Updated 12 February 2016

Shopping for lubricants this Valentine's weekend

Step out of your comfort zone and spice up your weekend with some lube to make your Valentine's evening more romantic and exotic. We have a couple of important points to keep in mind when choosing a lubricant.


You may have to experiment until you find a sexual lubricant that works best for you. Most pharmacies stock a small range of sexual lubricants, but you’ll find a very wide range of products on the Internet. Several South African websites sell lubricants.

When shopping for a lubricant, you may want to consider the following factors:

- Price: We all want value for money, and you shouldn’t have to pay exorbitant prices for imported lubricants when superior locally-produced products are available at more realistic prices. Silicon-based lubricants are far more expensive than either oil-based or water-based products.

Read: Lubricants: the basics

- Packaging: Most lubricants are available in bottles, and a few are available in single-use sachets. When choosing a bottle, remember that you’ll be using lubricant during sex – it’s likely that you’ll want something that opens and closes quickly and easily, even if your hands are slippery from the lubricant.

A bottle with a flip-top cap is often the easiest to use. Single-use sachets should also be easy to open without interrupting your sex play.

Metallic, foiled sachets or plastic sachets could be difficult to open or could be slippery. And make sure the sachet contains sufficient lubricant for the job at hand – you’re likely to require at least 3ml of lube.

- Purpose: Consider what you’ll be using the lubricant for! If you need a lubricant to use with condoms, you can’t use any products that contain oil – you’ll have to buy a water-based or silicon-based lubricant.

Read: Why lubricants need to be tested

If you’re likely to use your lubricant with silicon-made toys, avoid using a silicon-based lubricant, which can damage your toys. Also think about where you’ll be having sex or masturbating – oil and silicon-based lubricants can stain fabrics and are the most difficult to clean up afterwards.

Water-based lubricants may offer the best option.

- Consistency: This refers to whether the lubricant is very fluid and ‘runny’, or thicker. A lubricant that is too ‘runny’ may run off your hands before you’ve managed to apply it to where it’s actually needed, and a thicker consistency may result in a lubricant becoming dry, or sticky, quite soon.

Most people prefer a lubricant that isn’t too runny and that lasts longer.

- Ingredients:

Take a look at the ingredients contained in various lubricants. Those that contain many complex-sounding ingredients are not necessarily better.

Avoid any lubricants that contain any oils or fatty substances if you use condoms – it may be best to only use a lubricant that states that it is condom-compatible. Most lubricants contain a preservative. Check that you’re not allergic to any of the ingredients.

Read: Dry, tight and warm - the dangerous practice of dry sex

If you experience any irritation when using a lubricant, stop using it.

- Branding:

 Lubricants are fun products, aimed at enhancing sex. Look at how different lubricants are branded and marketed. Choose a brand that you can relate to.

Word of caution

Never use soaps, shampoo, suntan lotion, body lotions, cooking oil or butter as lubricants! Besides the fact that they are likely to damage condoms, these substances can cause nasty and unnecessary irritation.

Avoid using aqueous crèmes as a lubricant – although they are made from water, they often contain a perfume or scent which is oil-based. It is always advisable to use a commercial product specially formulated and manufactured for use as a sexual lubricant.

This information is brought to you by tatt2, manufacturers of ASSEGAI water-based lubricant.

Read more:

Lubricants hinder fertility

Vaginal dryness and sexual discomfort

South Africans’ secret porn viewing habits



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