Ask Emily: Your Lubrication Education
I have a concern about something that has been happening when my boyfriend and I have sex. When we are having a longer sex session (past 30 minutes) I’ve noticed that I tend to dry out, even though I was extremely wet a few minutes before. And what’s worse, it becomes extremely uncomfortable. Is it possible that I could run out of my own juices? I mean, I’m only 22! This has really been affecting my sex life, because I take a longer time to orgasm during intercourse, and my boyfriend usually takes a while also. Is this normal? What should I do?
Your question is actually a lot more common than you might think. In fact, researchers at Indiana University found that roughly one third of young women reported having experienced vaginal dryness, just like you. Luckily, I have one word that can and will save your sex life: Lube.
Whoever said “wetter is better” was absolutely talking about the benefits of lubricant. Lube is the most underrated resource, yet it holds the key to enhancing your sexual pleasure. There’s a nasty rumor going around that lubricant is only to be used when there’s an issue, or that it is strictly a tool for menopausal women, but that’s just not the truth.
Research shows that women who reach for the lubricant regularly, whether during sex or masturbation, reported higher levels of overall sexual satisfaction and actually enjoyed sex more. While it’s true that lubricant becomes especially important for women who produce less naturally, or for women experiencing low libido, lube is a fantastic sexual tool for everyone to use. Not only does lubricant prevent vaginal tearing, and keep condoms from tearing, it also enhances the sexual experience for both women and their partners.
But before you go running out to CVS to fill your basket with personal lubricant, let’s talk about the type of lubes you should be using. Often times, individuals will leave their local supermarket with a generic brand of petroleum jelly stashed under their arm, and then wonder why it isn’t making sex any better. They have no idea about the varieties of lube, or their various uses. Well I am here to tell you, not all lube is created equally.
Silicone-based lubricants are very popular, largely because they are long-lasting and require fewer re-applications once things get hot and heavy. They are safe to use with latex condoms and are excellent for water play (showers, hot tubs, etc.) but should not be used with any silicone sex toys, as they will cause the toy to break down.
Silicone-based lubricants should be used sparingly, because they are very difficult to get out of fabrics and can occasionally cause vaginal irritation for women. They also tend to be a little bit more expensive than other lubes, but they go a lot further. Both Pjur and Uberlube make fantastic, high-quality silicone-based lube.
Water-based lubricants are the most commonly used, and are generally the best choice all-around. They are safe to use with all sex toys and latex condoms, and are totally body safe (as long as they are glycerin-free).
They may not last as long as silicone-based lubricants, but they are much easier to clean up and remove if things get a little messy. If you’re water-based lube starts to feel a little tacky mid-action, a tiny bit of water or saliva can bring back the slippery goodness and keep things going. My favorite water-based brand is Please Cream, available at Good Vibrations.
Some people may prefer to keep things 100% natural, opting for an oil-based lubricant (like coconut oil or olive oil). While these are definitely body safe, and are even safe to ingest, they will absolutely destroy latex condoms or sex toys (and will definitely stain your sheets).
Lubricants to Avoid
Flavored lubricant can be a fun addition during oral sex, but is also likely to cause irritation when used vaginally.
Avoid using water-based lubricants that contain glycerin. These often have a sweet taste, and may even feature a warming or cooling sensation, but have also been known to cause yeast infections.
Also avoid any petroleum-based lubricants, such as Vaseline, which can cause irritation and will stain any fabrics that they come in contact with.
I have a dream – A dream that one day, there will be a bottle of lube on every night stand in the country. But for now, Katie, I will settle for just yours.