Must Know Facts About Lubricants for Sex

- Written by jennifer haddad - Sex & Sexuality Health Educator and Passion Consultant.

By now, we have all gathered, on some level, that using lubricant is important during sexual play. We know that, essentially, we need lube to make sex work, and to make sex pleasurable. Aside from pleasure, has anyone ever really broken down all the other healthy benefits of lube?

Obviously, the most righteous reason for using a lubricant, the most important reason of all, is Pleasure (with a capitol P). The more slippery and slide-y sex is, the better it feels. Lube is one of the easiest ways to enhance sexual sensation and sensitivity to touch.

Where to use and what to use

Naturally, the vagina is self-lubricating. Take it slow, give it time, work it correctly, and you will be gifted with the potent, natural flow of lubrication. This is why foreplay is important, among many other reasons. A woman’s body generally takes time to get the juices flowing; this may make quickies a bit challenging. During a quickie, the vagina may not have enough time to self-lubricate. Moreover, as women age, particularly around menopause, it is quite normal to notice slight drying in the vagina. This part of the aging process imposes on a woman’s ability to self-lubricate, regardless of how much time she gets for foreplay.

In cases like these, it becomes necessary to buy a commercial lubricant, water-based of course. Oil-based lubes tend to be preferred for male masturbation; such as, Vaseline, lotion, baby oil, olive oil, and other cooking oils. But, oils can be harmful for two things: vaginas, and latex. So, when using any type of latex protection, like a male or female condom, dental dam or latex glove, keep away from the oils! Oils break down latex, leaving you with no STD or pregnancy protection. In addition, oils tend to cause a variety of vaginal infections. Briefly stated, no oils in the vagina, and no oils on a penis entering the vagina.

In regards to anal sex, the health needs of the anus are very similar to those of the vagina. Both are susceptible to contracting a myriad of bacteria and germs, and are very high-risk for sexually transmitted infections, such as HIV. Silicone-based lube is favorable for anal play, being thicker and longer-lasting than water-based lubes.

Protecting Yourself Against STD infections Using Lubes

So now you are aware of the wonderfully, pleasing benefits of lube; but, did you know that using a lubricant actually helps to reduce your risk for sexually transmitted infections?

Lubricant makes sex slippery, reducing friction and skin tears, essentially lowering your risk for getting or passing an infection from partner to partner. Whether it is natural or store-bought, lube makes sex possible, and comfortable allowing for easy insertion. The vagina is really the only sexual organ that self-lubricates, when handled correctly. This means that anal penetration requires the use of a store-bought lube. Without lubricant, anal insertion may be challenging, slightly painful, and becomes a serious health risk (not to mention dry anal sex does not do much for orgasms). Dry anal penetration may lead to forcing insertion; this causes tiny skin tears and rips. Skin tears are much like open doorways merely escorting sexually transmitted infections into the body. The more lube you use, not only is it more enjoyable, but the healthier and safer the sex becomes.

Quality of Lube

High-quality lube will cost more money, but will not stain the sheets, or leave a white, sticky residue. Unlike cheaper lube, such as Astroglide, quality lube lasts much longer. There are many brands and types of lube; shop around until you find one that is satisfying for both you and your partner. Gentle lube is also an option, consisting of Aloe Vera and vitamin E. This may be a better choice for more sensitive vaginas that irritate easily. And remember, flavored lube is not to enter the vagina or anus, unless it specifically reads ‘vagina-friendly.’ Flavored lube is loaded with sugar, simply to make it taste good for the mouth. If used during vaginal or anal sex, you can expect to experience an outrageous yeast infection.

So, the lesson: buy yourself some quality lubricant, and keep it handy for sex. How about the nightstand or your purse? Lube is a great way to enhance sexual pleasure, make for successful quickies, and keep your great sex healthy.

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