Say it with me: Vaginas are sensitive. And just like you might regularly pore over the ingredients in new serums before adding them to your skincare routine, you should pay extra-close attention to what’s in your lube—especially if you’re prone to vaginal dryness, pain, or irritation during or after sex.
If you’re someone who’s on the hunt for lube for sensitive skin, don’t feel overwhelmed. Sure, there are 100’s of types available, but our board of sex experts knows the bestlubes(opens in new tab) out there.
From water-based lube(opens in new tab), to flavoured lube, CBD lube… the list goes on. But know this: not all lubes are made equal. While a study(opens in new tab) of more than 2,000 women found that sex was more pleasurable and satisfying for those who used lube, another paper found one of the biggest problems with lube is that it can be “burning [or] itchy”.
Looking for the best water-based lube? Great idea – because, yep, water-based lubes are a great way to have better, wetter, and safer sex.
A quick breakdown of the best lubes available: there are water-based, oil-based and silicone-based, and sometimes hybrids of two or more. Water-based lubricants can be used for vaginal and anal play (read our roundup of the best lube for anal here), but they aren’t just great for sex, either.
Throw on your bathing suits, folks, because we’re going down the slip-n-slide to find the best anal lube for you. Going into anal sex without a lubricant is like going through your day without coffee: painful and almost always unsuccessful. On a more serious note, “using lube for anal play is crucial,” Jenn Mason, founder, and owner of WinkWink, a Washington-based, women-owned sex shop, tells SELF. We spoke with experts to understand what to look for when shopping for anal lubes and why it’s beneficial for anal sex.
The anus has thin walls, doesn’t self-lubricate, and is surrounded by sphincter muscles that naturally tighten closed when touched. So for anal sex, experts suggest that you apply lots (and lots) of lube, get relaxed before penetration, start gradually with gentle stimulation (and work your way up), and communicate with your partner.
Lubricant is a sex toy’s best friend. Women get the benefit of their sexual organs being self-lubricating, and while it isn’t always enough to use each and every toy without outside help, it is a serious benefit that us males don’t get to enjoy on the same level.
Nobody is out there producing enough pre-cum to stand in for lube, that’s for sure. If you actually are one of the genetic freaks capable of oodles of pre-cum, I’d love to shake your hand. After I’ve seen you wash it, of course.
Being a rock star in the bedroom relies on learning more about women and their bodies.
I don’t know where the myth started that men (or women for that matter) are just supposed to know what women want in bed and how to make that happen. It’s as if they’re supposed to be born with magical powers. Well, I’ve got news for you. Ain’t no such thing. And not only is there no crime in educating yourself via books and reliable online information, there is also no crime in asking your partner what she digs. The vagina, vulva, and clitoris have been shrouded in mystery too long.
When you know the biology the fumbling is minimized.
There’s nothing sexy about fumbling around. At all. We get it. You’re nervous. You want to do it “right.” You want to impress us. Here’s the thing. We’re nervous too. There’s no “right” way to do any of it. And we’re way more interested in being satisfied than being impressed. Fumbling around is no fun for anyone. And sex should be fun! Better to arm yourself with information and go in knowing everything you can. You wouldn’t go skiing or show up in a foreign country without doing your research, right?
Caring enough to research is sexy as hell.
Knowing that the person you’re sleeping with bothered to find out how it all works is hot. Really hot. That level of caring in that department is a good indication – hopefully – about their level of caring in other relationship departments. Not to mention that it’s crazy sexy to be thinking about what your partner is reading about and looking at when you’re not around, including what sexy supplies they might be stocking up on. Although maybe best not to think about that at work or your next family reunion…
Asking a woman questions is hot.
Asking questions of the woman you’re sleeping with doesn’t have to be – and shouldn’t be – an interrogation. Think of it as part of the fun. Tell her the truth, you want to learn more and be the best you can for her. Ask her where she likes to be touched and what spots don’t work for her. Ask her to show you what turns her on. Watching your partner masturbate, for example, can help you learn a lot about her preferences when it comes to location, speed, pressure, and the like. The question game can be a whole lot of fun if you’re both willing to play!
