A Beginner’s Guide to Lube


Photo by Chaz Delgado Lube is a lot like chocolate—you really don’t need it, but damn does it make your life better.

Many people overlook lube because they’re intimidated to try something different, think they don’t need it, or have never really found it necessary. However, you don’t need to be as dry as the Sahara or have sex complications to benefit from the benevolent power of lube.

In order to maximize your experience, we at Jerk have compiled a list of things you should definitely consider before jumping on the lube bandwagon or even cruising in the lube limo. Figuring out which lube is right for you, when to use it, and how to apply it are all very important spiels—so without further ado, let’s get into it.

Where to Buy It

You can buy lube at pretty much any grocery store or pharmacy. Don’t worry, the salespeople checking you out are used to all kinds of shit, so you can save the sheepish grin. Brands like Trojan and K-Y are pretty popular and all work well. A lot of people prefer lube from sex shops because the quality is better. You might be thinking, how can lubes be that different from one another? Some of the consistencies (goopy, thick, etc.) are much better the higher priced you go.

How to Apply It

The amount is really subjective to the person. A dime-sized or quarter-sized amount is pretty typical, but if you want to go full palm-size, be our guest. You can apply it to either the penis or vagina, or both. Whatever feels better for you and your partner is fair game. Just a disclaimer, the lube is more likely to stay in the vagina or anus, whereas it slips off the penis a little bit easier.

Test Out A Few

It may take a few tries before finding the right lube for you. Some lubes feel much better for the person penetrating vs. the one receiving, so it all kind of depends. Take your time and don’t give up on lube altogether if the first one you try is just “eh.” Much like the sorting hat, you must carefully consider each option to find which one is meant to be. Griffindor! you exclaim in the aisle of a Rite Aid.

Water-Based vs. Silicone

There are two types of lube: water-based and silicone-based. Water-based is typically used for vaginal sex and is much easier to clean up. It also doesn’t stain as easily as silicone. Silicone-based lubes are more typical for anal sex and sex toys, because they tend to be extra slippery. Some people like the feel of silicone better, but it does run the risk of being more difficult to get off and is more likely to stain sheets.

Backdoor Fun

Lube is pretty much essential for anal sex, unless you want to die a million deaths and feel like you are descending into the fiery depths of Hell. Because you don’t have any natural lubrication down there and it’s such a small area, it’s a good idea to be generous with the lube.

Au Naturale

Some people prefer natural lubricants like coconut oil, olive oil and shea butter. Many people find that natural ingredients work better for them; however natural lubricants do run some risks. First, oils like olive oil and coconut oil stain your sheets very badly, so when using them, make sure you don’t care about whatever surface you’re on. Secondly, some oils can break down the latex in condoms, making them less effective.

Don’t Freak Out If You’re Allergic

It’s totally normal for some lubes to react weirdly to your body, so if you find that water-based is causing a rash or other side effects, try silicon-based. Same goes for coconut oil vs. the typical lube you find in stores. It just depends on your body, and like anything else, some things just work better and feel better for you.

Heat Things Up

A whole world of lube exists beyond the typical, “vanilla” kind. Why? Because it has to do with sex and sex can always get more fun. There’s warming lubes, tingling sensation lubes, flavored lubes, and so on and so forth. It’s always good to master the basics before batting for the big leagues, but with time, these lubes can be really fun to experiment with if you want to spice up your sex life.

Wash Your Hands

Make sure to wash or dry off your hands with a towel or something you don’t care about before coming in contact with whatever surface you’re doing the deed on. No matter what the lube, it can still result in stains caused from your hands passionately rubbing against your sheets and leave them looking like a crime scene. Of course, oil-based lubricants are worse at staining than water-based ones, as mentioned above, but it should be noted that all lube can get a little messy. Water-based lubes will come out the easiest from sheets with just one wash and—voila, it’ll be like you never had savage sex on your friend’s bed.

You’ll Get Your Money’s Worth

The nice thing about lube is that it will last you a long time. Most people only use a quarter-sized amount, so you can expect to get the most bang for your buck—literally. For your hippy friends using those huge jars of coconut oil from Trader Joes, that shit should last them a couple years, minimum. This is a nice benefit of lube, particularly when you’re a broke-ass college student.


For many first-time users, their first experience with lube is much like being transported to a fantasy world where only good things can happen. Lube makes sex smoother, feels great, and will make you question why you never used it before. It becomes so good that some of you may use it every time, while others may just use it on special occasions. Though for most the feeling is euphoric, for others, that smooth, slick feelings can seem odd. Either way, lube is something that everyone should try at least once.