When I got married I didn't really know anything about sex- so my wedding night didn't exactly go as planned. Instead, I ended up curled in a ball, sobbing in pain and disappointment because 13 year olds could do something I couldn't. This probably actually did some long lasting damage to our sex life. What I wish I had known is what lube is, what it's for and what kinds you really want to use for stuff. I was at a bachelorette party several months later and this really conservative girl from a strict religious background. She said that her and her husband didn't have much sex because it wasn't enjoyable. Later she mentioned that they didn't use lube. When asked why, she said that they had used it the first couple of times they had had sex- and she had gotten a UTI from it.
Oh hunny. *Sigh* I really wish that girls like this had someone to talk to. In reality, her UTI was probably caused by the fact that she had been having sex (which can introduce bacteria into the vaginal tract) , had been taking baths, swimming or hot tubbing, and was not properly cleansing herself. Hardly any girls are taught the importance of feminine cleansers.
Lube is designed to make sex better. And there are thousands of different brands and types and styles out there. NOT all of them will work for you, NOT all of them will work for everyone the same way, and NOT all of them are useful for everything.
Water based: This is usually what you want, and it comes in lots of styles (cream, gel, warming, jelly, etc). Basically a water based lube is going to be made mostly with water, wash off easier, and be less sticky. Cons: Not meant for toys, This will wear off faster than a silicone based lubricant, You can't use this in the shower or tub.
silicone based: These will be a little heavier, they will last longer and are meant for water play (showers, tubs, etc) Cons: Do NOT use with toys, will also tend to be stickier and will not wash away as easily.
Toy: This is also a thicker lubricant, but it is specifically designed for use with toys. If you want to use sex toys, be sure that the lube you are using won't damage them (They are expensive!)
StylesJelly: like the name suggests, this is a thick, jelly-like substance. Because of it's make-up it is not particularly long lasting, nor does it mimic your body's natural fluid. If you want to use a water based lube for toys, use a jelly. Also, Jelly is ideal for anal penetration.
Liquid: This is my personal favorite. It is thin; a lot like water and is very close to your body's natural fluid. It will last longer then a jelly and be more comfortable. Be careful though, it is very runny and will easily get EVERYWHERE. it's also easy to get too much.
Gel: This is in-between a Jelly and a Liquid. This is more meant for women then men. It will be thicker, and last a bit longer. some may not feel as natural as others, and many will be silicone based.
Cream: This is usually meant more for males than women, and will provide them with more pleasure during penetration. Different lubes for men and women can be a good idea in order to provide a more pleasurable experience for both.
Warming: This will have a tingling feeling that makes your parts feel warmer. Generally, this will heighten pleasure and make sex feel better. Some warming lubes may be too intense for you though, so try them out on your inner thigh or something before applying to your sensitive areas. (Personally, Equate's Warming Personal Liquid Lubricant has been our favorite, though their regular one is fine too)
Edible: This means that the lube is safe to ingest. These lubes are great for things like oral sex because they can mask unpleasant flavors and some can help numb your throat. These will be a bit of a waste if you have no intention of going down on your partner.