It will increase your confidence in bed
There really is nothing sexier in bed than confidence. When you know the parts and what to do with them, you are far more likely to be confident going into the game. Then, your partner will see your confidence and that will increase her desire for you as well. It’s a win-win-win. It’s tough to be confident when your head is full of questions before, during, and even after. But if you learn the ropes ahead of time, you’ll be ready to swing into action effortlessly when the time comes.
The sex will be better. Period.
Let’s face it. No matter what we’re talking about, the more you know about the activity at hand and all of the equipment involved, the better that activity is likely to go. When you learn about how the female sexual parts work in general, let alone on your partner in particular, you are opening not just a window, but massive French doors to, as Aladdin would say, a whole new world! I’m sure there are some exceptions out there. But barring the outliers, I feel confident saying that the best sex you’ll ever have is educated sex.
Once you start researching, you never know what else you might learn.
While you’re digging around learning all about the magical clitoris and the mysterious – but very real – G-Spot, you are likely to stumble upon a plethora of information to which you had not previously been privy. Positions. Accessories. Erotica. You name it. This is one rabbit hole you won’t mind falling into. Just be sure you have plenty of privacy while you’re researching. And if you share your computer with minors, that you erase your search history. Words to the wise…
The research itself is a turn-on.
You would be hard pressed – no pun intended – not to get turned on just from doing the research. Whether it’s books, videos, articles online, whatever, you are bound to get inspired from all of that knowledge. You can use that as motivation to get that evening’s – or morning’s or afternoon’s – activities in motion. Think about doing the research when it won’t be long until you can put what you learned into practice. Or, do it when there’s a delay and let the anticipation do its magic when it comes to go time!
So get your learning on. Don’t do it at work. That could go badly. Very badly. But start finding out more about the intricacies about the female body and you’ll be amazed at how much you will be adored. There’s just no doubt about it – being a rock star in the bedroom is all about learning more about women and their bodies. Did you know the clitoris has 7000 plus nerve endings and its only role in life in to give women pleasure? Did you know that the word vagina only refers to the inner canal and that everything you see from the outside is the vulva? Did you know that 99% of women don’t orgasm from penetration alone? You know what they say – The more you know! It’s the most fun you’ll ever have studying. Trust me.
There is nothing wrong with looking for a bit of inspiration when it comes to sex. Traditionally, men have turned to porn to get inspired; however there are other solutions. For instance, literary erotica allows readers to find inspiration by inserting themselves into the stories. There are so many options when it comes to literary erotica, stories that run the gamut from cowboys to vampires to everything in between. No matter what revs your engine, you can always find it on the written page. For something really classic, check out Anne Rice’s “Sleeping Beauty Trilogy” or Anais Nin’s “Delta of Venus” or “Little Birds.” For something new that offers a little bit of everything, try an anthology series like “Best Women’s Erotica of the Year” or “The Big Book of Orgasms.”
Still not convinced the written word can do as much for your sex drive as the moving picture?
1. Erotica trumps porn because the brain is queen.
“The brain is the most complex organ in the human body, so it makes sense that erotica engages the mind differently than watching traditional pornography. A lot of porn is a hard-carnal sell, skewed more toward overt sexuality and racing to the almighty ‘money shot,’ rather than teasing nuanced sensuality,” explains Pfeuffer. Filling your head with positive inspiration is key.
2. Erotica trumps porn because porn can be all about the boys.
Pfeuffer explains, “Given that 2017 data from PornHub revealed its audience is 75 percent men and 25 percent women, it’s probably safe to assume that most porn is written with the male gaze in mind. There are filmmakers who defy these stereotypes: Erika Lust, Bree Mills, and Lucie Blush are all badass feminists, who produce porn with thoughtful plots and storylines.” If you want to play in the porn playground, be as picky as you please about what you watch.
