarletGirl.com


This article was added to our catalog on Wednesday 29 January, 2014.

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