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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sex Basics and Sexual Health » Completely clueless when it comes to lube

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Author Topic: Completely clueless when it comes to lube
Curly_Jai90
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Hi all!

I'm wanting to try lube, but I have no idea where to start. I've done a little looking around at the store and am overwhelmed by all of the options they carry!

I have very sensitive skin, and I've read that glycerin is bad for you. Are there certain brands/types of lube that you recommend?

Also, would I know if I was prone to yeast infections? To the best of my knowledge, I have never had one. I just worry about my sensitive skin and am not wanting to get a reaction from lube when I do try it.

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Onionpie
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Hi curly. If you're worried about yeast infections and want to avoid the possibility as best as you can, I'd recommend staying away from flavoured lubes. And if you have sensitive skin/don't want to risk it, you may want to avoid the fancy-pants lubes like the "warming", "tingling", or "numbing" lubes because people sometimes find that they don't do too well with those. But there are plenty of straight-ahead glycerin-free, flavour-free, no-frills-no-gimmicks lubes that will work! [Smile] All lubes should have their ingredients written on the back so you can check for glycerin.

In terms of brands, most big-name lubes will usually have a glycerin-free option. My personal favourite right now is Sliquid because it's vegan, free of glycerin and parabens, I personally like the consistency, and it doesn't smell bad like some other lubes I've tried do [Razz] Picking the lube that you like most is always going to take some experimenting, so if you can get your hands on some mini/sample packs of various kinds, that'd be a good place to start!

[ 02-22-2013, 09:10 AM: Message edited by: Onionpie ]

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Molias
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Onionpie's suggestion to pick up small/sample containers is great; I do know that some shops that stock a lot of lubes do sell little sample sizes. Also if you're in a shop with friendly workers they can probably point you to some gentle formulations.

I like the Sliquid brand too! One thing you may also want to look at when you're choosing one is a texture; I think thicker lubes can be helpful for use with insertable toys or for anal play and thinner/slipperier ones work well for manual use. Of course your experience may vary! But when you look at different formulas it may make a difference what you're looking to do with the lube.

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Patricia H
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Hi Curly_Jai90,

Considering how everyone has a different body chemistry/composition and reacts differently to different things, glycerin isn't necessarily "bad"; in fact, it is a ubiquitous component in many products we use everyday from food to soaps. I would not be surprised if glycerin is the main component of the lubricants used in medical offices when, for example, your gynecologist inserts a speculum into your vagina during an exam. If you have not had some sort of allergic reaction/breakout from that, I would think it would be safe to say that glycerin is not "bad" for you. Point being, don't knock glycerin until you've actually tried it.

Speaking from strictly personal experiences, I used to be prone to getting urinary tract infections (UTIs) after sex, as opposed to yeast infections; I, too, suspected that it might have something to do with the products I used, namely, condoms and lubricants. As such, Astroglide has always been a personal favorite of mine, but in light of the frequent UTIs I kept getting, I suspected glycerin to be a culprit and decided to look for a glycerin-free version. I currently use a generic form of Astroglide that is both glycerin and paraben free that I got at the CVS pharmacy, and I've noticed no notable differences between the two, except that I no longer get UTIs as frequently. (I say generic because although it doesn't have the Astroglide logo, the packaging still keeps Astroglide's familiar purple and green colors) So, if you're interested and would like another option besides Sliquid as suggested by Onionpie and Molias, try Astroglide, or the generic drugstore versions of such brands. Plus, generics usually cost less, so if you're on a budget, that's a great advantage.

Heather also mentions a few more brand names to look for the next time you go lube shopping in the first few paragraphs on her article here: Lubricant (not diamonds) is a girl's best friend.

Also, if you've never had a yeast infection, and want to know what to look for (hey, knowledge is power!) Heather's also got a couple of great resources/articles I'd be happy to leave you with. Lemme know how it all works out for you!

FBI Files: Candidiasis, AKA, Yeast Infections
Honorably Discharged: A Guide to Vaginal Secretions

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Nolite te bastardes carborundorum. - Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid's Tale

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Heather
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To second what Patricia said about glycerin, I think it's safe to say that most people do just fine with glycerin in their lubes, it's just that some people don't.

And if you have never had a yeast infection, then you can know that no, you're not prone to them. People prone to them are people who get them and tend to get them often.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Curly_Jai90
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Wow! Thank you all for the fast responses!

Molias and Onionpie - Would the sample sizes of lube be located where the regular sizes are, or would they be located in a different area of the store? I don't think I've ever noticed sample sizes before.

Patricia - That's interesting about glycerin being in the lube that the gynecologist would use. I hadn't thought of that before. I recently had a Pap Smear, and I'm assuming that the lube she used contained glycerin, and I didn't get any sort of reaction.

I just stopped at the store tonight, and picked up some of the Astroglide Natural. I'm excited to use it, albeit a little apprehensive. How much should I use? I'm not planning on using any toys, just manual use.

Those links you put up for the yeast infections and what to look for really helped, thank you!

Heather - thank you for your input, it was helpful as well. [Smile]

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Molias
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In terms of sample sizes (which I've seen in single-use 5ml packets and small ~20ml bottles), I think I have only come across those in dedicated sex toy stores, like Good Vibrations or Babeland. I've seen them either next to the other lube or in a display near condoms. A lot of places that sell lube and the like online (including those stores) will sell sample packs. I don't think I've seen those smaller sizes in drugstores though, although it's possible I've just missed them.

Just put some on your hand and see how it goes! There's no real rule for an appropriate amount, so I'd just experiment with it, maybe try out a small squeeze and then add more if you feel the need to.

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Curly_Jai90
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Great! Thanks so much Molias!

One more question - on the back of the lube, it says that it is extremely slippery (duh!) and to clean spills immediately. What exactly should I clean it with just in case I do happen to spill some?

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Molias
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Just a wet washcloth/paper towel should be fine, maybe put a little soap on there too if the water alone doesn't do it. A lube like Astroglide isn't going to be hard to wash up.
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Curly_Jai90
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Wonderful! Thank you! [Smile]
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