Lube. What is it? Why do we use it? And how on earth can a good pizza teach us about picking out the best one?
(5 minute read)
Now, you might be thinking “Georgia, I’m all for lube and I freaking love pizza, but I’m pretty sure the two don’t have much in common”. But that’s where you’re wrong.
First things first: Why do we use lube? Aren’t we self-lubricating? And what if I use too much, slip off the bed and break a hip?!
Lube is great. It’s one of my favourite pleasure products and for a reason. Although there are negative connotations to using lube, including the shame associated with being “dry” or the idea that there's something wrong with us, some days our own personal lubricant can just simply be a little more “dehydrated” than others. And that can be due to things entirely out of our control, such as hormones, stress levels or even how tired we are.
That’s where lube comes in. It is there to make things feel better by increasing the sliding and gliding of everything going on. If someone told you that you could have enhanced pleasure, reduced friction/irritation or increased blood flow during sex or self-pleasure, would you be like yes, tell me more?! Of course you would!
There are minimal down sides to using lube (which will depend on each individual person, such as allergies, or the brand), but there are far more up sides. Using lube is not a cop out and it doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you. Lube makes things fun, easier and can enhance the whole experience.
And if you use so much that you slip off the bed and break a hip, then we need to have a serious talk (but seriously, how much did you use?!)
Secondly, let’s chat about ingredients. And this is where the pizza comes in.
When you think of a good, traditional Italian pizza, what makes it so great? The less ingredients the better. And lube is no different.
Thinking about what is in your lube might not be your first instinct but I encourage you to dig a little deeper. You wouldn’t go eating some random food without having some idea what's in it, right? Same thing with your lube. So let’s get educated!
Among all three types (water, silicone and oil based), most mainstream lubes have some pretty intense ingredients that can actually dry you out and cause irritation. So what do you need to look out for?
There are two main ingredients I want you to avoid and here’s why:
- Propylene glycol. This can be really irritating to your tissue because it is a synthetic liquid substance that absorbs water to maintain the shelf life. Although research suggests that it is safe in small quantities, we want to be feeling luscious and slippery during pleasure, right? So, to me, using something that absorbs moisture just doesn’t make sense.
- Glucose. Some of you might know glucose more simply as sugar or sweetener. Similar to how the sweet, sugary food we eat feeds the yeast in our gut, sweetener in lubes can feed the yeast directly in the vagina. For those that are prone to yeast infection, it’s not such a great idea.
With all that being said, there are tonnes of amazing and natural products out there that don’t have these two ingredients. The simplest thing you can do is empowered yourself with this knowledge so that next time you’re making a purchase you know what to look out for to make better choices for yourself or your partner 😊
Now, let’s move along to our last point. Water, silicone or oil based. Each have pros and cons, and the final decision is up to you and what will work best for your unique situation.
- Pro: Compatible with most toys and latex, meaning it won’t break down your condom
- Con: Can dry out with exposure to air (such as with a lot of friction). Because it dries out so quickly, you might be tempted to add more lube, but that actually exacerbates the dryness. So, if you want more slide and glide, you’ll actually want to use spit! This spit will enhance the water-based lube making it slippery again (this also blew my mind when I first heard about this lil sexy hack)
- Pro: If you’re not using condoms, this is your best option. It is the most long lasting and slippery and as a result you very rarely need to reapply
- Con: When silicone means latex of condoms, it can break it down. It can also stain (not all but some) and it isn't compatible with silicone-based sex toys
- Pro: You can simply use products that you have at home, such as organic coconut oil, which only has the one ingredient
- Con: It’s controversial and most people have divided opinions about oil-based lubes. It shouldn’t be used with condoms and some say it should only be used for external massage (eg assisting with torn tissue). Some recommend not to use internally as oil doesn’t mix with water, so when it goes inside the vaginal canal it doesn’t come out easily even if, say, you’re taking a bath. It will hang out in the vaginal canal for a little while and some reports say it can change the pH, which can lead to imbalances
Guess what though? All our glass wands are fully compatible with all lubes! What a bonus!
So I hope that’s helped to debunk some common lube myths and helped with any future lube decision making. Let me know if you have any favourite brands we should check out and don't forget to keep in mind our little pizza tip: less ingredients is best! 😊
This blog was compiled with information gathered from personal experience, medical resources as well as from the amazing OT After Dark podcast (Episode Number 20 with Lindsey Vestel, Occupational Therapist and owner of The Functional Pelvis). It's not to replace personal medical advice.