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Let’s Talk About Lube

Basic Facts about Sexual Lubricants for Women Over Fifty

Anyone who enjoys sexual intimacy should be using a personal lubricant. And for the record, no, spit is not an adequate substitute for the real thing. There are many kinds and brands of lubricants and many places to buy them—as to which is the best lubricant? That depends on several factors:

  1. Will the lube be used with latex or silicone sex toys? Oil and silicone based lubes can damage condoms and sex toys. That can be dangerous if the lube causes damage to condoms.
  2. Do you have skin allergies? Some products have lots of additives which may irritate skin.
  3. Are you looking for a longer lasting lube? This is somewhat important because water-based lube tends to dry out, whereas a silicone, or oil-based lubricant will last much longer.
  4. Are you having specific issues with dryness? If so then a water-based lube may not be ‘enough’ for you. Severe repeated dryness that leads to painful intercourse is something you should discuss with your doctor.

The answer to these questions can help you figure out which personal lubricant is right for you. You may want to test out various products to see which ones you prefer. A quality sex toy shop is likely to have samples you can get before you decide.

A little advice about buying lubricants

Like hand cream or facial care products, genital tissues skin absorb whatever product you use. Some of the cheaper lubes are made with chemicals and preservatives that may not be good for your body. Flavored lubes contain additional additives that may irritate skin. Remember to give the same consideration to products for sexual lubrication just as you would other products you use on your body.

Today we are lucky enough to have a wide range of lubricants to choose from. They can be water-based, made with oil, or silicone. The water-based lubricant feels lighter and ‘cleaner’ but will dry more quickly, requiring repeat applications. Slicker products like oil based or silicone lubes feel more luxurious to the touch and provide lasting lubrication—this may be important if you experience dryness or vaginal discomfort.

The products designed as a lubricant for women can also be used by men who want a personal lube. The only different is packaging.

Do you need organic lubricant?

I like an organic lube because I don’t want chemical and artificial scents on my body. And, I’ve found a silicone lubricant that suits me. Using silicone only works when you’re not using condoms—meaning you’ve talked with your partner about STIs and feel comfortable having sex without protection.

Isn’t my body’s natural lubrication enough?

Using lubricants is a very good idea—it makes body parts feel better and helps reduce or eliminate vaginal discomfort. We have to get rid of the notion that being turned on leads to natural lubrication. Far too many men use a woman’s ‘wetness’ as an indication of her desire, and their ability to turn her on.

The truth is that natural lubrication varies from woman to woman. It also fluctuates for each of us on a daily basis—it is rarely connected to our level of arousal. Being dehydrated, taking antihistamines and other factors can cause all areas of our bodies to be drier and produce less lubrication.

How to get started with lube if you haven’t used it before.

If you’re in a heterosexual relationship and your male partner needs convincing about lube, you may have to initiate the discussion about the reasons to use it.

Incorporate lube application into your sex play. Rub a little on his penis to show him how wonderful it feels. Put the lube on yourself, or let your partner do it as part of intimacy. Plan ahead and make sure the lube is nearby and easily reached.

Making pleasure your priority is important. And as funny as it may sound, a good lubricant really does help with that.

More about lube? Read Walker’s other post The Best Vaginal Lubricant for Women Over Fifty,
and her posts about vibrators: Why You Need a VibratorHow to Use a Vibrator, and How Masturbation is Like Playing the Piano.

Walker Thornton

We are delighted to have Walker Thornton as our Women’s Sexual Health columnist. After working for over 10 years in the field of sexual violence against women, Walker is now enjoying a new career as a freelance writer, public speaker, and sex educator with an emphasis on midlife women. Her blog, was ranked #5 by in their top 100 Sex Blogging Superheroes of 2014. You can connect with her on Facebook and Twitter For questions about sexual health, write her at

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