There is a list of things about sex that people should never need to apologize about. You should never apologize for not living up to some airbrushed body standard. You should never apologize for the wonderfully weird things our bodies do. You should never apologize for size. And you should never, ever apologize for needing or wanting to use lube.
Lube. It’s maybe the most “normal” of the sex toys, but we too often treat it as a giggly goof. Maybe it’s the name; both blunt and slippery, it lends itself to being said with a jokey tone. But there’s something else, too.
The problem is that too many women (and often men) see using lube as some kind of failure. That’s why a full 35% of women have never used lube, according to a recent study by the National Institute of Health. Women sometimes see it as a failure to get wet enough for sex; men see it as a failure to get their partner wet enough. Even beyond that unfair emotional baggage often attached to it, a lot of people, frankly, see it as just something for anal play.
None of this is true. There are many reasons why desire (or lack thereof) isn’t the reason for dryness. We shouldn’t be embarrassed about any of these natural reasons.
Lube isn’t just used for natural dryness. The use of lube is a great way to enhance sex any and everywhere, including any non-vaginal sex, or even when you’re already wet. Everyone agrees, really: another study determined that 9 out of 10 women found sex better when there was more lubrication, natural or otherwise. The people have spoken: it’s better when it’s wetter.
It’s for the penetrative act itself, and for the foreplay that leads up to so much deliciousness. Lube is for the bed, the kitchen, the shower, the car, and anywhere else the mood strikes. It can help the mood strike, and help sustain it.
So the question “do I need lube” isn’t just about dryness; it’s about spice, as in: how much do you want to spice up your sex life? If the answer is any at all, then learn more about why every nightstand should have a bottle of lube.
Natural Reasons for Needing Lube
I have a rule when talking to other women: I don’t let them talk smack about a guy who once or twice had trouble getting it up. It happens. We’re not all sex-on-demand, even when we’re in the mood. And what is unacceptable to judge a guy for is equally unacceptable when it comes to a woman.
The truth is, you can be raring to go and still be dry. There are a lot of reasons for that, including:
- Medications (such as allergy meds or, with irritating irony, contraceptive pills)
- Stress from work or life (the same as it is for guys)
- Relationship strife
- Medical conditions (including chemotherapy)
- Hormonal changes (due to pregnancy, breastfeeding, menopause, etc.)
- Lack of foreplay
Now, to be sure, the last one can (and should!) be improved upon through conversation and action. And relationship problems should be worked on, as should your work and other life stressors. But none of this can be resolved overnight. And certainly, major life and health issues aren’t solved by a quick fix.
But lube? Lube can help you have vaginal sex when you’re in the mood but your body won’t produce, or produce enough. Which in many cases is ideal, because—and there is science behind this, but mostly common sense—sex is a great way to reduce stress.
7 Great Ways to Use Lube
So, where and when can you use lube? The answer is: nearly anywhere and anytime. Here are a few hints for incorporating lube into your life.
In the Shower
I’ll admit that I’m a little biased: I love sex in the shower. Shower sex, in all positions, is fantastic. But a lot of people new to getting down in the shower find it difficult. Water isn’t actually slippery (at least where you want it to be), and tends to make sex challenging.
But with water-soluble, body-safe shower gel lube, it becomes nice and easy. The lube won’t wash away, and you can enjoy each other’s bodies without (unpleasant) friction coming into play. If it did nothing else, lube makes sex in the shower far more enjoyable, and for that, we’re grateful. (Did I mention we really like shower sex?)
For a different take on it, try Kissable Passion Bubbles, which give you a bubble bath that you can lick off your partner’s body and that facilitates sex.
While you’re in the shower, of course, you can make things even easier with suction handle bars and suction foot rests. Different positions, and the only slipping you’ll be doing is in and out of each other. Emphasis on “each other,” especially, if you decide to get some silicone anal shower beads.
Which brings us to our next use…
Lube for Anal Sex
This is of course a scenario where you pretty much always need lube. And there is NO SUCH THING as too much lube when it comes to anal play. Put it on yourself, and on your partner. Don’t be shy.
Anal is for everyone, and more and more couples are experimenting with it. But remember that for many couples, anal goes both ways. Ladies, don’t be shy about introducing your man to anal beads or butt plugs. If they are nervous, ease the conversation (and everything else) by bringing in lube.
And, for the more adventurous, there are strap-on dildos. These nearly always call for lube. Remember, when it comes to anal, what is good for women is good for men. Because you might be changing our staid ideas of the traditional dynamic, but that dynamic should always involve respect for the other person’s comfort. And when it does? You’ll both have more fun than you can imagine.
These are unfairly considered the weakest form of sex, but I think that’s because we treat them as perfunctory. A few tugs and then it’s back to our phone. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Lube can make a hand-job exciting for both parties, a slippery fun adventure, full of squirmy sensations and zero chafing. I don’t believe this isn’t “sex;” it just isn’t penetrative. We can expand our definitions, and as we do, expand the fun we can have with the kind of sex that we pretended to outgrow. Mutual masturbation can be a beautiful thing.
Putting lube in the genitals (male or female) before oral has two salutary and salubrious impacts: it makes it easier and it makes it better. If you have lickable lube with a good flavor, you can enjoy the benefits of reduced friction, and therefore reduced jaw action, without having to put up with the taste of petroleum jelly.
This means you can potentially last longer during oral: it is less tiring and you can be more creative and adventurous. Of course, that might mean your partner doesn’t last as long, but I don’t think they’ll be complaining.
This and That
Here are a few other benefits of using lube:
- General licking. You don’t need whipped cream. You can pour some lube on each other’s body and taste each other up and down, and then move directly into sex, which is hard with pudding everywhere.
- Improving condoms. Guys, if your partner wants you to use a condom, use it. But put a drop of lube in the tip if you want. That more directly echoes the warm wetness of a vagina, and it also has the benefit of reducing the risk of a tear.
- For larger fellows. Size may not matter in terms of skill or enjoyment, but the actual physical presence of a larger penis does matter in terms of getting inside. Lube makes it more pleasant for both partners.
A Whole World of Lube
I know when I first started using lube I bought the blandest, most generic kind possible, because I was sort of embarrassed to buy it. That was silly. There are so many kinds of lube out there that you can explore for your whole life.
There are heating lubes, cooling lubes, lubes that actually reduce sensation for the male (which comes in handy for prolonging sex OR for a dom/sub relationship). There are so many different kinds of flavored lubes—you can have a delicious naked buffet.
So don’t just pick a generic lube. Use the world of lubricants as a sexy opportunity to experiment with every new bottle you get!
I hope that we’ve cleared up a few myths. There’s nothing wrong with using lube. There’s nothing wrong with needing to use lube. Lube is healthy, often needed, always welcome, and can expand your sexual horizons.
But sure, I guess there’s one thing we didn’t dispel: the idea that “lube” is a fun and goofy word. And you know what? That’s okay. Sex is fun, and sex can be goofy, and goofy can be beautiful. So smile, and crack open some lube. It ensures you’ll both be smiling later.