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Lube up for a better sex life. A new study from Indiana University found that women get significantly more satisfaction and pleasure from sex when they use water- or silicone-based lubricant.
The study, published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, followed 2,453 women for five weeks. Researchers assigned one of six water- or silicone-based lubricants to each participant and asked her to record details of its use and ratings of pleasure and satisfaction in an online journal.
What they found was, both water- and silicone-based lubricant lead to higher ratings of pleasure and satisfaction for partnered and solo sex. Water-based lubricants, such as Astroglide, Just Like Me, K-Y Liquid and Sweet Seduction, were associated with fewer reports of painful sex or other genital symptoms. That means that people who have difficulty with sex, because of dryness or painful intercourse, may have more success when using a water-based lube as opposed to a silicone one. Common silicone brands include Pure Pleasure and Wet Platinum.
Only a few studies, say the authors, have addressed women’s use of lubricant during sexual activities -- even though a recent national survey found that 62 percent of U.S. women between the ages 18 to 60 have used lubricant at least once in their life, and that 25.3 percent of women had used lube in the previous month.
According to background information in the study, scientific research regarding lubricant use has focused mainly on two areas: Men’s use of the product during anal sex with other men and how it impacts HIV risk; and whether adding lube to a condom affects the likelihood of condom breakage or slippage. With its widespread use among women, and little information about its benefits, the researchers of this study wanted to find out how lubricant affects women’s sexual experience, and whether it could help women achieve more comfort and enjoyment.
"These findings help us to reinforce to sexually active individuals that not only are lubricants important to safer sex, but that they also contribute to the overall quality of one's sexual experiences," said the study’s co-author Michael Reece, director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion, in a written statement.
According to the authors’ previous research, lubricant can make sex safer by reducing the risk of vaginal tearing.
When was the last time you used lube -- not counting your latest trip to your OBGYN? I didn’t start using it until sometime in my mid-20s, when I finally became comfortable with myself sexually. At that point, I realized (duh) there’s nothing fun about dry, un-lubricated sex, so if the situation calls for it, why wouldn’t I suggest lube? I used to think it said something about me that I needed lube -- like I was too uptight to be able to self-lubricate. In retrospect, I realize the actual culprit was not enough foreplay. Hopefully, studies like this one will help make women more comfortable with the decision to use lubricant. After all, everyone deserves a great sex life, especially when research shows that sex is good for your health.
Love it, hate it, TMI -- how do you feel about using lube during sex? Chime in below!