There seems to be a general assumption through social and mainstream media and porn that younger women do not need to use vaginal lubrication because they’re always aroused and ready for sex. Many of their partners think that they are not aroused if they don’t become wet during sex and view a lack of self-lubrication as a problem.
Often younger women are taking part in sexual acts they don’t enjoy or are just not ready for sex.
Porn always portrays the woman as being aroused and lubricated as soon as she is touched, yet most porn actors use plenty of lubrication prior to shooting their film.
Many women, young or old, suffer from vaginal dryness at some time during their life but are too embarrassed to discuss the problem or seek help. Vaginal dryness tends to be connected with the menopause as it is a common problem that women experience when they are menopausal and it is this group of women that the use of vaginal lubrication is targeted at.
However, levels of vaginal secretions differ between individuals and can be affected by stress, anxiety, hormonal changes due to contraception or pregnancy and medical interventions. Natural and artificial lubricants can help to increase wetness, which in turn, improve sexual pleasure and satisfaction. This view is shared by both men and women.
What causes hormone imbalances?
Contraception can play havoc with your hormones.
Pregnancy also alters the hormonal balance within the body which can continue after childbirth, though the reason you may not be having sex is due to complete exhaustion or having a baby in bed with you! Some women find that they have increased vaginal secretions during pregnancy and cannot get enough sex, other women feel a complete lack of sexual desire.
Jozkowski et al (2013) conducted a study of 2,451 women aged between 18-68 assessing their perceptions about lubricant use, vaginal wetness during sexual activity, purchasing and application patterns and the relationship of age to these perceptions. They found that, overall, women felt positive about lubricant, preferring sex to feel more wet than not. The women reported that sex felt more comfortable and pleasurable using lubrication than without it.
They found that 9 out of 10 women felt that sex was more comfortable, pleasurable and simply better when using lubrication. 90% also stated that they disagreed that “young women don’t really need lubes” or that “something is wrong with a woman if she needs a lube”. The benefits of using vaginal lubrication are huge and can greatly increase your levels of sexual satisfaction and pleasure.
Men enjoy using lubricant too. According to a 2013 study from Indiana University’s Center for Sexual Health Promotion, nearly 50% of men and women who have used lubricants say it makes it easier to reach orgasm, sex lasts longer and feels more pleasurable. Most men want their partner to enjoy sex but if it feels painful, it impacts upon both your sexual pleasure so tell your partner if sex feels painful and incorporate lubricant into your sex play.
Using lubricants can transform your sex life.
They can also reduce the incidence of cystitis and urinary tract infections. Having frequent or vigorous sexual intercourse can cause the bladder to become inflamed or infected. Lack of vaginal lubrication can irritate the delicate tissues of the vagina, vulva and around the entrance to the urethra, the hole where you pee out of, leading to what is commonly known as“honeymoon cystitis” but this can affect any woman of any age. It is called this as couples on their honeymoon have lots of sex!
Which lubricants should I use?
When choosing a vaginal lubricant, don’t just go for the cheapest one on the shelf, check the ingredients for glycerin and parabens as these both cause imbalance to the vagina flora leading to infection or irritation, exaccerbating the problem further. Even some available on prescription contain glycerin which can cause the growth of thrush.
You need to take care what you are using and avoid any which may contain substances which may cause an allergic reaction.
Many couples use saliva as their lubricant, but it is more watery than slippery and dries out quickly. Some household substances are not suitable for lubricant such as Vaseline, olive oil, Baby Oil, Bio Oil, handcream or body lotion as they are not designed for internal use or pH balanced to that of the vagina.
Some lubricated condoms can have a drying effect which can cause abrasions to the walls of the vagina, making the women feel sore and sex painful or uncomfortable. Condoms can decrease the sensitivity of the penis. You could try using a drop of lubricant on the head of the penis prior to putting on the condom. You do need to be aware that applying a condom to a lubricated penis can increase the risk of it slipping off during sexual intercourse.
Water based lubricants are safe to use with condoms but any oil based products will destroy condoms. Silicone lubricants are also safe to use with condoms
Getting the right fit is important when it comes to condom use too.
Oil based lubricants damage condoms so only use water based or silicone products.
Although some people find using a sexual lubricant messy, sex is meant to be messy, noisy, fun and sometimes embarrassing. Using lubricant makes sexual feel more pleasureable, therefore you will want to have more.
The myth that lubricants are only needed for “fixing” a sexual problem needs to be dispelled and women of all ages should be encouraged to use vaginal lubricants whenever they feel the need and to increase the sexual pleasure felt by both themselves and their partner.