The Dos and Don’ts of Anal Lube: Counting Down the Top 5 Lubes For Anal Sex

Whether you’re a woman who’s looking to please her man, a straight man/lesbian woman looking to get pegged, or a gay man looking for the best gay lube, anal sex is a joy that we can all share.

Granted, the location of the prostate gland does make receiving anal more pleasurable for men than women, but there are still plenty of sensitive nerve endings around the anus which allow women to feel pleasure from great anal sex too. Sexy sexy nerve endings!

Still, there’s one thing we can all agree on – you need lots and lots of lube for anal sex. Make no mistake… the anus is not like the mouth or vagina – it does not lubricate itself naturally. “No lube” anal sex will be incredibly uncomfortable for both parties, especially the receiver. I still feel sorry for Heath Ledger in Brokeback Mountain – he only had a mouthful of spit to use as lube! In fact, there’s a common trope of movies and TV shows acting like anal sex doesn’t require lube, so don’t be deceived.

Yes, you need lots and lots of lube for anal sex… but what kind of lube for anal exactly? That’s what we’re here to find out. We have written a detailed guide on lubes already, but here we are going to focus exclusively on the best lube for anal sex, helping you to enjoy the act comfortably, safely, and with minimal risk of injury. Let’s get to it!

Anal lube types

There are many different types of lube on the market, all of which have different advantages and drawbacks. Don’t blindly assume that a drugstore lube will automatically be great for anal sex – there’s a lot to take into consideration. Here’s a rundown of the main types.

Silicone-based lube

Silicone lube, as you may have guessed, is made from silicone. This means that it doesn’t absorb into your body over time, so it just keeps on being slippery for hours and hours and hours! This makes it great for anal sex, as it doesn’t dry out while inside your bottom. Silicone-based lube is also hypoallergenic and safe to use with all condoms and sex barriers. In fact, it’s the type of lube most commonly used on pre-lubed condoms.

Furthermore, silicone lubes are not water soluble, so they can help to make shower sex easier, whether you’re using them vaginally or anally. The main downside with silicone-based lube is that it’s quite a niche sex item which is hard to find in your local drugstore – you often need to venture into a sex shop or look for it online if you want to find it. Because it’s so good, it’s also not super cheap, and it can have some funny reactions with solid silicone sex toys too.

PROS: 

  • Hypoallergenic
  • Lasts the longest out of all lubes
  • Not water-soluble – great for shower sex
  • Can be used with all condoms and sex barriers

CONS: 

  • Hard to find in drugstores etc.
  • Usually found in specialist sex shops/online
  • Not always compatible with solid silicone sex toys
  • Pricey


Water-based lube

Water-based lube is usually the bestselling lube on the sex market, largely due to how cheap it is to produce and sell. It tends to feel the most “natural” out of all the lubes, most closely mimicking the body’s natural lubrication, especially regarding the vagina. Water-based lubes come in a variety of consistencies, from thick anal sex gels to thinner liquids, and they are compatible with all sex toys, condoms, and sex barriers.

The big downside to using this as an anal lube is how quickly it dries out. If you’ve ever been fucked with water-based lube for a prolonged period of time, you can feel that it “stops working” after a while – this is because your anal tract absorbs the water over time, drying it out. The other thing to take into consideration is that water-based lubes tend to have ingredients lists longer than the Magna Carta, so they’re not ideal if you’re prone to irritation and sensitivities.

PROS: 

  • Cheap
  • Feels the most natural (especially for vaginal sex)
  • Comes in a wide range of consistencies – from thick anal gels to thinner liquids
  • Compatible with all sex toys, condoms, and sex barriers

CONS: 

  • Dries out quickly
  • Can be absorbed by the body

There are many ingredients you should avoid in lube, such as sugars, glycerine, propylene glycol, nonoxynol 9, chlorhexidinegluconate, benzocaine, and many other long words. Avoid petroleum oils (such as Vaseline) like the plague – they’re a breeding ground for bacteria and hang around in your body too long.


