Lubes 101 - Basics

 

Types of Lubricants:

 Water-Based This is pretty self-explanatory, water-based lubricants are composed of water and glycerin. They can be sticky and the water tends to evaporate quickly, so make sure you have some extra lube handy. It washes away easily with soap and water.
Silicone-Based Most condoms that come already lubricated, use a silicone-based lubricant. This type, like the water-based, is safe to use with all types of condoms, yet won't evaporate like water does. Excellent lube for sex in water. Many popular manufactures say that silicone lube is easily removed with soap and water. However, many people feel a residue after washing. This can be greatly reduced by wiping excess lube from the skin before showering. Any residue with be absorbed into your skin after a brief time. Can be used as a skin moisturizer to soften the skin. Has been know to stain sheets.
Oil-Based DO NOT USE OIL-BASED LUBRICANTS WITH LATEX CONDOMS Oil-based lubricants will break down latex condoms, thus making them prone to breakage and ineffective. Baby oil, lotion, and Vaseline are all types of oil-based lubricants and will eat through latex quickly. These are much slicker than other types of lubricants and will help soften the skin. With the creation of polyurethane condoms which are not destroyed by oil based lubricant. , oil-based lubricants have recently become more popular.
Flavored  Flavored lubricants are a quick and easy way to spice up your sex life. Flavored lubricants are generally water-based and some contain sugar.
Hybrid (Water + Silicone)  Hybrid personal lubricants are the newest type of lubricants developed. These lubricants generally are water based lubricants with a small amount of silicone added to extend slipperiness. These lubes are often white or cloudy in appearance due to the combination of Water and Silicone.

 

Source: http://www.personallubricant.org/lubricanttypes.html

Should I use a lubricant with a condom?

Some condoms are already lubricated with dry silicone, jellies, or creams. If you buy condoms not already lubricated, it's a good idea to apply some yourself. Lubricants may help prevent condoms from breaking during use and may prevent irritation, which might increase the chance of infection.

If you use a separate lubricant, be sure to use one that's water-based and made for this purpose. If you're not sure which to choose, ask your pharmacist.

Never use a lubricant that contains oils, fats, or greases such as petroleum-based jelly (like Vaseline brand), baby oil or lotion, hand or body lotions, cooking shortenings, or oily cosmetics like cold cream. They can seriously weaken latex, causing a condom to tear easily.

Source: "Male Condoms and Sexually Transmitted Diseases"

 

Further Reading: