Why We Use Lube
When it comes to sex, no matter what you enjoy, you can usually play by the rule: the wetter, the better. And what better way to get the waters flowing like lube. Now if you associate lube with vaginal dryness only, it’s time to step out of the box. Instead, think less friction, longer- lasting, and all around better sex — no matter your gender, age, or stage in life. Even if you don't usually have issues getting wet on your own, it's smart to keep lube on hand in case you go through a bout of dryness due to hormone changes related to pregnancy, breastfeeding, or stress.
So what is lube, anyway?
No worries, we covered this question more in detail in our article What is Lube? ,but to summarize lube, short for “personal lubricant” is a liquid or gel used to reduce friction or irritation during sex. You can use it for many types of sex, including penetrative and anal sex, as well as masturbation. Some types are also safe to use with toys. It's even recommended for use with contraception like pre-lubricated condoms, since it allows partners to control the degree of slipperiness and adjust it to their preferred level of comfort.
Reasons you should use lube during sex
- You can't use too much lube. While you might be worried about using too much lube and turning your sheets into a sticky mess, experts encourage people to use lube liberally. Though if you are looking for a bed stain-free lube, check out Oomf. Less is more is not the rule of thumb here. One of the main appeals of reducing the friction between two surfaces is reducing the heat that friction produces, which in the case of human skin is unpleasant. Think of it as avoiding a rug burn down there.
- Lube helps you have safer sex. Not only does a personal lubricant intensify sensations, it can protect you from an infection and even an unplanned pregnancy. Lube reduces the friction of condoms, making them less likely to break, and it reduces microscopic tears through which STI pathogens could enter the body. Something else to note: There is no naturally produced lubricant in your butt, so lube makes anal play possible and more enjoyable (instead of dry and painful).
- Lube is great for masturbation. Whether your partner is away yet you need some sexual relief or you're single and self-love is your preferred form of self-care, remember to bring lube to your masturbation party. It reduces the drag of your hand or sex toy against the sensitive skin of your vulva, clitoris, and vagina, so you can glide your fingers across these nerve-rich areas smoothly.
Why do women use lube?
So, why is vaginal lubrication important? The vagina makes its own natural fluid, this fluid keeps the vagina elastic and healthy. When women are sexually aroused, their vagina will produce extra fluid. This fluid helps reduce friction. It makes putting anything into the vagina more comfortable. This also helps make sex feel more pleasurable. But if your vagina is on the dryer side or you want to explore extended foreplay, then it’s an especially good idea to use lube whenever you’re participating in sexual activity that involves friction, such as when using sex toys (even externally) or during any kind of penetrative vaginal sex.
Lube is crucial for vaginal play. While most vaginas can self-lubricate, many of them don’t produce enough fluid to make sex enjoyable. A whole host of things can contribute to vaginal dryness, including:
- Anti-histamines (allergy medication)
- Hormonal birth control
- Testosterone therapy
- Depression (and anti-depressants)
- Sexual trauma
- Cancer treatment
- Arousal non-concordance
…and that’s only a small portion of the things that can contribute to intermittent or chronic dryness. The variation on this list goes to show that vaginal dryness is a side effect of many different things, so there shouldn’t be any shame in dealing with it.
Benefits for women using lube include: lube makes it 50% easier—for both women and men—to orgasm. Lube is helping close the orgasm gap, what can be better than that.
Why should men use lube?
Do men need lube for sex? Simply answer, yes! STI and pregnancy prevention is just as much your responsibility as your partner’s and we’ve covered that lube is a multitasking hero on that front. Talk about multitasking, a big plus for men using lube would be during masturbation. Lube works wonders while masturbating, no more dry hands or using moisturizing lotion that could contain unwanted chemicals on your penis or inside you. ‘Wetter is better’ for you too so check out The Lube Effect to learn more.
Benefits for men using lube include: Ensuring everyone involved is having a discomfort-free time as a considerate partner. Also, nothing beats an easy glide.