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How To Properly Use Lubricants

Dr. Lisa Lawless

Dr. Lisa Lawless, CEO of Holistic Wisdom
Clinical Psychotherapist: Relationship & Sexual Health Expert

How To Properly Use Lubricants

How To Best Apply Lubricant

Beyond all the reasons why people use lubricants, it may seem pretty straightforward to put it on, but applying lubricant properly can make a big difference in preventing tearing and creating comfort during sexual activity. How much to apply can also depend on the type of lubricant you are using.

When using water-based lubricants, be generous in your application as they tend to dry more quickly. When using silicone lubricants and hybrid lubes, use a little less and when applying silicone and oil, use a small amount as they tend to be quite slick and will last a long time.

The Most Important Lubricant Application Rule

The general rule of thumb when using any lubricant is that if whatever you are using (sex toy, penis, etc.) does not slide comfortably, you need more. The main point of lubricant is to reduce friction, so add as much as you need until you achieve that.

Vaginal lubrication can be influenced by sexual arousal, hormone levels, and sexual activity. These variables are constantly changing, so having lubricant available is helpful to avoid tearing and abrasions to the sensitive vaginal or rectal tissue. See our Vaginal Dryness Remedies Guide for more information. 

Using Lubricant For Anal Penetration

We recommend using a water-based or silicone anal lubricants for anal penetration. We do not recommend oil-based lubricants as they may trap harmful bacteria in the rectum.

How To Apply Lubricants To Porous Sex Toys

Porous sex toys made of elastomers (TPR, TPE, Cyberskin, etc.) require additional lubricant as the pores of the adult toy pull in the lubricant like a sponge pulling in water.

In the case of using a masturbation sleeve with this material, you will want to put some inside and rub it around with your finger and apply it to your penis before you try and enter it.

With dildos, simply apply generously with your hand and rub in and wait a few seconds for it to absorb the lubricant, and determine if you need to add more before inserting.

How To Apply Lubricants To Nonporous Sex Toys

Nonporous sex toys such as silicone, metal, glass, ABS plastic, etc., require less lubricant than porous sex toys as the lubricant rests on the outside layer of the material. However, because silicone can create drag and friction more than other nonporous materials, you will need more lubricant for that than you will for metal, glass ABS plastic.

To learn more, see our Sex Toy Materials Guide

Warming Up Your Lubricant

It is not uncommon for people to feel a bit shocked by the coldness of a lubricant even at room temperature. To warm your lubricant, there are a few options:

  • You can rub lubricant between your hands and then apply it to your body, partner, or sex toy.

  • You can soak the container of the lubricant in a mug of hot water.

  • If you have a wax warmer, you can use a clean silicone cup to put on it and add some lubricant to it so that the lubricant is warm. Make sure you do not use a cup you have been using for the wax, as it may still hold residue from your wax fragrances.

We do not recommend microwaving your lubricant as it can become too hot and cause burning. Furthermore, if you were to try and warm it in the bottle or tube that it comes in, it may not be microwave safe and cause unwanted chemical reactions.

How To Apply Clitoral Gel

Stimulating gels designed to provide added sensation to the clitoris are not the same as stimulating lubricants which are to be used as a regular lubricant. The clitoral gels are more concentrated and only require a couple of drops applied with your fingertip to the clitoris. Wash your finger after application. Allow a few minutes for the gel to thoroughly soak into the clitoral area before using other lubricants so that it stays concentrated in that area.

Is It Safe To Orally Consume Flavored Lubricants?

It can be, but it depends on the lubricant. Unless the lubricant is specifically designed for oral sex play, it is always best to first verify on the bottle if it is safe to consume, as many scented massage oils and lubricants are not. If you are unsure, you can always reach out to the manufacturer. All of our flavored lubricants are safe to consume orally.

Flavored lubricants can greatly enhance oral sex if they taste good and have a suitable pH and osmolality level. Unfortunately, many of them taste like cough syrup or some other undesirable taste. Consumers have rated the flavored lubricants that we carry as having a pleasing taste and meeting our strict standards for high-quality lubricants.

Make sure to note that some people taste a slightly bitter aftertaste when they consume the sweetener stevia; if you are one of these people, you may want to use a flavored lubricant that does not contain stevia to sweeten it.

How To Apply Lubricant To A Condom

Using lubricant inside a condom can provide more sensation, however, be aware that it also makes it easier to come off, so make sure that you add just a drop into the condom only at the tip.

Condom Compatibility

It is essential to note the compatibility of lube and condoms. For example, most people think that all waterbased, oil, silicone and hybrid lubricants are compatible with polyurethane condoms. This is not correct as many brands are not.

This would also apply to female condoms or dental dams made of polyurethane. What causes the incompatibility is not necessarily one ingredient, and, in many cases, it is two or more ingredients that make the lubricant incompatible. This is why checking specifically on the brand is essential. See our guide for more information about this: The Myth About Polyurethane Condoms & Lubricants.

Condom & Lubricant Compatibility Chart

How to Use A Lubricant Applicator

To apply lubricant using a lubricant applicator (also known as a lube shooter, lube tube, lubricant launcher, lubricant injector, lube syringe, lube propeller), insert the tapered, narrow end of the applicator into the vagina or rectum. The lubricant applicator may be inserted from a reclining, seated, or standing position. Some people may find it comfortable to insert it while laying on their back with their knees to their chest, allowing the vaginal or anal opening to relax and open more easily for insertion.

Once the lubricant applicator is inserted, slowly squeeze the plunger of the applicator to release the lubricant high into the vagina or rectum. As you squeeze, save some of the lubricant in the syringe and slowly empty it as you move down back toward the opening of the vagina or anus.

Once the lubricant is fully inserted and your sexual play is over, make sure to wash the lubricant applicator well with soap and water. You may also consider applying sex toy cleaner and allowing it to soak for 10 minutes, and rinsing off to ensure that you have killed any harmful bacteria that may be left on the applicator. If you wish to use a 10% bleach solution or other cleaners, make sure to consult the instructions on the lubricant applicator to ensure the best type of cleaner to use.

Protect Bedding From Lubricants & Oils

Sheets, comforters, and furniture can be expensive, so doing something to protect them before you begin sexual play can make it more carefree and easier to clean up. You can, of course, use towels or blankets to put on top, but sometimes fluids can leak through, so using a garbage bag, shower curtain, or other waterproof barriers under the towel or blanket can be helpful.

The ideal item is the excellent waterproof throw that we invented that is comfortable to lay on and is not loud or slippery like a layer of plastic under a towel. It is washable and made with two different materials for a satiny feel on one side and a velvety feel on the other. It is also great for protecting sheets against any other types of messes such as period leaks and more.

How To Apply CBD & Cannabis Lubricants

Lubricants that contain CBD or Cannabis (also referred to as weed lube) are not used in the same way as regular lubricants. You can apply them in the same manner, but it is advised to wait before beginning sexual activity for about 15-30 minutes (sometimes longer) before the effects kick in. They are similar to marijuana edibles in that they can take time to start to work fully.

When the CBD or Cannabis lubricant is in full effect, many people report a more extended orgasmic activity once they achieve orgasm. Learn more through our CBD & Cannabis Lubricants Guide.

How To Use E-stim Lubes

Conductivity enhancers are used to make electrostimulation products more intense by promoting electrical conductivity. Before you use any conductive gel, check whether it is intended to be used internally or not. If it says not for internal use, then do not use it in the vagina or rectum. Apply the e-stim gel lightly as you do not need a lot to create the connection.

When using electrostimulation products, using the suitable gel will increase the strength of the stimulation by as much as 40%, as the electrostim gels are designed to lower skin resistance and are conductive.

We carry only paraben-free electrostimulation gels. If you opt not to use an e-stim gel, you can use specific water-based lubricants as an alternative; however, keep in mind that it will not conduct the stimulation as well as an electrode gel. Please ensure that you never use any lubricant containing silicone, glycerin, or mineral oil with an electrostimulation product. Its conductivity will be affected, and it may also eventually lose all conductive properties.

In Closing

Now that you know how to apply lubricants and protect your sheets properly make sure to check out our other guides that cover Types Of Personal Lubricants, as well as our Ultimate Lubricant Guide.

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