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I recommend this lube guide to friends all the time, and it finally occurred to me to mention it on here. Lube impacts both pleasure & public health.

Recall that due to nonconcordant arousal, bodies don’t always respond in conjunction with how we subjectively experience desire and arousal. Hence, one of my core beliefs about sex is that we need to use our words to not only discuss boundaries, but also support our bodies throughout sexual encounters. And sometimes that involves lube.

This Berkeley Wellness article covers some of the intersections between lube and health, such as how certain lube ingredients can lead to irritation. But on the flip side, using lube tends to correspond with more consistent condom use, which can help prevent STIs and unplanned pregnancies.

But are all lubes created equal? NO. This lube guide by sex toy critic Dangerous Lily provides a comprehensive look at what lubes are and what they do. She goes into great detail about science-y stuff like osmolality and pH, as well as ingredients to avoid or look out for.

There’s no sense in me recapping it here, so just go read it. And then join me in being well-informed (and hence somewhat snobby) about lubes.

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Jeana Jorgensen

FOXY FOLKORIST Studied folklore under Alan Dundes at the University of California, Berkeley, and went on to earn her PhD in folklore from Indiana University. She researches gender and sexuality in fairy...