I know exactly what you're thinking: "Why do I need to use lube if my body self-lubricates?" Because I say so, that's why.
Okay, fine. You don't need to use lube, but it's the key to orgasming practically every time you have sex (with someone else or with yourself). And in a recent study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, a whopping 35% of women said they've never even tried it.
This makes me sad. Sure, I'm a guy, but I've been working with and writing about women's health for years, and not to be presumptuous or anything but I kiiiinda know what I'm talking about. Like: If you don't use lube, you may not produce enough of your own moisture, which can lead to vaginal dryness and painful sex. Lube can even prevent membrane tearing, says Ian Kerner, Ph.D., author of She Comes First, which is good because tearing can increase your risk of contracting STDs and STIs.
The benefits? You can get to sex faster, you can more easily accommodate a well-endowed guy, flavored kinds make oral sex more fun, and you can get creative with where you put it. But there's also this: A study from Indiana University's Center for Sexual Health determined that lube makes it 50% easier—for both women and men—to orgasm. Just leaving that there.
So now that you're sold, which option is for you?
There are three main bases for lube: water, silicone, and oil. Water-based lubes have no additives and are the least allergenic but wear out quickly, so you'll need to constantly reapply. Silicone choices provide extra wetness because of the, duh, silicone in the liquid, but some women are allergic to it—and if you prefer silicone-made sex toys, silicone on silicone can ruin the material. Oils are usually a last-ditch effort to lubricate; the big downside is that they can erode condoms and are hard to clean out of your nether regions post-sex.
Kerner recommends testing your new lube with a dab on your forearm before venturing anywhere near your V. And be careful not to over-lubricate, which can disrupt friction during penetration.
Oh, and before I go, did I mention that there are vegan lubes, weed-infused lubes, and organic lubes, too? Really, the options are endless—it all depends on which pick-your-own-sex-adventure you're game for.
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