Choose the Right Lubricant for Your Midlife Needs

 I was contacted by a woman recently seeking my advice on lubes and vibrators. I’ll do a Q&A post later this week addressing her questions but I wanted to talk about buying lubricants separately. So, I decided to dive into my stash of lubes and the nice selection of samples Andy, at Good Vibrations sent me upon request. I chose Good Vibrations for my lube review because they have a nice variety of products (and I have an affiliate relationship with them…buy through one of my links and I will get a little money from the company) and a great article in their how-to section with everything you need to know on How to Choose a Lubricant.

Choosing a lubricant is more complicated than you might think, not just any lubricant will do—particularly if you plan to use it with sex toys. Sure you could go to the grocery store and just buy some K-Y Jelly, but here’s what you’ll get : “Water, Glycerin, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Chlorhexidine Gluconate, Gluconolactone, Methylparaben, Sodium Hydroxide”. Sodium Hydroxide is commonly known as Lye or Caustic Acid. Yikes! Use the product on your most sensitive skin and your body is absorbing all of those unpronounceable Chemicals. Chlorhexidine Gluconate is an antiseptic. Also not needed in your vagina or elsewhere. (Source)

Let’s back up and talk about why you might want to use a lubricant. Have you ever had a massage on dry skin? Know how uncomfortable it is to feel the tug of their hands on your bare skin? Massage oils allow the hands to glide over body parts. A good oil or lubricant eliminates the friction that can range from uncomfortable to painful. Lube also helps if your body’s natural lube isn’t as plentiful as in the past. The labia, clitoris and skin in the genital area are tender and deserve loving care. At any age, lube allows fingers, body parts and sex toys to glide across your skin. For older women who may have the thinning skin that comes after menopause with the depletion of hormones, the least bit of friction can cause discomfort. A lubricant will help eliminate or reduce that discomfort.

You can use the lube on your hands, sex toys and other body parts, but you need to be careful about which lubricant you pick. If your sex toy is made of silicone then a silicone based lubricant can damage the toy!  Oil-based lubes should not be used with latex condoms or products.

It’s worth the time and effort and expense to buy a quality lubricant that is safe for your body. Some women have sensitive skin or allergies and have a reaction to scented lubricants or other additives, so you might want to consider an organic product like Sliquid or GoodCleanLove.

Please, a line of lubricants developed by the people at Good Vibrations, comes in cream, silicone, liquid and water-based gel versions. I tried the water-based gel and the cream lubes to do a comparison. The cream version is very nice and seemed to last longer than the water-based gel. Neither had much of an odor or taste and would be fine for oral sex. The Please cream lube does contain some silicone but the description indicates that it is safe for use with silicone-based toys.

The Pink silicone lubricant was very nice, no taste at all! But as is common with all silicone products, it required a little more soap and water effort to clean up.

lubricants, silicone sex toysThey also sent me a small glass vial of uberlube, a silicone product that felt less sticky than some of the others. Gorgeous bottle and presentation!

If you buy a quality lubricant you really can’t go wrong. And if your main purpose will be for use during sex without condoms or sex toys then use anything you want. I love using organic coconut oil I buy at the grocery store. And, then as you branch out, buy a few different products and see which you like the most. But, I urge you to use a lube for self-pleasuring and couples sex–it will make so much difference.

Have a favorite you’d like to recommend?

 

Here are more articles on lubricants for your reading pleasure:

Sex Shaming Has No Age Limits

nudity, authenticity, aging, sexuality Why is it that some women feel compelled to shame other women? To label their activities as slutty and dismiss their stories? It has happened to me and other women writers I know; it seems to occur when we choose to be open about our sex lives.  There will always be some self-appointed know-it-all ready to shame, judge or blame and then tell women what they “should” do.  There are no shoulds when it comes to sex…unless we’re talking about protection from disease and safety. And, even then, who invested me or you with the power to force our opinions on someone else?

