I don’t have anal every day. It’s more like every other day. I’m only kidding, but when I do have anal, whether its spontaneous or planned, I want a lube that I can trust. After experiencing the awful burning stickiness of betrayal, I now believe that the best anal lube is water based. I reach for them again and again because they’re safe, simple and effective. I’m not opening a lube museum. I want a product that works for rimming, fingering and any variation of full-blown butt sex imaginable, and I suspect that you do too. Here’s why I won’t use anything else.
Compatibility with Condoms
Water-based lubes are always compatible with condoms. It doesn’t matter whether they’re made from latex, polyurethane, polyisoprene or lambskin. Condoms are essential for safe anal sex. From a molecular standpoint, the tissue in this part of the body is made up of a single layer of epithelial cells that are extremely sensitive. A water-based lube with the right ingredients makes anal more pleasurable, protects the skin and decreases friction so that the condom can do its job without breaking or tearing. Don’t get stuck reading the fine print on the condom package. With a water-based lube, you’ll be all set for your next trip to the Pacific Rim.
Water-Based Anal Lubes and Sex Toys
My other favorite thing about water-based lubes is that they never react with toys or butt plugs. If you like your favorite dildo as much as I like mine, you can’t trust any old drugstore tube lube no matter what the label says. Silicone- and oil-based lubricants will degrade toys, and you don’t want that to happen. With a water-based lube, you don’t have to worry about dildo damage, and you don’t have to limit the fun. For convenience, you might want to use a condom with toys for easy cleanup. Either way, remember to thoroughly wash toys with soap and water after each session.
Anal Lubricant Variety and Ingredients
Water-based formulas are widely available, affordable and extremely diverse. However, not all products are the same. The quality of ingredients varies widely between brands. The good news is that it’s easy to find effective non-irritating lubricants created especially for anal. More and more companies are creating outstanding products that are free from low-quality fillers. Look at the ingredients when shopping. Avoid preservatives and additives like glycerin. Check the pH and osmolality. Unlike vaginal lubricants, anal formulas should have a neutral pH. Finally, look for lubricants with a low osmolality as they’re more compatible with the body.
Choosing the Best Anal Lube
Today, there are lots of products that make anal play more comfortable and satisfying. You can choose from conventional water-based lubricants, natural products made with aloe vera and specialty formulas with numbing properties or fruity flavors. These products are easy to use, versatile and have a natural slickness. With a water-based lube, it’s hard to go wrong. That’s why experts consistently recommend these formulas over alternatives, including silicone. Whether you’re gay or straight, male or female, there’s a water-based lube that will work for you.
3 Technical Tips for Choosing the Best Anal Lube
If you’re in the market for a new lube, you’ve seen the flashy packaging, alluring logos and big-budget branding. Frankly, shopping for lube is confusing and overwhelming. You just want to get to the fun part, but there are too many options between you and the back door. Is one product really better than another? How do you know what separates a mediocre lube from an amazing one? Whether you’re new to anal or not, follow these tips for choosing the best anal lube.
1. Comparing Water-Based Lubes and Alternatives
Sexperts consistently recommend water-based lubricants over other options. They’re affordable and widely available. Plus, they’re safe for condoms and sex toys, and they have numerous advantages over silicone- and oil-based products.
Unlike silicone lubes, water-based formulas won’t clog your pores or harm your dildos, prostate massagers or butt plugs. Oil-based lubricants are not recommended because they damage condoms in seconds, and they leave a residue that contributes to infections.
Water-based lubricants have a pleasant natural feel that makes them an excellent all-purpose choice, but they have some limitations. Most have a thin consistency. They tend to dehydrate and become tacky, but they are easy to refresh.
2. Deciphering Ingredients in Personal Lubricants
Most water-based lubricants contain numerous compounds that increase their moisturizing properties, but it’s easy to avoid questionable additives. Nearly all personal lubricants only contain ingredients that are generally recognized as safe, but they can still cause uncomfortable reactions that might cut your anal adventures short. If you’ve experienced discomfort in the past, test new products on the inside of your arm or on your thigh, and avoid the following additives.
- Glycerin is a moisture enhancer and sugar alcohol that feeds unhealthy bacteria.
- Chlorhexidine gluconate and nonoxynol-9 are antimicrobial preservatives that cause skin irritation, bacterial imbalances and inflammation.
- Phenoxyethanol is a germicidal preservative that’s classified as an irritant by the European Union.
- Parabens are a group of synthetic preservatives that the European Commission on Endocrine Disruption has linked to health risks.
- Propylene glycol is a petroleum derivative. Repeated exposure aggravates skin sensitivity.
- Polyquaternium ammonia salts are used in personal lubricants, cosmetics and cleaning products. They release formaldehyde and irritate the skin.
3. Checking the pH and Osmolality
Good ingredients don’t necessarily make a great lube. A lube that works well should make butt play more comfortable by minimizing friction and creating a slick surface that cushions the skin. The best anal lubes match the natural pH and osmolality, or moisture balance, of the anal region. The World Health Organization recommends personal lubricants with osmolalities below 1,200 milliosmoles per kilogram. The pH is also important. Look for products that are specially formulated for anal. Vaginal lubricants have a pH of 4, which makes them too acidic. Anal lubes should have a neutral pH around 6 or 7.
If you’re searching for a product that lubricates but doesn’t irritate, try a quality water-based formula. Once you go water-based, you don’t go back, only backdoor. That’s what they say.