Sexual accessories (as I like to call them) can be an important part of individual or partnered sexual experience. As with everything it's important to find what works for you. Here are some guidelines aimed at helping you to try and figure that out.
Lube should be an essential part of any kind of sex. Natural lubrication is produced by various parts of female genitalia including the walls of the vagina and a small amount from the Bartholin Glands which are found at the entrance of the vagina. The ability for the body to produce lubrication can change at different stages of life, hormonal cycles, stress levels, and a lack of foreplay or arousal. There are many different reasons you might not feel like you're lubricated enough and most of them are completely normal.
What is certain is that if you are not lubricated enough, engaging in any type of sex is going to hurt! There is no reason to put up with this, just use some lube!
But what kind of lube? Not all lube is created equal and you always need to be informed about anything you put on or into your body. For example, products like Vaseline might seem good because they are slippery and easy to come across, however, they are not easily cleaned off, can lead to infections and react with certain condoms and sex toy materials. Here is a brief run down of the pros and cons of certain types of lubricants:
- Easy to get a hold of and budget friendly
- Compatible with toys, condoms, dental dams
- Will dry out more quickly than other lubes
- High performing, longest lasting and slipperiest lube
- Does not wash off as easily and can stain fabrics
- Not always compatible with other silicone products (i.e.. toys)
- Long lasting and natural
- Not compatible with safe sex barriers
- Does not wash off easily and can stain fabrics
- Best not to use if you are prone to infections eg. bacterial vaginosis, yeast infections or UTIs
Sex toys are widely available these days for personal enjoyment or can even be recommended as a ‘fun’ way of stretching the vagina if required. Unfortunately, the industry is only beginning to pay attention to what women want instead of what men think women want. This means that you might need to search a little bit harder to discover what works for you. Here are some tips to help you pick out a sex toy:
- Make sure you look at what material the toy is made out of and ensure it is body safe.
- If you are using lube make sure it is appropriate for the material the toy is made out of. For example, silicone lube may not be compatable with silicone toys.
- Use toys which are appropriate to your personal situation. If you have a small vagina…buy a small toy which you can have fun with but also won’t be intimidating. As you need a bigger one, graduate up to this.
- Toys don’t have to be a substitute for a penis. There are a variety of toys which focus on female pleasure and have absolutely nothing to do with simulating penetrative intercourse if you don't want them too. For example, there are a variety of toys such as clitoral stimulators on the market which focused on clitoral and vulva pleasure.