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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sex Basics and Sexual Health » Lube, dry condoms, swelling, etc.

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Author Topic: Lube, dry condoms, swelling, etc.
pixeldot
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So I'm in a completely monogamous relationship, and I've been on birth control for about 6 months now.

Since beginning sex, however, I've noticed that it is nearly impossible for me and my partner to have comfortable sex with a condom on. The condom dries out, creating friction, and even a little bit of friction will cause massive swelling (I mean, swelling to the point where sex is no longer possible to continue, and I'm in pain for days afterwards). We tried using lube, but that kind of stung me, and ended up giving me a UTI.

Point in place, we usually start out with condoms but then resort to relying on birth control alone, and the stress about worrying over pregnancy makes the act not worth it, and it's just a big spiral downward.

So I would like to find some kind of condom/lube that would work with my REALLY sensitive skin. Any suggestions?

(PS, it's not a latex allergy. We tried using a non-latex condom and had the same results)

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Heather
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Just passing through quickly right now, but have you only used the lube AFTER things felt dry? In other words, have you yet used it right from the start, BEFORE any genital activity at all?

If you haven't, the stinging you felt is likely due to putting it on once you already were a bit raw. Often enough, if we have skin that has been stressed out, any moisture will tend to sting at first. And lube won't result in a UTI -- but having genitals rubbed a bit raw and then having sex can (due to the bacteria we all have on our bodies getting ground into your urethra, basically).

As well, is this only happening with intercourse, and with the intercourse, are you having plenty of other non-penetrative sexual activity first? Have you also been sure to take a break from intercourse after one of these incidents for at least a few days or more to let your genitals heal up?

[ 11-22-2007, 01:01 AM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Leabug
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Well, lube itself would not likely be the cause of a UTI unless you're using a spermicidal one, or if you have an allergy to an ingredient in it that may have irritated things to the point of getting a UTI.

When you tried lube, were you already swollen up from a previous attempt? Did you use a plain water-based lube (none of those warming or tingling ones if you've got sensitive skin or are a bit roughed up from a previous attempt!) from the very start? Are you reapplying lube as needed (this is necessary if you're going at it for a little while- no lube is invincible)?

The reason why I'm fixating on the lube here is because it really often is the simplest solution, and therefore the first thing to try out and eliminate as a cause of your troubles.

Also, are you aware of any other allergies? Any sensitivity to glycerin or parabens (both common ingredients in lubes)?

And, last but certainly not least, have you and your partner both been tested for STIs?

[Edit: Whoops, Heather beat me to it!]

[ 11-22-2007, 01:07 AM: Message edited by: Leabug ]

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Lea

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pixeldot
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quote:
Originally posted by Heather:
Just passing through quickly right now, but have you only used the lube AFTER things felt dry? In other words, have you yet used it right from the start, BEFORE any genital activity at all?

If you haven't, the stinging you felt is likely due to putting it on once you already were a bit raw. Often enough, if we have skin that has been stressed out, any moisture will tend to sting at first. And lube won't result in a UTI -- but having genitals rubbed a bit raw and then having sex can (due to the bacteria we all have on our bodies getting ground into your urethra, basically).

As well, is this only happening with intercourse, and with the intercourse, are you having plenty of other non-penetrative sexual activity first? Have you also been sure to take a break from intercourse after one of these incidents for at least a few days or more to let your genitals heal up?

1. No, we typically don't use lube. We tried lube once (applied before anything), which was uncomfortable.

2. Yes, only happens with intercourse. Other sexual activities (manual, oral, whatever) are fine.

3. We do have alot of foreplay beforehand.

4. I'm actually away at college, while he is back home, so we typically have about a month between sexual activities. Definitely counts as a break, haha.

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pixeldot
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quote:
Originally posted by Leabug:
Well, lube itself would not likely be the cause of a UTI unless you're using a spermicidal one, or if you have an allergy to an ingredient in it that may have irritated things to the point of getting a UTI.

When you tried lube, were you already swollen up from a previous attempt? Did you use a plain water-based lube (none of those warming or tingling ones if you've got sensitive skin or are a bit roughed up from a previous attempt!) from the very start? Are you reapplying lube as needed (this is necessary if you're going at it for a little while- no lube is invincible)?

The reason why I'm fixating on the lube here is because it really often is the simplest solution, and therefore the first thing to try out and eliminate as a cause of your troubles.

Also, are you aware of any other allergies? Any sensitivity to glycerin or parabens (both common ingredients in lubes)?

And, last but certainly not least, have you and your partner both been tested for STIs?

[Edit: Whoops, Heather beat me to it!]

We're definitely both STI free. That's not an issue at all.

Hm, I've never even heard of glycerin or parabens, but I do know that I have very sensitive skin. Dyes and perfumes irritate my skin, I can't even wear normal deodorant.

And it wasn't warming or anything, just a normal lube... labeled "WET" but I don't remember the company name.

Oh, and the UTI incidence happened more than 2 months ago. I guess I just associate it with the lube, since it happened right after the one time we used lube. But I've almost been too scared to try it again, out of fear of another UTI (that was damn painful @.@)

[ 11-22-2007, 01:17 AM: Message edited by: pixeldot ]

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Heather
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Yeah, sounds like it's time to try always using the lube FIRST, before any intercourse at all. You have your partner put a drop or two inside the condom before he puts it on, then coat your vulva with a more generous dollop.

Then, you add as needed if you're not still feeling slippery throughout. And with the sex you have before intercourse, if there is any manual sex for you involved, be sure you're using lube with that, too.

Sounds, too, like it would be smart to try a lube that's best for sensitives: one of my new favorites is Pink lube, and Liquid Silk is also great here. Wet is actually not one of the better quality lubes.

But one try only with a lube really isn't enough to rule it out, especially since it was likely you were already raw and swollen before that based on what you seem to be saying here.

And again, lube isn't going to give you a UTI, since it isn't bacteria, and being more lubricated makes UTIs LESS likely, not more. As well, there's a reason UTIs are sometimes colloquially called "honeymoon cystitis." If you're having long breaks, then seeing each other and having a lot of sex in a short time period, UTIs are very common. That is most likely the common denominator here, more than anything else.

[ 11-22-2007, 01:24 AM: Message edited by: Heather ]

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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