Water, Silicone or Oil – Which Lube Should I Use?

The truth is, sex isn’t always as romantic as it seems in our favorite blockbusters or on T.V. – sometimes it’s uncoordinated, uncomfortable and could use some lube to smooth things over. Sometimes you’re ready to go, and she’s not quite there, or she just might not physically be able to stay naturally wet during long-lasting sex.

Personal lubricant is the quickest, easiest and probably most effective preventative measure that you can take against dryness and chaffing during sex. It can also help prolong love-making sessions and make your own masturbation more enjoyable. It’s also essential for anything anal!

Even if you consider your sex life to be in pretty good shape, you should consider the advantages of introducing a personal lubricant. Quickies can actually be quick, long time love-making smooth and you and your partner will avoid any post soreness that you might have previously experienced from too much friction.

For starters, virtually all lubes on the market today fall into one of 3 categories:

  • water-based
  • silicone
  • oil (eg., Sweet Almond, Jojoba, Coconut, Sunflower, Argan, and Ylang Ylang)

While each of these groups has their advantages, water-based lubricates tend to be the most popular. This article aims at summarising the pros and cons of each lubricant type.

Water-Based

Since they’re water-soluble, the body’s skin and mucous membranes will absorb them more easily. This makes clean-up much simpler: just a little warm water (maybe some soap) and the lube will easily wash off the skin.Water-based lubes are just that: water-based. Their main feature is that they are smooth and slick – without being sticky or messy like silicone and oil-based lubes.

However, its solubility also means that you might have to periodically re-apply it, depending on how long you’re at it. This is one of the chief drawbacks in regards to water-based lube – since we all know that in the heat of the moment, an interruption is probably the worst thing that could happen.

Water-based lubes have the added advantage of being completely condom-compatible, as opposed to oil-based lubes that corrode latex (more on that later). One thing to watch out for, however, is that many water-based lubricants contain glycerine, which can promote infections in women pretty easily and makes quick post-sex clean-up mandatory. It’s important to check the ingredient list to ensure that the product is glycerine free before buying.

Silicone-Based

Silicone-based lubricants are slick and can be used in water (hot tubs, showers, lakes, swimming pools). They are less likely to need multiple applications (in comparison to water-based lubes). They generally require soap and water for clean-up. Use them sparingly and avoid getting them on surfaces you don’t want to slip on later.Silicone-based lubes are similar to water-based lubes but are generally much greasier and last much longer –despite having a thinner texture. In fact, that’s their main advantage: silicone-based lubes take ages to dry out. No muss, no fuss, no need to reapply.

The word “silicone” may not sound like the kind of thing you want anywhere near your most intimate parts, but the truth is, it’s a very body-safe ingredient. Silicone is hypoallergenic and cannot be absorbed into the skin. The silicone lube’s forte is its unmatched slickness and staying power. Silicone lube will not dry out… period. Plus, it will stay on in water but washes off easily with soap.

Silicone lubricant cannot be used with a silicone toy (it will cause the material to deteriorate). It can also be tough to wash out of fabric, so, you know, try to be naked when you use it.

Oil-Based Lubes

Oil-based lubes aren’t as popular as the previous two kinds. Probably since they’re:

  1. incredibly messy
  2. commonly known for their corrosive effects on latex condoms

(it’s important to add that oil lubes are safe to use with nitrilepolyisoprene and polyurethane condoms – but these tend to be more expensive.)

In the early 90’s a study was conducted by the International Journal of STD and AIDS. The objective of the study was to observe the impact that additional lubricant had on condom breakage and slippage. 268 couples agreed to participate in the study. Each couple was given 6 new and 6 aged condoms to use during vaginal intercourse (which they were able to do privately at home). They were also instructed to use:

  • no lubricant,
  • a water-based lube or
  • an oil-based lubricant.

