All you need to know about using lubricants for better sex
Lubricants may be needed to deal with dryness that can be caused by many things like hormonal birth control, smoking, alcohol consumption, etc.
Please don't be stingy: there is no such thing as too much lubricant
Creams and lotions are meant to be absorbed by the body, which makes them a terrible lubricant
Just because water is wet, doesn't mean it's a good lubricant
One of the most basic things when it comes to enjoying sex is the right kind of preparation. And we don’t mean grooming yourself and setting the mood with candles and roses. No, by preparation we mean, wetness. Sounds messy? It can be. But the wetter sex is, the more enjoyable it’ll be. Also, the less likely you are to cause any vaginal tearing or bruising.
When does lube come in
The vagina isn’t only self-cleaning but also self-lubricating. Given enough time and foreplay, you might have all the lubrication you need to make sex comfortable and avoid any friction. There can be many situations in which you might need a hand, though. Some of them have to do with dryness, which can be caused by many things like hormonal birth control, smoking, alcohol consumption, menopause, anti-depressants, anti-histamines, etc. Other situations can be, well, unique to you. Like not having enough time (hello, quickies), while masturbating, just wanting to experiment with something new in bed, or while having anal sex (there’s no natural lubrication there).
Women who are trying to have sex for the first time since delivering a baby may find that lubes make everything easier. Medical practitioners say that women with dyspareunia, a condition in which women experience pain during or after sex, can also benefit from using lubricants. (Dyspareunia is a health condition and may require other forms of treatment and therapies, too.) There is absolutely no shame in using or needing to use lubricants.
The many types of lubricants
Water-based: Safest to use with most condoms and toys. Similar consistency to the vagina’s natural lubrication. But it dries easily so you might want to keep it within arm’s reach and help yourself to more than a single serving. Avoid using them in the shower as they’ll just wash off.
Oil-based: Good for shower sex. Can cause latex (and some others) condoms to tear though. More lasting than water-based lubes but slightly tougher to wash off.
Silicone-based: Good option for anal sex and longer-duration of sex. Shouldn’t be used with silicone sex toys as it can break them down. Also can be a little harder to wash off.
How to use a lubricant
Please don’t be stingy: there is no such thing as too much lubricant. Apply liberally on the vulva and vaginal opening. You can also apply it on the penis. If you’re using toys, apply it on them, making sure you avoid any opening for the batteries. Reapply as often as required.
Avoid one with added flavours, smells, etc. as the chemicals can cause adverse reactions. Better be safe than sorry!
What not to use as a lubricant
1. Petroleum jelly: Petroleum jelly does wonders on chapped lips, cracked feet, even your makeup routine. But it’s essential role is to act as a protective layer that keeps moisture in - not ideal in a lubricant that you’ll be applying to your genitals.
2. Lotion: Creams and lotions are meant to be absorbed by the body, which makes them a terrible lubricant. Good for your skin (and that’s debatable as well since the pH of most lotions won’t be compatible with your vulva) but not for sex.
3. Water: Just because water is wet, doesn’t mean it’s a good lubricant. So next time you’re thinking of shower/bath/pool sex, don’t assume that you won’t need a lubricant. In fact, you’ll need it even more since water easily displaces any natural lubrication as well.
4. Bio-oil: Bio-oil is an amazing beauty product. But it’s only meant to be used topically, and not ingested or inserted.
5. Food: Chocolate sauce, whipped cream, even ice-cream… There are some crazy suggestions out there to make things more exciting in the bedroom. And while ingesting these during foreplay sounds like a perfectly reasonable idea, keep them away from your genital. It’s not only tricky to clean up but can also cause irritation.
6. Oils (natural and baby): Oils are good for the skin and edible so they must be okay to use as a lubricant, right? Wrong. Just like oil-based lubricants, oils can break down latex condoms and increase your chances of getting pregnant or catching an STD.
7. Spit: It doesn’t even look so hot even in porn that you would want to try this. We know it’s right there - but using spit can promote transmission of STDs and infections. Best to avoid.
Health articles in Firstpost are written by myUpchar.com, India’s first and biggest resource for verified medical information. At myUpchar, researchers and journalists work with doctors to bring you information on all things health. For more information, please read our articles on Dyspareunia: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment.
The information provided here is intended to provide free education about certain medical conditions and certain possible treatment. It is not a substitute for examination, diagnosis, treatment, and medical care provided by a licensed and qualified health professional. If you believe you, your child or someone you know suffers from the conditions described herein, please see your health care provider immediately. Do not attempt to treat yourself, your child, or anyone else without proper medical supervision. You acknowledge and agree that neither myUpchar nor firstpost is liable for any loss or damage which may be incurred by you as a result of the information provided here, or as a result of any reliance placed by you on the completeness, accuracy or existence of any information provided herein.
Endometriosis: Communicating with your partner, knowing the right position, other ways that can help manage pain during sex
According to the Endometriosis Foundation of America, knowing where the endometriosis is located and how advanced it is can help you determine how to have pain-free sex