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Why Use Lubricants?

Dr. Lisa Lawless

Dr. Lisa Lawless, CEO of Holistic Wisdom
Clinical Psychotherapist: Relationship & Sexual Health Expert

Why Use Lubricants?

Why Are Personal Lubricants Important?

Personal lubricants help make sexual penetration, sex toys, and self-sexual stimulation feel tremendous as well as prevent chafing and tearing. A body-safe, moisturizing lubricant can also hydrate and maintain tissue health, mucous production, and elasticity. In addition, lubes allow the vagina and rectum to be easily penetrated during sexual activity by decreasing the risk of damage to sensitive mucus membrane tissue.

Vaginal Penetration

While the vagina provides natural lubrication for penetration, it is often more pleasurable when added lubrication is applied, especially when sex toys and condoms are used or when vaginal lubrication is not as abundant.

Vaginal dryness may be caused by various factors and does not necessarily indicate a lack of sexual desire. Simple hormonal changes caused by pregnancy, stress, menopause, and nutritional factors can inhibit natural vaginal lubrication. Even the use of certain medications can cause vaginal dryness, such as antihistamines, oral contraceptives, ulcer medications, blood pressure prescriptions, and antidepressants. In addition, simply not having frequent sexual stimulation can cause lubrication production to slow. The old adage of "use it or lose it" is true in this instance.

Rectal Penetration

Personal lubricants are essential for anal penetration because the anus and rectum do not provide lubrication to facilitate penetration. Failure to use lubricant for anal sex or prostate massage can result in short-term and long-term damage to the anal and rectal tissue.

We recommend using a water-based or silicone anal lubricant for anal penetration and do not recommend oil-based lubricants as they may trap harmful bacteria in the rectum. Keep in mind that should you have autoimmune issues; you may also wish to avoid silicone lubricants as they may cause autoimmune and rheumatic responses (i.e., silicone-reactive disorder) much in the same way silicone breast implants are linked to in such medical issues.

Lubricants Are Not Just For Partners

Using a lubricant does not pertain to just using it for use with a partner. After all, friction also occurs during masturbation for men and women and can significantly enhance sexual pleasure. With the new lubricants on the market that make sexual play feel more intense and pleasurable, it can be fun to add them to your sexual regimen.

Condoms & Sex Toys Create Drag

Another desirable time to use personal lubricants is when using sex toys. Sex toys can create frictional drag, so lubrication can be quite beneficial to prevent discomfort, intense friction, and even vaginal or anal tearing. Lubricants with condoms during sexual activity can also reduce the risk of condom breakage. See our Condoms & Dental Dams Guide for more information.

Applying Lubrication

To insert lubricants more easily, you may wish to use a lubricant injector (lubricant applicator or lube shooter), a syringe-type insertion tool that inserts lubricant deep inside the rectum or vagina. It helps keep lubricant off hands and sheets. See more in our How To Properly Use Lubricants Guide.

Desensitizing Lubricants & Listening To Your Body

We do not recommend desensitizing lubricants for prostate massage, as listening to your body's discomfort is essential to good health. Using a numbing agent not to feel pain may keep you from knowing that you are causing damage to sensitive tissue.

In Closing

Lubricants help maintain sexual health as well as provide added sexual pleasure to both solo and partner sexual play. Make sure to also check out How To Choose Healthy Lubricants and Organic Lubricants.

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