3. Erotica trumps porn because most women don’t look like that.
“Erotica appeals to a different aesthetic, one where the imagination can run wild without a concrete visual or cadence. Most women don’t look like porn stars, so it’s hard for us to relate, and a lot of women end up making unrealistic comparisons,” says Pfeuffer. It can be hard to feel sexy when comparing yourself to appearance and behaviors that simply don’t exist in your world. To feel even sexier, try adding a clit simulating gel to your sex play.
4. Erotica trumps porn because some porn can be unrealistic.
Porn sex is not real sex. Period. “Real sex doesn’t always look like what we see on the screen. Not all women squirt, like anal without lube, or cum without foreplay,” explains Pfeuffer. “Porn would have you believe otherwise. I’m guessing for most of us, our mental imagery of what pleasure looks like is very different than what men imagine. Erotica allows us to mold that mental imagery.”
5. Erotica trumps porn because erotica is perfect solo or in pairs.
“Readers can read out loud to a lover or get lost in a story on their own,” Bussel says, which makes erotica as fun to share as it is to use alone. Make erotica part of your foreplay and you can be sure that your play will be better than ever. While you’re at it, why not add something to spice things up like a little massage oil…
6. Erotica trumps porn because you can make erotica your own.
Erotica gives readers the chance to fill in the blanks. “Reading erotica lets people use their imagination, inserting themselves into a story and getting lost in the plot and the sexual acts in different ways than watching porn. Even with detailed descriptions, there’s still room to make the story your own in your mind and to embellish the visual in your mind, and perhaps be a more active participant than when viewing video porn, although I don’t think the two are at odds,” Bussel says.
7. Erotica trumps porn because it offers something new.
Erotica can be very inspiring. As Bussel explains, “For many, reading erotica can give them new ideas of things they might want to try or simply let their sexual fantasies have free reign in their mind, which isn’t always easy in a world that polices sexuality, especially women’s sexuality.”And in the name of trying new things, if you don’t use lubricant as part of your regular play, why not give it a whirl? And, if you do, why not try a new kind to up your lube ante?
8. Erotica trumps porn because erotica has staying power.
Porn imagery bombards the brain. But, “Written erotica can also stay in the reader’s mind long after they’ve finished it; I still recall some of the first erotica I read over 20 years ago,” Bussel says. Staying power means you can play the scenes over and over in your head whenever you choose. No technology required. Another way to up your staying power is to try incorporating a performance product into the bedroom, such as a delay spray, to make the fun last longer.
Porn definitely has its place. It’s been around a long time and it’s certainly not going anywhere, however, it does have its limits. For instance, porn must be watched on some type of electronic device. The amazing thing about erotica is that you don’t need anything but the words and your imagination to immerse yourself in pleasure. As mentioned before, nearly all of it is filmed from the male perspective, and 99% of it is painfully fake in its depiction on intimacy. With erotica, there is a story for every taste, in every genre, from mild to wild. So, why not give it a try? A whole new literary world of sexy awaits you!
Sliquid, LLC has announced their newest retail partner, based in San Antonio, Texas.
H-E-B Grocery operates under the motto “He profits most who serves best”, which aligns perfectly with Sliquid, LLC’s policy of formulating products with only the safest and highest quality ingredients.
Sliquid, LLC is a Dallas based distributor of intimate products for women, currently producing a full line of intimate products, including glycerine and paraben free personal lubricants, feminine washes, and shaving cremes. Sliquid, LLC is notable in the industry for manufacturing products that are designed primarily for women’s safety and comfort.
H-E-B Grocery currently serves families all over Texas and Mexico with over 300 stores. H-E-B’s commitment to excellence has made it one of the nations largest independently owned food retailers. Yet their success has not changed the company’s commitment to giving the customer exceptional service, low prices and friendly shopping.