This probably isn’t news to you at this point, but both your body and your vulva change throughout every stage of your reproductive health, including menopause. With that, there may be some additional changes in your sex life.
If you’ve already reached menopause (meaning you haven’t had your period in over a year), then you probably already understand where we’re going with this. While yes, it sucks to know that physically, you may experience uncomfortable symptoms such as vaginal dryness during sex, also know that it doesn’t mean the end of intimacy, at all.
My mother masturbates. She’ll smack me on the shoulder when she sees this, but I’ll say the same thing to her then as I say to you now: It’s the truth. My family is Mexican and Catholic, and growing up, we just didn’t talk about sex—but lately, that’s changed. But, even though I know my 58-year-old mom sometimes experiences vaginal dryness amid menopause, I was worried about what she’d say when I asked her to test and pick the best lube for vaginal dryness. To my surprise, she was 100 percent down.
When it comes to anal sex, lube is as essential to success as, well, having a butt—which is to say, very essential. To be clear: You need to be using lube for any kind of anal play, whether a finger, phallus, or anal sex toy is involved. (As a sex educator, I feel the need to shout this from the rooftops.) But, as you may know, if you’ve purchased any personal lubricant in the past, not all lubes are created equally—and choosing one of the best lubes for anal sex can take your butt play from good to fully orgasmic.
Although once considered something only menopausal people used for vaginal dryness, lubricants are great for everyone (and every sexual need), be it the best lube for sensitive skin or a water-based formula to use with silicone sex toys. It doesn’t matter if you’re 25 and having vaginal sex or 61 and having oral and anal sex, lube is that friend that everyone needs for an extra good time.
But as much as lube can make penetrative sex (as well as masturbation!) better, not every formula is as skin-friendly. Like the best sex toys, you want to make sure that the lube is body-safe. In this case, that means formulas that are void of any chemicals or harsh irritants that can disrupt your vagina’s pH balance, or cause bacterial vaginosis or yeast infections.
There’s an unspoken “golden” rule amongst the sexually active, particularly vulva owners, to prevent urinary tract infections (UTIs)—always get up and pee after sex, no matter how tired and satiated you are. After all that grinding and thrusting, bacteria (be it your own or your partner’s) near the anus and vaginal openings can wiggle its way up through the urethra and wreak havoc on the urinary tract. Urinating can help flush it out, keeping your bits n’ pieces happy and healthy.
Using personal lubricants (lubes, for short) can enhance sexual pleasure and make for a better experience by reducing friction and dryness during sex. But not all lubes are created equal — especially if you have sensitive skin.
“Some ingredients in lubricants can cause irritation to skin and mucous membranes,” explains Christie Cobb, MD, FACOG, a board-certified gynecologist and sexual wellness expert in Little Rock, Arkansas. “Irritation from lubricants can cause symptoms such as vaginal infections, burning, itching and rashes.”
Even if you’re new to the wild and wonderful world of butt stuff, you’ve probably already heard that anal sex requires lube, lube, and more lube—and for good reason, too. As sex and pleasure educator Luna Matatas explains, “The anus isn’t self-lubricating in the way that a vagina is, and the tissue can be delicate and easily injured if there’s too much friction.” Without anal lube, backdoor penetration of any kind—whether it be with a toy, a finger, or a penis—can be painful and even cause some mild bleeding afterward due to any tears in the sensitive anal canal tissue. Pretty sure that’s not anyone’s idea of a good time.
Sure, a little saliva can get the job done, but when you’re in the mood, the best lubes make everything better—and wetter. The only hitch? Amid a sea of seemingly endless options (it’s the Golden Age of Lube, after all), finding the right one can take even more research than securing the best vibrator. In the interest of keeping your search as frictionless as possible, we compiled everything you need to know about personal lubricant and pulled together a few tried-and-true options that work every time.
Looking for a quick and easy way to upgrade your sex adventures? Allow us to introduce you to the juicy world of lube. Designed to keep things slick and moving easily, no matter whether it’s being inserted inside you like a prostate massager or rubbed on top of you like a masturbator, lube greases the wheels in all the right ways.
Picture this: Lube is like butter and your body is the toast. Without it, you could still have a nice nibble, but it will likely be a bit dry. Add a generous slick of full-fat butter, and your breakfast will transform into a much tastier snack. Hungry for more? Keep scrolling for our pick of the best lubes to shop now.
Every guy should own sex lubes. A proper lubricant isn’t just for a nice handy (which, by the way, are totally underrated). If you’re heading for the backdoor, it’s the only way you’ll get in—anal sex and lube go hand in hand. But you’ll want a bottle of lube in your nightstand even if you never leave missionary island: Lube makes vanilla P-in-V sex even more fantastic—not least because your partner will appreciate your thoughtfulness and consideration.