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Lube & Toys: a match made in my kind of heaven

Photo by Dainis Graveris on Unsplash

Lube and sex toys are like tea and biscuits - they can each be amazing on their own, but they go really, really well together. I would even go so far as to say that some biscuits are just too dry to eat without tea. See where I’m going with this?

What a drag: the bad kind of friction

That’s right, the friction that some sex toy materials cause make using lube with them an absolute must for lots of people. Just drag a dry finger along the surface of a silicone or rubber toy and you’ll see what I'm talking about.

Adding lube to toys, especially softer materials or toys with a velvety surface can remove any uncomfortable “dragging” sensation, allowing you to control the degree of friction that’s right for you.

If you think you’ve got enough natural lube already, just remember that those juices aren’t produced consistently. In other words, natural lube has a tendency to dry up, and your body might need more time and stimulation before it releases more, especially during longer play sessions.

If you’re using a toy externally, you might be less inclined to reach for lube. But “lay-on” and grinding toys glide around so much more easily with a little help, letting you see which parts of your body might like to partake in the good vibes. Something to keep in mind!

Best toy lubes

Barring a few compatibility issues which we’ll get to in a minute, there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to toys and lube. 

Here are some tips for pairing sex toys with lube:

• Lubes with a thicker consistency can be especially nice to use with toys because they stay in place better and provide more cushioning than thinner lubes

Water-based lubes are compatible with all toy materials

• The extra long lasting power of silicone- and oil-based lube can be nice for more rigorous thrusting

• Using silicone-based lube on glass or steel toys can feel amazing, especially for people who want as little friction as possible

Some silicone- and oil-based lubes aren’t compatible with some toy materials (keep reading)

Silicone-based lube & silicone toys

There’s been a lot of talk when it comes to using (or rather not using) silicone lube with silicone sex toys. Both toy and lube manufacturers caution against this combination, warning that silicone lube could ruin silicone toys.

In actuality, some silicone toys are perfectly fine to use with some silicone lubes - but it’s almost impossible to say for sure which ones are ok to use together. 

If you really want to use silicone lube with your silicone toys, here are some ideas for how you can safely go about it:

Cover your silicone toy with a condom (preferably a non-lubricated condom).

Do a patch test on the base of your silicone toy. Let the silicone lube sit overnight and see if it makes the toy sticky.

Silicone lubes generally pair better with firm unadulterated 100% silicone toys rather than softer toys.

Don’t ever use silicone-based lube or lubricated condoms on dual-density silicone, such as VixSkin dildos.

Consider using a hybrid lube, which has a small amount of silicone in it and is generally safer to use with silicone toys than pure silicone-based lube.

I've written all about the science behind silicone lube and silicone toys in a separate post - check it out here!

Oil-based lube & toys

Most porous toy materials degrade when used with oil-based lube, so best to either avoid using them together or cover your porous toy with a condom (which, in my opinion, you should be doing anyway!).

Here’s a pretty comprehensive list of toy materials that aren’t safe to use with oil-based lube (care of The Butters, a manufacturer of incredible oil-based products!) :

  • Latex

  • rubber

  • “jelly”

  • blended silicone

  • silicone-rubber

  • vinyl

  • Cyberskin

  • TPR

  • acrylic

  • AquaGel

  • Better-Than Real

  • Jel-lee

  • O2

  • Lucite

  • wood (depending on the coating)

Note that some oils may also break down some plastics, so it's probably best to avoid using oil-based lubes with your plastic toys as well (or just be careful with plastic parts, like vibrator handles.)

The good news is that oil-based lubes are totally fine to use with 100% unadulterated silicone, glass, steel, aluminum, ceramic and stone toys. There may still be some issues with colorants and oil, but this is seldom the case with high quality toys.


That's the lowdown on lube & sex toys according to this lube lover and former sex toy seller. Hope it helps you find your perfect pairing!


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