A guide to the best lubes on the market

Toronto sex experts sound off on the best personal lubricants for vaginas, butt play and even sperm


There are plenty of reasons to get good lube, whether you’d like to add to natural lubrication or provide a smooth ride for butt play, condoms and toys. The category has undergone a re-appraisal in the past few years, with pricey lubes that get your privates high, and lnstagram-worthy lubes perfect for your shelfie. Unfortunately, they’re so niche it’s hard to get a human to tell you whether they’re good or not.

On the flip side are drugstore brands making sticky stuff that’s enough to turn you off from ever buying lube again. However, many specialty brands have proven formulas, and matching the right one to your specific needs will enhance the experience.

Good For Her’s Carlyle Jansen notes that “lubes interact differently with different folks, so what one person loves may not work so well for another.” Veronica Kazoleas of The Nookie adds, “Like regular care products that can lose their effectiveness over time, you may also need to change your brand of lubricant periodically. Start with small bottles or samples to see what works for you, then go from there.”

With so many products on the market, it can be hard to know what to buy, so we asked the experts to give us their top picks.

Water-based lubes

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Buck Angel’s T-Lube is designed for transgender men.

Sutil by Hathor

Sutil’s Canadian-made lube gets a lot of praise. Jansen says that it’s “the longest-lasting natural lube, and pH balanced for the vagina.” It’s certified organic, and many of its ingredients are derived from renewable resources and manufactured using environmentally friendly processes (even the tube is biodegradable). Kink TO’s Charlotte Dineley says Sutil is “light feeling without the stickiness or smell of other natural lubricants. It’s available in the original LUXE formula or the new RICH formula, which is thicker in consistency.” Come As You Are’s Jack Lamon adds that it “won’t stain sheets and is compatible with condoms and all sex toys.”

Available at: Good For Her, Come As You Are and Kink TO

FuckWater

Toronto-made FuckWater is also a customer fave. “It’s long-lasting and contains no glycerin or parabens (the two most common irritants found in drug-store brands), with minimal smell and taste,” says Dineley. Both Jansen and Kazoleas mention that a hint of silicone makes the product more slippery and helps it stay that way for a long time. Silicone lube is considered to be a no-no for use with silicone toys, “but because it’s just a touch, it should be safe. It’s still a good idea to do a spot-test on the bottom or base of your toy,” says Kazoleas. Plus, it’s condom-compatible.

Available at: Kink TO, The Nookie, Good For Her

Sliquid H2O

The Nookie’s best-selling water-based lube is Sliquid H2O – it’s hypoallergenic, glycerin and paraben-free, non-staining, cruelty-free and vegan, latex and silicone-friendly and has no added scents or flavours. All this means Sliquid H2O is edible, and Kazoleas suggests using it “during oral sex to keep things nice and wet.” She also mentions that it’s popular “because it’s pH balanced, and even our most yeast-infection-prone customers don’t report negative reactions.”

Available at: The Nookie

Buck Angel’s T-Lube

Lamon recommends T-Lube for trans guys. “Testosterone really tends to dry things out down there, and while there are lots of daily-use lubes on the market for women, having something gender-appropriate is so much more affirming.”

Available at: Come As You Are

Sliquid Naturals Satin

Satin is a daily-use, water-based intimate moisturizer that can double as a lubricant infused with aloe vera and carrageenan. “Vaginal dryness is a common problem that can cause sore or itchy labia, painful sex, an increased need to pee and recurrent UTIs, which can significantly lower sexual drive and pleasure,” says Kazoleas. “Satin is ideal for people who experience persistent dryness due to breastfeeding, menopause, cancer treatments, medication or any other reason. It’s also 100 per cent vegan-friendly, non-staining, unflavoured and unscented.”

Available at: The Nookie

Slippery Stuff

For those who want an effective, inexpensive product, Jansen says Slippery Stuff is a good one to get you started. It’s very economical and also odourless and tasteless. The large size comes with a pump, which is helpful for one-handed re-application.

Available at: Good For Her

Silicone lubes

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FuckWater Silicone is compatible with condoms.

Pjur

Pjur is the lubricant of choice for those looking for staying power. “It’s very long-lasting and an amazing consistency for a balance of friction and glide,” says Jansen. “Pjur is odour- and flavour-free, and it also performs well in water – just be careful as its slipperiness can be dangerous.” Pjur is compatible with many silicone toys, and it’s definitely condom-compatible.

Available at: Good For Her

FuckWater Silicone

FuckWater’s silicone lube “stays slippery forever and gets even more slippery when used in water,” says Lamon. It’s condom-compatible, but not compatible with silicone sex toys.

Available at: Come As You Are

Lavish by Jopen

Lavish is a premium silicone lube with vitamin E and aloe vera. “It is an excellent choice for water play because it won’t dissipate like a water-based lube will. With its intense slipperiness, it’s our preferred lubricant for anal sex,” adds Kazoleas.

Available at: The Nookie

Organic lubes

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Sliquid Organics Oceanics is made with seaweed.

YES Baby

For those trying to conceive, there’s YES Baby, a sperm-friendly lubricant. Sperm and vaginas have different pH levels, so Jansen recommends using it when ovulating and then switching to a more vagina-friendly pH lubricant for other times of the month.

Available at: Good For Her

Sliquid Organics

Sliquid Organics Oceanics is water-based, making it compatible with everything, and has a long-lasting consistency because it’s formulated with seaweed. “The whole line is phenomenal, but Oceanics is our fave,” says Lamon.

Available at: Come As You Are

Sliquid Organics Natural Gel

For butt play, Kazoleas recommends aloe-based Sliquid Organics Natural Gel, which is formulated using agar-agar to create an ultra-thick, luxurious gel. “It provides more padding and stays in place longer,” Kazoleas explains. “Because the anal canal and rectum don’t produce natural lubrication and the tissue itself is so sensitive, lube is extra important.” It’s also vegan.

Available at: The Nookie

YES OB

Oil-based lubes aren’t for everyone (they can alter the vagina’s pH and trigger infection), but if you’re inclined to go that route, Lamon recommends YES OB as it’s certified organic and has only body-safe ingredients. “It stays slippery for a long time because there’s no water to evaporate or get absorbed by the body,” Lamon says. “Not condom-compatible, but totally compatible with silicone sex toys (which is huge).”

Available at: Come As You Are

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