A vagina usually self-lubricates in the course of sexual arousal. And good foreplay goes a long way in making the rest of the ride slick and smooth. Sometimes, however, the vagina might not produce enough lubrication, making things uncomfortable and painful. This can happen due to certain medications, hormonal imbalances, menopause, or other age-related factors. But the lack of natural lubrication doesn’t mean you need to stop doing what you want to do. This is where vaginal lubricants come into play. Here’s everything you need to know about your next best friend.
What are vaginal lubricants and what are their benefits?
Vaginal lubricants are artificial lubricants that enhance sexual arousal. They also reduce friction and keep the vaginal skin soft. There are different types of lubricants that can be used depending upon different needs. Each lubricant has its own pros and cons, and this list will help you in finding the best one for you.
1. Water-based vaginal lubricants
The most commonly available and most inexpensive lubricants are the water-based ones. They are the most basic, no frills kind of lubes, nothing fancy here. Water-based lubes can come with or without glycerin. The ones with glycerin have a slightly sweet taste than those without it.
- Water-based lubricants are easily available and don’t cost much.
- They work well with condoms and other methods of birth control.
- Unlike oil-based lubricants, water-based lubricants don’t leave stains on sheets.
- Lubes without glycerin are generally less irritating compared to the ones which do have glycerin.
- They have a longer shelf life than the other kinds of lubes.
- Water-based lubes with glycerin can lead to yeast infections due to the sugar content in them.
- Since the glycerin lubes contain sugar, they tend to dry out quickly.
- Non-glycerin lubes can taste bitter during oral sex.
- Water-based lubes can also turn sticky over time and may deteriorate skin cells in the vulva.
2. Silicone-based vaginal lubricants
Silicone-based lubricants are the real deal for any type of steamy session. They last the longest out of any other lubes and don’t need to be re-applied as often as the water-based lubes. These are usually tasteless, colourless, and odourless.
- Silicone-based lubes are safe to use with latex condoms.
- Since they are not water-based, they work well underwater, so they are perfect for shower sex.
- They are great for sensitive skin because they are hypoallergenic.
- Since silicone lubes last long, they can get a little hard to wash off. So, be ready for a good scrubbing afterwards.
- This lube isn’t recommended to be used along with silicone toys as it can break them down and make them sticky and gross.
- Silicone lubes are slightly more expensive than the other varieties.
3. Oil-based vaginal lubricants
Oil-based lubricants are generally of two types — natural and synthetic. Natural lubes are oils like coconut or olive oil. And synthetic lubes are mineral oil or vaseline. While these are great, they can irritate the skin in some conditions and leave stains.
Natural oil-based lubricants
Natural lubes are great for genital massages and any type of foreplay. Olive oil, coconut oil, vegetable oil, etc are safe to use and are inexpensive.
- Natural oil lubes are easily available and are very inexpensive.
- They are safe for the vagina and won’t harm even if you switch to oral sex.
- These lubes can easily stain your sheets or other surfaces, so think of laundry before using them.
- They are not to be used with latex condoms as they will render them ineffective and ruin them.
Synthetic oil-based lubricants
Synthetic oil-based lubes are mineral oils or the vaseline kept on the side of your bed. These also include body butter, body lotion, moisturisers, etc.
- Synthetic oil lubes are easily available and are inexpensive.
- They are great for external masturbation since they can last a good while.
- Like natural lubes, even synthetic ones risk spoiling your sheets or other surfaces.
- These can only be used for external purposes and should not be used for oral sex.
- They are harder to wash off than the natural lubes which can cause a vaginal infection.
- Synthetic lubes can irritate the vagina and cannot be used with latex condoms.
Things to consider before choosing the right lubricant
You may be new to the whole slippery business but that doesn’t mean you can’t make a choice for yourself. The right kind of lubricant completely depends on what your needs are and your allergies or sensitivities, if any. But here are some other things to consider before taking your pick.
If you struggle with dryness and lack of self-lubrication, you need something that will last longer. Therefore, water-based lubes won’t serve you well.
If you suffer from vaginal or yeast infections, stay away from vaginal lubricants with glycerin in them. It can kill the good bacteria and cause an infection easily. In this case, you can opt for water-based lubricants without glycerin.
If you are using condoms of any type, stay away from oil-based lubes as they will completely destroy them. In this case, you can use water-based lubes or silicone ones. Do not use latex condoms with silicone lubes.
If you will be using any types of toys, or specifically silicone ones, it is a good idea to stay away from silicone lubes. Water-based lubricants will serve your purpose without ruining your toys or the fun.
If you are trying to conceive, it is best to look for vaginal lubricants that are sperm or fertility-friendly. These are better than other options as other lubes might affect sperm movement.
How to use and apply lubricants
Though there is no rocket science in using and applying lubes, it can get a little tricky. So, here are some tips if you are a beginner.
1. Warm it up
You really don’t want ice-cold lube on your sensitive spots. So, it is advised to warm up the lube in your hands first before using it.
2. Use a towel
You don’t want things to get messy and wet…more than you want. Spread a towel to keep things under control.
3. Use the lube before starting any action
Once things are in flow, it gets pretty uncomfortable and inconvenient to pause and apply lubrication. Keep going with the flow and apply your lubricant before starting.
4. A little extra would only do you good
Squeezing some extra lubricant is always a good idea. And it makes the whole process a lot more pleasurable and smooth. Give your vagina a little massage with the lube before sliding anything inside.
5. Reapply when needed
Don’t let the fun stop if your vaginal lubricant starts to dry off. Reapply it when needed and enjoy a little extra time. Choose something that serves your needs the best.
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