I’m fuming this morning over some of the conversations spurred on by an article Robin Korth wrote about a dating encounter. Things were going well until they got to the sex part and then 55 yr old Dave (she doesn’t share what he looks like) became completely turned off by the body of the similarly aged woman he was about to have sex with. Dave clearly has issues. He wanted her hair to be longer, he wanted her to wear the little black dress, he had to have sex with her in the dark so he could pretend she was young. A man with issues. She chose not to give into his demands and her story has provoked many people. Some people were irritated by her description of her size 6 body. One older woman said that mature women should never show their naked bodies to a man…we’ll never have sex again (what Kool Aid is she drinking?).  And of course there was male-bashing.

We live in an ageist culture, surrounded by myths, put-downs and advertising promises all designed to make us feel dissatisfied with ourselves at a given age.  This is really on my mind as I approach 60 in a matter of days–single and on a dating site. I’m not going to lie about my age and I’m not going to reach out for pills and injections or surgery to try to erase the years. Admittedly it’s hard to look in the mirror sometimes and see the changes in my body but I consider myself blessed to have made it this far in life, relatively unscathed.

I don’t intend to let anyone dictate how I show up for sex or work or walking down the street. And, I hope you won’t either.

We bring ourselves to every situation, every relationship just as we are. And, we’re accepted for that or we’re not. Those who can’t see our true beauty aren’t worthy of being in our lives. Isn’t it that simple? If any one person is judging us or telling us what we have to wear, or how to ‘show up’ they aren’t really seeing us. And clearly that person isn’t the least bit interested in true engagement. That’s where we get to exercise our choice–to pursue a fuller life, to find a more compatible partner, to let go of a ‘friend’ who no longer supports us. We can choose who comes into our life.  We can invite or deny access to our bed.

One of the conversations that got under my skin had to do with letting men see our naked bodies. It was suggested that mature women shouldn’t let a man see them naked. Why on earth would a woman want to have sex with a man who couldn’t bear to see her body? Should she hide in the dark, keeping her beautiful, aging body cloaked as if it were a thing of shame?

The best sex you’ll ever have is Naked Sex.

Naked Sex is sex where both parties are willing to drop their protective armor and allow themselves to become fully immersed in the experience. There is no subjugating our own desires to make sure he’s happy. No hiding because you fear he/she won’t like your body. No manipulation, no coercion.

Naked Sex is about showing the real you. You can be naked or sensuously draped in lingerie that excites your senses. Both of you take ownership of your own desires and needs. You are able to communicate with each other and willingly enter into a moment of sexual pleasure.  It’s when we find each other to be equally engaged and desirous that we have the most satisfying experiences.

Feel free to share your thoughts in a civil, sex-positive manner. No sex shaming here!

Image: Naked by George Grosz

Learn How to Step Into Your Desire

The Garden DCI’m going to be speaking in Washington, DC on July 23. I’d love for you to come join me if you live in the area. The presentation, sponsored by The Garden DC, is geared to the midlife woman, though the conversation about desire is ageless.  You can purchase a ticket for the event here
Step into Your Desire with Walker Thornton

When we own our desire and practice ‘being’ sexy it expands both our capacity and our interest in sex. Let’s talk about ways you can adopt a new attitude towards sex.

What does it mean to proclaim yourself as a sexual being? Are you ready to get more in touch with your body, your sexual needs and your ability to communicate with a partner? What changes when you step into your desire? How easy will it be to you find a partner or enhance your current relationship? Suppose you don’t have/want a partner/lover?

If you’ve experienced a loss of desire as you approach midlife and sex feel less ‘fun’ and sexy this is the right place for you. We’ll talk about ways to jumpstart your sex drive. How to feel more aroused, and specific ways to reconnect with your body.

Sexy Foods- Do Foods Really Have Aphrodisiacal Properties?

Do Foods Really Turn Us On? first appeared on Midlife Boulevard.

Afterthought: Eating a fresh fig this morning I realized that what we’ve done with food to give it sensual appeal is to be in the moment–to attend to its color, shape and scent.  By being conscious of what we’re eating, and the setting, food takes on meaning. Take a look at the fig and notice the rich color, its shape, imagine the delicate taste on your tongue. Pair the plate of raw oysters with a candlelight dinner and a person you care about. The strawberry delicately touched to the tongue, the seductive play between two people feeding each other…. How we approach food is what gives it that aphrodisiac label. 

