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 provide that extra cushion for the pushing, delivering the extra slickness and long-lasting wetness needed to make anal stimulation feel extraordinary.
From silicone to hybrid, oil, or water-based lubricants, the options can seem endless when you’re shopping for lube, especially if it’s your first time. Because silicone is hypoallergenic, has a higher viscosity (meaning it’s more slippery), and helps 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 isn't compatible with silicone-based sex toys (it sounds counterintuitive, but it's true). Oil-based lubes are as slick as they come, but they're also super messy and can’t be used with condoms, which is important to keep in mind for safe sex. Water-based lubricants can be a great alternative because they’re thicker and compatible with most toys and latex, but they also 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 enjoy anal, but it helps to know a thing or two about your options. Here's are a few of my favorites that help create a mutually pleasurable backdoor experience for yourself and your partner.
1. A Silicone Lube Featuring A Mild 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, polyisoprene, and polyurethane condoms. But the biggest advantage this lube has in the market is that it's enriched with jojoba, a natural relaxant. Many sex experts recommend avoiding numbing lubes for anal because it could put you out of touch with important reactions your body is having. In the case of this lube though, the effects are very subtle because it's non-numbing. For partners who may have had uncomfortable experiences in the past experimenting with anal play, this lube will be a game-changer.
2. This Buttery Oil-Based Lube That Won't Stain Your Sheets
Oil-based lubes are incredible for anal play because of how slippery they get and the thick barrier they create, which can make sex and stimulation more pleasurable. Boy Butter Original Formula is the gold standard for oil-based lubes for anal because it's specially formulated to last as long as a silicone lube but it's also not going to stain your sheets (which is a big risk ordinarily with oil). It's formulated with a mix of coconut oil, silicone, and other vegetable oils, and basically looks like a tub of butter and has the same consistency, until it starts to melt. This lube also washes off easily with water and while it's not compatible with latex condoms, it can be great for other types of anal play, like manual stimulation. "The best lube for skin to skin ... that I've tried yet, including far more expensive silicone lube," wrote one reviewer.
3. A Super-Thick 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 major 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, since it provides an additional buffer against friction. 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]."
4. This Affordable Silicone Lube With Exceptional Glide
If you're looking for an affordable silicone lubricant that'll still give you plenty of bang for your buck, this lube from Swiss Navy is an all-around terrific pick. Made from pure silicone and pH-balanced so it's soft on skin, this lube is super slick and offers exceptional glide. It's also compatible with latex and polyisoprene condoms, so you can have plenty of fun while also staying safe, too.
5. A Creamy Hybrid Lube You Can Use With Your Favorite Dildo
Hybrid lubes give you the best of both worlds, and in the case of Sliquid Naturals Silk, that's definitely what you're getting. This vegan-friendly lube is formulated with purified water and silicone, so it offers that long-lasting slickness you love with silicone, but like a water-based lube, it's also safe to use with most sex toys. Because it has such a milky, cream-like consistency, this makes for an excellent lube for any kind of anal penetration. If you're pegging and trying to find a lube that'll be safe to use with your dildo and thick enough for anal, this is an especially good find.
6. A Long-Lasting Silicone Lube That Helps Promote Natural Healing
Some lubes are great for beginners, but this long-lasting silicone lube from Gun Oil is an excellent choice if anal sex is a regular part of your bedroom routine. It's formulated with vitamin E and aloe vera, which helps to protect skin and promote natural healing from small tears, which can definitely happen easily with anal. Plus, with its special three-molecule silicone blend, this glycerin- and paraben-free lube is ultra-smooth to the touch and makes it feel like almost nothing is even there. The one downside is that it is on the pricier side for the amount you're getting (just 2 ounces here), and because of the that, you may be inclined to stock up with something less expensive. Still, this is a very high-quality lube that'll make your experience more worthwhile.
7. This Luxurious Water-Based Lube That You Don't Need To Constantly Reapply
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. "Wow," raved one reviewer. "What a personal lubricant! I love the Lelo moisturizer so much that I've decided to use it in other aspects of my life. Squeaky door hinge? Lelo! Crusty bulldog nose? Lelo! Out of gas for your car? You guessed it! Thank you Lelo ... you've changed my life."
8. This Oil-Based Cream That's Perfect For Fisting
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 (i.e. fisting) because they're super slippery and thick. This deep-fisting cream is about as intense as it gets and can help make fisting more enjoyable for your receiving partner. It's not really optimal as a lube for anal sex because it gets grainy when it dries and the numbing effect isn't subtle at all. Think, can't-really-feel-your-parts levels of numbness. Still, for something like fisting, it's a must try. "We use a little bit of this cream for harder sessions or when she wants to practice using larger toys," described one reviewer. "The numbing is intense so guys use a condom or your nether regions will be so numb you won't feel anything."
9. This Popular Water-Based Lube That's Mostly Good For Toys
This premium water-based lube from Shibari has over 3,000 positive customer reviews on Amazon for a reason: it's a good utility lube to have around. While personally, it's not my favorite for anal because it's not as thick or moisturizing as other lubes featured in this list, it's a solid mid-card selection, especially if you're just playing with anal beads or a smaller plug. It's also cheap AF, hypoallergenic and non-staining, so you don't have worry about a messy cleanup afterward, and who doesn't love that?
10. A 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.
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