During the initial visit at Maze, I generally ask what lubricant is being used with sex. I get varying responses ranging from “none” (ouch!) to naming a product containing parabens or glycerin (ouch!). Using additional lubrication, even when there’s natural lubrication, helps make sexual activity more comfortable and enjoyable. The trick is creating a balance between good sensation and avoiding excess friction.
What is natural lubrication anyway? It’s fluid from the cervix and secretions from the Bartholin glands; when we get stimulated the glands secrete more fluid. Here’s the thing: it’s common for the vagina to not produce sufficient lubrication. Common factors associated with diminished natural lubrication may be due to the birth control pill, pregnancy, breast-feeding, menstruation, menopause, medications (especially allergy meds which are “drying”), diabetes, side effects of chemo, and even stress and worry about dryness.
In my experience, when lube isn’t used it’s sometimes related to not knowing about it in the first place. For others, the issue is a sense of shame and self- blame for not being adequately aroused to produce ample secretions. No problem! Using lube can actually boost your sex life. Even applying it can enhance playfulness and fun. Remember that sex is an experience and not a performance. Also, remember that lube is not just for partnered sex!
There are many lubricants on the market today, but they are not all created equal. Organic coconut oil has wonderful properties, but cannot be used with condoms. Lubes that are glycerin based are not ideal for women prone to yeast infections, those with diabetes, or if you are immune-suppressed. There are also water based, oil based, silicone based, and hybrid (water/silicone based) lubricants. You will have to choose what works best for you. If you’re unsure of where to start, or what brands are right for you, we have complied a list of our top lube recommendations.
Lube will not resolve chronic dryness or vaginal atrophy (a thinning, dryness, inflammation of the vaginal walls which may be due to a lack of hormones and usually makes intercourse painful). Lube will not replace the need for effective communication, respect, humor, or romance, but it can increase your comfort and give you a more smooth and pleasurable sexual experience.
If you’re experiencing chronic dryness or vaginal atrophy, contact us for a free phone consultation to learn how we can help.