Because when it comes to any kind of butt play, lube is non-negotiable.

By Gabrielle Kassel
April 30, 2020
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Rich in sensitive nerve endings, the butt can give you some seriously mind-blowing orgasms. (Yes, anal orgasms are a thing). What the butt can not do, however, is self-lubricate (like the vagina). And that means, unless you add lubricant, any anal play is going to be...dry.

"The sensation of skin-on-skin creates a lot of friction that can be really irritating and painful," says certified sex educator Alicia Sinclair, CEO of b-Vibe, an anal play product company. "Lube is what makes the entire anal experience pleasurable," she says.

Wondering, "What about saliva"? Let's be very clear: Saliva is not lube! "It dries up reallllly quickly," says Sinclair. And it contains bacteria that could disrupt the pH of your vagina and/or rectum. Yikes.

Beyond making anal play pleasurable, lube is also what makes it safer! The tissue lining the anal canal is super thin and delicate, which makes it susceptible to microtears if it's not well-lubricated, explains Evan Goldstein, D.O., CEO and founder of Bespoke Surgical, a sexual-wellness company specializing in anal-related health. And not only can those tiny tears be painful (duh), they also increase the risk of STI transmission if your partner has one, he says.

Convinced you need to buy lube for anal sex or other anal play activities? Scroll down for 13 of the best anal lubes, according to sex educators. (And while you're adding things to your shopping cart, go ahead and throw one of these anal sex toys in, as well).

Pjur

pJur Back Door

Anal play enthusiasts to the front! If you're getting down with a penis, fingers, or fist, this silicone-based lube belongs on your Anal Sex Alter (right next to the nJoy Pure Plug that is). "It's super thick, without being greasy or sticky," says Sofiya Alexandra, co-host of Private Parts Unknown, a podcast exploring love and sexuality around the world. It also contains jojoba, which has ~anti-inflammatory properties~ that are good for the bumhole skin, she says.

pJur AQUA

If silicone toys (think: butt plugs and anal beads) are part of your anal play, Gigi Engle, certified sex coach, Womanizer sexpert and the author of All The F*cking Mistakes: a guide to sex, love, and life, recommends investing in this water-based option from pJur instead. "Silicone can degrade silicone toys, so if you're using silicone toys, you need to stick with a high-quality water-based lube, like pjur AQUA," says Engle. (See more: What Are Anal Beads And How Do You Use Them?)

It has a moderately thick consistency without being tacky—a very good thing because "you don't want your lube to wind up like hair gel when you're trying to have yourself a good 'ole time," she says.

Nutiva Coconut Oil

Important reminder: Oil-based lubes degrade the integrity of latex condoms, which makes them less effective at protecting against STI transmission (and in the case of vaginal intercourse, pregnancy). But for folks who aren't using latex condoms, coconut oil is an anal sex all-star. (See More: Is It OK to Use Coconut Oil During Vaginal Sex?)

"It's way longer lasting than water-based lubes, which means fewer reapplication interruptions," says Sinclair. "And it's compatible with all silicone butt plugs, anal beads, or prostate massagers," she explains.

Etsy

The Butters

Rich, creamy, and long-lasting, it doesn't get more luxurious than The Butters Lube. "It's the consistency of a thick lotion and far less messy than many other lubes," says Jamie LeClaire, a sexologist who specializes in sexuality, gender, and identity.

When you get the product you'll notice that in the jar it looks a bit like hair gel, but fear not. "When you take a dollop of the creamy goodness and rub it between your fingers, it turns into a luxurious oil lather that really easily distributes wherever you want it," they say.

While it's not compatible with latex condoms, LeClaire says "I love it so much that I think it's worth investing in non-latex condoms so that I can use this particular lube for anal play." Quite the endorsement! (If you're looking for a non-latex condom that protects against STIs and pregnancy, check out polyurethane condoms like the Trojans Bare-Skin Non-Latex condoms).

