What is lube, exactly?
A lubricant, in technical terms, is any material that helps to minimize friction.
Lubricants are commonly used to reduce friction created by moving parts in items like bicycle chains and machines. Personal lubricants come in a variety of formulations, but the concept is the same: they’re used to minimize pressure on your own moving “parts” to make sex and masturbation less irritating by making them smoother and more pleasant.
Doesn’t it seem to be straightforward? But why are there so many different kinds of lubes out there if that’s all there is to it? Different forms of lubricants, including condoms and vibrators, have various benefits.
Let’s start with the fundamentals: water, silicone, hybrid, and oil-based lubricants.
Personal lubricants are available in liquid and gel forms, with a base ingredient that gives each formula its distinct texture. Let’s look at the three most popular lube bases and what they mean to you:
1.) Lubricants that are based on water
Water-based lubricants are the most common form of lubricant, and for good reason.
They’re simple to clean because they’re water-based (and to wash out of clothing or sheets). These lubes can also be very gentle and calming to your skin, as pure water is about the most natural ingredient available.
The majority of ASTROGLIDE’s water-based lubes can be used with condoms without losing their integrity (i.e., they won’t trigger condoms to break or rip more easily). They can also be used for vibrating devices, including those made of silicone.
2.) Lubricant with a Silicone Base
Silicone is a substance made up of silicone (a natural element) and oxygen atoms in alternate chains.
It can be found in a variety of forms, including rubber, resin, and oil, and its various forms make it ideal for a variety of applications ranging from medical to insulation. When used as the main ingredient in personal lubricants, its liquid form is particularly strong.
What is it about silicone-based lubes that makes them so appealing?
For starters, they have a silky, calming feel to them that leaves the skin feeling soft and smooth. Silicone is also hypoallergenic, making it an excellent option for those who have sensitive skin or allergies. And, since these lubes are mainly silicone rather than water, they usually last longer and need less reapplication.
Some silicone lubricants, like Astroglide’s X Silicone Gel, are latex and toy safe, but you shouldn’t use them with silicone toys because they can break down the rubber over time.
What’s the great thing about silicone lubes? They’re ideal for water activities.
Unlike water-based lubes that wash away in the shower or tub, silicone lubes (especially in gel form) stay put and prevent friction while you enjoy some slippery, wet fun.