Discover the Best Vaginal Lubricant for You
One of the most irritating (pun unintended) common problems of menopause and aging for many women is vaginal dryness. A good vaginal lubricant is one way to address menopause dryness, but many women over fifty act as if their genitals aren’t really body parts that need attention. Sex over fifty isn’t for wimps! Still, you shouldn’t have to accept painful sex as being a normal part of sexual activity.
We apply lotion to our faces and hands, go to the gym, and eat healthy foods. But we rarely think about exercise for pelvic floor muscles (which help with bladder control and elasticity of tissues in the region).
We assume our vaginas don’t need lube and we aren’t always very careful about what we expose them to. Lots of women just ignore “down there”.
Advice from a Women’s Sexual Health Expert
Vaginal lubricants can be the easiest way to make sexual intercourse more comfortable and treat our vaginas kindly. A personal lubricant is one of those essential items that older women need for enhanced sexual pleasure and the prevention of post-sex vaginal discomfort.
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Here’s how I talk about lubes in my book, Inviting Desire:
“A lubricant, or lube, is one of those essentials that every sexual woman should have in her toolkit. Essential at any age, lubricants help provide more pleasure by enhancing sensation and eliminating uncomfortable friction. The best way to think of lube is as a sex toy, and the best lubricant is the one that enhances your sexual arousal.
The silky satiny feeling of a good lubricant enhances your love life. Dry fingers create drag as they move across the skin, the exact opposite of the smooth sensation you want as a part of a sexual experience. Using a lubricant during sex allows fingers, toys, and other body parts to glide, avoiding skin irritation.
Why Should Women over Fifty use Vaginal Lubricant?
As our bodies change as they get older they lose natural vaginal lubrication and the vaginal tissues become less elastic. Just as the skin on our arms and necks gets crepe-y (due to the hormonal changes from menopause), vaginal tissue becomes thinner and less supple, and vaginal atrophy can occur. Menopausal vaginal dryness can be as common in women as erectile dysfunction is in men.
Hormonal changes like lower estrogen levels during menopause cause some women to produce less of their body’s natural lubricant. This can lead to discomfort during intercourse. Lubricants help moisturize skin and make body parts and toys glide easily. A good vaginal lubricant is the best solution, regardless of age, whether we are alone or with a partner.
What to Consider When You Choose a Lubricant
Numbing agents or additives marketed to make you ‘tingle’ are potentially problematic. If you experience vaginal sensitivity a numbing agent, which might seem logical, could cause more damage because you can’t feel any pain and therefore don’t know that the activity will result in discomfort.
Remember that your vagina and vulva absorb products just like all other parts of your body—so think about what you’re applying when choosing vaginal moisturizers. Products with lots of glycerin, propylene glycol, or alcohol might not be a good idea for your delicate tissues or your overall vaginal health. Additives, used to extend shelf-life, can create vaginal irritation or even allergic reactions on sensitive skin.
Silicone lubricants can have longer staying power and may not require less reapplication like water-based products. However, if you’re using silicone sex toys a silicone lube can damage the toy. Oil-based lubricants like baby oil, petroleum jelly or products containing mineral oil can damage latex condoms and lessen their effectiveness in the prevention of STDs or pregnancy. Yes, we still have to worry about STDs even if we are past the pregnancy years.
Try Multiple Lubes
I have several types of lube and tend to prefer odorless, tasteless, and organic products. The one exception is that I often use organic coconut oil, which does have that “at the beach” smell to it. But it’s one of the mildest and natural lubes, and pleasant-smelling as opposed to the artificial scents in some lubes.
Here are a few lubricants that have good reviews and are readily available at a quality sex toy shop (online and local), Amazon, and possibly at your local big-box pharmacy or grocery stores.
Buy organic coconut oil at the grocery store. I keep it in the refrigerator. It’s a real multi-tasking product!
The company sent me some samples for a talk I gave recently and after I tried it myself I continue to use it. Überlube is silicone-based, clear, and tasteless.
I like its staying power and the fact that it’s not sticky or too slick. Überlube is also used by professional athletes to avoid chafing. Apparently, it’s also marketed as an anti-frizz product for hair, so consider it a real multitasker. I have the pump applicator version that I keep by my bed.
Sliquid makes over 13 kinds of lubricants and personal moisturizers. They are vegan-friendly and at least one of their products is Kosher, organic and in compliance with USDA National Organic Program.
I’ve tried the water-based Sliquid. While I liked it, after a bit of time it needed to be reapplied. But water, silicone, or oil-based are a matter of personal preference. So it really depends on the type of sex, how long you’ll be engaged in that activity, and your lubrication needs.
Good Clean Love is a company with a strong ethical commitment to women, health and safety. The Good Clean Love products are highly regarded and top of the line. I’ve used their Almost Naked, water-based lube, and was quite pleased. It has a light scent that is all-natural and subtle.
Other good lubricants out there include:
Pink brand lubricant, developed by the sex shop Good Vibrations,
Organic Glide, which I’m not familiar with but has good reviews, and
Aloe Cadabra, which is recommended by other professionals I know.
Why not buy a few, or ask your sex toy shop for a sample and see what you like? Also, think about whether you want a water-based or a silicone-based lubricant, or if you’d like to try a flavored variety.
Finally, test out the offerings. I swear you’ll find that sex feels better and your body will thank you. The best sexual lubricant is the one that works for you and makes sex feel better.
Informational article. The Slippery Facts About Lubricants