Unsurprisingly, the use of a lubricant (either water or oil-based) increased slippage rates of both new and oil condoms. However, researchers found that the use of the oil-based lube increased breakage in both new and old condoms.

Water-based lube was not found to impact breakage of new condoms and decreased the breakage rate of the aged ones. Couples using no lubricants discovered that old condoms broke more often new ones.

This study suggests that condom users should stay clear of any oil-based lubricants. The water-based lubricants were found to be the most slippery (which is ideal during sex) while protecting the condom from damage.

Aside from condom breakage, natural oil-based lubes can be a great option for couples who prefer not to use condoms. They are nature’s natural lubricants and can be a lot better for the environment. Most of them can be found in your kitchen. The general rule is:

‘if it’s safe for you to eat, it’s safe for your genitals’

The body can clear out natural oils more easily than petroleum-based lubricants – so try to avoid those. Oils such as grapeseed and apricot tend to be thinner and therefore better suited to vaginal intercourse.

When choosing a lubricant, it’s important to take your needs and health into consideration. Water-based lubes provide great lubrication (and are gentler on your genitals), but require top-ups – which might get annoying. Silicone lubricants are long lasting (no top-up required), but they can lean more on the pricey side of things. They are generally a great lube, and if you have the money, they’re worth the cost. Oil lubricants can be very hit and miss. They degrade latex condoms – so not the best to use if you’re trying to have safe sex. If you, however, are not a condom user and looking for a cheap alternate lube, then natural oils are the way to go – just steer clear of products with petroleum as they’ll cause genital irritation.

Anal Sex – Things to Consider Before Playtime

According to the Centre of Disease Control (CDC), anal sex is growing primarily with couples under the age of 45. In fact, in an American survey, 36% of women and 44% of men reported that they’ve had anal sex with a partner. Anal sex is a bit of a tabooed subject even though it’s an increasingly popular sexual activity. As more and more couples explore anal sex, it’s important to understand the risks, rewards and proper strategy before starting your experiments.

Surprisingly, anal sex isn’t just penile penetration, it can also be performed with: fingers, tongue, vibrators, dildos and even butt-plugs. Although it can be wildly pleasurable when done right, it requires more planning, preparation, and communication than other forms of sexual activity. Staying safe during sex should always be a top priority.

Things to Consider

If either you or your partner are curious about anal, it’s important to be prepared beforehand. Following the proper precautions is the only way to reduce injury. Once you both feel confident, it’s easier to enjoy the experience.

The Anus isn’t Like the Vagina.

The vagina is a bit of a natural wonder. When a woman is aroused the vagina becomes self-lubricating; the anus, however, does not. To preserve the structural integrity of the anus, it’s essential that everything is well lubricated. A thing to remember with anal sex is that there’s never enough lube! The skin around the anus acts as a protective barrier for the bottom-half of your digestion tract. The tissue inside the anus, however, is much thinner and delicate – making it more likely to tear and bleed if not properly handled. It’s important to keep in mind that the rear orifice is designed to remove very soft, moist material notwithstanding vigorous sex motions. This increases the likelihood of passing infections, viruses or bacteria between partners. Go carefully and make sure everything is well lubricated.

Couple in Bed

Like the vagina, the anus has a muscle that needs to relax before penetration. The anal sphincter acts as a gatekeeper for the rectum. To reduce the risk of tearing, the sphincter needs to be fully relaxed before anything is inserted into the anus. Once the muscle is fully relaxed, anal sex will feel less uncomfortable and much, much more pleasurable.

Bacteria living in or around the anus can be easily spread if the proper precautions aren’t taken. Ensure that both partners wash before and after sex and desirably, a condom should be worn while inside the anus. If you’re wearing a condom and decide to move onto vaginal sex, remove it and roll on a new one to prevent infection. If a toy was used instead, then that also needs to be thoroughly cleaned. 

