While the vagina is designed to lubricate naturally on its own, it does not always happen like that. Factors like illness, stress, age, hormones and inadequate sleep can cause vaginal dryness (go here). Using a lubricant increases sexual pleasure and prevents injury caused by dryness.
These are the most common types of lubes you will find in the store. One reason for their high popularity is that they are easy to clean up from the body and bedding. Even more importantly, they are soft and gentle on the skin since they are based on water and do not have any harsh chemicals.
Another advantage of water-based lubes is that they can be used with condoms without causing any damage to them. Some harsher lubes can degrade the quality of a condom, making it tear more easily.
On the downside, water-based lubricants tend to wear quickly and might need to be reapplied several times.
Silicon lubes are loved for their smooth silky feel on the skin. They are generally much more pleasurable than water based lubricants. These lubes are also hypoallergenic, meaning that they will not cause any adverse reaction even in people with sensitive skin.
Thanks to their chemical properties, silicon-based lubricants can be used in a variety of environments, even in water. You can use it in the swimming pool, shower or hot tub. And once you apply the lube, it lasts for much longer without requiring any reapplication.
You can comfortably use silicon lubes with latex condoms. They do not cause any damage to the condom.
Like water-based lubricants, silicon based ones also have one slight disadvantage; they are harder to wash off. You might need to use soap and water to get it off, whether on your body or bedding.
Some people naturally prefer the feel of oil on the skin as compared to other substances. Oil based lubes are sufficiently thick and slick, making for maximum sexual pleasure. Like the silicon lubes, they can be quite hard to wash off so be careful about where you use it.
For people with sensitive skin, oil based lubes may be a much better option because they cause less irritation.
Oil-based lubes are not latex safe. Never use them with a latex condom. The lube makes the latex more porous, making it more likely to rip or tear.
These are lubricants consisting of both silicone and water bases. This means that they combine the best of the two worlds to create a superior lubricant. Hybrid lubricants are great for sensitive skin, they last long and they feel great on the skin. Furthermore, you can use them with latex condoms with no worry of tears.
Lubricants for sex are categorized depending on the base. But there are other variations beyond the ones discussed above. For instance, flavored lubes add a unique twist and are great if you are planning anything oral. There are also arousal lubes that produce a tingling or warming sensation.