Congrats! You've purchased an amazing silicone sex toy - and you just finished unboxing it - only to find out that the only lube you have around your house (that lube that's your favorite in the whole wide world!) is a silicone-based lubricant.
What's a Lube Spot Test - And How Do I Do It?
You may have heard the advice: don't use a silicone-based lubricant with a silicone sex toy - it'll ruin your toy. This advice brings up mental pictures of melting sex toy materials - or maybe even tiny little lube explosions. ("Ahhh! Run for your lives!")
Why Can't I Use a Silicone Lube with a Silicone Sex Toy?
First off, your sex toy isn't going to melt if you mix the two. I mean, it'd actually be kinda cool if it did - aside from the fact that you'd be out the cost of the sex toy. (But imagine a tiny little disaster movie featuring the vibrator on your kitchen counter. C'mon!)
It will, however, possibly deform the silicone material over time. If the silicone-based lube and the silicone sex toy are going to have an interaction, it can happen the very first time you use the two together, but it's likely just going to be a slight change in the feel of the silicone - or the toy is going to feel more bloated or tacky than usual.
If you're a sex toy nerd with thousands of silicone sex toys (calling myself out here), you'll likely notice that difference pretty instantly. If you haven't spent a few year's worth of cumulated hours touching silicone, you may not notice depending on how potent the interaction is.
That being said, over time, constant reuse of silicone-based lubes on silicone sex toys can add up to a funky-feeling silicone - which probably isn't the sensation you were going for when you spent the money on a luxurious silicone sex toy in the first place.
So, essentially, you can ruin SOME brand-new, shiny silicone sex toys by using silicone based lubricant on it.
However, this degradation won't happen between all lube and toy pairings. Some silicone-based lubes and silicone sex toys can totally play well with one another; it just depends on the make-up of both of the items in question.
High-quality silicones (with minimal additives) are more likely to play well together. For example, according to the manufacturer, silicone Tantus sex toys play well with Sliquid silicone lubes and pjur silicone lubes - and there are a lot of other examples in the sex industry where high-quality silicone materials can play well together.
It just depends on the quality of the silicones in question - and even when they're high-quality, whether they have any additives. (All "additives" aren't bad! Some additives are added for "good" - like Aloe or Vitamin E for added skin softness after use.)
Which is where we come to....
How To Do a Lube Spot Test?
A lube "spot test" is the cutesy, cheeky name that has been given to testing your silicone-based lubes with your silicone toys. Essentially, before you go all-in on using a silicone based lubricant on a silicone sex toy, you should give it a try - in a small "spot" - to see how the two interact.
Let me be upfront here: like mentioned above, this toy-destroying silicone interaction CAN happen the first time you use a silicone based lube and silicone sex toy together. If you're someone who wants your sex toys pristine, the results of this spot test CAN leave an unfixable spot on your sex toy.
If you want your toy to stay pristine, for sure for sure, just don't use silicone-based lubricants with your silicone sex toys - period. However, for people who don't want to give up their favorite silicone based lubricants, this test can help you figure out whether you'll ruin an entire toy by using silicone lube with it.
I always recommend doing your spot test on a "less-important" part of the sex toy - like on the base or noninsertable parts if possible. With flared base dildos, you can easily pick a spot on the flared base; you may forget that spot was ever used as a spot test area in the future. However, something like a plastic and silicone vibrator might offer less space to easily do your spot test.
It's not vital to do your spot test in a non-insertable area. However, if the spot test's results are a "nope" for compatibility, you may have a spot, in the future, where the toy's texture changes during use - which can be annoying for some people during insertion. This is why picking an out-of-the-way spot is ideal.
Pick your spot (no more than a square one-half inch but a bit more than just a finger tip size). You can "tape off" your spot if you'd like with masking tape or painter's tape (I don't recommend any super-sticky tape like packaging tape or duct tape!)
Apply a bit of silicone lube onto your spot test area. Rub it in a bit - and then wait a few minutes to see what happens. After three minutes, try to rub the lube around a bit more.
If the lube feels different - or the toy feels different, it's pretty likely the two items had a reaction with one another. You can expect it to feel gummy - and you might have to scrape the lube to get it off of the sex toy. The sex toy's material might feel different after you get it removed- like it's puffy or extra-grippy.
