Surface texture: being the "roughness" of the finish of the toy, can be of several grain intensities, from a shiny smooth to coarse sandpaper feel, printer texture included here.
Shape texture: Anything other than a tubular shape, ridges, knots, twists, things that make the toy feel unique in its design and add shape complexity.
So, I would like to know what are your preferences on those features? And what are your main form of use and size?
Since I do mostly XL anally, I prefer a rough surface texture and lots of shape texture, knots and ridges really help stimulation of the p-spot.
But that brings us to the Lube factor.
For silicone toys, recommended lubes can be either water or oil based. And the lube feel is equally important to the enjoyment of the toy as those features above. I'm constantly researching lube alternatives that are cheaper and potentially healthier. I follow with a bit of my own experience:
Water based lubes are my personal choice. Yet they have a range of compositions that reflect in usability. I tried:
- BD Cum Lube, J-lube (both polyethylene oxide/PEG based);
- K-Y and a few alternative over the counter brands (hydroxyethyl cellulose);
- sugar base DIY such as corn starch, xanthan gum and flaxseed;
- and most recently a local brand of medical grade lube for anal and vaginal exams (PEG and carbomer).
Out of all those, in my experience, corn starch is probably the cheapest, healthier alternative (if you don't have diabetes), and it works wonders with coarse surface texture and allows to feel all of shape textures. But it wipes clean when inserting smooth surface toys, is short lived and requires copious amounts.
Next, the medical grade lube had the best results. It is actually more of a gel than a liquid lube, sticking to both smooth and coarse surfaced toys. It lasts for long, has neutral pH and balanced osmolarity. Overall feels great. But again, if you are very health conscious PEG and carbomer polymers can be a turn off. I can't really recommend being a local brand but maybe your doctor can offer some insight in this class of lubes for exams. But PM me if you feel like trying this particular one, maybe we can work shipping out, likely it is not going to be cheap to you.
BD Cum lube follows, and works well all around. But I noticed it burns a bit in the beginning and has a numbing effect on long sessions. Maybe it is just me, but it could be related to wrong pH and osmolarity. J-lube is very similar in feel, works great all around, but the mixing is a pain and makes even worst on osmolarity aspect. Worst, it is veterinary grade, which implies risks of contamination and poorer standards of quality overall. Both are PEG based.
K-Y and alternatives of hydroxyethyl cellulose are not even worth, expensive and drying really fast. Hydroxyethyl cellulose seems a better alternative than PEG though. Flaxseed is cool but it is too runny and doesn't stick to anything. Xanthan gun in water is a pain to mix and seemingly requires glycerin which I have not yet tried.
I have not much experience with oil-based other than coconut oil, making a mess and having a hard time cleaning up. It seemed to work best with toys with smooth surface texture, while more coarse toys became too abrasive. I heard Crisco is the best, but it is not available where I live. Maybe someone can weight in favor of this class of lubes.
The TLDR concluding point is: there is an interaction between toy textures (surface and shape) and lube types which will affect your enjoyment in a session. Maybe you had one toy that didn't work out, know that it can have a completely different feel with another lube option.
Finally, have you tried different lube alternatives? And which work best with your favorite texture features? Looking at the composition of lubes do you feel major differences between brands you tried?