The anus is far from self-lubricating and can only get wet if one helps it along. Anal lube is a complete necessity and one of the main attributes to pleasurable anal sex. Remember: the anal walls are relatively thin, so thicker lubricants keep them hydrated and slippery, and can greatly reduce the chance of anal injuries, such as cuts and tears (anal fissures) that increase your risk for contracting an STD. Saliva should not be considered a lubricant and should be avoided, as it will actually dry out your skin, making it less elastic. Warming and cooling lubricants, though highly desired, also should be avoided as they are a known irritant and are not truly designed for anal sex. Desensitizing lubes, unless physician recommended for specific situations, should be avoided as well – specifically in the beginning stages of learning anal play – since one should always be able to tell when an activity is painful. Otherwise, you might find yourself at Bespoke Surgical.
Water-based lubricants are completely condom-safe and offer a slippery texture that many people desire. However, because the body absorbs water very easily, water-based lubes tend to dry out quickly and need to be re-applied fairly regularly. On the flip-side, this makes for easy clean-up. The key benefits are: it lacks the non-edible silicone taste and slippery texture you might experience during oral sex and it’s perfectly toy-friendly. Not to mention, water-based lubes are often a cheaper alternative, and therefore come in more generous quantities.
Silicone-based lubes are commonly recommended for anal intercourse due to their slickness and endurance. They are condom-safe, but are difficult to clean and tend to stain sheets or any fabric it comes in contact with, lingering on surfaces (and body parts). Silicone-based lube is hypoallergenic, which makes it a very skin-safe ingredient; people with sensitivity or allergies generally do not have reactions. They also won’t dry out and are waterproof, making them ideal for shower-play. But since silicone breaks down silicone, these lubes are not safe to use with silicone toys, unless noted as “safe”.
Water/Silicon Hybrid Lube
Water/silicone hybrid lubes are easier to clean than pure silicone lube and surely limit staining of the sheets; however, they also won’t entirely match the slickness of a pure silicone lube. The major benefits: you will get the best of both worlds with the texture and longevity of a silicone lube, while being able to use with most sex toys (just like a water-based lube).
Oil-based lubes are equally as slick as silicone (maybe even slicker), and are extremely long-lasting (making them great for extended play). In fact, they become more slippery as you add heat/friction. However, it’s important to note that oil-based lubes are neither condom nor latex toy safe, will also stain sheets and surfaces, and technically are not supposed to be used for internal anal play. They, however, are used extensively in massages and also have scents that can be quite stimulating, producing elevated releases of endorphins.
People ask us at Bespoke Surgical all the time to recommend the best lubricants, but as you can tell, it truly depends on the situation of use, personal preference, and budgetary requirements. There is no correct answer to the question, but the key is to educate oneself on all the pros and cons of each category and request samples from the manufactures to determine likability before purchasing.