Find the Lube That’s Right for YOU!
By: Jen Conroy
There is no shame in using lube! There is a stigma of why someone may use lube but the fact is many people need or could benefit from using it. Its use is not solely for anal sex, which some may think, but can significantly reduce discomfort related to vaginal intercourse and it makes the act of sex more enjoyable for the individuals involved.
Why use lube?
o Decrease friction, therefore decreasing condom failure
o Increase in pleasure and comfort
o Get the satisfaction you want while preventing skin abrasion and dryness
What kind of lube is right for you?
Everyone’s body is different, we all have different behaviors, body pH, and different moisture needs. There are tons and tons of different kinds but we are here to lay it all out for you. The two most common, and most recommended, are water based and silicone lubricants. Lubricant pH should be between 4.4 and 5.5. The normal vaginal pH is 3.8 to 4.5, bacterial infections usually make a pH of 4.5 or higher.
Water based lubricants are great because they can work with the body’s natural lubricant and absorb into the skin; this also means you may need to apply more. They are easy to clean up and won’t stain your sheets. Water based lubes are recommended the most.
Silicone based lubricants need to be reapplied less often and last longer. They should NOT be used with silicone-based toys because they can break down the surface. However, silicone based lubes are okay to use with condoms. They are good with water play because they won’t wash away in contact with water.
Things to avoid:
o Oil-based. DO NOT use oil based lubes with your condoms-they will cause a tear, increasing your risk of pregnancy and STI’s. They are not recommended for sex toys because it can cause deterioration. Oil based lubricants linger longer on the skin and cause the pH of the vagina to alter, creating an environment susceptible to yeast infections. They are not recommended for vaginal use.
o A lube with a pH less than 4 or greater than 7.5.
o Polyquaternium 7, 10 or 15
o Non-oxynol 9
Last Minute Tips
o Amount: quarter size for water-based and a few drops for silicone-based.
o Where? Rub around vulva, vaginal opening, or anus. Can be used for solo or partner play!
o Check the expiration date: most lubes are good for 6 months to a year.
o Store in cool places, avoiding excessive heat and sunlight.
o Temperature: try placing your lube bottle in a warm bowl of water before use.
o Flavored lubes can be great for oral sex but they aren’t recommended for vaginal use.
o Choose which lube is right for you: everyone has different bodies and preferences, test out different kinds and find one that works for you.
Now that you know the basics, go share your knowledge, learn and love!
Student Health offers variety 3 pack lubricants for $1 or a tube for $5.
A Woman’s Touch is a sexuality resource center located in Madison, Wisconsin; it has additional information on lubricants and much more.
Their lubricant pamphlet and website is located below.
A Woman’s Touch web: https://sexualityresources.com/
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