Which Lube to Choose, Part 2: The Whyness to Your Dryness

YAY! We want to throw you a big party, because you’ve made the decision to bring lube into the proverbial sexual mix. It’s the ultimate form of self-care - because you’re making pleasure a priority. Yes! You totally deserve to turn up the dial to 11 on your sex life. You, friend, are worth it.

Now. if you’ve read the first in this two-part series, you’ll know which sexual activities go with which lube (and if you haven’t, here's the story). Now, we’d like to address the “why” - specifically, why lube has joined your sex life, and which lube is best for what you’ve got going on. (And before we get into it, we want to say this: there is no shame in the lube game. None whatsoever. We’re here to not only normalize lube but make it a must-have. Because who wants a less-than-stellar sex life? No one. That’s who.)

It’s Simple

personal lubrication exists because of dryness. There are myriad biological reasons why you may find yourself in a dry place - and you’ll want to talk to your OB/GYN to understand what’s contributing to your particular dryness (and rule out anything more serious). Then, you can make an informed choice about whether silicone-based lube or water-based lube is your vagina’s best friend.

Menopause: Silicone-based Lube

Oh, menopause. There’s a reason it’s called “the change”; It’s because your hormones are changing. Specifically, decreases in estrogen can lead to dryness, which can lead to painful sex. And here’s the thing: dryness doesn’t have to slow you down in the bedroom. It shouldn’t. A quality, medical-grade silicone-based lube (ahem, Aloe-ahh) can make things…well, magical. And when we say magic, we’re talking about turning a vagina from the sands of the Sahara into a Slip ‘n Slide. Which is more fun and magical? A Slip n’ Slide. Obviously.

Illness: Water-based Lube

Let’s say you’re a cancer survivor. Chemo or radiation can also diminish hormonal levels, leading to dryness (and sometimes menopause). You’re going to want something a little more natural, with high-end, organic ingredients - which, at Pulse, is our water-based H2Oh! The chemical-free formulation has no harsh preservatives, parabens, glycerin, petrochemicals, or propylene glycol. These are things that can disrupt the pH level in the vagina or bring on yeast infections or bacterial vaginosis.

Medications: Both!

A side effect of some antidepressants? You guessed it. Vaginal dryness. Same thing with some allergy medications - antihistamines can have a drying effect inside the body, which diminishes everything, including your natural lubrication. Your choice, then, becomes about what kind of sex you’re going to have. For example, if you’re prepping for a weekend love marathon, maybe you want to roll with silicon-based lube, since it tends to last longer without the need for a lot of re-application. Learn more about which lube goes with which kind of sex here.

Anxiety & Stress: Water-based

Look. We’re in the throes of a pandemic, and our entire society is under a lot of stress. It makes sense that our brains would be preoccupied - and as a result, interfering with not only our libidos, but possibly blood flow to the vagina. Damn you, Covid! Anyhoo. When it comes to sex, we’d rather you spend your time getting busy and not worrying about potential irritants in your lube, which is why we suggest a nice water-based lube with organic ingredients.

Plus, if you’ve made the switch to organic food and clean cosmetics, you’re going to want to go natural with your lubricant, too. But be sure to do your homework and read the ingredients - if something like glycerin is the second or third ingredient, think twice. “When it comes to vaginal lubricants and ingredients, less is definitely more, especially for those who are sensitive,” says New York-based OB/GYN Dr. Alyssa Dweck. “Many women find they become easily irritated from additives such as added fragrances, glycerin, or parabens.”

In addition to being irritating, a lot of water-based lubes contain chemicals that could contribute to high osmolality - the measurement of whether a water-based lube will be more hydrating or dehydrating (read more here). Dehydrating is not what we want, right? Our H2Oh! has a very low osmolality, which means one thing: it’ll keep you wet. And wetness, friends, is what it’s all about. Well, sex is about a lot of things, but if you don’t have comfort, sex is going to be less mind-blowing, liberating and totally juicy. And those are all things sex should be, right?

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