Lube is not on everyone’s bedside list. But maybe it really should be.

Maybe you’re not reaching your full pleasure potential. Maybe you’re even a little in the pain zone and aren’t sure what gives. While you may readily associate lube of some kind with anal sex, or post-menopausal women, its magical and compassionate uses are manyfold, and there’s also probably a lot you don’t know about how to choose good lube (rather than evil lube) for your particular body, and whatever kind of sex you happen to be having—or want to be having.

Your partner may need to check their assumptions at the door. You may need to, as well.

Here are a few common assumptions people make about arousal that are just not true.

That aroused = wet 

While this is often true, there are many reasons that a highly aroused woman may still be on the dry side: stress, lack of sleep, hormones (all connected), or having smoked a J, to name a few.

That wet = aroused

It goes both ways. I’ve personally been pretty wet, while still not feeling aroused (physically and/or mentally) enough to have sex comfortably. Sometimes it’s because if I feel my partner is rushed, I get turned off. Never substitute arousal with lube. Lube is there to help you along, but don’t let anyone tell you you’re ready for penetration if you’re not.

That younger women who use lube…must have a problem 

See assumption #1 for reasons a woman of any age may be hung out to dry. Also, side note: we have to stop our bad habit of hypersexualizing young women and girls and desexualizing older women. Gross. We’re all juicy goddesses looking for a way to fly. Ok?

That a little pain is normal; it’s supposed to hurt 

I hear this one a lot as it pertains to anal sex (thankfully never from my own lovers’ mouths). Just—no. Sex is not supposed to hurt (and neither is love, while we’re at it). Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. 

So, let me break this down for you. Here are 8 reasons you should really be lubing up.

1. Vaginal dryness 

Whether you’re just naturally less wet, are dealing with medical issues (post-menopausal), or for any other reason.

2. Toys 

Toys can multiply your pleasure exponentially, but I highly recommend always adding a bit of lube first.

3. It's great internally, too 

You can use it externally on your family jewels as well as internally for intensified pleasure overall.

4. Longer sex 

Sex can last longer, because there are fewer chances of hold-ups; friction; pain.

5. If he's reaaaaallllllly big  

If he’s really big, lube will make the whole thing (his whole thing) more pleasurable for you. Pleasure is the point, right?

6. Condoms 

It’s easier and more fun to use condoms with lube. And condoms are often really important, am I right? Using “lubricated” condoms isn’t always so effective, though; they’re often only wet at the tip. So, before the condom dries you out, lube it up. Also, adding a touch of it to his cock before putting the condom on can up his pleasure potential too.

7. Prevention of infections

If you’re bumping and grinding without enough lube action, there will be friction, which generates heat, which encourages bacterial growth. Wetter is better, babes.

8. It's way more effective (and more glam) than saliva 

I’ve never been a fan of spit as lube myself—plus, it dries up fast. If spit is your jam though, keep it up. Just use lube too, if you wanna stay glid. 

So now that I've essentially convinced you to board the lube train...here are some tips on what to look for when shopping for lube.

1. Water-based lubes 

Water-based lubes are nice and slippery and easy to clean up with just water. But they may need to be reapplied periodically if you're pulling an all-nighter. Look for high-quality (body-safe) options that are petrochemical, glycerin, and paraben-free.

2. Check ingredients 

If you’re sensitive, make sure you check for glycerine or cellulose content, since these ingredients can cause heightened susceptibility to yeast and other infections.

3. Silicone-based lubes

Silicone-based lubes are very slick and can be used in water, if that’s what you’re up to. They’re also less likely to need multiple applications than water-based lubes. You need soap and water to clean it up. Try not to get it all over the place to avoid slipping when you finally stand up (assuming you’re horizontal).

4. Silicone sex toys 

If you use silicone lube on silicone toys, it will gradually break the things down. So try to avoid that. Silicone lube is great for anal sex, though.

5. Latex condoms 

Always use water or silicone-based lube (rather than oil-based) with latex condoms, because oil-based lube can break down or even break condoms! I was really into coconut oil anal till I found this out. Oops. 

6. Non-latex condoms 

If latex condoms are not part of your repertoire (Skyn condoms are a great non-latex choice, by the way), oil-based lubes like jellies and oils can feel incredible. If you’re especially sensitive to artificial products, plant-based options like olive, coconut or grape oils are a healthy and eco-friendly option, but your sheets will carry the scent for a while, and it can occasionally stain.

7. Arousal lubes 

Arousal lubes (usually water-based) can enhance add to your good lovin’ with warming, tingling, sensations.

8. Flavored lubes

Flavored lubes (also water-based) come in many flavours too. It’s true. Before you get grossed out, just know that organic lubes are out there too, to make this option that much more appetizing.

No matter what lube you select for your own personal sensual adventure, rule #1, as always, is: have fun. A lot of it. Slip-sliding, smooth-riding fun. Because everyone deserves great sex.