Chasing Waterfalls: Navigating Lubricant Types

When it comes to erotic enhancers, lube may just be one of the most underrated players in the game. Lubricants have a reputation of being a sexual aid meant solely for the post-menopausal crowd. While that’s definitely a benefit, people of all ages, genders, and sexualities can benefit from a splash (or river) of lube.  

From a pussy perspective, vaginal lubrication levels can vary based on lifestyle and hormonal factors. One day you could be a faucet, and the next, dry as the Sahara, and that’s totally normal (maybe not that great of a variation, but you catch my drift.) Even at peak wetness, lube can make sex sweeter by easing entry for large and in charge body parts or toys and adding in some sensory play. And if you’re gonna get the booty involved, lubricants are non-negotiable. 

While it’s true that everyone can gain from more lube in their life, lubricants are not a one-size-fits-all type of product.

So what can happen if you choose the wrong lube?

Okay, you probably won’t die (unless you’re hyper allergic to a particular ingredient and pick a personal lubricant including said ingredient, but tbh, that’s on you). But you really can get pregnant with the wrong choice of lube! Not all lubes play well with latex or other materials that make up sexual barriers and contraceptives like condoms, dental dams, and diaphragms, making your protective gear moot. On the opposite end of the spectrum, certain lubes have spermicidal properties and will make your baby-making efforts much harder, if not impossible. So, yeah, lube choice definitely matters!

But there’s no need to fear—the Liberator lube guide is here!

Water-based lubricants are a great intro to the world of sex grease (you’re welcome for the visual) as they’re simple, straightforward, and easy to remove from skin and sheets. They’re safe to use with sexual barriers and won’t harm your beloved toys, either. 

One of the biggest perks of water-based lubes is also one of its biggest flaws: clean-up is fast and easy (at least compared to your other lube options), and it won’t stain your sheets. However, this is because it dries out relatively quickly, so you’ll need to reapply more frequently if it’s your only source of lubrication. 

Going water-based is ideal for warming up before natural lubrication kicks in, but probably not the best call for those looking for longevity in their lube. However, this does make it fab for quickies! When your mind is geared up and ready to go and you don’t have the time for your body to catch up, grab some water-based lubricant and get down to it! The quick clean-up process means you might not even be late coming back from your lunch break rendezvous.

Cliff Notes on Water-Based Lube


  • Easy clean-up
  • Plays well with toys and protective barriers


  • Requires frequent reapplication
  • Useless in literally-wet situations (no tub time fun)

Super slippery with staying power to boot, silicone-based lubes are perf for sex acts where natural lubrication isn’t present, making them a fan fav for anal play. Also, silicone lubricants don’t wash off with water, so you’re free to use them for getting freaky in the shower (where lube is a MUST). Another plus? Silicone is hypoallergenic, so sensitive-skinned lovers can get it on sans-worry (but be sure to do a patch test first!). 

While its endurance is a large part of silicone lube’s appeal, this also makes it difficult to remove and pretty much impossible to remove from sheets and fabrics, so you’ll want to play somewhere where stains aren’t an issue or throw down a liquid-absorbent throw (or at the very least, a towel you DGAF about). Another factor to consider is its interaction with other silicone products, as silicone-based lubricant breaks down silicone over time. This isn’t an issue for sexual barriers as the deterioration is a gradual process, but repeated use with silicone sex toys can ruin your fav sexcessory.

Cliff Notes on Silicone-Based Lube


  • Hella long-lasting (a big plus for anal fans)
  • Good for sensitive skin
  • You can use it to screw in the shower


  • Can fuck up silicone sex toys
  • Kinda an ordeal to clean off
  • Creates sus fabric stains

If you’re looking for long-lasting slippery fun, oil-based lubes will come in clutch—no need to reapply; oil-based lubricants ain’t going nowhere. As you may already know, oil and water don’t mix, meaning these lubes are an excellent option for tub and shower play. Oil-based lubes are super spreadable, making them ideal for erotic massages—who doesn’t love a two-in-one sex aid?!

The most considerable drawback to oil-based lubes is their incompatibility with most external barriers. All latex products should be kept far away from oil-based lubricants, but even non-latex barriers (such as ones made from polyisoprene, for instance) can have a poor interaction, so research before getting lubed up. And though its large surface area coverage lends itself well to sensual massage, this does mean that oil-based lube has a tendency to get everywhere, and it’s not sheet-friendly! Make sure your sex space is fully covered to avoid stain snafus.

Cliff Notes on Oil-Based Lube


  • Super spreadable (hello, erotic massage!)
  • Shower sex friendly
  • Lasts 5ever


  • Latex’s #1 enemy (and breaks down sexual barriers made of polyisoprene, too)
  • Messy AF
  • Will def result in stains if you’re not careful

While there’s really no best lube type to crown as the wet and wild winner, there is such a thing as the best lube type for your specific needs. Think about your main lube goals, health factors, and lifestyle before entering Willy Wonka’s Wetness Factory and you’ll have safer slippery results.

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