If man’s first great invention was the wheel, the second greatest invention has to be lubricants. Lubes work by reducing friction during sex between your skin and the person, body part or object that you’re using. This ensures that sex is a smooth ride by eliminating chafing, discomfort, pain and any uncomfortable rubbing.
A study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine reported that 35 percent of women admitted that they have never tried using lube during sex. This is not surprising as there are a lot of myths and misconceptions surrounding lube. Well, there’s nothing we love more around here than a good myth-busting! Read on for that and a guide to how to use lube
Myths about lube
“Lube is only for old people”
sure, lube acts as a great aid for elderly people who want to enjoy sex as vaginal dryness can be a common concern as time passes. But lube is a great addition to everyone’s life regardless of age. Besides, vaginal dryness is faced by people of all ages. Lube is for anyone who wants to have fun!
“You’re less of a woman if you can’t get wet on your own”
In case it has to be stated: the wetness of your vagina has nothing to do with your womanhood. In fact, for women who menstruate, lubrication isn’t a constant and dryness for a few days before you get your period is pretty common. Many people assume that needing lube is an indication of something being wrong “down there”. Lubrication depends on hormonal changes and many factors can impact it like menopause, childbirth or medications that affect estrogen levels. Needing lube is not a diagnosis of anything except being down to have a good time!
“If you have to use lube you’re not turned on”:
This is one of the most common misconceptions of all. It stems from the dangerous notion that being wet indicates arousal, interest and approval for sex. There are many circumstances where you can be wet down there but not turned on or interested in sex. Many times, wetness is simply a product of being stimulated.
Similarly, there can be many circumstances where you’re dry even while being aroused. Even when you’re turned on, sometimes it takes a while for your body to catch up to your mind. In these cases lube can help speed the process up.
These misconceptions only make people reluctant to use lube leading to the widening of the orgasm gap, something that we elaborate on in the next section.
Why you should use lube
Wetter is better:
Haven’t you heard? Wetter sex is the better sex. Lubrication helps make sex more pleasing. Simple as that!
Helps bridge the gap:
Lube doesn’t just make sex more fun and pleasurable. It can also be an effective way of closing the orgasm gap. Don’t just take our word for it, it’s backed by science! A study by the Department of Health, Arkansas, found that women felt that they were more easily orgasmic when using lube. Lube also helps increase arousal in women which is a must for an orgasm to take place.
No pain, more gain:
Lube helps reduce pain and discomfort during sex. A 2013 study from Indiana University’s Center for Sexual Health Promotion reported that lube makes it 50% easier to orgasm for the participants that were both men and women.
Makes sex safe:
If reduced pain and increased pleasure weren’t reasons enough, lube can also make sex safer! It can prevent vaginal membrane from tearing and indirectly helps prevent STIs.
Ready to buy your first lube? The market for lubrication has expanded exponentially in the past few years along with the growing research in sexual wellness. The fun parts are that it provides many options to choose from! But making that choice can be pretty frustrating. Fortunately, you have us to guide you! Here’s a handy dandy guide for lube:
Types of lube:
You can’t go wrong with water-based lubes, these are perfect for everyday use! We especially recommend these for anal penetration as they help reduce friction and don’t damage condoms. These are best for use with silicone toys as well. The one drawback? It dries faster than other kinds of lube so if you’re planning for a marathon session you might have to reapply it a couple of times.
Silicone based lubes:
These, you can use for a long marathon session. These lubes are long lasting so you don’t have to worry about reapplying it! Known for its slipperiness, these are perfect for anal sex, as the butt doesn’t self lubricate.
You can also use them for shower sex or masturbation. The best selling point about these lubes is that they are hypoallergenic. If you are someone who has sensitive skin and are worried about infections and irritation during penetration, you should go for these! If there’s one thing silicone lubes can’t be used with, its sex toys. It can cause abrasions on the surface of your sex toys.
Oil based lubes:
Flying solo? This one’s great for masturbation and water play. These have a thicker texture as compared to other lubes which feels great but unfortunately also means a longer clean up time. One thing to keep in mind about oil based lubes: you can’t use these with latex condoms as the condoms will dissolve!
Who said you can’t have vegan options for lube? All-natural lubes have some great eco-friendly options made from organic ingredients. Now you can enjoy smooth sex and save the planet at the same time! However they have a short shelf life and may be a bit heavy on your pocket compared to other lubes.
Hybrid lubes offer you the best of both the worlds of water and silicone lubes. These are mostly water based but also have the dense slipperiness of silicone lubes and generally last longer than water based lubes.
Also called enhanced lubes, these provide a warm tingly sensation by enhancing blood flow to the areas on which they’re applied. This makes the area more sensitive and pleasurable when stimulated.
Just like flavored condoms, these are meant for oral sex and are best used for oral sex only. Many flavored lubes contain sugar or glycerin which can cause UTIs or yeast infections turning pleasure to pain real quick.
Did all these options only make you more confused? Don’t worry we’ll help narrow it down based on your specific needs and comfort!
How to pick a lube:
- Here’s a good thumb rule to live by when it comes to lubes. When in doubt go with the water based lube. They work for all kinds of sexual activities and can also be used with sex toys.
- If you’re planning to have floor sex or have really expensive sheets its best to stay away from silicon based lubes as they stain and can prove to be very difficult to clean up.
- Silicone based lubes are not safe to be used with silicone sex toys but if your sex toy is made from other materials like rubber, plastic or glass you don’t have to worry.
- Like sensual massages? Go for oil based lubes but make sure you don’t use latex condoms, diaphragms or sex toys along with it. Just like silicone lubes, these can take a while to clean from your sheets or body.
- Going for anal sex? You’re on the right page! lube is very very important when it comes to anal sex as the anal canal doesn’t self lubricate like a vagina. And no, spit is not lubrication!
- The biggest risk with anal sex is that of the condom breaking or coming off. Since both oil and silicone lubes run the risk of condom breakage it’s best to opt for a water based lubricant. Make sure you apply more lubricant on the outside of the condom as compared to the inside and it’ll prevent it from slipping off.
It’s true that you can’t go wrong with lubes, as long as you buy the right one and use it the right way.
Here are some dos and don’ts of how to use lube:
- Don’t: store them in direct heat.
- Do: keep them in a cool and dry place.
- Don’t: Buy any lubes that contain artificial flavors, coloring oil, glycerin or paraben. Many vulva owners have reported facing yeast and bacterial infections after using these lubes.
- Do: Buy lubes that are marked paraben and glycerin free.
- Don’t: buy lubes that contain Sugars. flavored lubes usually have sugars which can cause yeast infections.
- Do: Like your lubes flavored? You can opt for body-safe ingredients like aspartame or stevia instead.
- Don’t: buy lubes that contain Petroleum and nonoxynol-9. They can cause inflammation and irritation.
- Do: Buy lubes that are marked petroleum free.
- Don’t: buy lubes that contain properties of spermicide. These can irritate your skin.
- Do: Buy only body safe lubes.
Placed an order for your first lube? Pair it with a shiny new sex toy to double your pleasure and take your date night or self care weekend up a notch!