On the surface, it might seem strange to even put the words “lesbians” and “lube” in the same sentence. In the past, I thought it was pretty strange when I was hanging out with cis lesbian friends of mine and the conversation turned toward everyone’s favorite brands of lube. I remember scratching my head and asking, “Isn’t lube only used for penetrative sex involving a penis?”
My friends quickly schooled me, informing me that while that is what lube is typically used for, it isn’t all it’s used for by any means. Later, I did some research on my own and was surprised about all the ways lube can not only make sex better, but is also good for your health.
Lube can help prevent infections
Anyone who has ever had a urinary tract infection knows just how miserable they are. The good news is that using lube can actually help prevent them. Friction against the opening of the urethra during sex contributes to an increased likelihood of getting a UTI. Using a bit of lube takes care of this.
You do have to pay attention to the ingredients in your choice of lube. Anything with glycerin, which is used as a natural sweetener in food, should be avoided. Believe it or not, sugar and honey are also found in certain types, such as flavored lubes. Skip them too unless you want to increase your risk of getting a yeast infection.
It can decrease risk of STIs
A common myth is that cis women either don’t or can’t give each other STIs. This myth is just that, a myth. While some studies, such as one done by the Centers for Disease Control, have found that cis women who exclusively have sex with cis women are less likely to get or spread an STI, it doesn’t mean there isn’t risk of it happening.
So how does lube help decrease this risk? With any kind of vaginal or anal penetration comes the danger of tearing of the mucus membrane. Mucus membranes are particularly delicate and permeable, and if torn can compromise the membrane. The body doesn’t have any way to rid itself of STIs, and so a person can become infected. Using lube for any sort of penetrative sex, whether it is with a toy or fingers, decreases the chance of tearing and thus STIs.
Lube decreases chance of injury
Injury occurs when not enough lubricant is used during sex, particularly during rougher or prolonged sex. As mentioned before, not using lube can increase the chance of injury when having any sort of penetrative sex. Any time a sex toy is used, so should lube. (Just don’t use silicone-based lube while using a silicone toy!) Even if you believe you or your partner is wet enough for a toy, there is still a risk during initial penetration. During long sessions, someone’s personal lubricant might not withstand the entire session and it could end up hurting. Using a little lube will keep things nice and wet and will even prevent chafing during fingering.
Lube helps when your mind or body won’t cooperate
Many people with vaginas experience a disconnect between their mind and body when they try to have sex. I know there are times I experience this myself and could be mentally aroused but unable to physically get wet. There are many reasons this can happen. Depression, being on antidepressants, using certain birth controls, hormone levels after childbirth or during menopause, chemo and stress are just some of the reasons. Whatever the reason you aren’t getting wet, lube can help by making sex comfortable again.
It can increase pleasure
Using lube during sex can make the entire act feel different. It can change the way stimulation feels and actually makes it feel better for many people that use lube. According to Dr. Sari Locker of Columbia University, lube actually helps people enjoy new sensations during sex. The Kinsey Institute at Indiana University conducted a study that found most women experienced increased pleasure if lube was used during sex. Obviously, not everyone is going to enjoy the same sensations or intensity, so it’s important to experiment to find what each person finds most pleasurable.