Promoting sexual health is a crucial aspect of the World Health Organization's (WHO) reproductive health strategy, as sexual wellness is a vital component of overall health and well-being. Unfortunately, many individuals experience discomfort or pain during sexual activity, which can result from a variety of factors such as stress, hormonal changes, medication use, or the natural aging process. However, incorporating lube into sexual activity can help alleviate these issues and promote sexual health and well-being. This article will explore the numerous benefits of using lubricants, the different types of lubes available, and when and how to use lubricants.
What Are the Benefits of Using Lube?
According to the World Health Organization, sexual health is defined as a state of physical, emotional, mental, and social well-being related to sexuality. It goes beyond the mere absence of disease, dysfunction, or infirmity. Sexual health requires a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships. It encompasses the ability to have pleasurable and safe sexual experiences, free from coercion, discrimination, and violence.
Lubricants can significantly contribute to enhanced sexual health and overall well-being. Specifically, they can be highly beneficial for individuals experiencing menopausal-related vaginal dryness, those dealing with dyspareunia (pain during vaginal penetration), or individuals engaging in anal sex. Here are some of the key benefits of using lube:
- Increased Comfort
Lubricant reduces friction between the skin, making sexual activity smoother and more comfortable. This can be especially beneficial for individuals who experience vaginal dryness, discomfort, or pain during sex.
- Safer Sex
Lubricant provides a protective barrier that can help prevent condom breakage and reduce the risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Additionally, lube can reduce the risk of tissue damage or injury during sex.
- Enhanced Pleasure
Lubricants can enhance sexual pleasure by increasing sensation and arousal. A slippery surface can lead to heightened sexual pleasure, making sexual activity more enjoyable.
Lubricants can be used in various sexual activities and can make it easier to try new sexual positions or activities that may have been uncomfortable or difficult before.
- Increased Intimacy
Using lubricants can facilitate communication between partners about their sexual preferences and needs, leading to increased intimacy and sexual satisfaction.
What Are the Types of Lubricants?
Using lube can be especially helpful for individuals who experience vaginal dryness, anal sex, or vigorous intercourse. It can also be used during solo play or with a partner to make things more comfortable and enjoyable. When selecting a lubricant, there are three types to consider: silicone-based, water-based, and oil-based.
Silicone Based Lubes
Silicone Based Lubes don’t require frequent reapplication. They are particularly useful for anal sex, where the body does not produce its own lubrication. Silicone based lubes are safe to use with latex condom, but they should not be used with silicone sex toys as they can damage them. These lubricants are also water-resistant, making them ideal if you decide to take your sexual activity from the bedroom to the bathroom. With their long-lasting and water-resistant properties, silicone-based lubricants can enhance your sexual experience and provide a more comfortable and enjoyable encounter.
Water Based Lubes
Water Based Lubes are the most commonly used lubricants and are suitable for most people. They are safe to use with condoms, sex toys, and silicone devices but may require more frequent reapplication than silicone-based lubes. Since they are not water-resistant, they can be easily washed off, making them convenient and practical for daily use. Additionally, water-based lubricants are typically hypoallergenic and non-staining, making them an ideal choice for individuals with sensitive skin.
Oil based lubes are less commonly used due to the fact that they are incompatible with latex condoms, as they can cause the condom material to break down and lead to tearing. As a result, they are typically recommended for use with long-term partners or during solo play, rather than for safer sex practices. However, oil based lubes do have the advantage of being longer-lasting than water-based or silicone-based alternatives, making them ideal for extended periods of sexual activity or massage.
When to Use Lube
When it comes to sexual activity, lubricant is most commonly associated with its use during penetrative sex. It reduces friction during vaginal and anal sex, making the experience more enjoyable for both partners and preventing micro-tears in the vaginal canal or anus, which can be uncomfortable and increase the risk of STIs. The anal canal doesn't produce natural lubrication, so using lube during anal sex is essential. Although it's a matter of personal preference, using lube during vaginal sex can also have a positive impact on your sex life. Additionally, using lube can decrease the risk of condom breakage, further enhancing the safety and pleasure of the sexual activity.
How to Use Lube
Whether you're experiencing dryness, trying new sexual positions, or just looking to enhance your pleasure, using lube can be a simple yet effective solution. There are a few tips that can help you get the most out of it.
- Choose the Right Type
Select a lubricant that is compatible with the materials you will be using it with, and that meets your personal needs and preferences. For example, if you prefer a longer-lasting lubricant or need something that won't dry out easily, a silicone-based lubricant, such as Überlube Silicone Lubricant may be a good choice.
- Apply the Lube
Apply a small amount of lube to the area where it is needed, such as the vagina, anus, penis, or sex toy. You can apply it directly to your body or to the condom or sex toy.
- Reapply as needed
If the lubricant dries out or becomes less effective, simply reapply it as needed.
- Experiment With the Amount
Start with a small amount of lube and add more if necessary. You don't need to use a lot of lubes to achieve the desired effect.
- Clean Up
Typically, water-based lubricant stains are easier to remove in the wash compared to the strains of silicone based lube and oil based lube, which may require additional effort. Using a stain remover or dish soap can help remove the stain, but if you prefer a more cautious approach, a clean towel can also be effective.
Using lubricants can be a simple yet effective solution to improve your sexual health and well-being. Whether you're experiencing discomfort or pain during sexual activity or looking to enhance your pleasure, using lube can provide a range of benefits. With various types of lubricants available on the market, it's important to choose the appropriate one for your needs and preferences. By experimenting with different types and finding what works best for you, you can enjoy a more comfortable, enjoyable, and safer sexual experience. Don't be afraid to explore the world of lubricants and take your sexual wellness to the next level.