There is a mantra for sex: The wetter, the better. When both of you are well lubricated, everything just works better. But the truth is that sometimes our bodies aren't up to the task and require a little help. That's exactly where lubricants, or lubes, come into play. And boy, oh boy, are they amazing or what? Not only can it make sex more pleasurable, but it can also reduce the pain a lot of women feel during sexual intercourse. So for every woman out there having sex, here are some things about lube you need to keep in mind before you set the bed on fire.
If you thought all lubes are the same, you're in for a surprise. There are different types of lubes - three to be precise - and each has a different set of rules for its use. Water-based lubes (with or without glycerine) are the most common ones. They can be washed easily and are really thin and slippery, so they dry out quickly. It is advisable for women with sensitive vaginas to use the one without glycerin because sugar can make you more prone to yeast infections. Silicone ones have thicker consistency and last longer, making them the best bet to use with condoms. Oil-based lubes are hard to find and some natural products like petroleum jelly or coconut oil can be used as oil-based lubes, but the problem with them is that they break down latex condoms and are really, really difficult to wash off.
While there isn't a wrong way to apply lube, there are obviously better ways to do it. For sex with a condom (and we always recommend it if you are not looking to get pregnant), put some lube in the semen reservoir as that makes sex more pleasurable for the man and decreases friction between the condom and the penis. For unprotected sex, put a thin layer on the penis and once it enters the vagina, it'll spread it everywhere. Also, more is not better with lube - it can actually make things too slippery and remove any friction.
Unless your lube contains spermicide, it actually does not affect fertility. While it's true that lube reduces sperm mobility, but it has not been proven that it affects fertility.
Pump bottles are easier to access and make things less messy as compared to the screw top bottles. Not only is everything easily dispensed, but it also makes sure one hand is lube free so everything isn't slippery, wet and messy and not in a good way!
Silicone lube actually breaks down silicone sex toys. Water-based lubes work the best in this case. But silicone lube can be used with silicone condoms, so that's safe!
Since oil-based lubes damage latex condoms, they aren't your best bet for intercourse, but they can be used for masturbation or handjobs. However, synthetic oil-based lubricants may cause vaginal irritation with the natural oil-based lubricants may not cause.
A bottle of lube cannot go on forever, so it is better to not buy a huge sized bottle. Once the bottle is opened, it is more likely to expire sooner - it is best to use it within a year.
Lubes tend to degrade when they come in contact with air, so a closed pump bottle is your best bet as we mentioned before. Make sure you store them at room temperature and don't open the bottle until you're ready to use it.
Since lubricant makes the sex feel better (yayy!), it actually helps it to last longer. That's not it, lube actually helps the erection last longer too because of increased genital stimulation.
Just like for anything else, you need to read the labels on your lubes, too. Avoid anything that contains synthetic fragrances, parabens and propylene glycol. Also, as fun as flavoured lubes sound, they have added sugar that can cause yeast infections or UTIs.
Where you are will determine the lube you'll use. You cannot use water-based lube during a sesh of shower sex. In that case, you'll need a silicone-based lube.
You can make lube at home with just two ingredients - water and flaxseeds. Just boil the two together and voila, you have a completely safe and ready-to-use lubricant.
Lubes can stain stuff, especially the oil-based ones. So read the fine print to find out if it stains or not. You don't want those expensive bedsheets ruined now, do you?
Images: Shutterstock, Giphy
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