Oil-Based Lube

Just to be clear, we’re referring to plant oil-based lubricants here, as in manufactured formulas which use plant oils (coconut oil, shea butter etc.) as their main ingredients.These oil-based lubes can be brilliant for great anal sex, but bear in mind that they destroy latex, so they cannot be used with condoms and sex barriers safely. Still, they last longer than water-based lubricants and their natural ingredients can provide some really relaxing and moisturizing sensations as they gently slip inside you.

PROS: -Longlasting anal lube
-Not water soluble
-Natural ingredients (most the time)

CONS: -Not suitable for condoms/sex barriers
-Take a long time to leave the body

Natural lube

When we say “natural lube” here, we’re basically referring to plant-based oils which are 100% natural and organic, not containing any artificial ingredients or man-made formulas. These lubes, such as coconut oil, aloe vera, shea butter, and cocoa butter, hydrate your skin and improve its elasticity, helping to moisturize your skin while also lasting a long time as a lube! Natural lubes last longer than water-based lubes, and they can be used with non-toxic sex toys… but I’d hope your sex toys are non-toxic to begin with!

The downside is that they can’t usually be used with condoms and sex barriers (assuming they’re made of latex or polyisoprene, which they probably are) and they also take a long time to naturally leave the body. Still, if you’re not allergic to the natural source of the lube, it’s nice to know that you’re not putting anything artificial or irritating inside your butthole.

PROS: -Hydrates and improves skin elasticity
-Lasts longer than water-based lube
-100% organic and natural
-Compatible with non-toxic sex toys

CONS: -Can’t be used with latex/polyisoprene condoms & sex barriers
-Take a long time to leave the body

5 best anal lubes

Here I’ve compiled my top pick for the best anal sex lubes from the 5 lube types available on the market – water-based, silicone-based, oil-based, natural, and hybrid (a mixture of different types).

Pjur Back Door Anal Lubricant (best silicone-based anal lube)

Longlasting anal lube with jojoba oil

Pjur Back Door is very popular in the gay community, and is designed and marketed as a “gay lube” with male-to-male anal sex in mind. The silicone-based formula contains jojoba oil, a naturally moisturizing oil which is noted for being similar to our skin’s own oils, minimizing the risk of damage. Jojoba is also antimicrobial, helping to keep infections and bacteria at bay while inside your bottom.

This gay lube is made in Germany, which is always a good sign of quality craftsmanship, and they even describe it as being ideal for “aggressive anal penetration”, so don’t be afraid to get a little rough if it feels good! Being silicone-based, this anal sex lube is safe to use with or without condoms, so it’s basically the crème de la crème of gay sex lubes, assuming you don’t mind paying the steep price. There’s that old stereotype of gay men having lots of disposable income, so maybe they’re banking on that.

PROS: Longlasting, contains jojoba to relax anal sphincter, condom-friendly

CONS: Expensive, can’t be used with some silicone sex toys

Sliquid Sassy (best water-based anal lube)

Thick hypoallergenic anal sex gel

When it comes to water-based stuff, this is probably the best anal lube you’ll find on the market. It’s specially formulated with anal sex in mind, comprising of a thick gel-like consistency which gives you more cushion for the pushin’! This product is similar to Sliquid H2O, a vaginal lube that the company produces, but this one has simply been made thicker in order to accommodate anal sex.

A handful of people say that this lube produces a slight burning sensation on their tender parts, but I get the feeling that a lot of them are using this for the vagina when they should be putting it up their butts.

PROS: Hypoallergenic, compatible with all condoms/toys, thick consistency

CONS: Dries out a little quickly

Coconu Coconut Oil-Based Organic Personal Lubricant (best oil-based anal lube)

Natural & edible oil-based anal lube

If you and your partner have been together for a long time and don’t need to use condoms anymore, then this coconut oil-based lube could be great for some fun and interesting anal sex. The organic and natural ingredients in Coconu make it less likely to irritate your skin than water-based lubes, and it is designed to help hydrate both anal and vaginal tissues in need of some TLC.

