Lube is a bottom’s best friend. Rectums can't secrete their own lubrication like vaginas do--lubes fulfill that function. With no shortage of choice out there, finding the right one for you—especially if you’re just starting out bottoming—is key to keeping things safe, friction-free and fun in the bedroom. This guide is to help get your head around what lube to use, how often to use it and what types you should definitely avoid.
First off: lube means lube (and less definitely isn’t more)
When we’re talking lube, we mean the real stuff—silicone or water-based lube—not spit. Saliva actually dries out your skin, making it less elastic.
When we’re talking lube, we mean the real stuff—silicone or water-based lube—not spit.
The best tip for lube is that there is no such thing as too much—especially when you’re first starting out.
Silicone vs. water lube
Water-based lubricants are completely toy-friendly and a great start to butt play. They are condom-safe, so they are also a great way to go from toy to the real thing seamlessly. They usually also contain natural ingredients that many people love.
For butt play though, we recommend silicone lube. It’s second to none in terms of slickness and endurance. If you use condoms, silicone and water-based lubes are both safe with latex condoms. Water-based lube works in a pinch, but it tends to dry out quickly and gets sticky.
Silicone does have its downsides though: it stains sheets and lingers on surfaces (and people). Put a towel down or throw “play sheets” over the bed before things get going. Make sure to wash your hands thoroughly before touching items in your bathroom, too.
Some people love oil-based lubes: they’re as slick as silicone—some say slicker. But oil is not latex-condom safe—it will dissolve latex and cause condoms to break. Like silicone, many oil-based lubes will also stain sheets and surfaces.
...oil is not latex-condom safe—it will dissolve latex and cause condoms to break.
Hybrid water/silicone lubes will not match the slickness of pure silicone, but many people opt for hybrid lubes because they are stain-free and easier to clean than silicone.
How to apply lube before bottoming
Once you have mastered dilating (using anal dilators sequentially to increase both the skin and muscle in diameter) and you feel ready for the real thing, plan ahead so that you have plenty of lube on hand (and elsewhere). Most tops just slap some lube on themselves and think that’s enough. Trust me, it’s not.
Follow these easy steps for smooth sailing from start to finish—literally.
Step 1: When thinking about your behind, every bottom (and top) should keep three areas in mind: the surrounding skin of the hole, the external sphincter (or the rim of the hole), and the internal sphincter (and beyond). Each of these areas needs to be coated properly with lube to ensure a fun time for both parties, while also lowering the risk for injury. The best way to make sure you’re lubed up entirely is to actually start with a dilator or another toy either before your top comes over or as part of foreplay. Start with putting a big pump or squirt of lube on your hole with your fingers (nails clipped!) or the toy itself. Then, insert a well-lubed finger or two or start with the smallest dilator just to coat that outer and inner rim (remember we want everything coated with lube).
Next, put a generous amount of lube on the toy itself and gently insert the tip of the toy into your hole, slowly dilating and coating the sphincters with lube. A nice trick is to continuously rotate the toy as you are inserting it because this will ensure the lube is evenly distributed throughout the entire canal. Another option is to consider purchasing a ‘lube shooter’—a small, rounded-tip syringe that allows you to deliver lube deeper into your hole and helps with deeper friction points. If neither of those options works for you, please make sure your top applies copious amounts of lube not only on themselves but also on your hole.
Step 2: Make sure you’re in control, avoiding the submissive role until you have successfully been entered and feel comfortable. Have your top lie on their back, and with constant communication, you can slowly have them insert themselves or you can sit down on them until you hit resistance. Then, pull out and reapply more lube before inserting again. Each time either of you feel resistance, your top should pull out and apply more lube. This way, you're reducing potentially damaging friction inside your hole. Think of this application as a 360-degree paint job of lube.
Step 3: Pay attention to how it feels as your top is thrusting. If at any point either of you feels snagging or discomfort, it’s probably because they need to apply more lube, especially as you choose different positions and/or time passes. Don’t be afraid to ask them to stop, apply more (to both themselves and your hole), and then pick up where you left off. One other thing to note: if scarring is present from prior surgeries, many lubes will have a difficult time coating that surface. Therefore, constantly reapplying lube is paramount, as well as using a non-irritating water-based lube like Flip or a high-quality silicone option like Uberlube. Scars can create friction so being aware of this and taking extra precautions to address this will assist in minimizing injury.
A lubed hole is a happy hole!
A few lubes to avoid
Warming or cooling lubes: these aren’t for butt play and will irritate your butt
Desensitizing butt lubes: these can dull or remove pain sensation altogether, which can prevent you from noticing potential injury. When you don’t know what your butt can and cannot handle, that’s when problems arise
Silicone lube: if you’re playing with silicone toys, stick to water-based or toy-safe lube (silicone lube can warp silicone toys)