Personal lubricants are specialized lubricants which serve to reduce friction with the vagina, the anus, or other body parts. Personal lubricants were originally derived from surgical lubricants designed for use during medical procedures, but are now also used frequently to provide lubrication for sexual practices. Some of these lubricants are scented and/or flavored. For example, some lubricants may have the scent/flavor of apple or cinnamon.
Water-based personal lubricants are water soluble and are generally the type that is least irritating to body surfaces (particularly mucous membranes). The earliest water-based lubricants were cellulose or glycerin solutions. Lubricants containing glycerin may cause or exacerbate vaginal yeast infections in persons who are susceptible.
Unlike water-based lubricants, oil-based lubricants, such as Vaseline, dissolve latex and are likely to reduce the effectiveness of latex condoms as a contraceptive and protection against sexually transmitted diseases. Oil-based lubricants should never be used for either anal sex or vaginal sex, as the oil may coat the lining of the opening, providing a haven for bacterial infection. (Oil-based lubricants can only safely be used for anal sex if the participants are STD-negative; even then, condom-protected sex may not be “safe sex” for days afterwards, as the oil-based lubricant has a tendency to linger in the anus.)
One might also consider a vegetable oil like rice bran oil or coconut oil, if the aroma is amenable to the persons involved. The smell of olive oil may be preferred. Improvised lubricants may cultivate pathogens, especially foods.
Technically, most silicone-based lubricants are oils, as they are chemically hydrophobic. They tend to retain lubrication longer than water-based lubricant, however most are safe to use with latex condoms. Always check the label of the lubricant before use.
Silicone-based lubricants are not recommended to use with silicone-based sex toys. The lubricants dissolve the surface of the toys, making them sticky and causing them to slowly disintegrate. Pre-lubricated condoms usually use a silicone lubricant and should therefore not be used with silicone-based sex toys. One website claimed that a pure silicone toy showed no obvious harm from silicone lubricants. Most toys claiming to be “silicone” are blends of silicone and cheaper materials.
“Specialty” lubricants are designed to cause physiological or physical changes to the area applied; these include warming lubricants, which cause a heating sensation in the skin. Breathing on these types of lubricants can increase the effect. Another type of specialty lubricant can increase blood flow to the regions in which they are applied, creating a fuller erection of the penis or clitoris; these may contain vasodilators to theoretically increase blood flow after topical application. Others include flavored lubricants.
Sex without wetness is pure torture while a well lubricated sex is pleasant; but unfortunately natural lubrication could elude you due to emotional upset or biological changes in your body. Even for well-rounded women without emotional hang-up, a prolonged sexual intercourse could still bring about vaginal dryness.
Sex without adequate lubrication, especially for women, can be uncomfortable and even painful; a sex lubricant can make all the difference if the appropriate sex lubricant is used specifically. Vaginal dryness is a common condition that may be caused by pregnancy, after the birth of a child or while breastfeeding. Other reasons may include stress, menopause, frequent sexual intercourse and as a side effect of some medication or exercise. Lubricant is ideal when additional lubrication is desired.
Lubricant is also ideal when penetration is impaired, as a small amount of lubricant applied to the penis and vaginal area eases penetration and enhances pleasure.
Also, a small amount of lubricant applied directly to sensitive body tissue eases the insertion of rectal thermometers, tampons, douche nozzles and enemas. This simple step could prevent possible tissue damage or unnecessary pain.
A few drops of lubricant inside a condom makes wearing it feel more natural, and creates a warm and cozy feeling that enhances stimulation and pleasure during intimate activity.
In medicine, personal lubricants can be used for gynecological examinations, digital rectal examinations, and in the use of enema nozzles and rectal thermometers. In fact, some personal lubricants were invented for these medical uses.
A lubricant can be used to increase pleasure or reduce pain during sexual activity and may be used for lubricating the penis or dildo or the vagina or anus before sexual intercourse. Personal lubricants can make bearable and even pleasurable acts of sexual intercourse that could otherwise be painful, such as anal sex, or vaginal intercourse when the woman experiences vaginal dryness or her vagina is contracted.
It is generally sufficient to apply a good drop of gel on the vaginal entrance; anal sex usually requires a more generous application, since the anus has no natural lubrication. There are also available combinations of personal lubricants with spermicides, to be injected into the vagina prior to intercourse. Although the pleasure is not long lasting, lubricants increase stimulation. The pleasure may last long if you keep applying the lubricant.
It can also be used during masturbation. Males and females masturbate differently. While males do produce a lubricating fluid, the informal name for this fluid, “pre-come” or “pre-cum”, already indicates that this may often be released only relatively shortly before orgasm or after intense manual stimulation. The use of lubricant is particularly common for circumcised men. A lubricant may be used to facilitate the use of certain sex toys or with females as part of prolonged clitoral stimulation.
Lubricants can also be used for erotic massage, as foreplay. You may have to experiment until you find a sexual lubricant that works best for you. Most pharmacies stock a small range of sexual lubricants, but you’ll find a very wide range of products on the Internet. Several South African websites sell lubricants.
Most lubricants are available in bottles, and a few are available in single-use sachets. When choosing a bottle, remember that you’ll be using lubricant during sex – it’s likely that you’ll want something that opens and closes quickly and easily, even if your hands are slippery from the lubricant.
Consider what you’ll be using the lubricant for! If you need a lubricant to use with condoms, you can’t use any products that contain oil – you’ll have to buy a water-based or silicon-based lubricant. If you’re likely to use your lubricant with silicon-made toys, avoid using a silicon-based lubricant, which can damage your toys. Also think about where you’ll be having sex or masturbating – oil and silicon-based lubricants can stain fabrics and are the most difficult to clean up afterwards. Water-based lubricants may offer the best option.
Take a look at the ingredients contained in various lubricants. Lubricants that contain many complex-sounding ingredients are not necessarily better. Avoid any lubricants that contain any oils or fatty substances if you use condoms – it may be best to only use a lubricant that states that it is condom-compatible.
Never use soaps, shampoo, and suntan lotion, body lotions, cooking oil or butter as lubricants! Besides the fact that they are likely to damage condoms, these substances can cause nasty and unnecessary irritation. Avoid using aqueous cremes as a lubricant – although they are made from water, they often contain a perfume or scent which is oil-based. It is always advisable to use a commercial product specially formulated and manufactured for use as a sexual lubricant.