On Mondays one of our local restaurants serves raw oysters for a dollar each. Last Monday the bar was packed with men who appeared to be in their 50s and older. I wondered if they were there for the camaraderie and world cup soccer or the rejuvenating power of oysters?

Several articles floated through my news stream this week on libido-enhancing foods. Of course oysters featured in several and to my surprise, so did watermelon. Apparently watermelon makes us feel sexy. It makes me feel messy and a little juvenile—the dripping juices and the child-like delight of spitting the seeds across the deck into the yard below.

Throughout history we have looked for the magic pill or exotic food to make us feel sexier—regardless of age. Today we’re bombarded with articles about foods that will supposedly rejuvenate us, make the years slip away.

foods-that-are-good-for-sexdrive

Dr. Bhimu Patil, the director of Texas A&M’s Fruit and Vegetable Improvement Center, studied the watermelon. His article “Watermelon may have Viagra-effect” was published in July 2008. He believes that watermelon consumption is beneficial to the body because of the phyto-nutrient citrulline, which is converted to arginine upon eating. Arginine is thought to promote heart heath, boost the immune system and “may prove to be very helpful for those who suffer from obesity and type 2 diabetes.” But the allure of watermelon is that citrulline-arginine has been shown to boost nitric oxide in the body. Nitric oxide helps to relax blood vessels, promoting the increased flow of blood, in the same way that Viagra works.

Dr. Patil cautions, “Watermelon may not be as organ specific as Viagra, but it’s a great way to relax blood vessels without any drug side-effects.”

Asparagus and strawberries are often called aphrodisiacal foods. But there’s no scientific proof to show they increase libido. There might be anecdotal evidence that slowly nibbling on a stalk of firm asparagus in front of your lover peaks his curiosity and excitement. Every Valentine’s Day, we are presented with yummy images of chocolate dipped strawberries, seductively placed between red, swollen lips.

The lure of seductive food is ancient history:

  • Ancient Greeks thought of the fig as a symbol of love; the arrival of a new fig crop elicited a copulatory ritual.
  • “When Montezuma shared avocados with Cortez and his fellow conquistadors, the Aztecs explained that their name, ahucatl (also meaning testicle), came not only from their physical appearance, but also from their ability to incite sexual passion. The Aztecs believed in the aphrodisiac power of the ahucatl so much that they would not allow virginal women to leave the house while they were being harvested.”  (PBS)
  • In Greek mythology Aphrodite ate beets to enhance her appeal.
  • According to rumor busting website, Snopes, when red M&Ms were temporarily taken off the market in 1976, after the FDA banned the use of red dye #2, a rumor spread that the red ones were such a powerful aphrodisiac M&M employees were pocketing them directly off the production line.
  • And chocolate, that most romantic of foods, is sure to make your beloved feel amorous. However, a 2006 study, published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, looked specifically at women, who are thought to be more sensitive to the effects of chocolate. The Italian researchers studied a random sample of 163 adult women with an average age of 35 and found no significant differences between reported rates of sexual arousal or distress among those who regularly consumed one serving of chocolate a day, those who consumed three or more servings or those who generally consumed none. (New York Times)

Most scientists and nutritionists will tell you that the scientific evidence on so-called aphrodisiacs is negligible. Figs, avocados, red wine, oysters, chocolate, spices like cinnamon and cayenne, all have nutritional value and therefore provide beneficial effects to the body. People who have poor diets, are obese and physically inactive are generally less likely to indulge in sex. A diet of coffee, cigarettes and fast food isn’t helping the heart, but rather clogs the arteries. Men who have clogged arteries are more likely to have difficulty with erections. Men and women who take care of their bodies and live healthy lifestyles tend to have a healthier sex life.

When we don’t feel good we don’t feel sexy. It’s really that simple. We search for the magic elixir but fail to consider the basics. A good diet, plenty of sleep and exercise, combined with a good relationship in which we communicate with our partners offer the best chance for a satisfying sex life.

By all means stock up on some fresh watermelon this summer. And make it a sensuous experience—feed each other partially clothed. Lick the juices on your partner’s chest. Luxuriate in the taste, the mix of cold and juicy, feel the stickiness on your bodies. Have a seed spitting contest and get playful. That will get your libido going.