A proper lubricant isn’t just for a nice handy (which, by the way, are totally underrated). Grown men who know how to have sex own sex lube. Simple as that. If you’re heading for the backdoor, it’s the only way you’ll get in—as a doctor will tell you. But here’s why you’ll want a bottle in your nightstand even if you never leave missionary island: Lube makes vanilla P in V sex even more fantastic, if that’s even possible—not least because your partner will appreciate your thoughtfulness and consideration.
Here are our favorites for every bedroom activity—whether you’re after sex in the shower, with a toy, with someone you love, a stranger, or all four of those things at once.
The Best Lube For Skincare Obsessives
Pimples on your chin are frustrating enough as an adult, but truly no one wants to explain a blemish below the belt. The delicate skin down under deserves nothing but the best skin care products—and yes, that includes lube. Necessaire’s main business is in moisturizers and body scrubs, but they also make the wonderful Sex Gel, a water-based lube made with aloe and hyaluronic acid that will keep your junk looking as pretty as your face.
The Best Lube for Monogamous Relationships
If you’re using condoms, you should always avoid oil-based lubricants, as they’re not latex friendly. (There’s nothing like a broken rubber to ruin the mood.) However, if you’re in a monogamous and fluid-bonded relationship in which all partners have been tested, you can reach for a long-lasting and great feeling oil-based product. (It’ll do double-duty as massage oil.) We like Woo’s Coconut Love Oil, which works on all bodies and is so organic that you can eat it (we’ll let you fill in the blanks there).
The Best Lube for When You Need It Now
There’s a reason that Astroglide is a household name: the stuff works, it’s cheap as hell, and it’s sold everywhere. Think of it as the Budweiser of lubes. Much like the king of beers, this product is water-based (which means it won’t ruin silicone sex toys). You can use it for backdoor BDSM sex in a dungeon or missionary with the lights off.
The Best Lube for Anal Sex
Butt sex can be great sex, but it also requires a plan—Promescent’s silicone lubricant can help with that. Silicone-based lubes are thick, long-lasting, and condom compatible—all crucial qualities for anal sex. (You don’t want to have to re-up every three thrusts.)
One note: While silicone-based lubes are fantastic for butt stuff, they can essentially dissolve silicone sex toys overtime. If you’re aiming to bring some props into the bed, opt for another material or stick with a lube that’s water-based.
The Best Lube for the Shower
Shower sex is as steamy as the movies make it out to be until you realize that water is weirdly sticky. Don’t ruin a fantasy because you can’t get it in. Maude Shine Silicone Lube works in the shower (and underwater) to keep things friction-free (even if you only use this with your hand in the shower before work).
The Best-Looking Lube
When your bedroom is a temple—where the magic happens—there’s no place for a half-squeezed crusty bottle of drugstore lube on your bedside table. Lelo’s Personal Moisturizer comes in a bottle so beautiful that your date might mistake it for expensive fragrance until they experience the lasting smoothness of this luxurious water-based product from what’s perhaps the world’s top sex toy company.
Best Lube for Happy Endings
The handjob should not end in high school. Back then we had awkward sandpaper handies in our parents’ basement; today we can have smooth happy endings in crisp sheets if we like. Whether you’re getting a rubdown or giving yourself one, Sliquid Sassy Gel has the staying power to finish the job.
Best Lube for Sex Toys
After the right lubricant, sex toys are the best thing you can use to keep your sex life interesting. But you’ve got to make sure those accessories are going to play well together. Silicone lube is popular because it lasts a long time, but it can degrade silicone toys, which limits your options. When you’re bringing something new into bed opt for a durable water-based lubricant such as Unbound Jelly to keep all of your options open.
The Best Lube for Shaking Things Up
In case the name wasn’t enough (it rhymes with “duck sauce”) Emojibator’s Phuksaus is a CBD-infused pleasure gel that’s perfect for when you want to get weird but still get off. Research suggests that the cannabinoid might increase blood flow and therefore enhance orgasms. It also may decrease pain and inflammation, especially for people with vulvas. So, the next time you want to fuck out of the box and try something new.
The Best Moisturizing Lube
The aptly-named Boy Butter works for whatever shenanigans you find yourself in and is condom compatible. This durable lube also works as a moisturizer to help keep you hydrated.