What are lubes used for?

They are primarily used to make penetrative sex more comfortable. But they come in handy for other intimate purposes, too.

Most women use lube to avoid the pain of penetrative intercourse. Rough sex, or sex without adequate natural lubrication, can result in chafing of the labial or vaginal walls. In some cases, sex without adequate lubrication can also cause slight tearing of the vaginal walls or at the labial point of entry, causing some amount of bleeding. The woman may feel sore after sex, for at least a couple of hours.

Here’s when and how you use lube:

* If the woman is not sufficiently lubricated for penetration. Whether you are practicing anal or peno-vaginal sex, the experience can become quite painful if the woman is not sufficiently lubricated prior to penetration. She may be aroused, but her genitals may not produce enough lubricating fluid to get the job done smoothly. Lube can be an essential addition to the act.

* For manual stimulation. Both men and women can use lubes when they are being pleasured by their partners. While women love the slickness of lube all over their genitals while their partner touches them or even inserts a finger inside them, men love how smoothly they can be masturbated with the help of lubricant. Oil-based lube is best if you are going to use it only on the genitals and the rest of the body without penetration – if peno-vaginal or peno-anal sex is on the cards, then water-based lubes is best because it does not destroy the condom.

* For sex toys. Using sex toys on yourself or your partner helps to tap hitherto unknown pleasure zones and release new realms of sensations for both. But using sex toys without lube can become uncomfortable in the genital area. A bit of lubricant can make the experience much more pleasurable – don’t forget to clean up the toy afterwards.

* For oral sex. This one’s for those who don’t like the odour of their partner’s genitals, but who would like to go down on them. Flavoured lubricant makes the task quite enjoyable.

* For women who use menstrual cups. A rising number of women today use menstrual cups for their monthly periods. It can get quite tricky to insert the cup in the initial few tries, and it can become a little painful as well. We advise slathering on some water-based lube all over the cup prior to insertion – the cup goes in much faster and smoother.

There is no harm done if lube is left inside the vagina after sex. The body automatically expels it out over the course of a couple of days. Women should not douche after sex to remove the lube, as douching can cause infections and wipe out good bacteria from the vaginal tract.