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The Benefits of Lube

Often when buying a sex toy or vibrator or even condoms, lube tends to be something that gets overlooked in the preparation process. Treated like a dirty secret in the sexual planning aisle of Boots or hidden at the back of a sex shop, lube gets a bad rap! Especially by younger people who see it as proof of sexual disfunction or something only needed for anal play or the older generation who “can’t get wet as easily.”

At Love Not War we are here to change this narrative and introduce you to the benefits of using lube during masturbation and sex.  

What type of lube should I use? 

When searching for lube, it can often feel overwhelming with so many brands and types. However, they usually fall into 3 simple categories: Water-based, Oil-based and Silicone-based. Depending on what you’re planning to use the lube with determines which one is the best for you. Below we have put together a simple guide of each to help you decide. 

Water-based lube is the most common lube for beginners, and for use with latex and non-latex condoms and silicone sex toys. Cleaning water-based lube is very simple, as it will not leave stains. Also, because of the ingredients within a water-based lube, it reduces friction and is great for sensitive skin and people who suffer from vaginal irritation. The only downside of this lube, is that it tends to need to be reapplied regularly, so it doesn’t dry out. 

Silicone-based lube is longer lasting than water-based so is great for shower sex as it won’t wash away as quickly. As well as this, it is hypoallergenic and safe to use with any type of condom. However don’t use silicone-based lube with silicone sex toys as it could damage them! 

Finally, oil-based lubricants are perfect for foreplay and sex. Long-lasting and multi-purpose, it can be used when warmed for a full body massage and creates a gliding, more sensual feel during sex. However, oil-based lube shouldn’t be used with latex condoms or latex sex toys.

A new type of lube that is becoming increasingly popular is CBD infused lube,

"CBD lube can lead to increased sensitivity for some, and most experience relaxation which creates more willingness to receive pleasurable touch which in turn may lead to better and stronger orgasms,"

says Tammy Nelson, PhD, a board-certified sexologist and the author of Getting the Sex You Want. This makes CBD infused lube a perfect choice for people who experience anxiety during sex or even for those just wanting to try something new. 

When choosing a lube it is best to go for more natural-based ingredients and you should avoid the following: Gluten, Animal products, Parabens, Glycerine and any with Synthetic colourants and flavourings as they can cause vaginal irritation and be a cause of dryness of overtime. 

Another thing to remember when choosing a lube is that if you have sensitive skin, it is probably best to stay away from any that cause “warming,” “tingling” or “cooling” sensations as they can often cause too much sensation to the applied areas and be overwhelming. 

Why should you use lube? 

So now that you have decided on what type of lube you want to purchase, you may be asking yourself – when is the right time to use it? And our answer is any time! Using lube during foreplay, solo play and sex is something that should be actively encouraged for several practical reasons such as:

Protects Condoms

For anyone who has attended a biology lesson or a sex education class, we all know that condoms protect from STD’s and unwanted pregnancies and should be a staple of safe sex practices! For those of you looking to keep your sex life eco-friendly, HERO condoms are a great sustainable alternative, and they also donate condoms to women in need for every pack sold!  The great thing with using condoms is you can use them both for penetrative sex (from condoms to dental dams) or to aid in cleaning up with a vibrator by wrapping the vibrator in one before. However, if they get too much friction, they can break. Applying lube with your condoms, even if they come coated with a thin layer before, is a great way to prevent this from happening.

It is important to note that when choosing the type of lube you want to use, be aware of the material of the condoms you are using as not all lubricants can be used with certain types.

For Anal Play

Unlike the vulva, the rectum doesn’t produce a natural lubricant, so lube must be used when taking part in penetrative anal play. Before using a sex, toy or penetration, using a lot of lubes, specifically a long-lasting one, is key to avoiding damage or pain for the receiver.

Apply the lube when fingering the anal passage to help with relaxing the muscles and apply copious amounts to the object that will be penetrating the anus as well. 

For Vaginal Dryness (no matter your age)

More than 30% of women suffer from natural vaginal dryness throughout their lives even when aroused. It’s a common side effect of menopause as well as wherever you are in your menstrual cycle. For many that feeling of dryness can lead to penetration feeling uncomfortable and even painful for vulva-owners, making people feel inadequate or even anxious towards sex, which, like a vicious circle can then cause more problems towards getting wet.

Using lube during masturbation and sex can help ease this discomfort as it creates a gliding or smoother sensation or adds to the wetness making penetration and even playing with the clitoris and outer labia lips feel more pleasurable.

How Lube can help spice up your sex life 

Although we have discussed the when’s and why’s of using lube, it is important to know that alongside the practical reasons above, using lube is also a sure-fire way to heat up your sex life and has many benefits to being used during masturbation and sex.

Makes everything smoother

Although friction isn’t always painful, it can also cause tearing or make penetration and even rubbing the clit feel too intense or uncomfortable. Using lube during sex is a great way to make sure that there is no discomfort or pain. Sex should be fun and pleasurable for all!

Even if you don’t suffer from natural dryness, no one likes the uncomfortable friction that can happen during hand-jobs, penetration and even using a vibrator. As crass as it is to say, during sex, “wetter is better” as it allows for a fluid, smooth motion around the sensitive nerve endings of your gentiles that create pleasure.

Using lube during shower sex is also a good way to keep everything feeling smooth as well as water washes away the body's natural lubricant. For wand vibrators, like Love Not War’s very own Koi, using lube can also make the powerful vibrations less intense for people with sensitive skin.

Heighten arousal

If you use lubes that offer tingling, warming or cooling sensations, these types of lubes work to make the nerve endings more sensitive. Like with temperature play, playing with lube and sensitivity can heighten arousal and make sex more intimate while creating new sensations.

Adds sensation for penis owners

When using a condom, to create more sensation, try adding a few drops of condom safe lube to the penis before putting the condom on. For many penis owners who complain about condoms causing loss of sensation, this can be a fun new way to spice things up, regain sensation and add to sensitivity during sex.

Makes foreplay more interesting

As mentioned above, oil-based lubricants are multi-purpose and can be used for all over-body massages. For those who enjoy a more tantric or sensual sex life, this is a great way to heighten arousal and build-up to sex with your partner as you apply to their back, nipples and even gentiles as you massage them before sex.

Alternatively, apply the lube to the outer vulva or penis before performing oral sex for an extra wet and smooth sensation for your partner, you can even use your tongue to spread the lube and get them ready before using a clitoral vibrator on them.

Written by Katrina Fairhurst

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