Historically, opting to use lubricant (a liquid or gel which reduces friction) during sex has gotten a bad rap – especially for vagina-owners, who may have been shamed for being “unable” to provide sufficient natural lubrication.
Happily though, the many benefits of lube are becoming increasingly known and celebrated! Our guest contributor Dr Madeleine explains why lube might be a great addition to your next sexual experience:
- Proper lubrication can make sex safer.
Not enough lubrication for any kind of penetration can lead to increased friction, which can be a cause of pain and discomfort, small abrasions and tears internally, and potentially even torn condoms. As such, using added lubrication can help protect from STIs! As an important side note though: make sure to use water-based or silicone-based lubricant if utilising a latex condom (as oil-based lubricant can degrade the latex).
- Extra lubrication can make sex more enjoyable.
Whilst added lubricant is essential for some types of sex (namely anal intercourse, as the anus and rectum do not naturally self-lubricate as a vagina does), extra lube can enhance any kind of sexual experience, including masturbation. Lubrication not only ensures all parties are comfortable, but it also enhances and intensifies sensation. Furthermore, the properties of different types of lubricant can come in handy (no pun intended): water can wash away natural lubricant, so using a silicone-based lube when immersed in water is useful as it has more staying power, and can be reapplied as needed.
- Lube can be fun, as well as functional!
Lube is available in many different flavours, which can be advantageous during oral sex (especially if performing oral sex with a condom applied). It can also offer different sensations (such as warming or cooling lube), and some types can double as a massage gel.
Of course, if any reaction occurs (such as localised rash, swelling or discomfort), discontinue use, as you may have an allergy to an ingredient. Otherwise, including lube may enhance your sexual experiences in wonderful ways, so go ahead and Live, Laugh, Lube.