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A Sex Therapist’s Rx for Every Couple

Lube_Gears_400It’s lube. Lube reduces friction, which can increase pleasure and decrease the risk of tearing and pain. Always use lube with protective barriers like condoms or dams; it will increase their efficacy and make them more pleasurable. Lube is your friend. Lube will make your sex life better. Here’s how to talk to your partner about it, and which kind I recommend. From Come As You Are: The Surprising New Science That Will Transform Your Sex Life.

If you decide to try using lube, here are some tips for talking with your partner about it:

• Playfulness, Curiosity, and Humor.
It is literally impossible to feel stressed and anxious about something when your approach is playful, curious, and humorous. Let it be a little silly; let it be fun. This is about pleasure, remember?

• Make Your Partner Feel Like a Superhero. Communicating about sex feels risky sometimes because, above all, you don’t want to hurt your partner’s feelings. The simplest shortcut around hurt feelings is to make the conversation about all the things your partner can do to increase your pleasure beyond its already skyrocketing heights, and all the delight you hope to add by incorporating this new element to your sexual connection.

• Choose Your Lube Wisely. Not all lube is created equal. Often it’s a good idea to choose lube together with your partner—shop together and pick something you both feel good about, so that you are both equally invested in it.

May I recommend that you consider silicone lube? I am a silicone lube evangelist. Here are just a few reasons why:

• Safe to Use with Barriers. Use it with both male (external) condoms and female (internal) condoms, latex or polyurethane.

• Thick. It doesn’t dribble all over in a runny mess. Especially for marathon sex (anything longer than ten or fifteen minutes counts as “marathon” as far as lubrication on genitals is concerned) or anal sex, lube staying where you put it is important.

• Lasts Longer than You Do. It simply does not evaporate. It lasts a long, long, long, long time. It’s expensive, but you need to use only a tiny bit, so one bottle goes a long way.

• Dries to a Silky Powder Finish.
Whereas water-based lubes often dry to a sticky, gummy mess on your hands, silicone lubes feel soft and powdery, so you can caress your partner’s body and face without feeling like you’re smearing spirit gum all over your lover.

• Great for Sensitive Folks. It’s also very unlikely to cause an allergic reaction or yeast infections (unlike flavored lubes or lubes with glycerin), it has no flavor, so you can taste your partner’s skin and fluids (yum!).

The one thing silicone lube isn’t good for is use with some silicone toys. It may break down the surface of the toy, so put condoms on them, or else use water-based lube.

The best silicone lube will have just a few ingredients, like dimethicone, dimethiconol, cyclopentasiloxane, or cyclomethicone, and a preservative like tocopheryl acetate (vitamin E). That’s all.

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