Though intimacy can be non-sexual, certain people prefer to find comfort by letting their bodies explore each other. There is no shame in being sex-positive and finding pleasure by experimenting with different things, solo or with someone else, as long as you are being safe.
You are free to try any kinks or positions, provided you take the necessary precautions, always wear protection, and try other products that make the process easier.
When sex is portrayed in media, it is often shown to be urgent and rough. There is seldom any proper attention paid to preparing your partner and easing them in.
This is why when having sex in real life, be it penetrative or non-penetrative, there is a lot of research that you must do. Actual sex involves a lot of pre-care and aftercare, to make sure that the pleasure does not compromise on comfort.
One such method to make sex more relaxing for the people involved is by using a lubricant, or lube. Lube makes sex more gentle and smoother by reducing the friction between bodies, erasing discomforts. However, because we are seldom educated about sex or reproductive health, we do not much about this. Not every lube is safe and suitable for your body. Certain lube ingredients are harmful and can do more damage than good.
Hence, it is essential to know about any harmful lube ingredients to avoid. Luckily, in this article, we will be talking about just that. Continue reading to find out about a few lube ingredients that you should steer clear of.
What is Lube?
Lube is a solution that is used to make sex smoother, by adding moisture, making the movement of bodies together easier. If you are having vaginal sex, you may experience natural lubrication, but that can still be insufficient.
Vaginal lubrication depends on hormone levels, which can change with menopause, pregnancy, stress levels, breastfeeding, certain medications, etc. Not only this but some people experience vaginal dryness when aroused. Hence, a lubricant can make the process much more pleasurable by adding glide.
Lube is not just used for vaginal sex. It is important to use lube during anal sex, or while using sex toys, if you’re using them with a partner(s), or alone. Not only this but putting lube on a condom reduces its chances of breaking.
Although condoms do come with lubrication when having sex for a prolonged period, they can become dry. Hence, use lubricant whether you’re using an external or internal condom, to make things safer and smoother.
But before you go on to browse through lube options, pause for a moment because there is more for you to learn. The kind of lube you pick up depends on what you are using it for.
For example, when using lube for condoms, it is best to use a water-based lube to avoid breakage. Other than that, always make sure to check the lube ingredients to ensure that you aren’t allergic to any. And even if those ingredients seem allergy-safe, still research about the dangerous ingredients to avoid in lubricants.
5 Harmful Lube Ingredients to Avoid
Not all lube ingredients will give you pleasure and safety. Some might end up causing harm, such as increasing the chances of infection. Here is a list of 5 harmful ingredients to avoid in lubricants:
Glycerin is a humectant, which means that it can retain moisture. It is usually used in warming or flavored lubes. But what a lot of people don’t know is that glycerin is a sugar alcohol. This means that while using glycerin might feel good, it can act as food for microbes, increasing their growth in the vagina.
Prolonged use of glycerin can lead to UTIs, bacterial growths, and even yeast infection. The latter can be the most uncomfortable of them all and so if you are prone to it, it is better to steer clear of glycerin as lube.
2. Propylene Glycol
Propylene glycol is a petrochemical that acts as a preservative and humectant, amongst other things. Though this is generally deemed safer when used within a limit, it can lead to vaginal irritation, especially if you are on the sensitive side.
There is a general misconception about petrochemicals in lube, especially warming lube. People think that sex feels better and hotter when there is a burning sensation, but the truth is that sex should not burn. Your body will naturally warm up when aroused, so an extra burning sensation is not a positive thing.
Other than that, petrochemicals as also used in products like antifreeze, so it can scary to imagine putting the same lube ingredients in your body. So, even if you find that your body has no negative reaction to petrochemicals like propylene glucose, use them at a limit because overuse can only lead to harm.
Parabens are chemical preservatives that are used in a variety of products, including lube. Though the FDA has not deemed them hazardous as of now, artificial preservatives like parabens can lead to side effects such as itching, burning, and over-stickiness.
Parabens have also been linked to possible hormonal imbalance, because they may act like estrogen and cause disruption. Hence, it may be better to go for more natural alternatives, to reduce any kind of risk.
Benzocaine in lube is used to give a numbing sensation, which can make rough sex or anal play seem less intimidating as you would not feel any pain.
However, though pain may make us feel uncomfortable, it is an important indicator. Your body uses pain to tell you that something is not right. Hence, if you use a numbing lube, it may stop the pain for you, but it will not reduce the chances of injury.
It may just make things worse because if any injuries or microtears are happening, you would not know when to stop. After all, there will be no painful sensation to inform you of the same.
So, if certain types of sex seem scary to you, take your time in trying them and go slow, making things as comfortable for yourself as possible without having to turn to such means.
5. Petroleum-Based Ingredients
Though petroleum or petroleum-based products such as Vaseline are often used by many, they might just be one of the harmful lube ingredients to avoid.
This is because these are very oily and can stay in your vagina for longer than required. In some cases, this can lead to a change in the pH of the vagina, increasing chances of infection such as bacterial vaginosis.
Also, keep in mind that although products like Vaseline can function as lube, they are not marketed as the same. It is always safer to stick to proper lube, instead of risking the use of possibly harmful alternatives.
Making your Sex Life Safer and More Comfortable
Remember that sex is always the most pleasurable when it is safe and comfortable for you and your partner(s). Taking precautions and making preparations might not fit your sexy fantasies, but it will lead to the best possible outcome in the long run.
Even though it is easy to get swept up in emotions and urgency, always remember to take a pause and gather all the safety measures you need. Do not use homemade alternatives to proper products if you are not sure of their effects. What seems harmless to you could cost you a lot in the process.
In the end, always remember that sex is something which you should do at your own pace, in the way that you find most comfortable. Vanilla or kinky, indoors or outdoors, however you choose to do it, make sure that you and your partner(s) are on the same page.
After all, this is something personal and intimate that you are sharing. What better way to make it sexier than to do the things which best suit you?
Also read- Vaginal Lubricants