Asking For A Friend: Let's Talk About Lube
Our Sexpert, Malaika Salaam is here to answer your anonymous sex questions you don't want to ask your doctor.
Q: I have problems getting wet during sex and I'm in my mid twenties. This makes sex pretty uncomfortable. I want to try lube, but never have. Are there any brands you would suggest? Also, at what point should I be adding the lube? I feel like it's going to take away the sexy factor during foreplay.
A: I hear you Sis, vaginal dryness can certainly make having sex/making love/doin’ it uncomfortable. Your yoni is a self-lubricating organ and that lubrication may be like a flowing river sometime and a dripping faucet at others, but when it’s dry there maybe some other things going on that you should address before trying something synthetic. Some factors that can affect the moisture levels of your lady parts include:
Dehydration. Have you been drinking? Have you been drinking alcohol? Alcohol dehydrates you… Make sure you are getting in at least those 8, 8 oz. glasses of water a day or hydrating from other sources like: cucumbers, celery, radishes, watermelon, coconut water (the water not the juice), strawberries, cantaloupe.
Hormones. Listen you don’t have to be going through “The Change” for your hormones to change. Hormones levels change around your menstrual cycle, due to diet, and stress. A drop in estrogen levels (more prevalent in perimenopausal women) can lead to vaginal dryness.
Medications. Believe it or not allergy and cold medications, which contain antihistamines and have drying effect in the body (you know to stop all that pesky nasal drip)… well yeah, they can dry up other things too.
Irritants. The chemicals in soaps, feminine hygiene products, dyes, and perfumes may cause irritation as well as other long term conditions affecting your nether region. Ladies, the vagina is also a self-cleaning organ and doesn’t need any help from Summer’s Eve, Massengil, or FDS… Trust Muva Nature been doing the damn thang for eons before somebody told us coochie was supposed to smell like a Tropical Breeze. I digress.
Now all of those things could be happening in inside of your body and causing issues, which you should be aware of… And you stated that you were specifically having trouble getting wet during sex, which means that you may also want to take a look at or think about a couple of psychological factors.
Anxiety. That’s right love, sex starts in the mind and fires off a million sensations in the body. If you are stressed or feeling anxious, well that can short circuit the waves of electricity, stopping them from increasing the blood flow to your genitalia and stifling the receptors that cause you to get moist or wet.
Insufficient Arousal. The part of your brain that knows you and knows what you like and fires off all those sensations also knows if you are really digging the experience. Maybe your partner is not giving you what you really want, maybe it feels good to your body, but not your heart… There are any number of things that our brain may tell our body that reduces arousal and thus reduces the amount arousal and in turn reduces the natural lubrication. If none of these things are the case and it’s just your body chemistry. Then by all means grab some lube and get busy…
Here are some things to consider when shopping for a lube:
Oil. Pro- readily available, you probably have like 3 different types of oil in your house right now.
Con- Oil is not regulated by FDA and therefore has not quality control and can degrade… Oil is not recommended for intercourse, primarily because it's not easy to get off you or out of you. That stuff will stick around for a while, keeping bacteria with it and leaving you open to infection. Also while oil is readily available around the house, if breaks down condoms (ummm yes ladies, keep those toys and fingers covered) and dental dams. Also, also despite the million and one things that coconut oil is good for, lube is not one, it can change the Ph Balance of your whisker biscuit and lead to yeast infections.
Some Oil-based Lubes: Yes OB, Coconu, Dr. Pinks Coco Lube
Silicone-based lubricants. Pro- This type of lubricant lasts longer than water-based varieties and is usually safe to use with condoms. These are designed not to dry out quickly and stay slick longer than other kinds of lubricants, plus they can leave your skin feeling soft and smooth. Silicone is also hypoallergenic, so it’s a great choice for the sensitive skin of your honey pot and if you are allergy prone.
Con- You gotta be careful with toys they can melt some toys depending on the material. Hard to get out of fabrics
Some Silicone-based Lubes: K-Y True Feel, Astroglide, One Move, Wet, Good Clean Love
Water. Pro- These are the most common type of lubricant. Water-based means easy clean up… yep consider your mice sheets and sexy lingerie. Most do not compromise the integrity of the condom. They can be used with toys, including silicone and other materials without fear of breaking down material.
Con- You may have to reapply more often than silicone because it’s water-based they dry out faster. Consistency is tricky, because there is no way of telling how much water is in the product. Cannot be used for water play, ironically.
Some Water-based Lubes: Fuck Water, Astroglide, Shibari, KY, Isabel Fay, Healthy Vibes
Hybrid Lubes. Pro- They combine the very best aspects of water and silicone based formulas.
With a hybrid lube you get to enjoy the natural feeling of water based lubes while also getting the benefits of a longer lasting silicone formula.
Con- Like any lube that contains silicone, a hybrid lube can put some serious wear and tear on your silicone toys, so avoid using them together. They aren’t as slippery as silicone or as thick as water-based.
Some Hybrid Lubes: Babe Lube, Astroglide, Elbow Grease, Sliquid Organics, Liquid Silk
Now that you are thoroughly and well-versed in lubes and can make an informed decision for play, the question is when. Yes, transitions can seem awkward, but no more awkward than the putting on the harness or strapping up, make it a part of the sexual experience. Consider making it part of your foreplay, don’t wait until the moment of penetration to get the lube. Use a little for touching, so you can get a feel for the consistency and whether you want to use more (start with just a little, you can add, you can’t always easily subtract). Use it for digital stimulation and penetration ( yes, ladies the things you do with your fingers).
I hope the information provided has been helpful. Happy humping!