Anal sex has gone mainstream in a big way. Now that gay men are living openly, and now that many straight people are experimenting with anal play, this type of sex isn’t as taboo as it used to be. As sex-positive attitudes replace more puritanical viewpoints in American society, lots of folks are discovering that anal sex can be a lot of fun. And as anyone who’s ever participated in anal play can testify, the best anal lube is 100% essential.
If you want to have a positive anal sex experience, then we recommend three items: enemas, condoms for anal sex, and a generous amount of the best lube for anal sex. The best personal lubricants can turn a painful, unpleasant experience into something adventurous, stimulating and deeply satisfying for all involved.
We know that shopping for the best lube for anal can be tough because there are so many different types of lubes. Today, you can buy vegan all-natural lubricants, silicone-based lube, oil-based lubes, water-based lube and even CBD-infused lubricants, and it can be hard for beginners to know where to start. You may be nervous to ask your friends for advice, and you probably don’t want to be browsing for the best anal lube on your lunch break.
To make everything go smoother, we created a complete guide to choosing the best lube for anal sex. We know this can be intimidating, but we promise you’ll have a lot more fun if you learn to relax.
Why trust SPY.com when shopping for the best anal lube? The SPY team frequently writes about the best sexual health products, such as the best condoms for pleasure and the most satisfying sex toys, and we regularly consult physicians and sex experts (yes, sexperts are a very real thing) when creating guides for our readers. In addition, we’ve tested and reviewed tons of popular sex toys and wellness products. For this particular shopping guide, we carefully researched the best anal lubes, consulted experts and drew on our own personal experiences.
We’re confident that all of the anal lube featured below will be a great asset in your next sexual adventure.
How To Choose the Best Lube for Anal Sex
Lubricant does exactly what it says on the tin or tube. It offers lubrication, usually in situations where friction may become inconvenient and painful. When it comes to personal lubricants, there are three main types to choose from: silicone-based lube, water-based lube and oil-based lube. Silicone lubricants are the most popular choice for anal sex because they’re hypoallergenic, very slippery (minimizing friction) and work well with latex condoms. However, you won’t be able to incorporate any silicone-based sex toys if you’re using a silicone-based lube, as silicone lube will ruin the toy.
If you want to use silicone-based toys, go for an oil-based lube instead, but be warned — oil-based lube can break condoms.
Finally, there are the more natural, water-based lubes, which are great with toys but often don’t last a very long time since they dry out quickly and require more frequent application. There are also a few good hybrid options that combine the benefits of silicone and water-based lubes into one.
Is Lube Necessary for Anal Sex?
The answer is 100% yes, but don’t just take our word for it. We consulted an expert sex educator.
“It is absolutely essential to use lube during anal sex, because the anal canal does not self lubricate like a vagina does,” says author, sex educator and sex worker Vanessa Carlisle, Ph.D. We asked Carlisle if she’d ever recommend anal sex without lube, and she got very serious. “NO! NO! NO! Anal sex without lube is likely very painful for the receiver! Also, when you tear the skin of the anus, anal canal, or rectum, you make the receiver more vulnerable to infections!”
Not only does adding lubrication into the equation make the experience more safe and less potentially painful, but it also increases the enjoyment level for all parties. Lubrication reduces friction, meaning thrusting, or any other movement, is more comfortable and less likely to result in pain. Plus, unlike naturally occurring lubricants, you can keep adding more and more until everyone is satisfied. Trust us, you won’t regret it.
1. AstroGlide X Silicone Liquid
The best anal lube is typically a silicone-based lube, and AstroGlide’s X Silicone Liquid is one of the most popular silicone lubes in the world. There’s a lot to love about this affordable product, which is vegan, latex condom-friendly, made in the USA and free from allergens and fragrances that can irritate some people. Most importantly, it’s oh-so-slippery in the best possible way.
Why It’s the Best: This formula is waterproof and extremely long-lasting, making it our top choice for anal play.
2. Sliquid Silk Hybrid Lubricant
Sliquid’s Silk lube combines the benefits of water- and silicone-based lubes. It’s long-lasting and easy to clean up, but the silicone element ensures top-notch slickness that lasts. Plus, the lube is only around 12% silicone so it’s safe to use with silicone-based toys. It also has a unique texture that we think you’ll really, really enjoy. The best lube for anal really is smooth as silk, and in this respect, Sliquid lives up to its name.
Why It’s the Best Hybrid Option: Sliquid is one of the most trusted lubricants among sexual adventurers, and this hybrid formula combines the best qualities of water and silicone-based lubes.
