Masturbation, The most literal form of self-love there is. It's a common habit and a healthy one, regardless of whether you're having sex on the regular or not.

Is masturbation healthy for you?

Leaving aside the obvious bonuses of not risking yours or a partner's pregnancy or picking up a sexually transmitted disease, achieving orgasm on your own comes with many documented perks. It relieves stress from sexual tension and general anxiety. The climax releases endorphins, the hormone responsible for muting pain and providing a sense of euphoria. It helps exhaust the body and increases your odds of a good sleep. Being especially 'practiced' leads to more toned muscle around your pelvic area. And, for women, it's proven to help reduce the pain of menstrual cramping. It's an all-around plus to your health!

While many people prefer to make do by going the old-fashioned route--clean hands, a splash of lotion, and plenty of steamy imagination--there are products available that can intensify the pleasure of the experience. We'll be going over a handful of them today, listing some of the top-rated erotic lubricants and toys for men and women.

Let's get into it.

For Ladies - Lubricants for her

First, we turn to you, ladies. These are the female-friendly lubes to reach for whether you're taking the hands- only approach or adding a toy to your playtime.

K-Y Intense Pleasure Gel for Her

K-Y Intense Pleasure Gel for Her

Rated 4 out of 5
On Amazon.com


K-Y as a brand has become the go-to name for sexual lubricants since it was established in 1904. Their famous 'jelly' products were produced with the intent of improving the sexual experience for women in the bedroom, and this remains the core of their manifesto today.

K-Y Intense Pleasure Gel for Her delivers exactly what the label promises. A small dollop--that's no more than three drops--gets massaged into wherever it is you're playing between the legs. The sensation will begin as a rising heat, fade to a soft coolness, and cap off with a telltale tingle; that sweet little warning signal that orgasm is around the corner. It makes for a slick, electric experience whether you're going by hand or by silicone.

If you do plan to take it out of the realm of masturbation and use it for actual intercourse, check all the labels involved. This gel is fine with condoms made with polyisoprene and natural rubber latex, but not polyurethane.

FAV Water-Based Personal Lubricant

K-Y Intense Pleasure Gel for Her

Rated 4 out of 5
On Amazon.com


FAV is less about ramping up unnatural tingles and more about easing the way for whatever it is you plan to do to yourself. Less of a 'I want to get off right now!' product, and more of a steady, 'tease it out awhile,' product. FAV Water-Based Personal Lubricant is the lube to break out when you have more than a five- minute rub in mind and is lauded as the ideal pick for those with sensitive skin. As the name suggests, it's a water-based gel that makes for easy cleanup, as well as a compatible lube for use with toys, rubber latex, polyisoprene, and polyurethane.

It's a slow, sweet slide with minimal mess. Keep it by the bed for a pre-drowse rub.

K-Y Warming Jelly Personal Lubricant

K-Y Intense Pleasure Gel for Her

Rated 4 out of 5
On Amazon.com


K-Y Warming Jelly Personal Lubricant is the gel to use only if you have your schedule cleared for the next half hour and are ready to work yourself into a sweat for at least 25 of those minutes. The remaining five minutes will go to the waiting period between applying the lube and letting the heat set in. There are tingles, there are shivers, there are rushes of warmth, and that wild, electric tickle that will have sparks going off for three good laps with hand or toy. It boasts safety with your choice of device--or, when a partner's involved, your pick of condom-- generally advertising itself as the ideal solo play lube.

So long as you practice moderation. In this lube's case, a little goes a long way, advising a pea-sized drop for a 30-minute session.

Lubricants for Him

Now, we turn to the gentlemen. Much as the cliche of tissues and Lubriderm can get the job done, there are better options out there, guys.

TROJAN Arouses & Releases Personal Lubricant

K-Y Intense Pleasure Gel for Her

Rated 4 out of 5
On Amazon.com


What K-Y is to women, TROJAN is to men. This is a brand that knows just because intimacy can come down to just a quick few thrusts for men, that hardly means it should. You know how to take care of yourself, you know how to get warmed up, and you know how to slick yourself down. But if you're going for an eye-popping experience with or without a partner, this is the ideal gel for you. The more friction, the more intensity gets unlocked in the lube. It makes you hot, cools you off, then crashes in with a burst of arousal the more you move with it.

The only caveat the product comes with is a warning against use on silicone vibrators. Any other toys or condoms are fair game.

#Lube Life Water-Based Lubricant

K-Y Intense Pleasure Gel for Her

Rated 4 out of 5
On Amazon.com


At the risk of sounding crude, this is the stuff to use when you want to feel like you're making love to a sultry water slide. It turns a thrust into a glide, a quick rub into a massage, and generally obliterates those first few minutes of warm-up fondling to get you straight to the fun. The formula is butter-sleek, never going clumpy or tacky. Likewise, it's a gel that won't leave stains in the bed or make for a hassle of a cleanup. Ideal for solo nights or evenings with a partner, even when silicone, latex, and rubber come into play.

Ideally, this is the choice for a session that's as much about revving yourself up as getting to the orgasm itself. It gives you a slick head start and leaves you with only your own mess to wipe up after.

