Sex Therapist Aleks Trkulja makes the case for introducing lubricants in bed, and making them a sex staple.
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If not, I’m hoping by the end of this read it will be.
In this article I’m going to argue why spit and vaginal discharge are not sufficient lubricators for sex, as they can lead to pain, thrush, and UTI’s.
After convincing you to invest in lube, I’m going to break down the differences between water, silicone, and oil based lubricants. I’m also going to tell you what my go-to lubricants are.
When I ask about it, so many clients tell me they don’t use lubricant during sex. A lot of people, my past self included, relied on their bodies to naturally lubricate, or using saliva.
Ironically, these are also the folk that often report higher levels of pain with penetration. This is because the skin of our genitals is delicate, and sensitive. It can tear with too much friction, and not enough lubrication.
It’s like getting a massage without oil. The friction of skin on skin can burn and tear, which is not pleasurable. People who use lubricant during sex report higher sexual satisfaction and pleasurable experiences.
So we know lubricant of some kind helps, but why not spit or our natural juices?
The discharge from a vagina is not sufficient enough lubricant. Thanks to porn which edits out the buckets of lube used, we have all been gaslit into believing that it should be.
Vaginal secretions are not sufficient because the amount we can secrete when aroused varies. It is dependent upon our stress levels, how hydrated we are, or where we’re at in our menstrual cycle.
It is unrealistic to assume vaginas produce enough lubricant for the amount of penetration people often have in sexual interactions.
Using spit can be fun and hot, but it’s not the most hygienic option. There’s a bunch of bacteria in our mouths, and mixed with the bacteria of someone else’s hands and genitals, this can lead to things like urinary tract infections.
If your skin is sensitive, or you’re prone to things like thrush or UTI’s, ditch the spit, and invest in a lubricant.
Finding the right lubricant is a lot like finding the right skincare products. I would argue lubricant is part of your skincare. We have to explore options to see what our bodies like best.
There are three main kinds of lubricants; water, silicone, and oil based.
Water based lubricant is probably the most versatile. It’s great to use for penetrative sex, with condoms, during masturbation, or with sex toys. If you have sensitive or irritable skin, water based lube is the way to go. It will be easy to clean, and won’t leave stains. However, it does absorb into skin, so you may need to reapply. Water based lube isn’t effective in water or showers.
Silicone based lubricant is longer lasting, making it ideal for longer sessions as it requires less to be applied. You can use silicone based lube in showers and water. It’s a little harder to get off, and can stain. Silicone based lube cannot be used with silicone sex toys, but can be used with toys made from plastic, glass, or metal.
Oil based lubricants often include ingredients like aloe vera, vitamin E, and almond oil which soften the skin and offer a moisturising effect. It’s not recommended for internal use, or with condoms. You can only use oil-based lube with sex toys made from glass or metal. This is because the chemical reactions will weaken materials such as latex condoms and silicone toys.
Natural oils like coconut oil will have a similar affect on condoms and silicone toys. Coconut oil is alkaline, while a vulva’s pH is acidic. This can lead to things like thrush. Lubricants on the other hand are tried and tested to be body safe.
My go-to lubricant is the ‘Fluid’ water-based lube by FIGR. It’s made to mimic naturally occurring lubrication, is latex friendly and safe to use with toys. This suits me as I use condoms and toys.
I also find that water based lube allows for some friction to remain.
For a penetration heavy sexual interaction, I’ll use the ‘Slip’ silicone based lube from FIGR, which is waterproof, 100% vegan, and latex free.
Eloise and Eloise (FIGR’s founders) are two women who have made products knowing what we needed them to be.
These lubes feel good on the skin, and they don’t have a taste. Which means if lube has been applied to areas, you can still revisit those areas with a mouth that won’t have a funny chemical taste (like you get after wearing a condom).
It’s a happy coincidence that FIGR are stocked with youtime too; if they weren’t I’d still be recommending these products.