Lube: it’s slippery, and slick and makes all kinds of solo and partnered pursuits more enjoyable. It even played a part in the birth of my oldest daughter. The midwife rubbed her head with it as she was crowning to ease her way into the world. And amusingly enough, I used silicone lubricant to help fight through a particularly nasty tangle in her hair just a few days ago. It is indeed a marvelous invention.
And yet, there are those who insist on lube shaming. All sorts of people, from athletes to “holistic sex and relationship coaches” are telling people that needing lube is a problem. There are variations in the wording, but it boils down to the idea that if you’re not getting wet, somebody’s doing something wrong. Maybe your partner’s not taking enough time to see to your needs. Maybe you’re too distracted or stressed out. If you want to have The Best Sex, you need toss your lube posthaste and resolve those issues! Lube is for the lazy, the unfocused, the disconnected. Only losers need lube.
I can summarize my thoughts on this shaming in a single word: BULLSHIT. Wanting or needing to use lube is not a problem. There are plenty of people whose natural lubrication system won’t cooperate no matter how attentive their partner is, no matter how relaxed and aroused they feel. It might be the side effect of a medication, the residual effects of trauma, a hormonal shift or just the way they’re wired. Some of those people already feel like they’re broken because their bodies aren’t always on the same page as their minds. Some of their partners are already worried and wonder what they’re doing wrong. There’s a good chance that lube could help them out. What they most assuredly do NOT need is people reinforcing their concerns with unsubstantiated nonsense.
Even if natural lubrication isn’t a chronic issue, life doesn’t always provide us with ideal circumstances for sex. Sure, I’d love to have frequent, extended periods of free time with nothing on my mind but pleasure. I’d also like to take a year long trip around the world on my very own private jet. Sadly, neither of those things are likely unless I happen to win the lottery. But lube helps me capitalize on the opportunities I do have…whether it’s brief window of time when the kids are occupied, or a few extra minutes in the morning before dashing to the office. There’s something about sneaking in a quickie that puts a smug smile on my face for the rest of the day. Facilitating those moments makes lube a little bit like liquid joy.
And finally, lube opens doors to all kinds of sexual exploration. I’ve become acquainted with some fabulously thick toys, experimented with double penetration and experienced the incredible feeling of fisting, all thanks to the magic of lube. If you’re not feeling quite that adventurous, consider that lube can make longer sessions of sex possible and position changes easier. It also makes condom use more comfortable and can decrease the chance of breakage by reducing friction 1
If you’re worried because you’ve tried lube in the past and had issues with stinging, burning or yeast infections, rest assured that there are better options. Skip the drug store shelf and order yourself some quality lube without parabens, glycerine and other irritants 2. Personally, my go to choices are Sliquid Sea, Please Cream and Good Clean Love Almost Naked. I’ve also enjoyed Coconu‘s oil-based formula, which tends to last longer than water-based formulas (but is NOT compatible with latex condoms).
When shamers mouth off about the superiority of natural secretions, they’re doing the opposite of helping. They’re scaring people away from something that’s been shown to increase sexual pleasure and pushing them into fear and doubt. There’s absolutely nothing wrong or shameful about using lube, nor is there a prize for avoiding it. The only people who get input into your definition of “good sex” are you and your partner(s), so communicate, experiment and then do what works for you.