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Dear Dub: To Lube or not to Lube

lube

Photo via super-lube.com

The DUB would like to welcome you to go on a journey. Let’s go to the magical land of Oz, folks. Think of the tin man. Recall that enchanting moment when Dorothy found his own personal can of lubrication. A little here, a little there… think of the dance and whimsy that ensued! Do you see where this journey is lead-ing? Lube. The fairy-tale slippery-when-wet world of lube.

Naturally, the Bartholins gland located at the opening of the vagina produces extra lubrication when a woman is aroused. According to Aida Manduley, social worker and sex educator, “Depending on the kind of sex being had, lube can be essential because not all our orifices produce the necessary fluids to ensure adequate slipperiness.” All orifices are snowflakes. Not everybody’s vaginas self-lubricate the same amount, consistently, or at all and so many factors go into natural lubrication. The myths expounded by media, from porn to the romantic comedies, craft the illusion that just compelling eye contact across the room is enough to turn your vagina into a Gushers commercial. All of this also assumes a very narrow definition of sex: vaginal intercourse. Lube can make safe sex safer, as one of the primary reasons that condoms break is due to a lack of lubrication. It makes sex more enjoyable, last longer, and it’s a 219 million dollar industry! So if you’re having sex, don’t be fooled and don’t be ashamed to try using lube—take a walk down that yellow brick road to sexual self discovery.

It’s a slippery slope, but out of the hundreds of products out there, there’s bound to be one that meets your needs. Silicone based lubes are the longest lasting lubricants on the market. They’re safe to use with latex, are hypoallergenic and do not absorb into the skin. However, the down-fall of silicone based lubes is the hard fall. They won’t break down with water and if you get any on the floor, you might finally get the slippery canal that Winterlude never was this year. That can be a hard chipped tooth to explain. Now to wade into the water-based lubricants! Water based lubes absorb into the skin and therefore, need to be reapplied throughout sex. Many also include glycerin, which may lead to yeast infections. They are safe for condoms and don’t leave stains on fabric. Water based lubes have the most variety and include most flavored lube. Yes, lube can tickle your taste buds too! Try raspberry, cherry…and cookie dough (I’m currently sending chef Anthony Bourdain a lead for his show, “Parts Unknown”).

Oil-based lubricants break down latex condoms. Petroleum products suck the moisture out of you, and have a higher probability of causing bacterial or yeast infection. Oil-based lubricants include warming lubricants whose burning sensation can be caused by chemicals or by essential oils like cinnamon or pepper-mint. Be very, very careful. If not of this appeals to you, that’s fine and totally your choice. But hope-fully, the mystery of cookie dough flavored lubrication will have you seeing lube as a horse of a different color.

About the author

Kristen Jovanelly