Paul Baker/the Gauntlet

Let's talk about: Lubrication!

Publication YearIssue Date 

(Editor's note: Those readers from last year no doubt remember "Carnal Knowledge," the Gauntlet's sex advice column. The writer of that column has moved on to new projects, so please welcome Lesley-ann Barrett, our new Gauntlet sexpert. Ms. Barrett is training to become a professional sex therapist and her experience in the adult toy and novelty industry lends her a tremendous amount of wisdom. Send your questions about life, sex, sexual health, that weird rash or whatever else to sexpert@gauntlet.ucalgary.ca. Lesley-ann will answer your questions weekly, with names anonymized.)

To start off your new year in university you should be prepared with the tools that will supply you ample entertainment and enjoyment. Whether you are solo or monogamous, or have different partners in your life, one of the key ingredients to complement your sexual appetite is the right lube for the right job. Lubricants are great to have and are like outfits: you should have a different one for every occasion.

You are not alone if you aimlessly scan the lube shelf in your local sex store, trying to decide what the best brand is, best kind is, even the best flavour. Through a bit of research and experience you can discover the most recommended lubricants on the market, as well as your own personal preferences. There are actually four different basic type of lubricants, separated by their base ingredient.

Petroleum-based lubricants are made with mineral oil, petroleum jelly or petroleum. This one is generally not recommended since petroleum eats away condoms and cervical caps. Also, getting it inside the vagina makes it harder to wash out and can irritate the vaginal wall. Vaseoline is a typical petroleum jelly that people use though why is anyone's guess.

Then, there's good old vegetable oil, with corn, vegetable or nut oils (avocado or peanut). These are great lubes which can be put anywhere on the body and they are safe to ingest. The one downside to this type is condom manufacturers do not recommend the marriage of the two products. As well, those with nut allergies would probably do well to avoid lubes with nut-oil bases.

The next two are the most common, and the most essential. Water-based lubricants have so many good qualities to offer. They're safe all over and inside the body, don't stain material, are ingestable and safe with latex. They're the closest to a woman's natural lubricant and won't make you feel greasy, even between classes! Astroglide, I-D and Wet all make quality water-based lubes.

Those who like anal sex or sex in the water need a lube that doesn't quit. Anything silicone-based will keep you going as this lube is silky, non-greasy, and long lasting. However, find out the material of your toys if you're including them in play as silicone toys don't mix well with silicone lube. I-D also produces a line of silicone-based lubes, as does Wet.

Lubricants are reasonably priced, effective and in no way represent an issue with one's sexual desires, so get tasty, get wet and let the lube "glide" you.