X Drive's The Moment: Stimulating Lubricant for Men

K-Y Intense Pleasure Gel for Her

Rated 4 out of 5
On Amazon.com


Almost as much a lotion as a lube, X Drive's The Moment promises vitamin E-based hydration and a spike in sensitivity once it's applied to the genitals. The gel has a silicone base, making application a less oily experience compared to similar products. In terms of sensation, there's a full gamut of warm, buzzing, sense- shocking stimulation once it sets. Just a few drops will do it. Safe to use with your pick of toys and condoms, should you invite someone else to share it with.

This is the lube to go with when you want to turn that sweet, hot corner yesterday. It's a silk-smooth ride from here to climax.

Honourable Mention: Lubricants For Couples

Who says it has to come down to intercourse for partners to get off in bed? Masturbation is a couple's activity as much as the sex itself. When you do it right--with the proper accessories--the foreplay can have both of you seeing stars without ever having to slip one into the other. Here are a few favourites for the lovers among you:

K-Y Yours & Mine: Couples Lubricant

K-Y Intense Pleasure Gel for Her

Rated 4 out of 5
On Amazon.com


K-Y makes a grand return, delivering thrills for her and heat for him in a twofer package of gels. It should be pointed out that this is not a lubricant compatible with condoms and is intended strictly for the pleasure of operating oneself--or, more likely, one another--by hand.

Penchant Premium: Intimate Lubricant for Sensitive Skin

K-Y Intense Pleasure Gel for Her

Rated 4 out of 5
On Amazon.com


Hypoallergenic, silicone-based, and made for delicate skin, this is a gel that outlasts any standard lube. It even holds up in the water, should you want to take things to nice warm tub.*

*Note: While it can be used in the shower, be cautious--vertical groping in a wet stall only works on TV. For most of us, it just means slipping and cracking our head against the porcelain.


Sex Toys, Lube, and What the Best Fit Is For You

Now, while all these lubricants are ideal for a massage, a rub, a tickle, and a tingle all on their own, for the most intense round of pleasure, it's best to introduce a few masturbatory aids to the session. That's right. It's time to open the toy box.

Most masturbatory aids are built with silicone, plastics, latex, rubbers, and, occasionally, metal. These are non-porous materials that can work painlessly and pliantly with whatever genitals and/or orifices are involved.

Penetrating Toys

Dildo: A false penis of varying flexibility. Some are rubbery enough to flop around and ease in gently. Others are more rigid, intended to be rocked down on or pumped.

Plug: A smaller, blunter toy. They're designed to be inserted, usually anally, and left alone for the gratification of being filled, but with little actual motion.

Sheathing Toys

Fleshlight: Just what it sounds like, this is a toy shaped like a flashlight with the same hard plastic casing, but with a soft, sturdy orifice where the 'light' should be.

Pocket: Not much different from the fleshlight, this one is another faux orifice. Where the fleshlight has a shell, this one is soft silicone all over.

Both penetrating and sheathing toys can be smooth, ribbed, or otherwise sculpted with unique textures to increase the natural sensations involved with insertion. Several have battery-operated cousins in the vibrator family. Shafts, bullets, beads, and sleeves with options that shiver, rattle, stretch, and squeeze depending on the setting.

Applying your lube to the toy of choice is pretty straightforward. Coat the part that needs inserting or the part to be penetrated as comfort dictates, ditto your genitals. At least, provided there is no upper limit recommended by the product for application. If the label says to stick to only a few drops, you may be working with a lube that's meant specifically for light bodily massage. If you're looking for a gel that can be slopped on as thickly as possible, stick with the water-based lubes. FAV and #Lube Life are the way to go if you want everything to be dripping, yourself included.

In all cases, no matter what lube you choose, no matter what great things you've heard about it, no matter what a friend has claimed works with it, always check the warning label on the product before you apply it to the toy. If it names a type of material that it is not compatible with and it matches a part of your toy--or even if you're uncertain of the toy's pieces--do not use that lubricant with that toy. The most common no-go lube for use on sex toys, as well as for vaginal and anal masturbation, will be oil-based gels. It's the most liable product to leave a residue that will need chemical cleaning that isn't safe for the toys, and is far from preferable for your insides.

Afterglow and Afterthoughts

While masturbation isn't exactly the topic to bring up in a casual setting, always remember that the act itself is not a dirty thing--much as some may like to playact otherwise. The addition of a preferred lubricant, an erotic plaything, or even some lucky bedmate there to manhandle you to climax, is a healthy, gratifying, and genuinely thrilling experience worth trying. Some final rules before you start experimenting:

  1. Because it bears repeating, check the labels! You always want to know beforehand if a lubricant contains an ingredient you're allergic to. Better to steer clear while shopping than find out after you've rubbed it into your privates.
  2. If you're working with sex toys for the first time and find it feels more like a strain than a pleasure, stop messing with it. Don't force any object that doesn't feel comfortable going in or sliding on. If stretching and lubing still aren't enough to work with a plaything comfortably, it's not worth playing with at all.
  3. Wash off after you're done. You, your hands, and whatever toy was lucky enough to share in the magic. Anything with batteries should have them removed as you wipe it down with a damp, warm-- but not hot!--soapy washcloth and dry with a hand towel.

That's all, everyone.

Now go forth and get off.