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Lube 101: How, When and Where to Use a Personal Lubricant

A sex blogger's tips on how to get the most out of your body-safe lube

By: Rae Chen, Sex and Beauty Writer for theNotice

Rae Chen is a sex and beauty writer who has written for and been interviewed in Teen Vogue, SELF, and GQ. You can find their work, including sex toy reviews and how-to guides, at or follow them on social media @thenotice.

They are currently on their third bottle of Almost Naked for the year. (They counted.)

Since my twenties, I’ve been an avid proponent of the tenant that wetter is better. Virtually any skin-contact sex act, whether partnered or solo, can be improved with a little dollop of lube. My stalwart favourite, Almost Naked, just got a sibling product in the form of Good Clean Love Almost Naked Hint of Mint Personal Lubricant and I can’t think of anything better to use in the bedroom.  

Almost Naked Hint of Mint keeps its ingredient list short, simple, and body-safe–just like the original. Made from an organic aloe vera base, this vegan-friendly lube is made without petroleum, silicone and glycerin. This flavored lube swaps out Almost Naked’s vanilla and lemon for just a whisper of lush, green mint. Keep reading to learn more about body-safe lubricants and find out why this one is so unique.

Who can use lube?

Personal lubricant has a bit of a reputation for being a niche product. It’s something that we’re often told is for a post-menopausal population, masturbation or anal play. In reality, however, lube is made to enhance pleasure, not just for specific people or play.  

Lube can benefit anyone with an active partnered or solo sex life. Anyone who’s used a lubricated condom has already benefited from just how great lube is (as you likely know, the lube that comes in the condom wrapper is what helps avoid chafing and tearing). The same thing happens in our bodies. Lube adds slip and reduces friction to help make sex safer and more pleasurable. Body-safe personal lubricants like Good Clean Love Almost Naked Hint of Mint are a great way for anyone to ease into sex or masturbation, and they help keep your sessions going if things begin to dry up.  

When should I use a personal lubricant? 

Honestly? There isn’t really a bad time for lube. I recommend applying it early and applying it frequently. Pop open your bottle of lube as soon as there’s something that you (or you and your partner) would like a little wetter, be it your genitals or an erogenous zone like your nipples. With a water-based lubricant, you’ll notice that your product may dry out over time or start to feel a bit sticky. That’s okay; you can either add more or add a bit of water to reactivate the lube that’s already present.  

Try getting started with a few drops of lube on your or your partner’s vulva, penis, clitoris, or anus with or without penetration. And don’t forget: Lube is also great for reducing the friction of sex toys, condoms and acts involving rubbing. It’s the perfect pairing for non-penetrative acts like dry humping, hand jobs and intercrural sex. (Although, to be fair, any humping will no longer be dry after you add lube.)  

Why try a flavored vs non-flavored lube? 

The answer to this question is simple–and not so simple. A flavored lube can be fun and convenient–especially for partnered play. Some lubricants (body-safe ones included) have a bitter taste to them, and flavoring helps maintain the mood if you end up slipping into oral sex after your lube has been applied. Using lube is all about adding moisture, and when you opt for something that’ll make your mouth water, even on its own, it helps keep things wetter during oral sex. Just make sure that the flavored lube you’re reaching for is body-safe and edible—you can read more about that in this Good Clean Love article.

I love Almost Naked (it’s my go-to bedside lube, and it fits perfectly in that little gap between my mattress and my bed frame), but Almost Naked Hint of Mint is something quite special, too. It’s very subtly flavored, so it doesn’t take you too far out of the moment. Plus, because it’s got just that touch of mint, it leaves your breath feeling fresh without making anything tingly or cold. It’s not a stimulating lubricant; so, think peppermint tea, not peppermint oil. 

For people with sensitive skin who may want to skip the flavoring altogether, Good Clean Love also offers BioNude Ultra Sensitive Personal Lubricant. All Good Clean Love formulas are designed to be gentle and body-safe, but BioNude is specifically designed to be hypoallergenic for use on ultra-sensitive skin. It’s formulated without parabens, glycerin, aloe, silicones, scents, and flavorings. (It’s also vegan and gluten-free!) 

Tips on using lube for solo play  

Water-based lubricants like Good Clean Love’s are excellent for solo play because they’re compatible with every type of sex toy. They’re safe to use internally and externally and work well with everything from stainless steel to silicone, including both latex and polyisopropene condoms.  

When you’re on your own, try playing with the locations where you apply your lube to discover what you like. Even if you’ve been using lube for years, this can be a worthwhile activity to revisit every now and then—our tastes often change over time. Find out if there are certain spots that like a little more or a little less lube, or if there are certain zones on your body where it feels nice to leave the chill of exposed wetness on your skin.  

Lube is also great for self-care activities, not just sexual ones. Try a bit of lube while massaging out a tender muscle, inserting menstrual products or fixing your hair in a pinch. (I have absolutely added a scrunch of a lube-moisturizer mix to my dry hair while traveling, and honestly? Would do again; have done again.)  

Where to buy personal lubricant  

Good Clean Love’s pH-balanced, Bio-Match® lubricants are available online and in select retailers.