Although widely used to relieve vaginal dryness, friction, or pain during sex, personal lubricant is more than a remedy.

Even if you don’t suffer from any of the above, personal lube can vastly improve your pleasure with sex toys, masturbation, or penetrative sex, as well as improve your orgasms.

Read on, to learn how to use a personal lubricant, which type is the best, and how it can enhance your sexual pleasure at any age. 

Why Use Personal Lube?

Personal lubricant, also known as lube, is a smooth and slippery liquid that is applied to the genitals or sex toys to increase pleasure, improve orgasms, and reduce friction during sex or masturbation. It is also used with vaginal dilators, kegel weights, and pelvic wands to treat various pelvic health conditions such as endometriosis, menopause, weak pelvic floor muscles, vaginismus, pelvic pain, or dyspareunia. 

That said, lubricant is not merely a solution to a lack of natural lubrication or a vaginal condition, many women who experience sexual arousal in a perfectly normal way use lube to deepen their sexual satisfaction. 

Keep reading for tips on how to use personal lubricants. 

Choosing the Right Personal Lubricant

The first step when it comes to using a personal lubricant is to choose the right type for you. The most popular and frequently used personal lubricants are water-based, silicone-based, and oil-based, however, the choice of which you use won’t necessarily come down to the one you prefer but rather how you intend to use it. 

Oil-Based Lubricant

For example, oil-based lubricant will last the longest of the three and is great for sex in water-based environments but can be difficult to clean from your bedsheets or lingerie. It also damages latex, polyurethane, and polyisoprene condoms, leaving both partners susceptible to sexually transmitted diseases and females at risk of unwanted pregnancies. 

Silicone-Based Lubricant

Silicone-based lubricants are the thicker of the three and absorb very slowly into the skin making them an ideal choice for anal sex. However, they will damage sex toys, dilators, Kegel weights, and pelvic wands made from silicone, which is considered the most medically safe material to be inserted into the vagina and what most sex toys are currently made with. If using any of the above, water-based lube is the best choice.  

Water-Based Lubricant

Water-based lubricant is considered the most universal lube because it is safe to use with any type of condom, will not degrade silicone sex toys, and feels as real as a female’s natural lubrication during arousal. Water-based lubes also include the most natural ingredients of the three types of lubricants and are typically more cost-effective than the other two. 

Lubricants That Should Be Avoided

Many believe that various liquids found around the house can be used as a lubricant during sex, however, caution is advised when contemplating using anything that is not specifically designed to go inside your vagina as a lubricant. 

Many household liquids, oils, and lotions contain ingredients that, if used as a personal lubricant, could either irritate the sensitive vaginal skin or alter the pH levels and result in a vaginal infection such as a yeast infection or bacterial vaginosis. Some of these include baby oil, coconut oil, butter, petroleum jelly, body lotions, and face moisturizers. 

Using saliva or spit as a lubricant should also be avoided to prevent any harmful bacteria in the mouth from spreading to the vagina.  

How to Apply Personal Lubricant

The method of applying personal lubricant will depend on which activity you are using the lube for but essentially there is no need to fear using too much. As a rule, consider the tip “the wetter the better” when it comes to applying lube, and you will begin to understand exactly how much lubricant you need for particular situations the more you use it.  

We’ve outlined some tips below.

Warm Your Lubricant First

Lubricant is typically kept at room temperature in a bedside drawer or bathroom cabinet, so it can be cold when applied to the body. To avoid this, rub the lube between your hands or fingertips to warm it up before applying. 

How to Apply Lubricant for Partnered Sex

When it comes to partnered sex, you can gently rub lubricant onto your vagina yourself or it can be used as a part of foreplay by applying it to one another’s genitals to help reduce friction during intercourse.

There is no limit to how much lubricant you should or can use when having sex with a partner, but enough to feel wet down there is a good place to start, and you can always apply more if needed. 

Although many women add extra lube to their natural lubrication to improve their pleasure during sex, it is especially helpful for women experiencing low libido or vaginal dryness due to breastfeeding, hormonal changes, or menopause. 

Applying Lubricant to Condoms

When using condoms during partnered sex, ensure you use a water-based or silicone-based lubricant to avoid any damage or tearing of the condom. When it comes to application, you can smear the lubricant on the outside of the condom, in the vagina, or anus.

Applying lubricant to the penis will only cause the condom to slip off, however, some sex experts recommend adding one drop of lubricant inside the tip of the condom to increase men’s sexual pleasure too. 

Using Lube for Masturbation

While most people associate lubrication with partnered sex, it is just as beneficial for increasing arousal during solo sex or masturbation. Applying one to three drops on the fingers and rubbing it gently in and around the vagina can significantly increase the pleasure of masturbation for women.  

Extra Lubricant for Anal Sex

The anus does not produce natural lubricant like the vagina, therefore it is always a good idea to use plenty of lubricant for anal sex to allow the skin to soften and prevent any tearing of the sensitive anal passage. As well as rubbing lubricant in and around the anus for more comfortable penetration, it is also advised to smear it on the condom, body part, or sex toy that will be used. 

Applying Lubricant to Dilators, Kegel Weights, or Sex Toys

When using pelvic health tools or sex toys, pelvic health experts recommend placing a teaspoon of lubricant in and around the vagina, and a teaspoon on the tip of your tool or toy for more comfortable insertion.

If your pelvic health tools or sex toys are made from silicone, ensure you use a water-based lubricant to protect the outer layer and prevent bacteria from thriving on a damaged surface.  

Using Lubricant for Oral Sex

The most important factor when it comes to using lubricant for oral sex is to check the ingredients and ensure it is safe to ingest. Water-based lubricants are generally safe for oral sex, but ingesting oil-based lubes, for instance, can lead to diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting.

Before applying one or two drops of lubricant to the vagina or penis for oral sex, you might want to check that the taste is satisfactory too. 

The Many Reasons to Use Personal Lubricant

  • Below are some of the best reasons to use a personal lubricant.  
  • To increase sexual arousal during foreplay
  • For easier insertion of sex toys
  • To enhance sensations when using condoms
  • For a sensual massage with, or without, a happy ending
  • For anal exploration
  • To experience stronger orgasms
  • When having sex in the bath, shower, or other water-based environments
  • To insert vaginal dilators, Kegel weight, or pelvic wands with more ease


Despite what many women believe, personal lubricants are not just for reducing friction or relieving vaginal atrophy during sex. These smooth and slippery liquids are enhancers for all types of sexual experiences no matter your age, gender, or sexual preferences. Personal lubricants are also helpful when it comes to using kegel weights, vaginal dilators, or pelvic wands for treating female health conditions.    


The Journal of Sexual Medicine - Association of Lubricant Use with Women's Sexual Pleasure, Sexual Satisfaction, and Genital Symptoms -

The American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists – Vaginal Dryness? Here’s What You Need to Know -

Mayo Clinic – Dysapeurnia -

My Health Alberta – Female Sexuality & Cancer: Vaginal Dilators

The American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists - Barrier Methods of Birth Control – FAQs -

The National Library of Medicine - Intravaginal practices and risk of bacterial vaginosis and candidiasis infection among a cohort of women in the United States -

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