When it comes to sex, we can all agree that wetter is better. While some people forego the use of lubricant, it is truly the unsung hero of any sexual activity. Whether you’re flying solo or getting frisky with a partner (or two), lube proves to be one of the many things you can utilize to increase pleasure.

The common misconception that lube is strictly for anal and post-menopausal women keeps many from venturing into the realm of possibilities that it offers. From silicone-based to hybrids, lube can up the ante for a regular favorite or aid in experimenting in unexplored sexual territory.

Here’s a guide for the best slip and slide ride of your life.

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Water-based

While lubes come in a variety of bases, the more versatile and readily available of the bunch is water-based. They’re safe to use with latex and non-latex condoms as well as with any sex toys. It rinses off easily without any soap and keeps your sheets stain-free compared to silicone or oil-based lubes.

Since water-based lubes can be absorbed into the skin, the downside is that you may have to reapply. Nonetheless, it’s still a reliable option for almost any sexual activity. And by almost, I mean that any business involving water — such as shower sex or bath time festivities — will completely wash off water-based lube. But don’t fret, there are other types of lubes that welcome water.

Silicone-based

Although water-based lubes claim versatility, silicone-based lubes claim longevity. This kind of lube won’t dry out or be absorbed into your skin, which calls for a marathon session in the bedroom, the bathroom or wherever you choose. Silicone-based lube is also a blessing to those with sensitive skin as it is hypoallergenic.

However, if you include silicone sex toys in your sexual regimen it’s best to use water-based lube as silicone-based lubes erode the surface of the toys, inviting bacteria into the cracks.

Hybrids

If you want the best of both worlds, some lubes are hybrids of water and silicone-based. While combining the benefits of both, long-lasting hybrid lubes can be used in the bedroom and for water play. They still contains silicone as an ingredient, so keep them away from your silicone toys.

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Oil-based

Although it’s the most long-lasting, oil-based lubes are the most problematic of the bunch. These types of lubes are extremely difficult to wash off of skin and fabric. While they don’t deteriorate sex toys, they erode condoms and cause them to break. Due to oil-based lube’s durability, using them puts you at risk for a higher rate of infection if penetration is involved. The best use of this type of lube is as a massage oil during foreplay. Then you should move to a water-based or silicone-based lube for sexual activity.

Remember to read the ingredients label for any lube that you use and stay wary of lubes that include paraben, glycerin and petroleum, as it may increase the risk of infection and cause irritation or inflammation.

In practice, lube can be pleasurable for anyone and for whatever sexual activities that they partake in. If you or your partner uses condoms, put a few drops of a water-based lube on the inside and a little more on the outside. If you’re unaccompanied, use some on your hands or a toy. The possibilities are endless.