A slippery substance called lube, also known as “lubricant”, is used to reduce friction while engaging in sexual activity. Contrary to popular belief, lube is a great addition to anyone’s sex life and is not just for those who have trouble getting wet. Lube can be a game-changer, whether you are using it to increase pleasure, reduce pain, or simply have more fun.
Why would I need lube?
Various factors, such as our menstrual cycle, stress levels, physical activity, dietary choices, hydration, and medication intake, have an impact on how much lubrication our bodies produce. It is crucial to remember that being aroused does not always indicate having sufficient lubrication. The body may also occasionally produce some lubrication, but it might not be enough to allow for comfortable penetration or to sustain long-lasting sexual activity.
Since there is no natural lubrication in anal play, the use of lubrication is essential. Additionally, dry friction from toys like vibrators, dildos, anal toys, penis pumps, and sleeves can be uncomfortable and even painful during non-penetrative play. Therefore, using lube while engaging in sexual activity can improve the overall experience and make it more enjoyable.
Which lube should I use?
Lubricants come in a variety of forms, including water-based, silicone-based, and oil-based, each with unique properties. The most popular lube is water-based because it is non-staining, easy to remove, and compatible with condoms and sex toys. Although silicone-based lube is water-resistant and suitable for use in water, cleanup may be more challenging. Some people prefer oil-based lube because of its thickness and moisturizing qualities, but it should not be used with condoms because it could cause them to deteriorate.
Most lubricants sold today are water-based, but some people may not be happy with them because they have the propensity to become stringy, sticky, or tacky with prolonged use. Additionally, as water-based lube is absorbed into genital tissue, it may dry up. Therefore, the choice of lubricant should complement your personal preferences. For such reason, product labels should be read, and if you have any questions about the lube, ask the retailer or manufacturer for guidance.
Watch out for allergies!
Generally speaking, lube should feel good on and inside of your genitalia. Itching, burning, redness, or any other type of irritation, however, could be a sign of sensitivity to or an allergic reaction to one or more of the lube’s ingredients. Do not be discouraged if your first experience with lube does not feel satisfactory because every person’s body responds to different lubricants differently. Simply put, it is a sign that you have not yet found the ideal lube for you. Finding the right lube for you will depend on your personal preferences, so it is advised that you try out sample sizes of various brands. You might even prefer to use a different lube for anal play than the one used for vaginal sex.
Natural and organic lubricants are suggested if skin irritation is experienced. In the past, glycerin, a common ingredient that helps the lube maintain its texture, was found in most water-based lubricants. Glycerin is a type of sugar, so it might, in some people, lead to an imbalance in vaginal yeast, resulting in a yeast infection. It is advised that you switch to a glycerin-free lube if you are prone to yeast infections or experience symptoms after using a water-based lube. Even though glycerin is still a common ingredient in water-based lubricants, there are also glycerin-free alternatives on the market.
In conclusion, lube could be a great addition to your sexual life if you want to improve your sexual experience. Lube can ease pain, heighten pleasure, and generally improve the quality of sex, whether it is used for solo or shared sexual activity.
Seray Soyman is working as a Clinical Psychosexologist within the Willingness team, providing psychosexual education and sexual support sessions, as well as delivering training and workshops. She has a master’s degree in Clinical Psychosexology from the Sapienza University of Rome. Seray’s research interests are sexual communication, sex-positive behaviour, LGBTQIA+ studies, and sexual health.
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Taormino, T. (2009). The Big Book of Sex Toys: From Vibrators and Dildos to Swings and Slings–Playful and Kinky Bedside Accessories That Make Your Sex Life Amazing. Quiver.