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Lube It: Astroglide, KY Jelly, and More

Pump Lube, Not Oil

Although many people overlook it, using a sex lubricant can greatly enhance masturbation. It eases friction, minimizes chafing, speeds up stimulation, and makes sensations more pleasurable. Slick up for your next session and you'll never go dry again.

Lubes for Men

Many men's early masturbation experiences involve hand lotion or maybe hair conditioner. Lube is preferable because it's meant to stand up to more friction and stay slick. Water-based lubes such as KY Jelly and Astroglide are slippery but non-greasy, and are closest to the body's natural lubrication. They're easy to clean up and the colorless ones are non-staining, so you don't have to worry about getting them on sheets, towels, or clothing. Water-based lubes come in a variety of consistencies, from thin to thick, but for men's masturbation, we recommend using one of the medium-weight to heavier water-based lubes.

Some men enjoy using oil-based lubes or jack-off creams, such as Men's Cream, Jac-Off Lotion, or Elbow Grease. These are specially formulated for extended jerking, with vitamin E and other ingredients that are kind to your skin. Oil-based lubes aren't the greatest for intercourse, because they can irritate internal membranes and will dissolve latex condoms. But for beating off, they can't be beat.

Erection-enhacing lubes are another option if you want to try something different. If you find yourself climaxing too quickly, a desensitizing lube will help you last. Cooling lubes with mentholated ingredients can add extra sensation to your session. You can even make your own mentholated lube by mixing a drop or two of peppermint oil or a dab of Vicks Vaporub in with your favorite lube or cream. Don't use too much, though, or you'll feel the burn.

Lubes for Women

Women can benefit too from using lube during masturbation whether or not they use sex toys. Simply rubbing lubricated fingers over your clit and labia can make masturbating a much more sensual experience, and if you masturbate frequently, using lube can keep you from getting sore.

The type of lube you choose depends on whether you like to masturbate by manual stimulation alone or by inserting fingers or toys. Women may prefer lighter, water-based lubes because they are closest to the body's natural lubrication, don't stain, and are easy to clean up. Water-based lubes are safe to use with all sex toys, whereas oil-based lubes can react with rubber and cause it to disintegrate. Be aware that many water-based lubes contain glycerin, which may lead to vaginal infections or allergic reactions in some women. To avoid this, you may want to wash thoroughly after using a lube, or find a water-based lube that does not contain glycerin as an ingredient. Also avoid lubes with flavoring in them. Flavored lubes often contain sugar, which can also contribute to yeast infections.

Silicone-based lubes, like Eros and ID Millennium are super slippery and can be good for use with sex toys, as long as the toys aren't made of silicone. Silicone lube will react with silicone toys and cause them to break down, just as oil-base lubes do with rubber toys. Silicone lube doesn't react with rubber, though, so you can protect your toys with a latex condom. Silicone lube stays slippery forever, but that makes it a bit hard to clean up. Some women also report vaginal irritation or infection following use.

In general, we don't recommend oil-based lubes, such as Vaseline, for women's masturbation, whether it involves external touching or insertion. It can irritate the mucous membranes of the vagina, and it's difficult to wash away. This is one case where you're better off leaving the grease to the guys.