While openness around sex and self-pleasure has been steadily growing, there are still misconceptions about lube. Why is that? Sex coach Myisha Battle says,
“I think there is a sigma against using lube in general, particularly for women, because producing one's own lubrication is seen as a sign of arousal.”
According to her, if women find it hard to get wet, this may be misinterpreted as a sign that they aren't turned on enough.
Yet many women experience desire and this is often without getting wet. Carly S., a sex educator based in New York says, “I think the biggest misconception is that lube is only for penetration.”
Taking your pleasure to the next level
Using lube during masturbation is a great way to spice up your self-pleasure routine. Warming up the genitals with a wet hand feels good, whether that’s for partner or solo use. According to Battle, applying lube to your hand or sex toy during masturbation can take your pleasure to the next level.
“Using lube during masturbation can sometimes take you to deeper levels of pleasure because you get to immediately experience the gliding effect that your own lubricant provides without waiting for your body to produce it,” she says.
Lube can help take the pressure off the body, and assist in getting the blood flowing, which will ultimately increase one’s arousal and help stimulate an orgasm. Steif says that lube also cuts down on friction, which can cause irritation. According to her, wet hands and wet toys just feel better. “Even for solo sessions without penetration, making everything more slippery will also make everything feel better!” she says.
Beyond this, even if you don’t have issues producing lubrication on your own, lube can heighten your sensations.
Types of lubricants
When selecting a lube, Battle and The Bloomi recommend natural, water-based lubricants as they, “won't disrupt your body's natural pH and flora but there are other types of lube that are great for specific acts.” Battle also says to be careful when using silicone based lube on silicone sex toys as it will degrade the silicone in the toy, and ultimately make it less body safe. “To prolong the use of your toy be sure to use a water-based lube and wash it according to its care instructions.”
Steif says to watch out for undesirable ingredients such as glycerin, glycol and parabens, as these can cause yeast infections, burning sensations or irritation. Beyond this, silicone can't be used with most toys and has a tendency to stain the sheets. She also notes that oil-based lube has become more popular recently and that unrefined coconut oil is a good option, although some research suggests coconut oil can lead to yeast infections or pH imbalance since it has antibacterial properties.
The important thing to keep in mind is that there is absolutely nothing shameful about using lube, whether you’re using it by yourself or with a partner.
To read more about the importance of self-pleasure, check out our article on Masturbation: Ultimate Self-Love and Its Benefits.
As the founder of Sex for Life, LLC, which is a sex and dating coaching practice and Down for Whatever, a sex-positive podcast, Myisha Battle aims to help people have more fulfilling and exciting sex lives.
Carly S. is a sexual educator and a body positive blogger for her site Dildo or DilDont.