Sexual lubricants can be a fantastic addition to the bedroom. However, there’s a stigma surrounding the use of lube, especially among young adults. One common misconception is that if you need to use lube during sex, then you’re not doing it right, or you’re just not aroused enough. Some young women may even feel embarrassed or ashamed to use lube in their sexual encounters for these reasons. We spoke to a few students about three reasons why using lube is important and sometimes necessary for your sexual health, because no one should feel ashamed to have safer, more comfortable and more enjoyable sex.
1. It makes sex safer
Typically, condoms and birth control are among the very first things that come to mind when thinking about safe sex. However, if you’re skipping out on lube, you might want to rethink that the next time around. Sexual lubricants are a huge part of safe sex and birth control, as they reduce friction and decrease the likelihood of a condom breaking.
Sure, most condoms do come with a little bit of lube on the outside, but it’s not enough to help in certain cases, such as vaginal dryness. Vaginal dryness can occur for a number of reasons, birth control pills being one of them. The latex from the condoms can also be a huge culprit. Anna, a sophomore at Carthage College, says that she can’t rely on the lubrication from a condom alone.
“I’ve found that ever since I’ve started taking birth control pills, I just can’t produce a lot of natural lubrication, no matter how aroused I am,” Anna explains. “Before I started using lube, having sex with condoms could get quite uncomfortable. There was even a time when the condom began to slip off during withdrawal because I was so dry (yikes!). Now I always use lube, even if I’m very aroused.”
Some people may feel embarrassed or ashamed to use lube in these cases because they think they’re not aroused enough and they don’t want to hurt their partner’s feelings. However, whether vaginal dryness is something you’re dealing with or not, it’s always worth it to have that extra safety during sex, especially if you rely on condoms. “Adding lubricant helps reduce friction and gives me peace of mind that there shouldn’t be any issues with the condom,” Anna adds. Just make sure that you’re using the correct type of lube, as not all lubricants are condom friendly.
2. It makes sex less painful
As mentioned before, lube helps reduce friction and dryness during sex, two big factors that can lead to painful sex. Sometimes, sex can be painful because it’s your first time, or the foreplay didn’t last long enough. Maybe your partner is, ahem, well-endowed, and it’s a bit painful on your end, or you’re looking to try sex from a different end (if you catch our drift). Sex shouldn’t be painful, however, and there’s no shame in using lube during sex, whether it’s your first time or far from it. Lube helps everything move a lot smoother (literally), and when everything is groovy down there, you can spend more time focusing on you and your partner instead of worrying about the pain.
3. It makes sex more enjoyable
Who doesn’t want more enjoyable sex? Sara, a sophomore at Illinois State University, sees no shame in adding lube during sex for some extra fun. “There’s nothing wrong with stopping to apply some lubricant,” says Sara. “It makes sex enjoyable for both parties, which is the whole point of sex, anyway.” Using lube during foreplay and right before sex can lead to bigger and better moments and steamier sessions because you both can finally enjoy safer, painless sex—you can even add stimulating and flavored lubes to help spice up both oral and penetrative sex.
“I think there’s a stigma surrounding them like ‘real’ women shouldn’t need lubricants, but it’s impossible to stay lubricated enough the entire time you’re having sex, especially if you tend to go at it for a while,” says Sara.
While there are still some misconceptions out there about the use of lube, there are so many benefits and added perks to incorporating sexual lubricants into your sex life that you may be missing out on. At the end of the day, ensuring that the sex you have is more safe, comfortable and enjoyable hopefully outweighs any embarrassment that you might feel about using lube.