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Lubes: Yay or nay?

Lubricants are essential part of the sexual experience for women having sex for the first time, or who experience vaginal dryness despite stimulation. Here’s a low down on how lubes help.

It’s tough being a woman in today’s world. Every day, women battle stereotypes, try to fit into increasingly impossible standards of beauty, and get shamed for trying to live freely. Then there are other issues that crop up in the bedroom. Brought up on images from mass media, that depict women either as sultry sirens or docile damsels in bed, women are afraid to express themselves sexually for fear of censure from their partners.

The problem becomes acute when the woman suffers from a lack of natural lubrication during sex. A woman’s body responds by secreting lubricating fluid into the vaginal cavity on stimulation and excitement. This aids the smooth passage of the penis without causing chafing or soreness. However, some women may experience phases of vaginal dryness and may need to consider using lubricants for pain-free sex.

Why a woman may need lubricants during sex

There are several reasons why a woman may require a little extra help getting wet ‘down there’ during sex. If you’ve been an avid consumer of pornography, you might be under the impression that all women are raring to go with penile penetration just a few moments after being kissed or stroked. To use the analogy of a car or bike – since most guys will identify with it better! – a woman’s genital area takes a lot more warming and work before it is ready to perform. Equating a woman’s response time with a man’s is wrong, and it is equally wrong to assume that all women have the same physiological response to stimulus.

Your past partner(s) may have become wet after a few minutes of foreplay, but your current partner does not. Have you asked her why? The problem could be anything –

  • She is not aroused enough by foreplay to get sufficiently wet
  • She may have an infection that prevents her from getting lubricated, and hence, enjoying foreplay and sex
  • She may be suffering from a reaction to medication that has decreased her libido, or which has deadened her response to stimulation
  • She may have a disorder like cervical cancer, PCOS or PCOD, which makes sex painful. In turn, she fears penetration and cannot get sufficiently lubricated
  • She may be in the peri-menopausal stages (if she is in her mid-40s to late 40s). Women frequently experience vaginal dryness during this time
  • She may have a health disorder, or may have blood pressure, or diabetes, or vaginismus, or another ailment that has slowed her physiological responses to foreplay – these ailments may also cause vaginal dryness.

Dear men, be sensitive about this…

A woman experiencing vaginal dryness or pain during intercourse owing to insufficient lubrication is already in a fragile state of mind. Most women feel that they are sexually inadequate, and they become insecure that their partners will leave them if they do not perform sexually. The key is to not take her lack of lubrication as an affront to your lovemaking, or indeed, to yourself.

  • If you are committed to the relationship and want to be with her despite your current problems in the bedroom, then you should discuss the matter with her without making her defensive or uncomfortable. Tell her that you care for her happiness, and that you can help her through this phase. If a medical condition has been ruled out, you can suggest that she uses a lubricant prior to sex so that she can enjoy the experience more.
  • The good news is that you can initiate the use of lubricant instead of waiting for her to do it. Don’t force her to use it – instead, you can rub some lube on your fingers before you stimulate her, or on your penis prior to entering her. The lack of friction will help her relax during sex, and she will once again enjoy it. Over time, she will become more receptive to the idea of using lubricant.
  • There are water-based lubricants that can be used on the genital areas, or elsewhere on the body. Likewise, they can be used on condoms – they do not cause tearing or any damage to the condom. Some water-based lubes from brands like Durex are also edible, carrying a mild scent and flavour.

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