3. Lynk Pleasure Products Anal Lube
BEST WATER-BASED LUBE
At under $10 and with almost 9,000 five-star ratings from Amazon users, the Lynk Pleasure Products Anal Lube is a budget-friendly and tried-and-tested answer to friction-free anal sex, masturbation and sex. The paraben and glycerin-free formula is water-based, meaning it is suitable for all skin types as well as all kinds of toys and condoms. It’s also made in the USA, comes in either an eight or 32-ounce bottle and offers no unpleasant odors as you enjoy the natural lubrication-like experience.
Why It’s the Best Water-Based Anal Lube: With stellar customer reviews and an easy pump-top applicator, it’s a handy option for people who prefer water-based formulas.
4. #LubeLife Anal Lubricants
#LubeLife is one of the most popular sexual lubricant brands on the market and popular with users for its high-quality products. When it comes to the best lube for anal, this brand has got you covered offering both silicone and water-based types of lubes.
The #LubeLife Anal Lubricant Thick Silicone Based Lube is for users who love that thicker style of lube that you can definitely feel when in use. It’s made from high-quality ingredients while also being free of parabens, glycerin and oil. The compact, eight-ounce bottle is easy to transport and keep discreet when required. Additionally, this lube is compatible with natural rubber latex condoms as well as polyurethane and polyisoprene condoms.
#LubeLife Water Based Anal Lubricant is the brand’s water-based option, and it offers a silky smooth and buttery glide. The formula is free of parabens, glycerin, silicone and oil. This means the lube is compatible with most toy materials, natural rubber latex, polyurethane, and polyisoprene condoms, providing a greater variety of options in your sexual play. Furthermore, it’s worth noting that water-based lubricants tend to be easier to clean up than most silicone-based alternatives.
5. Adam & Eve Forbidden Anal Lubricant
SILKY SMOOTH PICK
It may be forbidden by name, but the Adam & Eve Forbidden Anal Lubricant should definitely not be forbidden from your bedroom backdoor antics. The lubricant has been specially designed for silky-smooth sexual and sensual enjoyment. It’s both sex-toy and latex-condom compatible and comes in either a four or eight-ounce bottle. This Adam & Eve exclusive, water-based lubricant is also odorless, doesn’t have a sticky or tacky feel and only requires a little to be applied for long-lasting friction-free fun.
6. Shibari Personal Lubricant
This water-based Shibari lube is the #1 best-selling personal lubricant on Amazon for a reason. Like any water-based lube, you get two major benefits: it’s easy to clean up (whereas other lubes can stain or stick) and it’s hypoallergenic formula makes it perfect for those with sensitive skin. On top of that, the Shibari doesn’t contain any fragrances or preservatives that can irritate sensitive skin. This translates to easy, pain-free lubrication and a clean, enjoyable experience. Plus, it’s very reasonably priced at just under $8.
7. Doc Johnson Anal Jelly
This Doc Johnson Anal Jelly is ideal for slick and enjoyable anal play. It uses an oil-based, long-lasting formula to deliver a comfortable experience whether you’re together with others or playing alone. Thanks to its durable constitution, the jelly can last for long time periods without the need for reapplication; however, it is important to note that it’s not suitable for use with latex condoms or latex toys. Additionally, this product is PETA certified to provide you with a guilt-free experience.
8. XESSO Water Based Anal Comfort Lube
Thanks to its water-based formula, the XESSO Water Based Anal Comfort Lube is a great option for anal players who want quick and easy post-fun clean-up. It’s sensitive skin-friendly, odorless, tasteless and offers a rich feel which is comfortable from the first minute to the last. The comfort lube also includes a 4% numbing agent which helps to prevent discomfort. In addition, this PEG and oil-free product is manufactured in the USA and like all the best anal lubes, it comes in a stylish yet discreet bottle.
9. Aloe Cadabra Natural Personal Lube
If you have sensitive skin, this natural option is the best lube for anal. This lube from Aloe Cadabra is the real deal with a pH balance that matches the skin in your backdoor. It’s water-based but utilizes a formula lead by 95% aloe vera without any glycerin, parabens, fragrances or other irritating chemicals. In fact, the natural formula incorporates aloe vera which makes it a decent daily moisturizer as well as an effective lubricant.
10. Gun Oil Silicone Based Lubricant
BEST FOR THE PROS
So you and your partner have made a few trips to the backyard, and you’re starting to get the hang of it. That’s great, but we recommend a lube that will protect and heal while providing the necessary slickness. This Gun Oil is the best lube for anal sex pros because it uses a hefty dose of vitamin E and aloe vera to heal any small tears that can happen during intercourse.
