Lubrication is essential for enjoyable sex– whether it's natural or from a bottle, lubricant is a sure way to increase pleasure and comfort during intimacy.
Lube can help create a more comfortable and easeful experience during any sexual act. It can reduce discomfort due to uncomfortable friction that results from dryness. Altogether, using lube equates to better sex.
However, not all lubes are created equal. There are different formulations for lubricants, and each formulation is preferable for various intimate acts. Let’s break down why lube is necessary and what kind of lube you may want for specific acts in the bedroom.
Lubricants That Your Body Produces Naturally
Our bodies produce natural lubricants, especially when we become aroused. When most of us think of natural lubricant, we most likely think of the natural secretions produced by the vagina when we become aroused. Making time for foreplay before intercourse can increase the production of arousal fluid. Arousal fluid is produced in response to any sexual stimulation by the glands in and around the vagina – this process is natural to prepare the vagina for penetrative intercourse. The characteristics of arousal fluid are clear, wet, and slippery.
Although arousal fluid is the most commonly referenced natural lubricant, there are others too, such as
- Cervical fluid: Cervical fluid or mucus is produced during the time of ovulation in a person’s cycle. Although the vagina continuously produces mucus during all times of the menstrual cycle, during and just before ovulation vaginal fluid becomes slippery and clear in nature. This occurs because of the hormonal changes occurring in the body during ovulation. While this change in cervical fluid can make for great lube during intercourse, it’s important to remember that this is the time of your cycle in which you are most fertile, so be sure to use a condom if you are not trying to get pregnant.
- Menstrual blood: If you feel up to having sex during your period, menstrual blood can be a great lubricant at the beginning of your cycle. Make sure to put a towel on the bed to prevent any staining, or opt for shower sex if you want to avoid any mess altogether.
- Vaginal arousal fluid: As we mentioned, arousal fluid can be a great and consistent source of natural lubricant. Engaging in a good amount of foreplay before intercourse is a great way to stimulate the production of arousal fluid. If you have trouble producing arousal fluid or are experiencing vaginal dryness, don’t worry about it. There’s no shame in vaginal dryness, as it is very common, particularly among women who are post-menopausal. This is due to the decrease of estrogen in the body. The vaginal tissues thin and receive less blood flow, reducing the production of arousal fluid. This is completely normal and nothing to fret about, as over half of post-menopausal women experience vaginal dryness. Experiencing vaginal dryness when aroused does not indicate whether or not you are enjoying yourself, it just means you may need a little assistance. If this is the case, using a personal lubricant during sex is a great and easy option.
When & Why You Might Need Lube
There are multiple reasons you may want to incorporate personal lubricant into sexual intimacy:
- Just Because: Even if you have no trouble getting wet during sexual intimacy, using lube can make the experience even more enjoyable. You don’t need an excuse to incorporate lubricant into your sex life – you may just want a little extra slip, and who doesn’t want that?
- During and After Pregnancy: During or after pregnancy, a woman is experiencing many hormonal changes that can affect her sexual desire or arousal responses. Vaginal dryness or irritation is common during this intense transitional period. Using personal lubricant can increase your vaginal’s natural lubrication and make for more enjoyable sex. Vaginal dryness is particularly common while breastfeeding, so don’t be afraid to whip out the lube during this time.
- When You’re New To Sex: Everybody has been new to sex at some point and it can be a journey to discover what feels good to you and your partner. We all need to take time to discover what our bodies enjoy and get into the rhythm of having good sex. During your first couple of times having sex, you may experience both excitement and frustration all at once. There’s no need to fret about having this universal human experience of trying new things in the bedroom, but ensuring you are properly lubricated is a top priority during moments like these.
- Experiencing Vaginal Dryness: Vaginal dryness is nothing to feel ashamed about. In fact, it’s actually very common. Around 17% of women aged 15-50 have experienced vaginal dryness during sex. Vaginal dryness can cause pain or discomfort during penetrative sex, so it’s important to ensure you are properly lubricated before and during intercourse. This can easily be resolved by using a good and reliable lubricant.
- Trying Out Something New: You may want to use lubricant when trying out something new in the bedroom for a couple of reasons. Firstly, you may just need it for certain sexual acts, such as anal where enough natural lubricant isn’t produced. Secondly, you may just be experiencing nerves and can use a lubricant to make the experience more easeful.
