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Choosing the right type of lubricant can be infuriating. With all of the options out there, sometimes it's easiest to get a little help. Today, I'm going to give you some great information to help ease your stress.
Lubricants are a popular choice for women who may suffer from vaginal dryness or pain during intercourse as a result of hormonal fluctuations during and after menstruation; peri menopause or menopause; childbirth; breastfeeding; and simply as a result of stress, including among younger women.
Men and women may enjoy using a lubricant alone or with a partner, during masturbation or manual stimulation, or with sex toys, both for ease of penetration and because some materials dry up natural lubrication. Lubricants are also recommended for any type of anal play in men or women, including using anal sex toys and anal sex, since the anus does not naturally lubricate.
Finally, many men and women use lubricants simply because they want to or would like to or are curious. Lubricants can add novelty and variety to a sexual experience, especially the flavored and warming varieties. Lubricants are also good to have for “quickie” sex experiences, when natural lubrication might not be adequate.
Lubricant options and why oil-based lubes are unsafe.
When people consider using a lubricant for the first time, they're often not sure which one to choose from the increasingly large variety of options available. Here are some basic guidelines to get you started, though you'll probably have to experiment to discover which one is best for you.
Lubricant formulas vary from one brand to another; however, there are three main categories of lubricants: water-based, silicone-based and oil-based. Water-based lubricants are often the gentlest formulas, and are safe to use with all types of sex toys and all methods of birth control.
Silicone-based lubricants are slicker and tend to last longer than water-based formulas, however some believe that they may be more likely to cause irritation in some women and, also, they are not safe to use with silicone sex toys. Silicone lubricants are safe to use with most methods of birth control, with the exception of birth control methods that may be made of silicone (such as a diaphragm or cervical cap that is made of silicone). Silicone-based lubricants can break down silicone sex aids or contraceptives, making them unsafe for use.
Oil-based lubricants are not as commonly used, as they tend to be thicker and messier than other formulas, though some like them for their all-natural ingredients. Oil-based lubricants are unsafe to use with condoms, diaphragms or other latex contraceptives or toys, since they can break down the materials and increase the risk of pregnancy or STI transmission. This includes products such as baby oil, olive oil, and body cream.
How to Use a Lubricant:
Making lubricant a seamless part of the sexual experience is easy. It's good to start with a small amount of lubricant, about the size of a dime or nickel. Some people use lubricant at the beginning of the sexual experience, to encourage arousal; while others use it as they need it, later, to ease penetration or to help with vaginal dryness, or when they are using a sex toy.
Depending on the type of sexual activity you're engaging in, apply lubricant directly to the vulva, just inside the vagina or to the anus. Couples using condoms can apply lubricant to the outside of the condom, which will help with penetration and add sensation for the partner wearing the condom. (Never apply lubricant on the shaft of the penis before wearing a condom, since the condom could slip off. Lubricant should be limited to the reservoir tip of the condom.) If using sex toys, lubricant can be applied directly to the toy or to the area of the body it's begin used on or in.
Remember, if you're using a water-based lubricant, you may need to reapply it a few times, since the body easily absorbs these formulas. Silicone-based formulas tend to last longer. Most importantly, make using a lubricant fun and give yourself a chance to get used to it.
Lubricants that are safe to use with condoms, diaphragms and cervical caps.
In general, most silicone-based or water-based lubricants are safe to use with condoms. Which is one of the reasons that many couples prefer them. However, whatever you choose, it's always important to check the list of ingredients to make sure no oil is included.
Any lubricant that contains oil in the list of ingredients should be avoided. Oil-based lubricants are never safe to use with condoms, diaphragms cervical caps or any sex aids or devices made of latex, since they degrade the materials and increase the risk of pregnancy or STI transmission. Some people use vegetable oil, olive oil, body cream or other types of household ingredients as lubricant, however since these are oil-based, they are not safe to use with latex contraceptives.
Also, any birth control methods made of silicone, such as some diaphragms or cervical caps, should not be used with silicone-based lubricants because of a chemical reaction that can degrade the quality of the birth control method and increase the chances of pregnancy.
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