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 –  Some gentle friction during sexual intimacy can be desirable. However, excessive rubbing or chafing around the genital area can be a turn off. If friction during sex causes discomfort for you or your partner, you may find that you can benefit from using a personal lubricant. Personal lubricants enhance sexual pleasure by moistening the genital area. The decrease in friction can increase enjoyment for both partners and make penetration easier.
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When to Use a Personal Lubricant

Personal lubricants can enhance sexual well being by decreasing friction during sex or masturbation. By moistening the skin, lubricants can prevent sticking, rubbing or chafing that can detract from sexual pleasure. Lubricants are primarily used around the genital area, but can be applied to other erogenous zones, such as the nipples, to increase sexual satisfaction.

How to Apply a Personal Lubricant

You can build the application of a personal lubricant into foreplay, to prevent it from being intrusive or interrupting intimacy. The act of applying lubricant can be incredibly sensual. Lubricant can be smoothed onto the vulva, vagina or anus using the fingertips. Alternatively, it can be rubbed onto the shaft of the penis to make penetration easier.

Water-Based, Silicone-Based and Oil-Based Lubricants

Water-based and silicone-based lubricants are recommended for couples that use condoms during sex. Oil-based lubricants can weaken the latex in condoms or cause tiny holes to appear. This reduces the effectiveness of the condom in preventing pregnancy and the transmission of diseases.

One of the advantages of water-based lubricant is that it washes off easily. However, this means that it is not useful during lovemaking that takes place in water, for example in the shower or hot tub. Water-based lubricants can be washed away in these environments, making them less effective.

Lubricants and Menopause

During menopause, estrogen levels drop. This can cause a reduction in the natural lubrication of the vagina. Sex after menopause can become uncomfortable or even painful if the vagina is dry. Lubricants can help both partners to enjoy sex more after menopause by decreasing the friction that can occur during penetration.

Lubricants with Added Features

You can find a wide variety of lubricants that enhance lovemaking through extra features. Some lubricants contain ingredients that create a warming sensation on contact with the skin. Alternatively, you will find that some lubricants contain desensitizers, such as benzocaine. Desensitizers act on the shaft of the penis, reducing the sensations during sexual intercourse and helping to prolong erections and delay ejaculation. Desensitizers can help men remain in control of their lovemaking, enhancing the experience for them and their partners.


The use of a personal lubricant can enhance the sensations achieved during solo play. Some masturbation creams are designed to prolong the experience. These masturbation creams may contain desensitizers, such as benzocaine, that can help address premature ejaculation issues.

Anal Sex

Health professionals often recommend the use of a lubricant for partners who wish to engage in anal sex. The anus does not produce natural lubrication. The use of a personal lubricant can help minimize chafing or tearing during anal penetration.

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