If there's one thing virtually all sex educators agree on, it's lube. Lubricant can be absolutely vital to some sexual activities - and it can make other activities even more enjoyable. Lubricant will always be required for anal activities, and it can make vaginal activities even more fun. Some people even prefer to masturbate with lubricant. Inexpensive and easy to use, lubricant is often overlooked. But it shouldn't be. A few drops can make everything else you do in the bedroom even better - if you choose the right product for your purposes. Here are some tips on how to do that.

Three Basic Lubricant Types

Before you start to pick out a lubricant, you should know a little bit about the basic types. There are three basic types of lube: water-based lubricant, silicone-based lubricant and oil-based lubricant . Water-based lubricant is your all-around best choice because it's safe for sex, safe with all toys, and can be made with great ingredients. However, it tends to dry up more quickly than other lubes, and it can't be used underwater.

Silicone-based lubricant is fantastic for use underwater, and it's safe for use during sex, but it's not compatible with some silicone-based toys. Some people also hate how difficult it can be to clean up because it's that long-lasting.

Finally, there's oil-based lubricant. Oil-based lubricants can be great for masturbation of a penis, but it will destroy condoms. Some experts say they're a horrible choice to get anywhere near a vagina as well, because they can trap harmful bacteria. As a result, they aren't usually recommended for penetration. However, they offer a nice, long-lasting glide (like from a professional massage), so some people choose to use them for non-penetrative activities like massages or masturbation.

Now that you have a basic understanding of the various types of lubricant, it's time that you pick out specific products that you think might be a good choice for you. Take some of these things into account.

Your Lifestyle Choices

Did you know that your lifestyle choices can come into the bedroom as well? Whether you're trying to be more eco-friendly, prefer organic materials, or keep a vegan lifestyle, those are things you may want to consider with your lube as well. Look over the ingredient labels to ensure they're vegan or organic. Check with the manufacturer's practices to learn about how they treat social responsibility and how they source their ingredients.

Contemplate Your Toys

Do you plan on using sex toys with your lubricant? If so, you need to know what your sex toys are made out of. Some silicone sex toys may not be compatible with silicone-based lubricants. You'll need to do a quick "spot-test" using a small dab of silicone lubricant on a non-essential part of the silicone toy and see how the two react. If you'd rather not worry about material compatibility or you plan on expanding your toy collection with new toys in the future, consider a water-based lubricant; it's compatible with everything.

Peruse the Bottle Tops

Do you prefer a one-handed approach to your bottle of lubricant? Would you rather leave the bottle on the bedside table and never have to pick it up? Think about how your lubricant gets applied. If you prefer something that stays out and may only need one hand to apply, consider a pump-top lubricant. If you prefer something that can be squeezed for every last drop, a squeeze bottle may be a better choice for you.

Muse Over Discretion

While we're on the topic of packaging, you've thought about the discretion aspect already, haven't you? If you're concerned about someone coming across the lubricant and instantly knowing what it is, you might want to avoid bottles called "AnalLube" or "SexLube." Consider bottles that have less sexualized packaging or product names to increase the discretion in case the bottle happens to be found.

Weigh In About Oral Application

Do you plan on tasting or licking the area after it's been lubricated? Especially if you enjoy long sex sessions where you like to alternate between penetration and oral sex, you'll want to choose a lubricant that has a neutral or pleasurable taste. If you're trying to find a good taste, I recommend selecting sample-sized bottles to try out the taste before picking up a gigantic bottle. Some people prefer a neutral/organic lubricant for the very-slight medicinal taste over the flavored lubricants that can occasionally taste extremely fake. If you'll be using the lubricant around a sensitive vagina, make sure to ensure the lubricant has minimal (preferably none) amounts of sugar in it.

Know Your Body

Part of choosing a good lubricant includes knowing about your body. This is especially important for those who have to take care of a vagina. If you have sensitivities, some lubricants can upset the balance of the vagina. Make sure to choose to experiment with different types of lubricant if you find irritation after a specific one. Most lubricants are made with different ratios of ingredients, so finding a good lubricant may be a matter of trying out a variety of choices. If you know you have sensitivities, look for lubricants that are labeled as organic or pH-balanced to reduce the likelihood of any problems.

Think About Your Fertility

Did you know that most lubricants can make it more difficult to conceive? Because of how they're designed and how much "thicker" they can make the vaginal canal to get through, they can hinder efforts to get pregnant. It's not a method of birth control by any means, but if you've been having trouble conceiving, it may be time to take a closer look at your lubricant. If pregnancy is your goal, check out lubricants especially made for couples who want to get pregnant. A couple brands to check out include Astroglide TTC, Pre-Seed, Yes Baby, and Sasmar Conceive Plus. If nothing else, consider switching to an organic lubricant to reduce some of the harsher ingredients that may reduce your likelihood of conception.

Ponder About Special Sensations

If you're looking for more than just slickness during sex, it's time to explore a lubricant equipped with special sensations. While most lubricants are just designed to lubricate, the most-recent trend includes lubes designed to stimulate. If you'd like to add something more to your sensation, consider a lube that warms, cools, tingles, or numbs. If either of you have skin or genital sensitivities, make sure to apply it very lightly and be prepared to stop if the lubricant causes irritation. While many couples can enjoy these sensation-filled lubricants without a problem, some people find that the ingredients can cause unpleasant feelings.

There are hundreds of sexual lubricants out there to choose from, but now you have a good basis of what to look for when you're selecting a good one for you or for you and a partner. Help narrow down your choices by looking for these things to pick a lube that works best for your needs. Oh, and enjoy the "trial phase." It's a great time to make fun excuses as to why you need to open that new bottle tonight!