This backdoor lube is not suitable for latex condoms, although it is suitable for polyurethane condoms such as Trojan Supra if you’re really wanting to stay safe. I think my favorite thing about this lube is how it can also be used as a massage oil with a pleasant coconut aroma reminiscent of a tropical paradise. It’s like you’re having an erotic massage on a secluded Hawaiian beach.

PROS: Organic, natural, longlasting, edible

CONS: Expensive, not suitable for latex condoms

Wildly Organic Coconut Oil (best natural anal lube)

100% certified organic coconut oil

Coconut oil is a great natural lube for many reasons. First of all, assuming that your house isn’t too warm, it starts off as a hard, wax-like substance which can be a little annoying to get out of the pot and apply to your finer/penis/sex toy at first. However, once the waxy coconut oil starts to slide into your anus, you feel it begin to melt and turn into a liquid oil inside you – it’s quite an erotic feeling in itself to be honest.

Furthermore, it’s only made from 1 ingredient – coconut oil, so if you’re not allergic to it, then you needn’t worry about bad reactions or irritation. Just don’t use it with latex condoms!

Because coconut oil can be used for cooking, moisturizing, massaging, and eating, it is not specifically sold as an anal sex lube, even though it can certainly be used that way. This means that you can pick it up for pretty cheap when compared to specialist anal sex lubes. Furthermore, the coconut aroma/flavor are awesome and open up some kinky possibilities in the bedroom – have you ever tried lubing up your partner’s ass with coconut oil and then rimming them? It’s both kinky and delicious.

Coconut Oil has even been classed as a “superfood” by some due to its plethora of health benefits. Its high 12-carbon lauric acid content helps to kill harmful bacteria, fungi, and viruses in the body.

PROS: Great for anal, lasts a long time, 100% organic, edible

CONS: Can’t be used with condoms, waxy when cold

Sliquid Silk Hybrid Lubricant (best hybrid anal lube)

when water-based lube doesn’t cut it

Sliquid Silk Hybrid is a mostly water-based lube which contains around 11-13% silicone, so it does last longer than normal water-based lubes and might be a good way to transition from one to the other. The lube itself is creamy and white, which feels a little unusual for a lube, and some people might find it off-putting. It’s not too sticky after use, which is a lifesaver if you’re used to dealing with sticky water-based lubes, but it may require some reapplication if you’re having a particularly rough/long anal fucking session.

PROS: Less irritable than regular water-based lube, compatible with all sex toys/condoms

CONS: Lasts longer than water-based, but not loads longer

Other good anal lubes

Whether you’re looking for reputable gay lube or niche anal sex gel, here are some good high-quality anal lubricants which are renowned for helping to produce comfortable, enjoyable, great anal sex.

Boy Butter

Vegetable-oil-cum-silicone-hybrid

This product doesn’t explicitly say that it’s a gay lube, but it hints at it very strongly. Designed for anal sex, Boy Butter is a unique formula of coconut oil, silicone, and a few other ingredients. This hybrid formula helps the lube to hydrate and moisturize the anus, providing longlasting lubrication, yet it washes off very easily afterward, similar to a hair conditioner. The thick consistency of this lube mean that it can take a little while to “slicken up” and get working properly, so do bear that in mind.

PROS: Designed with anal sex in mind, hybrid of plant oils and silicone

CONS: Very thick consistency at first

Uberlube

No, it’s not a lube taxi service

Uberlube, to put it simply, is a really good silicone-based lubricant which is ideal for rough anal sex. It’s not water-soluble, so you can use it for fucking in the bath or shower, and it’s safe to use with all condoms and sex barriers, so it’s great for both couples and one night stands.

Uberlube claim that their product can be eaten in small amounts, but I wouldn’t advise that personally.

