February 10, 2019 4 min read

There’s something automatically sexy about lube. From the minute I pump it into my hands I can feel my heart quicken; if I’m alone I start to think about the prostate orgasm that’s invariably bound to follow, and if I’m with a partner the thought that I’m about to be inside them – or that they’re about to be inside me – immediately turns me on. 

In my eyes, lube is the preparatory step that heightens my sexual pleasure. Not only does it make the actual intercourse easier (seriously guys, do not have anal without lube!), it builds suspense and enhances the sensory experience that truly amazing sex can give.

Of course, there are rules to lube - and I’m not talking the kind of boring, pointless rules that most of us have ignored throughout life. Lube rules are logical! For example, water-based lube is generally great for most things - penetration, sex toys, masturbation - but it tends not to last too long and, obviously, it can be easily washed away. Not great if you’re fucking in the shower, or even experimenting with water-sports for the first time. 

Then there’s silicone-based lube, which tends to be thicker and stickier - but keep it away from any silicone-based sex toys, as it can erode the rubber over time. It allows you to go harder for longer, and it’ll even hold up if you decide to move from the bedroom to the bathroom. 

But whatever you do, don’t spill it; the likelihood is you’ll be slipping all over your still lube-soaked floor for months to come. Another alternative is an oil-based lube, which will also last longer than water-based formulas but can easily cause condoms to break. Not ideal!


Finally, there’s natural lubrication. It’s no secret that genitals get wet for a reason, and that lengthy foreplay sessions can make penetrative sex more enjoyable and long-lasting. In other words, guys - you’ve got no reason not to go down on your partner. 

But not everyone gets wet naturally, so sometimes using lube as well as relying on bodily fluids to do the heavy lifting can be a great idea, especially if you’re planning to incorporate anal. Trust me, spit isn’t enough - but on the other hand, a light drizzle of saliva can perk up even the most incredible blow job.

Personally, I’ve experimented plenty over the years. From flavoured lube (which almost always smells better than it tastes) to makeshift lube (I once used chocolate sauce to aid a blow job, would not recommend - sticky and way too easy to get distracted), I’ve taken it upon myself to get creative on more than one occasion.

For me, this exploration took time. I remember first coming to terms with my queerness when I was in my early teens, and subsequently thrusting myself into the kind of hardcore porn that sees gay men being penetrated for hours after nothing more than a spot of light rimming. 

At first I was afraid of anal; I avoided it at all costs, politely declining whenever a potential partner brought lube and instead explaining that I was more a fan of foreplay. But then I became curious, and then I was given a sex toy - a prostate massager to be exact - as well as a handy bottle of water-based lube.

Since then I’ve discovered a newfound appreciation for lube, which can sometimes feel like the sole reason I’m able to have such amazing orgasms. The sex toy first seemed far too big for me, but after a few weeks of practice and a wide variety of different gels and jellies I felt myself relax into anal; instead of clenching automatically, I developed a way of teasing myself with the lube and literally easing myself in gently. 

Because it’s used so frequently for anal sex, lube can feel taboo - like an optional extra used only by people that didn’t want ‘conventional’ sex. But the truth is that it’s versatile, easy to use and incredibly sensual - whatever kind of sex you’re planning to have, it never hurts to add a little moisture. Literally.

Jake Hall
« Jake Hall is a London-based freelance writer fascinated by everything from sex and sexuality to music and culture. » All posts →