Lube is pretty much required for anal sex — unlike the vagina, the anus is not self-lubricating and can't get wet unless you help it out. Aside from skipping the necessary prep work, forgetting to use lube is one of the main reasons why anal can be unpleasant for some people.
Thicker lubes are best for anal sex, as anal walls are thinner than vaginal walls, and thus require a lube that can keep them nice and slippery to reduce the chances of cuts and tears inside the rectum. Abrasions increase your risk for contracting an STI, and nobody wants that. Overall, anal sex is considered particularly risky in terms of STI transmission, compared to vaginal or oral sex, so condom use is key (unless you're in a monogamous relationship, and you and your partner have both been tested). And because of that, it's important to make sure to use a lubricant that's latex-friendly. Coconut oil and basically anything in your kitchen, for example, can't be used with condoms.
Another thing to keep in mind is that the anus absorbs water quickly and can dry out easily when you're using a water-based lube, according to sex therapist Kyla Black. Therefore, silicone-based lubes are usually the safest bet. That said, if you're having anal sex with a silicone toy (like a strap-on or a dildo), or engaging in anal play with a silicone butt plug, go with a water-based lube and just make sure to use a lot. (Silicone breaks down silicone, and you don't want your toys breaking down inside your butt.)
Whether you're having anal sex with a penis or a toy, we want to make sure you're having a safe and enjoyable time. Thankfully, there are lubes for every type of butt fun. Read on for our favorite lubes for your bum.
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Just one of many silicone-based winners in this list, this hypoallergenic lube is formulated to last extra long for anal sex — it boasts needing only a single application before use (though we recommend that you use as much as you need). It's also waterproof, making it the perfect tool to try shower or bath anal with.
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The only thing we love more than a great anal lube is a great anal lube designed by women, for women. This latex-safe Luxxx Beauty lube is smooth and lightweight, unlike other silicone formulas that can have a heavier consistency. It also doubles as vaginal lube.
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This silicone-based lube is the gold standard for anal sex — and for good reason. It's latex-friendly, and it lasts forever. If you lube up with this, you can get it on in the back door for hours. Since it's so thick, you only need a few drops, and therefore it's also a wallet-friendly choice. (Although, if you do plan on going at it for hours, please reapply the moment anything feels uncomfortable).
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For anal sex lovers concerned about animals and the environment, Sustain is the cruelty-free butt lube for you. It's water-based, which means it's latex-friendly. But if you're having anal sex with multiple partners and using condoms, you might want to consider a silicone option, since silicone-based lubes tend to last longer (which means they're less likely to dry up and cause condoms to break). However, if you're having anal sex with a monogamous, fluid-bonded partner, or with a silicone strap-on, Sustain works wonders.
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This water-based lube was created specifically with anal sex in mind, so it has the thickness often only seen in silicone-based lubes. And it doesn't get sticky, which is a plus for those who get a little grossed out by gloppy lube. Unlike some anal lubes, this product has no numbing agents, so if you are concerned about pain during anal sex, double down on foreplay to get your butthole nice and ready (butt plugs are a great place to start). The good news is that this one works well with both condoms and silicone sex toys.
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This silicone-based lube doesn't contain glycerin, which can be a skin irritant for some people. It's also cruelty-free, which means it's not tested on animals (unfortunately, most drugstore brand lubes are). So when using this with a partner (or while wearing an animal tail butt plug), you can enjoy anal sex knowing that no cute creatures were harmed in the making of this product.
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When it comes to anal sex lubes, Astroglide is OG. Latex-safe, waterproof, and thick, this silicone-based lube can be found in drugstores across the country, and it's as affordable as it is awesome.
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If you're enjoying solo or partnered anal play with a toy (like Lelo's prostate massager), trust this water-based lube from the company that creates impeccable (albeit expensive) sex toys. Lelo's anal products — including this lubricant — are a wonderful reminder that cis straight men can (and should!) safely enjoy anal pleasure.