It comes in a very fancy bottle which is reminiscent of a fancy aftershave, so it’s a great classy present for someone, assuming you don’t mind the steep price tag. All in all, you’re getting a pretty opulent and well-made silicone-based anal lube.

PROS: Great silicone-based lube, sleek bottle

CONS: Overpriced

Swiss Navy – best budget anal lube

High-quality silicone-based lube

I like the name “Swiss Navy” because it conjures up images of being fucked in a huge orgy with the Swiss Navy, presumably while using a bottle of this lube. I’m not sure Switzerland even has a navy, to be honest. Anyway, this silicone-based lube should be a staple in anyone’s sex drawer, being made with the highest-quality silicone available to ensure that your shower sex or anal fucking is able to go on and on and on. The packaging is also quite classy and discreet, not making it obvious that it’s a sexual lubricant.

:“My mom opened my package saw this, thought it was for my airsoft guns because it said navy on it and didn't mention sex, condoms, or vaginas on the packaging. 5 stars for discrete [sic] packaging.”
Amazon User

PROS: Highest-quality silicone, affordable, discreet

CONS: Quite thick consistency

Southern Butter

Coconut oil-based body butter/lube

Southern Butter, which sounds a bit like a LynyrdSkynyrd tribute band, is a coconut oil-based body butter which can also double up as a lubricant. This product actually has many potential uses, with many people using it to moisturize their skin and perform massage. However, it also makes a decent anal lube, so long as you don’t mind the scent of lavender. Personally, the scent of lavender reminds me of my grandma, so I found it to be a bit of a turn-off, but maybe you’ll love it!

You can also pair it up with VR goggles via Bluetooth and watch specially-made videos online. The Launch syncs up with the content and simulates the on-screen movements. If you’ve ever been curious about virtual reality porn, this is your chance to try it!

PROS: Natural ingredients, moisturizing formula

CONS: Lavender smell (I’m not a fan), can’t be used with most condoms

Best lube for anal sex?

All in all, the best lube for anal sex is silicone-based lube. This is because it is the longest lasting of all the lube types, and it is also compatible with all types of condom and sex barrier, making it ideal for both safe sex and barebacking. It’s also hypoallergenic, so it’s less likely to cause allergic reactions or irritation when compared to everyday water-based lubes with long ingredients lists.

When you ask porn stars and people who work in the sex industry, you’ll commonly find that sex workers’ favorite lubes are silicone-based lubes and natural lubes. Although water-based lube is the best drugstore lube type that’s commonly available, silicone-based products like Gun Oil and Swiss Navy continue to be favorites of the gay community, which should be a big hint if you’re trying anal sex.

Best lube for use with anal sex toys?

Whether you’re into dainty butt plugs or thick anal toys, water-based and oil-based lubes are usually best when playing with toys anally. This is because most sex toys are made from silicone, and using silicone-based lube with a solid silicone sex toy can cause the sex toy to “go funny”, for lack of a better term, with the sex toy looking smudged and foggy over time.

Basically, using silicone-based lube with solid silicone sex toys can destroy them over time, so go with oil or water-based instead. Nonetheless, if your toy is made from stainless steel or another non-silicone ingredient, feel free to use silicone-based lube or whatever you prefer.

How to pick a safe water-based anal lube

If you’re adamant that you want to use a water-based lube for anal sex, then there’s some science-ey stuff that we have to get into. Don’t worry, I’ll try to keep it simple.

pH balance

Just to refresh your memory from High School chemistry for a second, the pH balance of a substance refers to how acidic or alkaline it is.

This scale goes from 1-14, with 1 being the most acidic and 14 being the most alkaline. For example, car battery acid is a 1, while household bleach is a 14. Your body also has a pH balance that it is constantly controlling, and this includes both the anus and the vagina.

You see, the vagina has a pH balance of 3.5-7, making it slightly acidic. As a result, most common water-based lubes are on the acidic side, as they tend to be manufactured with the vagina in mind. For instance, Astroglide® Liquid has a pH of 4.4, while KY® Jelly has a pH of 4.5. The problem is that your anus has a pH of 6-7, so it’s much closer to being neutral than a vagina.

