Lube can be one of the best ways to enhance sex life. With the variety of brands and types available, there is something to try for everyone. Because they are so widely available now, their popularity has soared but they can also come with a few questions? When do you know a good tingle has gone bad? Is that ingredient you can’t pronounce safe for your skin down there? Would lube hinder safe sex? Knowing your lube intimately can help to answer some of these questions. Below are some interesting facts about lubes:
1. Two Types
Lubes can technically fall into 2 categories: water based or oil based. While each one has its own benefits, OB-GYN doctors tend to recommend water based lubes over oil based ones. Though oil based lubes last longer, they can irritate the condom and lead to breakage through degradation, which can make you more susceptible to sexually transmitted diseases and unplanned pregnancy. Moreover, oil based lubes, like coconut oil, can lead to a change in the pH levels of the vagina, which can lead to a higher risk of developing infections like bacterial vaginosis.
2. Fewer Ingredients
While a lot of the lubes we use are synthetic, opting for organic lubes can be safer. Lubes are classified as a supplement, which means that the FDS does not regulate the ingredients used. It’s important to check the label to make sure that you are using a legitimate lube that is safe. The smaller the number of ingredients, the better the lube is for your nether region health. A common ingredient to watch out for is the use of alcohol or alcohol-based ingredients, which usually end in an –ol. Alcohol is a disinfectant, because it kills the natural bacteria, which can lead to overproduction of bacteria or a yeast infection. Moreover, alcohol can also dry out your skin, which is unhealthy for vaginal health.
3. Clean Up
Oil based lubes can leave the skin down there feeling slipper for longer, but this can also be uncomfortable and make women want to scrub the area clean. Unfortunately, even the gentlest soap can throw off the pH balance. Water-based solutions on the other hand do wash off easily, and can leave you feeling much cleaner afterwards. Another great way to ensure that the area can remain fresh is by peeing after sex. This helps to wash away any bacteria and reduces the risk of developing a UTI.
4. Tingle Over Heat
Many lubes offer a “heating” sensation that can enhance sexual experience, but heating can quickly become a burning sensation that is uncomfortable, especially if some has sensitive skin or an allergy. Moreover, the friction from sex can make things too “hot”, which can be too much on the skin. A cooling sensation can still be safer, especially if the ingredients are something natural like mint or spearmint.
5. Don’t Buy In Bulk
Buying in bulk is never recommended. If a sale looks really tempting and you want to buy lube that you’ve never tried in bulk, it would be better to test it first. You might not know how ingredients might react with your skin. For a safety test, you can try some on your wrist to see if to reacts with your skin.
6. Long-Term Plan
Understanding why you need to use lube s important. It is natural for a woman to need some extra lubrication after they hit menopause, but depending on lube to do the job every time might not be for the best. Appropriate arousal can help to naturally lubricate the area, and prolonged foreplay can help to maintain the lubrication. It’s possible for hormonal birth control pills to also affect natural lubrication as well as libido levels, so discussing other forms of contraceptives can help to tackle the problem. If hormonal issues are getting in the way of natural lubrication, a long-term moisturizer for the vaginal area can be a better option than long-term lube use.