Buy It: The Butters, $10, etsy.com

UberLube

Dr.Goldstein recommends Uberlube for anyone having anal sex with a penis, fingers, or non-silicone toy. "The silicone in UberLube is well-sourced and the company puts a lot of thought into their product." Need proof? Just look at the bottle! Pretty damn classy for a lube, wouldn't you say?

Because Uberlube comes in travel sizes, it's a great option to bring on the road. And, he adds, "unlike some silicone-based lubes which are a pain to get off sheets, Uberlube doesn't stain and is super easy to wipe off when playtime is done." (Speaking of travel: These are the best vibrators to take with you wherever you go.)

Good Clean Love Almost Naked

Only stock your cabinets and "fun" drawer with organic and all-natural products? Good Clean Love Almost Naked will fit right in. "This all-natural water-based lube isn't made specifically for anal, but it's definitely up for the challenge of a backdoor adventure," says Courtney Kocak, the other co-host of Private Parts Unknown. "It's silky without being greasy, and easy-peasy to clean-up."

Sociologist and clinical sexologist Sarah Melancon, Ph.D., with The Sex Toy Collective also stans this lube, adding that the aloe can help moisturize your anus, helping to protect it against microtears.

Boy Butter

Don't let the name turn you off—you can enjoy and use Boy Butter no matter your identifying gender. "It's one of my favorites on the market right now because it's extra thick and creamy and stays in place during anal," says sexpert Daniel Saynt, founder and chief conspirator of The New Society for Wellness (NSFW) a private members club for the sexually adventurous. It's made of a blend of silicone and coconut oil, so you get the best of both worlds—just note that, since it's oil-based, it's not safe for use with latex condoms.

Saynt especially recommends this anal lube for use in showers. "Because of its staying power, it doesn't immediately come off under the stream of water, so the receiver can fully enjoy the experience," he says. Just be careful because when it does wash off, the floor can get a little slippery. (Related: How to Have Shower Sex That's Actually Amazing)

Sliquid Organics Gel

Unlike some water-based lubes which are runny, Sliquid Organics' water-based gel is thick AF. Since it’s gel-like, “it won't dry up as quickly as other lubricants,” says Rebecca Alvarez Story, M.A., sexologist and founder of intimate care marketplace Bloomi. Of course, if you plan on going at it for a long time, re-apply the moment it starts to feel a little more “ouch” than “ooh." 

B-Vibe

b-Vibe Lube Applicator 

This isn’t lube, but it is a nifty way to apply lube to the (ahem) desired area. “When you apply lube to whatever is going to go inside the anal canal (a penis, dildo, butt plug), as it enters the canal, the anal sphincter can cause a squeegee effect," explains Sinclair. Meaning, rather than the lube actually getting into the ~hole in question~, most of it ends up on the outside of the bum. 

“Lube applicators allow you to easily lube up the interior anal canal,” she says. Just insert your lube-of-choice into the applicator, use your finger to apply some lube to the applicator, and whammo-bammo, you’re set! 

Groove

System Jo H2O Strawberry Kisses Water-Based Lube

I’ll let you in on a little secret: So long as you take a shower, your bum tastes just like skin! That said, if fear of tasting “bad” is preventing you from letting your partner give you the gift of a rim job, LeClaire recommends trying a flavored lube.It's easy to mess up flavored lube though, so it's important to find a good one like JO H2O Strawberry Kisses,” they say.

Because flavored lubes often have extra ingredients, they recommend doing an allergy test on your forearm skin before bringing it between your cheeks to make sure you’re not allergic.

Walmart

Aloe Cadabra Piña Colada

Want to reminisce about your last tropical vacation while getting down with butt stuff? Joe Vela, co-founder and CEO of Emojibator, a shame-free, accessible pleasure-tech brand, recommends this Piña Colada-flavored lube. “It tastes good!" he says. "And vegan, organic, and pH balanced, it’s save for anal play." He also recommends the Vanilla and Peppermint Tingle flavors.

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