Putting lube in your ass which is slightly acidic can cause irritation to your anal tissue, so it’s not particularly recommended. You ideally need to look for a water-based lube which has a pH closer to 6-7 so that it closes matches your bottom’s natural environment.

Osmolality

This refers to the measure of dissolved particles per unit of water, measured in mOsm/kg. Basically, it’s the concentration of a water-based lube. You see, the process of osmosis means that water naturally wants to move around between different cells depending on the concentrations at hand. It’s why your fingertips go wrinkly after being in a swimming pool for too long – your fingers have a higher concentration than the pool water and their cells begin absorbing the water.

Inside your ass, and indeed across your body, you have an epithelial layer and natural mucus which are trying to maintain water pressure. If you put a water-based lube with a low osmolality inside your ass, the water in the lube naturally wants to flood into your bum’s cells which can rupture them and cause cell death. On the other hand, most water-based lubes have a high osmolality, meaning that they can dehydrate your ass’s cells and cause problems with infections.

In order to minimize the risk of epithelial damage to the body, water-based lube’s osmolality should not generally exceed 380 mOsm/kg. However, most lubes have far higher rates than this, with Astroglide® Liquid coming in at 8064 mOsm/kg and KY® Warming Jelly at a whopping 10,300 mOsm/kg.


Sliquid Sassy

Although it still has some flaws in terms of its pH balance, Sliquid Sassy anal sex gel is probably the best water-based lube for anal sex that you’re going to find. It is formulated to be thicker than regular water-based lube thanks to the inclusion of plant cellulose, so you’ve got more cushion for the pushin’ when it comes to anal fucking.

Anal lube for women vs. anal lube for men

Although men derive more pleasure from anal sex due to the location of their prostate gland, both men and women have the same anal tissue, so any anal lube will work equally well for both sexes. Although some lubes are marketed as “gay lubes” or “anal lubricant for women”, they can be used by either gender. It’s a bit like how men’s razors and women’s razors are basically the same thing except that the women’s ones are in a pretty pink box with Jenifer Lopez riding a unicorn over a rainbow or whatever.

Where to buy anal lube

It might be hard to find in your local Walmart or drugstore, but high-quality anal lube is available in many specialist sex shops and online retailers. Many people buy lube online because they’re too embarrassed to buy it in a store, but do bear in mind that sex shop employees have seen much stranger things than someone buying a cheeky bottle of booty lube.

Amazon – There are 282 results if you search “anal lube” on Amazon – you’re spoilt for choice! You can also take advantage of Prime delivery if you have it, so you’ll get your lube on your doorstep quickly.

Shevibe – Shevibe have a really nice selection of premium lubricants, splitting their shop up into the different lube types to make it easy for you to choose the best for you.

Smitten Kitten – Smitten Kitten have a long selection of lubricants for you to peruse, including a filter option called “anal-friendly” which narrows things down nicely.

Your Local Sex Shop – Our website has a feature which allows you to see the reputable sex shops in your local area, so why not give a brick-and-mortar store a try? The staff will be very knowledgeable and able to advise you on the best anal lubes they sell.

Backdoor sex is the future!

There’s a lot of shame and stigma attached to anal sex, and I can’t for the life of me figure out why. I suppose there’s the idea that anal sex is dirty or impure because it’s not how babies are made, but by those standards, blowjobs and cunnilingus would be frowned upon too, and everyone seems to love a bit of oral fun from time to time.

Still, if you’re going to explore the world of anal sex, be sure to heed the advice given to you in this guide. Different lubes work for different people and circumstances, but one thing is for sure – when you’re taking a cock or a toy up the ass, you can never have enough lube! Apply it liberally, take it slow, and have fun!

Click the heart to give a like to your favorite anal lube
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  • Avatar Beatrice says:

    Thanks for enlightening us

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