11. Penchant Silicone-Based Lubricant
BEST SILICONE-BASED LUBE
Another great silicone-based lube is this one from Penchant. We like it because it has a straightforward, hypoallergenic formula that’s easy on sensitive skin. Penchant also suggests getting adventurous and using the lube in the pool or hot tub as it repels water. It comes very highly rated with 4.4 stars and almost 10,000 reviews, with users raving about how the lube lasts such a long time. This means you can apply it before getting started and not have to worry about re-application.
12. Wicked Anal Jelle Lubricant
The best anal lube is formulated with anal play in mind, like the Wicked Anal Jelle Lubricant and it’s one of the most popular options on our list. The formula is water-based, fragrance-free and long-lasting, meaning you can use it with all kinds of toys, condoms and latex items. The thick anal lubricant will also remain in the area or areas it is applied and doesn’t feel tacky or sticky in hand. In addition, you’ll have the choice of either a four or an eight-ounce flip-top tube that is stylish and conveniently discreet.
13. Übersilk Personal Lubricant
This is a heavy-duty hybrid lube (meaning it’s both silicone and water-based), and it’s slippery enough for even the most hardcore anal activities. That makes it a safe option for both beginners and experts, so keep a tube of Übersilk Personal Lubricant for Fisting and Anal Sex on hand to ensure you have every base covered. It’s available in three different sized tubes and features a formula designed to last a long time. No matter what type of sex you’re having, it won’t dry out during your encounter. The fragrance-free product is also safe for sensitive skin.
14. Lovehoney Discover Water-Based Anal Lubricant
In the heat of the moment, having a push-top dispensing bottle can save a lot of awkwardness, especially if the lights are off. This Lovehoney Discover Water-Based Anal Lubricant comes in a handy, 8.5-fluid ounce, push-top bottle which is ideal for storing in bedside cabinets for easy access when the mood is right. The water-based lube is suitable for use with any kind of sex toy as well as polyurethane and latex condoms. Plus, it won’t stain your sheets or clothing and a single application can last for hours.
15. Pjur Analyse Me Special Lubricant
SILKY SMOOTH PICK
The Pjur Analyse Me Silicone Based Special Lubricant is another option that was designed with anal intercourse in mind. It delivers a silky-smooth experience for everyone involved and contains high-quality, natural ingredients like jojoba oil which further add to the enjoyment. It’s also compatible with latex condoms and comes in a handy, screw-top bottle which is ideal for travel as it won’t accidentally pop open like some other push-top options might.
16. Passion Lubes Desensitizing Lube
If you want a lubricant that delivers an amount of desensitization at the same time, the Passion Lubes Maximum Strength Anal Desensitizing Lub is the best anal lube for you. The formula contains lidocaine which acts quickly to numb the area it’s applied to in a matter of minutes, making for a pain-free experience. This USA-made option is also a water-based lube, meaning it’s easy to clean up and compatible with most common condom materials.
Can You Use a Condom and Lube at the Same Time?
Yes, you can. And in most sexual circumstances, it’s advisable to do so. Remember that it’s equally as possible to transfer STIs through anal sex as it is through vaginal sex. Always protect yourself when you’re not sure.
As stated above, when using latex condoms, you’ll want to avoid oil-based lubes.
“If you are using latex condoms, you need to use silicone or water-based lube. Of the two, silicone has more staying power, so it’s better for anal,” Carlisle tells us. “If you are not using latex condoms, you can go with an oil-based lube that has even MORE staying power.”
This means not using an oil-based lubricant with condoms. Instead, choose a silicone, water-based or hybrid lubricant to ensure you minimize the chance of condom breakage during all the fun. If you’re going condomless, oil-based should be fine, although this is not recommended for safe sex purposes.
What Type of Lube Is Best for Anal Sex?
The best anal lube for you will come down to your intentions and preferences, but according to the experts we consulted (and our own personal experience, silicone-based lubricants are the best and safest option for anal sex.
What are the alternatives? If you’re looking to use toys that contain silicone, then oil-based lubes are preferred (just remember not to mix oil-based lubes and condoms). If you prefer a more natural lubricant, then water-based lubes are also a safe choice. Water-based lubes won’t break down the materials found in sex toys and condoms; however, they often need to be reapplied because of their thinner consistency.
Updates: This article was last updated on Monday, May 9, at which time we selected AstroGlide X Silicone Liquid as our new “Best Overall” option. This AstroGlide product has all of the features recommended by the experts we spoke to. We also removed a numbing product that is best categorized as a numbing jelly, not a lubricant. Finally, we added additional information on how to choose the best lube for anal, including details on the pros and cons of silicone and water-based anal lube.