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Often people don’t realise how much of a difference lube can make until they try it. You might not think you need it, or feel hesitant about introducing it to the bedroom. But don’t be shy. Lubricant can be great for women who suffer from vaginal dryness or who are stressed, menopausal or have just given birth. It can make masturbating a smoother, more enjoyable experience and it should be an essential part of any anal experience. You might just be curious to try a flavoured lube or one that produces a cool, tingling sensation. Either way, it’s important to know a little bit about the types of lubricants on offer so that you choose the right one for your particular needs.
We love Pjur Original, from the popular German manufacturer. It is one of the world’s best-selling lubricants for a reason. It’s a long lasting silicone-based lube with a highly concentrated formula so you only need a few drops each session. The silicone is medical grade quality so you know it’s safe to use in even your most sensitive areas and it has the added benefit of moisturising your skin without drying out and becoming sticky.
This is a quick look at the five lubricants most popular with Aussie consumers. Each ranges in price and features but all are from reputable, trusted brands.
Let’s break down the table and take a closer look at the five highest selling lubes in the country.
The Wet Stuff range is entirely water based, and the Gold version contains an extra water-retaining ingredient that makes it the longest lasting option. Use it orally, anally or vaginally and experience a warming sensation as it heats to your body temperature when combined with bodily fluids. It’s silky smooth without the stickiness, and is easy to clean up with warm water. The handy pump pack means there’s no risk of any spills or squirts, and you’ll find the bottle lasts a lot longer. There’s no flavor, but the taste isn’t unpleasant so you can definitely still use it for oral play.
Designed to be absorbed into the skin, this lube can be used with your favourite sex toys or even as massage oil. The silky smooth silicone formula won’t dry out or become sticky and you don’t need to wash it off after use - it simply absorbs into the skin like moisturiser. It’s a great option for use in water, as it will stay slippery in the bath, shower or spa. Use with your latex, leather or plastic toys and it’s a great option to use with condoms. Enjoy the extra slippery, premium silicone experience – colourless, odourless and free of preservatives.
This silicone-based lube is perfect to use with toys, during sex, while masturbating or as a premium massage oil. The formula is highly concentrated, so a few drops will go a long way and the whole bottle should last you for quite some time. This hypoallergenic lube has been dermatologically tested, and results showed it won’t block pores or dry out your skin. Instead, it absorbs into your skin like moisturiser. You shouldn’t need to wash it off afterwards, but if you do it will easily come off with soap and warm water. It won’t become dry or sticky and it’s not oily or strong smelling. Not ideal for use with silicone toys.
Water-based lubes generally won’t be as long lasting as the silicone kind, but this particular formula will impress. It’s almost like a cross between water and silicone lube, and a little bit goes a long way. It’s non-staining and completely clear and it’s even thick enough to use anally. The translucent bottle means you always know when you’re getting low on supply, and the handy pump means no messing around with lids. It has a slightly sticky feel, but it’s easy to wash off with warm soapy water. Friction isn’t a problem, as your toy or partner or even your own fingers will glide easily in and out with this popular lube.
The term "long lasting" gets used a lot in the marketing of personal lubricants, but in this case it’s really true. This lube has a soft, velvety feel and has been made using the highest-grade silicone available. No matter which size bottle you choose, they all come with a handy pump dispenser so you don’t have to muck around with screwing the cap back on. It’s completely hypoallergenic and is perfect for people with sensitive skin. The slippery, slick formula won’t go sticky and absorbs beautifully into the skin.
Each of the following brands has something to offer. Whether it’s a low price point or the use of medical-grade silicone, take a look and learn a little more about the brand behind your favourite lube.
Wet Stuff is a range of lubes from GelWorks, a company that is Aussie owned and proud of it. They’ve been around since 1982 and have become the country’s Australia's largest personal lubricant supplier. The low price point of the Wet Stuff range makes it a really popular choice and you can pick it up at a wide variety of outlets, including most supermarkets. The formula feels natural, smooth and is completely hygienic. They’ve got flavoured gels (salted caramel, anyone?!) and an innovative warming range that heats up on contact with bodily fluids.
