Why personal lubricants are great for every gal

Oct 4, 2010 at 4:14 a.m. ET

Whether you are pleasuring yourself with a sex toy or grinding with your partner, lubricant can make everything feel better. If you have never lubed up, you should try it!

Man and woman in sexy embrace

Picking the right lubricant

Lubricants come in a variety of formulas, most commonly made with silicone, water or petroleum bases.

"Women should choose a light, clean lubricant that isn't too sticky or oily," say sex expert Dr. Laura Berman. "Some rules to remember: If you are using a sex toy made out of silicone, do not use a silicone-based lubricant. When using condoms, always use a water-based lubricant to prevent the condom from breaking. Avoid oil-based lubricants, as well as products like baby oil and Vaseline."

Water-based lube is also easy to clean up. Simply wash off your toys with warm water and the lubricant will rinse right off. Silicone based lube is a good choice for shower sex and other water fun.

Are lubricants for everyone?

"Women who want to have great sex use lubricants," says Berman. "Lubricants make sex more fun and pleasurable, regardless of your age. Not only do lubricants make sex more sensual and comfortable, but they also have a host of other benefits. For example, Durex has a line of lubricants that can warm and tingle. One called Utopia contains L-arginine, an amino acid that has been shown in some studies to promote blood flow, which can heighten sensitivity."

If you experience vaginal dryness, lubricant is essential. Without enough natural lubrication, friction can cause irritation and pain. Even if you have enough natural lubrication, a little bit of lubricant can provide a sexy, slick feeling that you'll really enjoy.

How to use lubricant

You don't need to use very much lubricant. Start out with a very small amount. Pour a dime-size amount onto your fingers and lube up your toy, yourself and/or your partner. Rub it into the palm of your hands before applying to skin to avoid the cold chill. If you are using a toy, be sure to lube all the parts. Don't make it dripping wet -- just slick. If you become dry during sex play, add more lube as needed.

Remember: It's better for any sexual situation to be too wet than too dry. Even if you enjoy the status quo, it won't hurt to see what extra lubrication can add to your sex life. You may just find a new position or new angle that lubricants make possible!

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