While condoms are strictly known as contraceptive devices and protection against sexually transmitted diseases, lubricants are largely intended to give sexual pleasure, thereby making sexual intercourse more enjoyable. They can ably do this by providing the needed fluid to make the intimate area of the human body wet, and thereby slippery, making for a totally pleasurable sexual experience.
Of course, in the case of a woman, her physical composition has been specifically built to lubricate itself, so that in most cases, the need for a sex lubricant is done away with. Still, in several instances, lubricants become quite essential, if only to make sex even more enjoyable, and at the same time, to provide a sense of adventure to an otherwise normal act.
Additionally, lubricants are known to reduce friction during intercourse, enhancing the sexual pleasures that both partners feel. Aside from that, using lubricants eliminates the chances of damage taking place in the genital tissues which are obviously quite sensitive. This is especially true in cases when a woman experiences vaginal dryness, which is actually a normal occurrence. This is basically because estrogen production tends to fluctuate at times, resulting to vaginal dryness, and this usually happens during specific times, namely, during a woman's monthly period, during stressed-out moments, and during intercourse when a condom is used without a lubricant.
Some women, meanwhile, make use of lubricants in order to increase their cervical fluid count, and this is generally acceptable, although it must be pointed out that lubricants are not supposed to replace the natural fluid that a woman produces when sexually aroused. At most, they should merely be resorted to in order to stimulate the cervix to produce the said fluids in significantly larger amounts so that sex becomes truly enjoyable, especially for women.
Sexual lubricants come in a wide variety of forms, with variations often centered in the areas of texture, taste, smell, and flavor. Typically, however, lubricants are commonly available in three distinct kinds namely water-based, silicone-based, and oil-based.
If one is practicing safe sex, the general recommendation is to use either silicone-based or water-based sexual lubricants since these are both considered condom-friendly. Oil-based types are known to destroy latex, the main component of most modern-day condoms, and will not effectively work with them in preventing the further spread of sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV.
The choice of which lubricant type to use is really a question of preference because each one has its own share of advantages and disadvantages. For example, lubricants based on water are far more popular and comparatively cheaper. They can also be easily removed from the body aside from being available in various types such as warming and flavored.
Silicon-based sexual lubricants, meanwhile, are known to be more expensive and can only be removed from the skin by means of water and soap. However, they do have the advantage of not drying up or evaporating since they do not have water ingredients, aside from the fact that the skin will not get to absorb them.
For its part, oil-based sexual lubricants are often recommended for masturbation since they usually stay longer and are quite slick. The downside of it is that the main component, petroleum, is known to destroy a wide variety of sexual contraceptives like condoms, diaphragms, sponges, cervical caps, and other devices that are latex-based. Some oil-based products are also known for producing a thick coating around the vaginal walls. Over time, this becomes difficult to remove, paving the way for the formation of genital bacterias and infections.
Many sexual lubricants have been out in the market for years, with some of them ably creating a good and credible name among their patrons. Thus far, water-based types are still the most popular of lubricants, primarily because they offer no significant side effects to users, making them relatively safe to use. Recent studies, however, have centered around parabens, a known preservative utilized in a number of water-formed sexual lubricants, ostensibly to prevent the possible growth of microbes and bacterias.
Using preservatives in many lubricants is an accepted practice since the potential for bacterial growth is quite great given the kind of ingredients that most lubricants carry. However, studies show that several breast tumor cases contain the parabens element, giving rise to the possibility that parabens actually contributes to breast cancer.
Another study indicates the possible link of parabens to skin aging. The preservative is known to be capable of sensitizing the skin, making it vulnerable to allergies. Eventually, the process is said to adversely affect the skin, by inhibiting the creation of new cells and thereby accelerating the process of aging.