The Germans are known for their attention to detail, sleek designs and commitment to excellence. German-owned pjur is no different. pjur’s range of luxury lubes are designed to impress, with an odourless and tasteless formula that won’t detract from the act of sex or masturbation. As the first company in the world to produce a silicone-based lube, you can rest assured you’ll be getting the highest quality ingredients available. The range includes “pjur Backdoor”, an anal-specific lube and even one that is powered by caffeine for more energy! The family owned and operated company even uses natural ingredients like ginkgo, ginseng and jojoba in its lubricant range.
Swiss Navy lubricants are popular for their cool, stylish packaging and high quality ingredients. As one of the leading lubricant manufacturers in the world, they have set a high standard and are committed to maintaining it year after year. The range includes water based, silicone based, anal, warming, flavoured and natural lubes. Both the silicone and water based versions are compatible with condoms and can be injested during oral sex, but it’s not recommended to use silicone lubes with silicone toys. The advanced formula offers exceptional glide and unparalleled slickness and handy pump dispensers mean a little goes a long way.
This Californian-based company has been making and marketing personal lubricants since 1989, using innovative design techniques to keep pushing the boundaries of excellence. Whether you’re after a traditional water-based lube or something wild like the Wet wOw range of clitoral stimulating lubes you’ll find something to suit your every mood. Wet lubes are stain free, sugar free, gluten free and vegan friendly. The silicone range uses medical-grade silicone that’s hypoallergenic and free of nasty toxins.
Unashamedly geared towards women, this range of personal lubricants (manufactured by Empowered Products) feature highly feminine packaging and some unique benefits. Choose from Pink Silicone or Pink Water formula and then choose your size. The small bottles are perfect for travellers and the discrete labels on the larger sizes means you can safely leave them on the nightstand or bathroom shelf. The silicone range uses only the highest quality silicone on the market and the pump dispenser means you won’t accidentally end up with slippery stuff all over the place. The Pink Water range has been designed to mimic your natural moisture, and the formula contains ginseng and guarana extracts. The addition of Aloe Vera and Vitamin E gives Pink lubricants a lovely moisturising quality.
System JO is a company that prides itself on quality. From the pharmaceutical grade ingredients to stringent product testing, you can be assured that your System JO lube adheres to strict FDA medical safety guidelines. The company is ISO certified and is a USDA Certified Organic manufacturer, so all lubes are plant-based, safe and non-toxic. If you’re after a flavoured lube there are 15 varieties to choose from including Vanilla Crème, Raspberry Sorbet, Green Apple and Sweet Pomegranate. The warming range is also popular, heating up to body temperature as you use it.
Manufactured by Californian-based company, BioFilm, Astroglide has been around since 1991 and developed a strong reputation. In fact, it was invented by BioFilm’s owner, a NASA Aerospace Chemist named Dan Wray. It gets very dry in space and he wanted to provide the Space Shuttle Program with a lubricant that was economical as well as long lasting. Its range of water-based lubes can be used with condoms to help reduce the risk of tearing while the hypoallergenic silicone lubes are silky smooth and perfect for use in the shower or bath.
Choosing a lubricant can be a bit overwhelming. There are literally hundreds of brands, styles and formulas to choose from. In the following section we’ll outline the main types you can buy and what situation you would normally use them in so you can find the one that suits your needs. You might even want to grab a few different types so you can switch it up while using lube alone, with a partner or with sex toys.
