Maybe you’re feeling extra dry because of the hormonal changes that happen during and after pregnancy. Or you’re trying to conceive. Or you’ve just started having sex and you are learning about the kinds of touch that turn you on. Or you’re having a dry spell because a medication you’re taking affects your body’s natural lubrication. Or you’re going through menopause, a dramatic change of the body’s hormonal landscape, and you’d like a little more lubrication.

How and when to use lube changes naturally as your body and intimate life mature. Lube isn’t just a fix for something that’s broken about you. It’s an accompaniment to your own body’s natural ability, helping you continue to enjoy an enjoyable activity. The way spices add interesting nuances to food, making it more delicious, a good lubricant adds excitement to sex.

You can use lube anytime — for the glide it adds, for the scent, because you and your partner have a sexy routine for putting it on each other. There are some times, though, when lube can be especially helpful. Here’s our guide for the top five reasons to use lube:

Learning

For both women and men, the first times having sex can be exhilarating…and also frustrating, because it takes many of us some years to learn the rhythms and kinds of touch our bodies enjoy most and that make for the most enjoyable sex. Orgasm can be difficult for many women, especially during their early sex life, when the excitement of a new experience can make it difficult to find the focus and calm necessary for release, and for the lubrication necessary for deep arousal.

Add some lube, though, and the arousal response naturally follows. (For more about what to use as lube, check out Lubricant 101.)

Trying to conceive

When you’ve decided you’re ready to conceive, sex can become overwhelmingly important, even stressful. While it’s unclear whether orgasm increases the chance of conception, it is clear that it feels really good, and that feeling good with your partner is a bonding experience and reduces stress, too. Stress and tension can cause feminine dryness; lube can help loosen things up so you can both relax.

Pregnancy & after

The hormonal changes a woman’s body undergoes during pregnancy can affect her sexual desire and response for a while after the baby is delivered. Feminine dryness, irritation, even pain with penetration are common. Lubricant can enhance your body’s natural lubrication response, which can be especially sluggish while a new mother is breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is a perfect example on when to use lube.

(While occasional discomfort with sex is common, of course it’s best to check with your doctor about any discomfort you’re having.)

A dry spell

Almost all of us have them. We want to respond instantly to our partner’s touch, but for whatever reason, or for no reason at all, we just don’t. Maybe work is busy, and while we know that really good sex will help us relax, the initial relaxation necessary for pleasant penetration is elusive. Here’s where a little assistance from a reliable lube can help your body relax to the point where pleasure naturally takes over.

What’s more, a good lubricant can not only help combat feminine dryness, it can keep your vaginal flora balanced, so that sex, which can be stressful to sensitive vaginal tissues, doesn’t upset a healthy pH balance. Good Clean Love’s Bio-Match™ Restore™ Moisturizing Personal Lubricant mimics the body’s natural equilibrium with perfectly calibrated pH levels, salt balance, and the same type of beneficial lactic acid produced by healthy lactobacilli for a truly natural and healthy lubricating response.

Menopause & beyond

Like pregnancy, menopause changes the hormonal world of the body drastically. What once came naturally no longer does. What once was predictable no longer is. All of the changes can be frustrating, and can strain even the strongest relationship. Restore™ can be especially helpful for feminine dryness. It gives you back the glide, and helps keep vaginal flora in balance.

These are all prime examples of when to use lube.