My feminism is definitely an intersectional one. I discuss feminist issues as a way to educate, (un)learn, and dissect current cultural understandings of gender. Included in this is an acceptance of sex and sexuality as an endless realm of transformative possibility and opportunity for pleasure. I’ve always said: it’s not feminist if it doesn’t get you off. But so much of what we (Americans) think about sex is caught in limited, male-dominated, and frankly, fictional perceptions of how our bodies should work (because… porn). Our incompetent approach to sex education has done nothing to address one of the most widespread misconceptions, and consequences have been dire. But today I am willing to go where few feminists have gone in examining this important and widely-felt issue through a critical feminist lens. Today I am going to share the truth about lube!
Last year, K. Michelle shared something on national television that many women won’t even admit to their best friend, gynecologist, or diary. She was experiencing problems with her vagina lubricating (without the assistance of whiskey). In other words, she couldn’t get “wet.” She was concerned–and most of the viewing public agreed–that her affectionately named “hot pocket” was broken. Naturally, “wet pussy” has been uplifted as one of the necessary components of a satisfying sexual experience for straight, cis men. But the notion that vaginas should always be wet is another way of suggesting that women’s bodies should be constantly available and ready for sexual consumption, specifically penetration. Because out here in the wild west, sex just happens.
More importantly, because of this myth that a normal vagina always gets wet on cue, lube has really gotten a bad reputation. Pushed to fringes of our sexual consciousness, so many people view these amazing concoctions as only necessary when having anal sex or doing something especially adventurous, like double penetration or nuru body slides. This simply isn’t true! Lube is great for so many reasons. It adds another sensation that can enhance pleasure, even if you are already wet. It also improves the function of condoms, especially latex ones which can dry out the wettest of vajayjays. It can also provide taste, heating, cooling, and tingling sensations that all work to make sex more pleasurable. And better sex = more relevant feminism. This very scientific formula is the reason why using lube makes you a better feminist.
But before you begin your own journey to equality with the power of lubricant in your pocket, you should know about the different kinds out there…
Water-based lubricants are the most commonly used lubricants. They come in different forms including: liquid, jelly, and lotion-like. Because they are water-soluble, they can absorb into the skin and could require a second (or third) serving for longer romps. Pro tip: when this happens, you can also spritz the affected area with water to reactivate the lube. My favorite water-based lubes are Just Like Me by Pure Romance, Pink Water, and of course some good ol’ fashion Target brand Up & Up Water-based Liquid Personal Lubricant.
Next up are silicone-based lubes. These are not water-soluble so you don’t have to worry about being sticky. They are also a must-have for pool, hot tub, and shower sex because the water won’t wash it away. Do not use silicone-based lube with sex toys made of silicone because the material can and will dissolve. And that sucks! I try not to use silicone-based lubes because in my experience, they can cause irritation (it burns!) after a while. But I’ve had nothing but good experiences with Wet brand.
And last but not least, oil-based lube. Oil-based lube is not safe to use with latex or rubber. But it lasts a good long while. I’ve never used on oil-based lubricant, but word on the street is that coconut oil is a great natural choice.
So there you have it. Now get out there, take control of your sexual experiences, use lube, and be a better feminist!
Sesali is a former sex toy distributor, party host, and product educator.