Today’s question from a reader is straightforward and something I should have covered long ago. It’s come up before, but I hadn’t given this topic an entire post. Here’s the question:
I would love to read a post about lubricant! I hear so much about it, but I really don’t know how to use it. Do I put it on him, on me, in me? Seriously, I feel stupid not knowing. It would be wonderful to read a frank guide on how to use it. Thanks!
Don’t feel stupid. Plenty of us didn’t have a clue. And then we learned.
What personal lubricant does. Personal lubricant mimics your body’s natural lubricant by providing a slick substance that softens the area and reduces friction. This is incredibly important, because any wife who has had intercourse without enough lubrication can tell you it does not feel good that way. Even having him stroke your genitalia without any lubrication doesn’t feel nearly as good as the wet version.
The vaginal walls naturally produce lubrication when a woman feels aroused, but if that’s not happening, a personal lubricant is an excellent substitute.
Why you might need personal lubricant. Some wives and husbands think that if she doesn’t have sufficient lubrication happening during arousal, either she is defective in some way or he isn’t getting the job done. Let me assure you that’s not the case. Two major things affect whether you get lubricated enough during sexual encounters: (1) Are you really turned on? and (2) Is your body cooperating?
To get turned on, your mind has to be focused on what’s happening and you have to be enjoying that experience. But even if you are, sometimes your body just isn’t getting the signals to get wet down there. It could be a particular time of the month, especially around your period, when lubrication isn’t happening. It could be a deficiency of estrogen in your body. It could be perimenopause or menopause. It could be something else.
Sometimes you just need a little boost from personal lubricant to get things slick where they should be slick. And thankfully, you have plenty of options for adding a bit of moisture.
Types of lubricant. Basically, there are three types of lubricant: water-based, silicone-based, and oil-based.
- Water-based lubricants are very common. They are easy to use, feel less sticky on your body, and allow for easy clean-up. One drawback is water-based lubricant doesn’t last as long on your skin, so you may need to reapply if sexual activity continues for a while.
- Silicone-based lubricants offer their own advantages. They last longer on your skin, feel even more slick to the touch, and can be used in water environments (like sex in the shower). However, this lubricant clings to your skin more, making clean-up a little more difficult, and some may not like the feel of it.
- Oil-based lubricants include petroleum jelly and coconut oil. Petroleum jelly used to be a common choice for lubricant, but it isn’t a good choice overall due to health concerns. However, coconut oil has become a favorite for many married couples, including quite a few of my readers. It’s a natural choice and easy to find on shelves. The one concern is that may compromise latex condoms, if you use those.
Honestly, what you use is a personal choice. They all work and have advantages and disadvantages. I suggest trying different options and evaluating them as a couple.
I’ll give my own story here. Regardless of how many times couples swear by coconut oil, I won’t be using it in my bedroom. Why? Because my husband has an aversion to all things coconut — be it coconut in foods, coconut scents in lotions or candles, or coconut oil. I get it, because I hate peanuts, and even if there was a colorless, odorless peanut oil touted as the perfect lube, I wouldn’t want it in my bedroom. Out of respect for the hubs, we will find another option. It’s just a personal choice.
Choosing a brand. Beyond those types (water-, silicone-, and water-based), there are all those brands. Not only are there ones you might recognize, like Astroglide, K-Y, and Wet, but many good alternatives have cropped up over the last few years. In particular, there are some great health-conscious choices, such as Good Clean Love and Sliquid Naturals.
Even among a particular type, like water-based products, brands vary in how they feel on your skin and how long they last. You’d have to try different ones to see what you think.
On top of that, some lubes meet a niche. For instance, there are flavored lubricants for oral sex play, lubes made specifically with the guy in mind like Ride Lube by Sliquid, and warming lubes to heighten sensitivity. You might enjoy one of these options. (Although I will warn you that while some wives love the warming lubes, others feel a stinging sensation with their use.)
I know exactly zero about coconut oil brands, but I assume my readers will comment below with some great advice. *hint hint*
How to use lubricant. Now let’s get to the nitty-gritty. Let’s say you and the hubs are meeting up for some oh-so-sensual lovemaking. When do you pull out the lubricant? Where do you apply it? How much do you use? There are no hard and fast rules, of course. But here are some tips.
You can introduce lubricant whenever you want, depending on your goal. If you two only have time for a quickie, yank out the lube immediately to get things going as rapidly as possible. If you already know you’re in a dry spell, you might pull out the lubricant and ask him to apply it to your body to help your lady parts get moving in the right direction. Or you might want to wait and see how your own natural lubrication is working this time around. You can add lubricant to what you already have to make things even more slick if that makes penetration more comfortable. If you’re doing a hand job for him, you’ll probably want to bring out the lube.
You can apply it to your genitalia and/or his. For foreplay, you can focus on whoever needs it at the moment. For penetration, you might want to just slap on the both of you. That way, if one side gets a little dry, the other side is still lubed up and ready to go. Start with a small amount, maybe a teaspoon or less, and spread it around your vulva and clitoris or his penis. Then add more if needed until it feels sufficiently slippery. You can also put lubricant on your hands, specifically fingers, then let your fingers lubricate body parts as they stimulate your mate. You can use as much lube as you want, so slather on whatever fits your fancy.
You don’t need to specifically put lubricant inside you, since it will migrate as you interact. For example, if it’s on your genitals, then when he penetrates it get on his penis, then his penis spreads it into your vagina. But usually the additional lubricant will get your own juices flowing as well.
Cleaning up afterward. Sex can be messy. There are fluids involved, and when you add more, it can be even messier. But it’s a beautiful mess. Just be prepared that all that lubrication may leave a spot or a puddle where you’ve been. If that’s an issue for you, keep a towel nearby, or spread a towel on your bed before you begin.
If you use an oil-based or silicone-based lubricant, you might want to wash your body afterward. Some couples shower off together, to maintain that closeness and afterglow. But any residue left on your body isn’t a problem. It’s perfectly safe.
One quick note: Jennifer Smith of Unveiled Wife has written about her prior sexual difficulties due to the presence of parabens in products. From what I’ve read, some personal lubricants may contain parabens. If you believe this is an issue for you, make sure you get a paraben-free product.
Hopefully, this guide demystifies the use of personal lubricant in your marriage bed. If you’re looking for specific product reviews, check out Slippery When Wet: Lubricant Review from Intimacy in Marriage.
What other questions do readers have about personal lubricants? What advice do you have about using lubricants for sexual intimacy in marriage?