How Do I Let Lovers Know We Need to Use Lubricant?

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Betty Dodson

dear betty,

first of all, thanks so much for your website. since i discovered it i started feeling so much better and adventurous about my sex life. however, there is one question that is still unsatisfied. as some of the other women that wrote you i have problems with getting wet (enough) during sex. when i had my boyfriend we eventually started using lube and it was great.

but i cannot get it out of my head that it is somehow awkward to use lube during sex with someone i have sex with for the first time or on a more regular basis but not as part of a committed relationship. just the idea of introducing lube to these situations makes me feel embarrassed. in my imagination it causes awkward pauses and maybe even explanations why i need this and that it has nothing to with me being not aroused and so on. i think you get my point. on the other hand, i know that sex would be so much better when using lube. so, i wonder, if you know any nice ways of introducing lube to sex with someone you have sex with for the first time or that you meet once in a while for having sex.

thanks so much in advance for your help,

Dear S,

If the first time of introducing lube with a new sex partner might generate some hesitation, ask yourself why this is true. Usually it's because of the myth that all hot red blooded women soak their panties when they are turned on. Just like all guys get a rock hard-on when they are turned on. Well, neither one of those cliches is always true.

So many things affect a woman's ability to lubricate such as her diet, any medications she might be taking and where she is in her menstrual cycle. The same is true for men. We are both victims of some degree of sexual repression, so nerves alone can inhibit our ability to lubricate. In either case, most men will respond to some form of genital stimulation as will most women. It just takes many of us a lot longer to get the lubrication faucet turned on. So if we don't take control of the situation, our well meaning but poorly informed male partners will make a pass at foreplay that is far from adequate.

One favorite way I handled this was to announce with great enthusiasm that my favorite sex toy was my massage oil. Then handing the bottle of oil (water based lube for condoms) to my partner, I'd say "Here, see how nice this feels. It makes everything glide so smoothly." In a non verbal situation, I'd just get on top of my new partner, fill the palm of my hand and begin to lube up his penis. Never once did I encounter any complaints. For the most part, guys are relieved to get some kind of feedback from a woman. Just think how little we know about how we function sexually and imagine what a mystery a vulva is for a man. Give your partner a break by giving him a helping well lubricated hand.

Dr. Betty