Lubes generally fall into one of three categories: water, silicone, or oil-based. Each have their bennies and drawbacks. Water-based, while not as slick or long-lasting as silicone or oil-based, is safe for use with condoms and toys. Silicone-based can work with condoms (it'll specify if it's condom-safe on packaging) but will not
It's a lot to consider, we know. Thankfully, there's one easy place to start when picking a lube specifically for anal. If a lube advertises itself as "numbing," you want to stay far away. Lube that makes butt stuff less painful sounds too good to be true, because it is. Pain is your body's way of letting you know to slow down. Numbing lubes with analgesics or desensitizing agents in them will not let you know you're overdoing it until after
Lubes are not one-size-fits-all. What makes a lube great for anal play might not make it great for toy usage, and it might be worth investing in specific lubes for specific sex acts. Think about 3-in-1 shampoo, body wash, and conditioner. Yes, it'll get the job done, but are not you so
You might also want to invest in a lube shooter. These "deposit lube internally, so you do not have to worry about more lube getting on your hands or sheets than where you actually want it to go," says Lisa Finn, brand manager and sex educator at Babeland
Finn recommends Pjur's silicone lube when engaging in skin-on-skin play, using condoms, or hard-material toys made from stainless steel or glass. "[It's] super long-lasting, so you do not have to worry about re-application, and it also contains jojoba-which has anti-inflammatory properties and helps keep skin flexible and slick."