If you like to lube up before playing in the shower, bath or hot tub then a silicone-based variety is your best bet. It stays on the skin and won’t wash away like a water-based lube so you can stay wet for longer. Silicone has heaps of other benefits too, like the fact that a little bit goes a long way. This is due to the fact it doesn’t absorb into your skin the same way a water-based formula does. It sits on the surface, staying slippery and slick for longer so you don’t need to keep reapplying. The most important thing to remember is that you can’t use a silicone-based lube with your silicone toys. It will break down the silicone finish of your toy and damage it beyond repair, so always check and make sure there is absolutely no silicone in your toy before applying a silicone-based lube. Silicone is extremely safe and completely hypoallergenic due to the face there’s no latex, so it’s ideal for those with sensitive skin. It’s a great option for anal play because silicone will not be absorbed into the sensitive tissue of the anus. Despite feeling thinner in texture than a water-based lube, silicone will not dry out so you don’t need to mess around with reapplying it constantly. It can be a little trickier to wash off the skin and will often be more expensive than other formulas but because you’re using less it will last longer.
This type of lubricant is best for all-round use. It’s been around the longest, is reliable and is readily available at most pharmacies and supermarkets. You’ll pay less for a water-based lubricant than you would for silicone or other types, but you’ll find you go through a bottle quite fast. That’s because this type of finish becomes sticky and tacky the longer it’s on, so you’ll need to keep your bottle, pump or tube handy as you’ll need to reapply it frequently. You can also spritz it with a bit of water or saliva to reactivate it. Water-based lubes are popular for their versatility - you can use them with condoms and all sorts of toys (including silicone ones). It won’t stain your clothes or sheets and is incredibly easy to wash off in warm water and soap. However, for this reason it’s not recommended you use a water-based lube in the shower or bath because it just won’t stay on. We like that it won’t leave your skin feeling greasy afterwards, and will gradually absorb into the skin making it a good massage oil as well. The thicker formula is designed to mimic the natural lubrication of your body, so it feels really natural and some people prefer it for anal play because of the slight “cushioning” effect. However, it will absorb into the anus so we recommend you stick with an anal-specific lube or something silicone-based instead.
An oil-based lube is not ideal for internal use. Oil is thick, greasy and hard to get off the skin. The longer it stays on you (or in you) the greater the likelihood of bacteria growing and infections developing. Oil-based lubricants aren’t safe to use in conjunction with a condom, because it breaks down the latex so you are putting yourself at risk of pregnancy or disease. It will also stain everything it touches, so you will find yourself wishing you’d stuck with another option! However, if you’re simply looking for a lube to use on the skin during foreplay or as part of a sensual massage then this is a great option.
This is a revolutionary concept in personal lubrication, and it gives you the best of both worlds. You’ve got the thick finish of a water-based lube with the sleek slipperiness of silicone. The majority of the formula is made of water, with just a hint of silicone so it’s still safe enough to use on your silicone toys without causing any damage. There aren’t many negatives, although you are making a compromise when choosing this type of lube. You won’t get the full list of benefits that comes with either a 100% water-based or silicone-based lube but it’s great to see that companies are pushing the boundaries and coming up with innovative new lubricants all the time.
You definitely need to think about the sort of formula you want before committing to a lubricant. Is it for internal or external use? Will you be using it with your silicone toys? Do you plan to get in the shower? Take a look at the following section and learn a little more about the compounds most commonly used in personal lubricants.
If you’re having sex with condoms, lube can help prevent breakage and tearing because it reduces the amount of friction against the latex. This can help prevent unwanted pregnancy or STIs. You might be looking to spice things up with the introduction of a warming or cooling lube, which changes temperature when you start blowing on it or rubbing it against something, like Touche Ice Lubricant or Wet Warming Intimate Body Glide. Specially formulated anal lube is thicker than regular lube, and designed to form a soft barrier against the sensitive skin in this area. It will often have moisturising benefits and not be easily absorbed, like pjur Back Door Anal Glide. If you want to get wet, make sure you take a silicone-based lube as it will stay on the skin without slipping off. If you’re using lube on your silicone sex toys then it needs to be water-based, like Astroglide Natural, so that it won’t corrode the surface and cause irreparable damage to your toy. If you’ve got sensitive skin, a natural lube like the Je T’aime range is free of parabens, sugar and glycerin. If you’re planning to use the lube during oral sex then why not try a fun flavour? Swiss Navy have 15 flavours to choose from, and it’s priced low enough that you could start a collection!
