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Lube Listicle Part 2: Electric Boogaloo
February 19, 2023
Last year, I wrote the first Lube Listicle in hopes of spreading some useful information to those who may have felt their sex education wasn’t as informative as it could have been. The culture of sex makes us feel like we should just know what to do when it’s time, and that is pretty much never the case for anybody.
I was hoping I could do the same again this year with some more information in hopes of answering some lingering questions and maybe introduce some new concepts.
Again, I am in no way a professional so please talk with a professional if you have any further questions or need more information or clarification.
Introduce aftercare into your after-sex routine!
Some people know what this word means and some don’t. Aftercare is common practice in the kink community, but it would have great benefits if used in all different kinds of sexual relationships. Aftercare is when partners give some attentive care to each other after the act of sex. This includes cuddling, snacks, pillow talk and maybe a bath. There are many ways to engage in aftercare with your partner.
Safe words for safe sex!
Safe words are used to communicate people’s limits during sex. The traffic light system is pretty common and effective when respected: green = go, yellow = yield/slow down, and red = no/stop. Being able to communicate boundaries during the act of sex is important to maintaining a healthy sexual relationship.
Restraints are fun but show some restraint!
Handcuffs, ties, rope play and other forms of restraint are fun things to introduce into your sex life. However, some research is necessary. A good rule of thumb for rope types of materials is that you should be able to comfortably fit two fingers between the restraints. You should also be careful when using handcuffs. When used improperly these restraints can cause nerve damage. Breath play, or choking, can be extremely dangerous. Watch your partner carefully, and stop if they show any signs of distress.
For yourself and for your partners’ safety, get tested regularly! There’s a huge stigma when it comes to getting tested, but regular testing is a sign of a healthy sex life. Everyone should get tested at least once a year. You should also get tested before you start engaging in sex with a new partner.
How are you storing your condoms?
Condoms should be stored in a cool dry place without any sunlight in order to keep them in their best conditions. They should be kept out of extreme weather conditions (so don’t store them in the glove compartment of your car). It’s common to keep condoms stored in your wallet, but this is a bad move long term. Condoms should be stored in a small container that allows them a bit of space. For example, a metal Altoids tin or a Game Boy cartridge case. Condoms also have expiration dates. When condoms start to expire, they break down and become less effective when protecting against pregnancy and STIs when used. Storing female condoms is much easier due to the material they’re made of, and they have no special storage instructions aside from not storing them near chemicals.
Tighter is NOT better!
There is this huge misunderstanding about the tightness and elasticity of a vagina. Firstly, the vagina is a muscle. When someone is comfortable, their muscles are relaxed. This applies to the vagina as well. The vagina is meant to relax and elongate in preparation for penetration. While everyone’s body is different, if the vagina feels tight, there’s a good chance that your partner is not completely warmed up. This is why foreplay is important! It gives your partner the “warm-up” time to get aroused and comfortable.
Permanent loss of elasticity in the vagina is a myth!
This myth is heavily based in misogyny and the “usefulness of women” being based on how youthful and unused one is. Again, the vagina is an elastic muscle that is made to endure stretching and returns to its natural state. Bodies do change over time due to many different circumstances but not to the extent that analogies similar to the sharpener and pencil analogy would have you believe.
What are spermicides?
Condoms are one of the best forms of contraception, always. However, there are other options for contraceptives that can be considered as well. Spermicides are a form of contraceptive that aren’t discussed often. Spermicides can come in gel, creams and other forms. The big downside is that spermicides do not protect against STIs. You can use it every time you have sex, however, using it several times a day can irritate the vagina and make one more susceptible to contracting STIs. A benefit of spermicide is that it is a non-hormonal form of birth control, which is helpful for those who cannot use hormonal contraceptives or those who prefer not to. Using spermicides in combination with condoms is a great form of protection.
It’s okay to not have sex!
It’s not a competition or a race. Move at your own pace when it comes to your sexual journey.
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