Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Slip ‘n’ slide safely around the bedroom

Sex shouldn’t hurt, of course, unless you want it to.

There’s a notion that exists among the younger generation that sex should be perfect while we’re young. And that any sexual struggle that occurs before our 40s inherently means that our bodies are “abnormal” or something needs to be fixed. But we should know by now that nobody’s body is near perfect.

As a college student in my 20s, I have heard many of my young friends complain about how their vaginal dryness makes sex more painful and rough than what they’re comfortable with. This is no surprise; condoms break more often, vaginal or anal tears are likely to happen and dry sex is often uncomfortable.

Not only is this a turn off to sex for those who experience it, but tearing during sex can be dangerous. Tearing can lead to infection of the area and possibly increased the risk of STI and HIV contraction if protection is not used. This all might sound terrifying, but there are ways to both decrease those risks and make sex more enjoyable for all parties involved. The magic ingredient in all of this is, you probably guessed it, lubricant.

But should a young adult really need lube? Shouldn’t they be “wet” enough already?

Every human body is different. While some people might not benefit as much from lube, it is normal for a young person to experience dryness before or during sex without the possibility of suffering from a serious condition or early menopause. It can be as simple as not drinking enough water, stress levels, how much exercise one gets and what medications the person takes.

The type of lube you use is important for sexual health as well. Depending on what type of sex you and your partner will be having is vital to the type of lube you need to use. Also, your body type has a large impact on what lubes will feel better to use.

Water-based lubricants are perfect for those looking for an inexpensive lube that won’t deteriorate your condom or your sex toys. It’s easily washed off in the shower as well, so there won’t be too much of a mess afterward. This is the type that I personally prefer because of the cheap cost, although a downside is that it tends to dry up halfway through and need reapplication.

If water-based ends up as your go-to, I rarely buy my own as it is given away for free at the Student Health Center and Gender and Sexuality Equity Coalition (GSEC).

Silicone-based lubricants last for a long time because they aren’t absorbed into the body in the same way that water-based lubes are. It’s also waterproof, condom-safe and contains fewer chemicals than most water-based lubes. But, be careful not to use it with silicone-based toys because it will break down the material and permanently damage them.

Oil-based lubricants will last the longest out of any lube but are best used for partners who don’t use condoms. The oil in the lube will break down the latex and make it most likely to break or tear.

Flavored lubricants come in fun and usually fruity flavors which can be used for oral sex, but they also contain sugar which can lead to yeast infections after vaginal intercourse.

All-in-all, lube can make sex more pleasurable for both you and your partner, but it’s important to stay safe no matter how many or few partners you come across. Do your research before buying any lubricant that will enter a body and make sure it’s the right type that is suitable for both you and your partner.

Rayanne Painter can be reached at [email protected] or @rayphenomenon on Twitter.

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