It’s important to choose the right type of lube for your skin type. There’s nothing worse than suffering itching, burning or unpleasant chafing from a lube that is too harsh. The idea is to make things easier, so do a little research before buying because there are plenty of options available. Astroglide has some good options, including Astroglide Natural and the Astroglide Sensitive Skin Gel, both unfragranced and free of added colours. The pjur Woman Nude range does not contain glycerin, parabens, oil, fat, perfume or preservatives so it’s perfect for women with sensitive skin. Wet Stuff Naturally is targeted at both men and women, and is free of glycerine, petrochemicals, citrates, parabens, fragrance and sweeteners.
When talking about liquids, we talk about their viscosity instead of using the word “thickness” (although the two terms have been used interchangeably throughout this guide). Silicone-based lubes are general thinner than water-based lubes. If you want something really thin you could go for the Wet Light Liquid Lubricant, which is water based and ideal for personal dryness. If you’re looking for something a bit more viscous find something that contains Hydroxypropyl Guar, which is a thickening agent that is not considered toxic.
By their nature, water-based lubes will be sticky. Test it out on your fingers first – apply some lubricant then rub them together and notice how tacky the substance becomes after a while. This can’t be helped, and simply means you need to apply more lube to help moisten things up again. If you don’t like the thought of lube going sticky mid-session then go for a silicone option, however you should be aware that this will be more expensive and a lot more slippery than the water-based options.
If you’re planning on an extended session, either on your own or with a partner (or a group of people) then a silicone-based lube will go a long way. You’ll find a few drops will glide on smooth and last a lot longer than a water-based lube. You’ll hardly need to reapply it, making this a more economical option as well. If you’re happy to stick with a water-based lube, with the knowledge that you will need to keep it nearby, then opt for a pump dispenser so you don’t need to mess around with fiddly lids and screw tops.
You don’t want to mess around when it comes to buying lubricant. It’s designed to make things run smoothly, so your transaction should be a reflection of this. Choosing a trusted brand means you are getting a high quality product. The section above goes into greater detail about a few of our favourite personal lubricant manufacturers, however for a quick guide you can’t go past Swiss Navy, Wet Stuff, pjur, Wet, Pink and System JO. Don’t be afraid to splash out and pay a little more for your lube, you won’t regret it.
If you’re planning to go travelling then consider a small, discrete bottle that won’t spill everywhere in your bag. Large pump dispensers are handy to keep on the nightstand and mean you don’t have to mess around with screw tops and lids. A pump dispenser will also control the amount of lube you use each time, helping to make it last longer so you don’t get carried away and end up a slippery mess. Swiss Navy has a mini range that is great for trying out a few different types of lube without spending too much money. Sometimes you’ll even get a sample sachet of flavoured lube with your purchase so you can try before you buy.
It might be a very real consideration on where the product is made. Some brands, like Pjur make all of their lubricants in Germany, Swiss Navy make all of their lubricants in the US, Wet Stuff/Gel Works make all of their lubricants in Australia. It all depends on your levels of comfort in brand, and the country they are manufactured in - all packaging should have made in
Water-based lubes will generally be cheaper than silicone, however this doesn’t mean they are of a lesser quality. It’s because silicone is a lot more expensive to manufacture. There are also different grades of silicone, and a pharmaceutical or medical grade silicone will set you back a bit more but you can be assured of the highest quality ingredients. As long as you’re buying from a reputable company like some of the ones mentioned in this guide, we don’t think you can go wrong. You could fork out for an expensive bottle of lube, like the Lelo Lubricant and Personal Moisturiser or stick with something cheap and cheerful like Astroglide Natural. It’s totally up to you, just do your research and figure out what works best for your wallet and your body.
Now it’s time to take what you’ve learned and put it into practice. Head over to our personal lubricants section and start shopping. Go wild and try something flavoured, or spice things up with a warming or cooling gel. Double up and get yourself both a water-based and a silicone-based lube to cover all bases, and make sure you stick to a natural range if you’ve experienced pain or discomfort from certain types of lube in the past.
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