When it comes to anal sex, I have a simple philosophy: the more lube, the better. Because the anus and rectum aren’t naturally self-lubricating, these areas need all the help they can get during anal play. Luckily, the best lubes for anal sex are designed to pick up the slack to provide the extra slickness and long-lasting wetness needed to help make anal stimulation feel extraordinary.
From silicone- to oil- to water-based lubricants, the options can seem endless when you’re shopping for lube, especially if it’s your first time. Since silicone is hypoallergenic, has a higher viscosity (meaning it’s more slippery), and is designed to minimize heat and friction, it’s usually considered the best lube for anal sex.
But on the downside, silicone can be a hassle to clean and is not compatible with some sex toys — particularly silicone-based sex toys (it sounds counterintuitive, but it's true). Oil-based lubes are super messy too and can’t be used with condoms, which is important to keep in mind if you’re practicing safe sex. Water-based lubricants can be a great alternative because they’re thicker and compatible with latex and most toys, but they may dry out easily, meaning you’ll need to reapply a lot along the way.
At the end of the day, you don’t have to be a lube connoisseur to par-take in anal play, but it helps to know a thing or two. Anal sex can be one of the most intense and rewarding things you explore in the bedroom. Lube is a make-or-break part of that experience, so being mindful of which type you use is essential for creating the most mutually pleasurable experience for yourself and your partner.
1This Silicone Lube With Exceptional Glide
If you're looking for a silicone-based lubricant that is thinner than others on the market, this lube from Swiss Navy is an all-around terrific pick. Made from pure silicone and pH-balanced, this lube is super slick and glides easily. It's also compatible with latex and polyisoprene condoms, which is always good to remember.
2A Water-Based Lube For When You Want Some Extra Oomph
This water-based lube from Elbow Grease is slippery, long-lasting, and doesn't dry out as readily as some other water-based lubes can, which is a factor to consider when choosing a water-based lube over oil or silicone. Plus, its thick consistency makes it a solid option for anal sex. It also gets rave reviews: "Best lube I've used in a long time," wrote one Amazon user. "This one lasts much longer than what I've become used [to]."
3A Long-Lasting Silicone Lube That Can Soldier Through Virtually Anything
Some lubes are great for beginners, but this long-lasting silicone lube from Gun Oil is a great heavy-duty pick if anal sex is part of your regular bedroom routine. It has added vitamin E and aloe vera help to protect your skin and promote natural healing, and with its special three-molecule silicone blend, this glycerin- and paraben-free lube is ultra-smooth to the touch and feels natural.
4This Water-Based Lube That's Perfect If You're Using Toys
This premium water-based lube from Shibari has over 3,000 customer reviews on Amazon for a reason: it's one of the best all-around lubricants on the market. It's hypoallergenic and non-staining, so you don't have worry about a messy cleanup afterward.
5A Silicone Lube Featuring An Anal Relaxant
There are two big reasons why this silicone lube from Pjur is a must-have if you're planning on exploring anal play. First, this silicone lube was designed specifically for anal sex and is compatible with latex, synthetic polyisoprene, and polyurethane condoms. But the biggest advantage this lube has in the market is that it's enriched with jojoba, a natural relaxant. For partners who may have had uncomfortable experiences in the past experimenting with anal play, this lube can be a game-changer.
6A Luxurious Water-Based Lube That Comes In Discreet Packaging
This unscented, water-based lube from LELO is a stellar selection if you're looking for a rich lube with plenty of long-lasting moisture. Plus, it's pH-balanced and fortified with soothing aloe.
7This Oil-Based Cream That Is Super Slippery
Oil-based lubes aren't typically the most popular choice for anal sex because they'll wreck condoms and damage most toys. However, oil-based blends can be amazing for certain kinds of anal stimulation (like fisting) because they're super slippery. This deep-fisting cream is about as intense as it gets, and also works as a desensitizer.
8A Silicone Lube For Extra-Sensitive Skin
If you have sensitive skin, shopping for lubes can be even trickier. This fragrance-free silicone lube from Turn On is a must-have because it's hypoallergenic and gentle on skin. Plus, because it's waterproof, it works great whether you're in the shower or cozied up to your partner in a big bath.
9A Natural Water-Based Lube That Comes In A Convenient Pump Bottle
You won't have to worry about lube-related spills or greasy residue with this natural, glycerin-free, water-based lube from Passion. With a spill-proof pump and bottle designed for easy use, this slick lube works to minimize friction and discomfort during play, without taking away from the heat of the moment.
10This Water-Based Lube That Helps You Go All Night Long
This lube from Cleanstream has all the benefits of a standard water-based lube, with one key difference: it's specially formulated to desensitize sensitive areas (like the butt). For partners who have a harder time with anal sex, this lube's light numbing effect can be a big bonus.
Bustle may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was created independently from Bustle's editorial and sales departments.