- When You’re Self-Pleasuring: For men in particular, lubricant is often needed during masturbation. However, anyone can utilize personal lubricant while masturbating. It may help you reach orgasm quicker and make the experience even more pleasurable.
- While You Are Trying To Conceive (TTC): While trying to conceive, it’s common for sex to begin to feel less fun or stressful. Sex should still feel good, and it’s a great way to connect and destress with your partner, especially when TTC. Using personal lubricant during sex can make the experience more enjoyable and arousing. If you are dealing with the stress that can come with trying to conceive, check out our article Taking Care of Your Mind and Body When Trying to Conceive (TTC).
Your Guide to Lubricants for Every Need
Lubricants are not all created equally. In fact, there are certain types of lubricants you may want to choose for different uses. Let’s break down what type of lubricants you may want to use for different bedroom activities.
- Best Lube for Menopause and Dryness💦: You can use multiple different lubes for vaginal dryness, it’s all down to your preference. A water-based lube, such as the Liquid Water Based Lubricant by Good Clean Love is a great choice for anyone experiencing vaginal dryness or irritation. Water-based lube is also an easy clean up as it comes out of clothes/sheets easily and doesn’t leave a stain. If you are using water-based lube, ensure that you aren’t using it in the shower or bathtub, as it will wash away. It can also require some reapplication, but water-based lube is compatible with toys and condoms – and is an ideal choice for those who have sensitive skin. For additional relief, using a vaginal gel relieves dryness or irritation and provides additional lubrication. Restore® Moisturizing Vaginal Gelby Good Clean Love relieves dryness, eases discomfort, and reduces abnormal odor. For those dealing with extreme dryness, try the BioNourish® Ultra Moisturizing Gel, which is formulated with Hyaluronic Acid to mimic the vagina’s natural moisture, providing sustained relief.
- Best All-Around Lube🏆: If you are looking for a reliable and consistent lubricant, try the bestselling Almost Naked® Organic Personal Lubricant for a smooth, long-lasting experience. This lube is water-based, so it is safe to use with silicone toys and latex condoms. It also closely mimics the body’s natural lubrication, so it won’t strip the body or vagina of its natural moisture.
- Best Lube for Sensitive Skin🌿: For those with sensitive skin, BioNude® Ultra Sensitive Personal Lubricant is the best option, as it is carefully formulated to help avoid irritation or allergic reactions. This lubricant is unscented, unflavored, and formulated with a hypoallergenic plant-based material (hydroxyethylcellulose), that delivers long-lasting slip.
- Best for Anal Sex🍑: When engaging in anal sex, using a personal lubricant is absolutely necessary for a pleasurable experience. The anus doesn’t provide enough lubrication for pleasurable penetrative sex, so it needs some help along the way. Using a hybrid lubricant such as the Hybrid Silicone & Water Based Personal Lubricant is a great option for anal sex, as the hybrid base offers the glide of silicone with the mess free benefits of water-based lube. This hybrid lube will stay slippery with or without the presence of natural lubrication. It’s not recommended to use hybrid with silicone toys, but other toy materials are fully compatible. Hybrid is safe to use with latex and polyisoprene condoms.
- Best for Vulva Solo Touch👋: The Liquid Water Based Lubricantis a great option to use for vulva solo touch. This lube is formulated with hyaluronic acid to lock in moisture and is pH balanced so as to not disrupt the natural ecosystem of the vagina. It is also iso-osmolar, meaning it won't over hydrate the sensitive tissues of the vulva to the point of causing irritation or dryness by robbing your body of its natural moisture.
- Best for Penis Solo Touch 🍆: Using the Hybrid Silicone & Water Based Personal Lubricant is a great option for penis solo touch. This lube offers the glide of a silicone base with the mess free benefits of water-based lube. You can count on the long-lasting slip of this lubricant.
- Best for Oral Sex👅: The BioNude® Ultra Sensitive Personal Lubricant is the best option for oral sex, as it is safe for ingestion. This lubricant is also unscented and unflavored, which makes it most favorable for oral sex.
- Best for Use with Sex Toys🍌: The The Liquid Water Based Lubricant is the best option for use with sex toys. It is a doctor-recommended water-based lubricant, making it ideal for toy and vibrator use.
- Best for Foreplay👄: For extra fun during foreplay, try Good Clean Love's Love Oilsor Massage Candles. Developed with a skin-nourishing blend of aphrodisiac essential oils, using these for massage or intimate touching is a great way to enhance sensuality in the bedroom.