An anal douche or enema bulb should be used prior to play. You can find them at your local drugstore. Unlike a vaginal douche, the tip expels water at the top. A vaginal douche expels at the sides and is thicker. Do not use the stool softening solution that comes with some douches. You just want to use warm water and do a low-level flush. Full anal flushing that you would do to prep for a colonoscopy is not what you’re after. You just want to clean the area where penetration will occur. This will remove any unwanted fecal matter that may be laying in there.

Can Anal Sex Lead to Orgasm?

Anal sex can lead to orgasm, but that doesn’t have to be the intended outcome. Anal sex can just be a fun way to play. For some people, the anus is an erogenous zone. So even just a little play can be a turn on. The anus is also full of sensitive nerve endings, so it’s very receptive to sexual stimulation. Anal sex also stimulates the prostate gland in men, which can enhance a man’s orgasm. For women, clitoral stimulation may be necessary during anal sex to reach climax, but not every woman will reach orgasm this way. Oral or vaginal sex may be necessary to reach climax.

If you and your partner have established a relationship where you feel comfortable talking about what turns you on, curious about trying new things, how you feel during sex, etc., then anal sex can be just another fun way to explore your sexuality. Be careful to ensure that the proper precautions are taken. If you try it and decide that it’s not for you – no harm done, nothing is wrong with you. There is a myriad of other ways to have fun with your partner. Experiment and find out what works best for the both of you. Being honest and open with each other will help you grow and learn together.

SEX – THE ULTIMATE STRESS REDUCER

Healthy living has all sorts of limitations requiring restraint and regrettably, “moderation” is not a word we usually associate with giant gift bags of rowdy good times. Although no doctor is going to endorse a lifestyle that includes gorging on pizza, booze and drugs, there is one really, really, REALLY fun activity that no one on earth can seem to ever get enough of…and doctors prescribe it all the time!

SEX! The ultimate stress reducer! Have a bunch of it, as much as you (or your partner) can handle! Sexual activity relaxes the circulatory, respiratory and nervous systems, lowering blood pressure (which is great news for your heart). Sex can improve overall temperament and combat anxiety by restraining the firing off of stress signals in the brain. A lack of motivation and fatigue, mood swings…all can be positively improved upon by orgasms.

Sexual activity dispenses hormonal outputs that pack a serious punch. While some get released immediately, others have more of a slow drip action over the time period before, during and after orgasm is achieved. Naturally, it’s different for boys and girls, so that makes it even more complicated (as usual). It’s really a grouping of hormones that gives us such a boost, relaxing the body and enabling all systems to work efficiently together to reduce the impact of stress.

There’s a serotonin and endorphin release for both sexes, but men get more dopamine in an immediate hit during orgasm. This is what can make orgasms so addictive! Women receive a quick attack of oxytocin, whereas men experience more of a steady burn of oxytocin afterwards with a committed partner. However, a guy may already be unconscious by the time this happens because Prolactin, the sleepy hormone, seems to have a greater impact on men than women. Post contact, women exhibit diminishing stress responses after a positive encounter. You can count on a lower, more even, resting heart rate. Emotional support alone does not have quite the same effect as sex does! Our bodies are programmed to connect physically.

Bedroom Olympics can also boost your heart rate, and depending on your level of capability and sheer ambition, you can burn up to 200 + calories in a half hour long lovemaking session. Incorporate different positions and get those muscles flexing, because aerobic intercourse is honestly the absolute BEST way you are ever going experience exercise. Pelvic floor muscles can function more capably in general with frequent orgasms. It’s a workout when these muscles go through repeated contractions during the “O,” strengthening and fortifying every time! Plus, strong, healthy bodies that get enough exercise are just better equipped to fight off stress (and disease!) in the long run.

Good cardiovascular activity is important for healthy people, but sometimes, sex might have to be avoided (if you have a heart condition, for example). For those with any issues that may cause concern, speak to a doctor to be absolutely sure that super charged sex-ercise is okay for you.