Using a lubricant during a sexual act can reduce pain and increase pleasure.
What is a lubricant?
Colloquially called lubes, personal lubricants are used during sexual intercourse to reduce friction and pain.
While male and female bodies both produce various amounts of their own lubrication, it can be desirable to add a tad extra to increase intensity. And a personal lubricant can do that for you.
In the case of anal sex, it will require generous application of the lubricant since the anus does not have natural lubrication sufficient for most sexual activity.
And it is also advisable to use lubrication if one partner feels excessive friction or complains of dryness. Apart from that, lubricants can be used during masturbation or while using sex toys/dildos.
There are many lubes available in the market — you need to find one that suits your body. Some chemical-based lubes can cause irritation or infection. Vaseline or lotions, which are commonly used, can cause rashes and annoyance to people who are fond of oral sex.
Here’s a list of different types of lubes, take your pick!
Each of these has their advantages and disadvantages.
Water-based lubes: The biggest plus for this variety is that they are smooth and not messy like the silicone or oil-based ones. Since they are water based, they are easily absorbed by the skin and mucous membranes. So cleaning up after — is easy. All you’ll need is some warm water! What more, the water-based ones are also compatible with condoms.
The flip-side is that, they have a tendency to dry out during use. Hence, reapplication of lubricant or water may be required – depending on the duration of sex. Watch out, many water-based lubes contain glycerin, which can promote infections in women, pretty easily. So make sure you clean up right away.
Silicone-based lubes: The biggest advantage of this variety is that they are much greasier and last much longer. So you don’t have to stop in between to reapply. However, cleaning up after is not quite easy. You can use them with condoms.
Oil-based lubes: It’s best to not use oil-bases lubes. Baby oil, Vaseline and the likes fall under this category. They are known for their lubricating properties, but using them is a bad idea.
They corrode latex and are thus not compatible with condoms. And they are bad for a woman’s vaginal health. In addition, they are slimy and messy and hard to clean up after.
Anal-specific lubes: Many lubricants are safe for anal sex, but there are products that are specifically designed to enhance enjoyment of anal sex. Often, this is simply a thicker gel rather than a liquid. This thicker consistency is preferred because it helps the lubricant stay in place. Some lubricants contain an anaesthetic.
However, the use of any numbing agent for anal penetration is not recommended as a lack of sensation makes accidental injury more likely.
Male masturbation-specific lubes: Some lubricants are designed specifically for male masturbation. Many of these are lipid- based for durability and quality of sensation but are not compatible with latex. By applying them to the penis, these lubricants can increase the pleasure of masturbation.
Specialty lubes: Also called warming lubes – they cause a sensation of warmth. Breathing on these types of lubricants can enhance their effect. Some of these are also flavoured and are thus ideal for oral sex.
Photograph via sxc.hu