However, it's very possible that your lube will still just feel like lube - and nothing feels any different about the lube or toy. In that case, it looks like your sex toy is going to play well with that silicone based lubricant!
JUST in the name of caution, I recommend cleaning the lube off (with soap) drying it, and giving the test a second trial on a larger space on the dildo to ensure the same results. If it passes with flying colors again, I'd say you have a compatible set on your hands!
Silicone Lube and TPE/TPR/Cyberskin Sex Toys?
In a similar boat, silicone lube may not play well with TPE or TPR material sex toys. It may not degrade the material like it can with silicone sex toys, but it can be difficult to wash off. I highly recommend paying attention to the manufacturer's instructions when you purchase your toy - and stick with their recommendations.
Note that almost all manufacturers will solely recommend water-based lube - because it's the least likely to interact with their sex toys and cause issues. Nobody likes to give general advice with a bunch of asterisks attached!
Is Silicone Lube Bad?
Heck no! Silicone-based lube has lots and lots of great uses; it just shouldn't be your go-to for any silicone sex toys.
Silicone lubes have their own benefits. The biggest one? They stay slippery longer than water-based lube - by a lot. If you're looking for a condom-safe lube that won't need a lot of reapplying, silicone-based lubes are your new besties. Water-based lubes, while very awesome in their own right, will dry up faster than silicone-based while oil-based lubes can break down condoms.
Silicone lubes are also water-resistant. Especially if you're the type of person who wants to enjoy some sex in the shower or bath, you're going to want a bottle of silicone-based lube. (Remember how water helps you wash away dirt? It's going to wash away all your natural lubrication too. Lube is a MUST for comfy water sex.) Just be careful about spilling it on the tile floor...slipping and falling in the bathroom is probably not the sexy look you are going for.
Since silicone-based lubes tend to have minimal ingredient lists, (sometimes only three ingredients!) a silicone based lube can be the lube of choice if you're sensitive to ingredients. Very few people experience allergic reactions to silicone based lubes - and silicone based lubes can be friendly to those with vaginas who are sensitive to pH balance changes too.
If you've ever poked at silicone-based lube (compared to water-based), you'll also be really astounded by the consistency. While silicone-based lubes slicken where it's applied, they also (somehow; I'm pretty sure it's magic) manage to retain some of the sensations of friction. This can allow your bodies to slide comfortably against one another while still feeling a lot of sensual friction of "skin-on-skin" pleasure. Water-based lubes can apply a "plushy" layer between the two body parts.
If you're a latex fetishist, you probably keep a bottle of silicone-based lube on you at all times. Have you seen how shiny latex can be? That's all because of a bit of elbow grease and silicone lube. It shines up latex perfectly - and makes it easier to get in and out of latex too. (Some people use silicone lubes to get in and out of wet suits for surfing, too!)
If you're into chastity cages, silicone-based lube is also another highly-recommended accessory for your play. Due to its very thin nature and long-lasting design, a lot of chastity cage owners swear by a drop on the base of the shaft - to keep the cage comfortable all day long.
Read: 5 Games for Teasing Your Partner in Chastity
Really, the only downside of silicone based lubricant is that they can degrade some sex toys - and that you'll want a good amount of soap and water to clean it up afterwards. It doesn't just "go away" over time like a water-based can.
Learn More about Lubes
That's it! Really! You know everything you need to know about silicone based lubes and silicone sex toys - and how to do a silicone lube spot test. We've talked about how amazing silicone lube can be (and why it still deserves a spot in your bedside table - even if it isn't the most sex-toy-friendly lube out there).
You might still have some lubricant-related questions, though, and for that, my friends, I recommend these resources for more reading:
- Why You Need Lube (And Which One to Buy!)
- The Best Lube for Every Sexual Scenario
- Slip-Sliding Away: Glycering in Lube
- 8 Tips for Choosing a Sexual Lubricant
- What is a Hybrid Lubricant?
- Lubricants 101
(I have no idea why sex lubricants have to be so convoluted. I just regularly thank the stars that they seem easier to understand than most of the skincare routines out there.)
Mistress Kay has a fondness for all things sexual. With a house that's quickly running out of room for all of her reading and vibrating pleasures, she spends her free time reading, writing, and learning about the sexual universe with her partners. She can be reached at Kinky World.