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  • posted in Guides by Center for Sexual Pleasure & Health on February 18, 2019

    Warming & Cooling Lubes

    Some people seek out warming and cooling lubes since they can provide interesting sensations on the surface of the skin. Warming lubes often contain small amounts of capsaicin, the hot and spicy substance found in hot peppers. (For a lot of people, capsaicin is too much to handle, especially when used over time.) Some manufacturers will use vanillyl butyl ether to create a warming sensation instead of capsaicin since it is less likely to induce negative side effects. Cooling lubes usually contain some amount of either peppermint oil (AKA “mentha piperita extract”) or menthol, which is just synthetic peppermint oil.

    Overall, the key ingredients in warming and cooling lubes are body-safe. However, we don’t recommend warming and cooling lubes to be used consistently. Once in a while? Sure, yes. Every day? Maybe not. The ingredients necessary for warming or cooling lubes to work are too intense for most people to use comfortably all the time. And, if you have sensitive skin or mint allergies, we recommend you avoid them. If you’d like to use a warming or cooling lube, we recommend you look for one that does not contain parabens, glycerin, or propylene glycol. For example, you could try Sliquid Organics Warming Lubricant, Sliquid Naturals Sizzle Added Sensations Warming Lubricant, or Blossom Organics Warm Sensation Lubricant. Aloe Cadabra Peppermint Tingle and Sliquid Organics Sensation are both solid potential options for cooling lube, too.

    Lube for Sounding

    For urethral play, plugging, and sounding, it is imperative to use sterile, surgical lube, lest you risk contracting a UTI. “Sterile, surgical lube” might sound like an intimidating title, but it’s actually not; it can be purchased pretty inexpensively at most drugstores or on Amazon.

  • posted in Guides by Center for sexual pleasure and health on February 18, 2019

    Lube and Conception & Pregnancy

    If you’re trying to get pregnant, we recommend that you use a fertility-friendly lube, such as Pre-Seed or YES Baby. Most lubes, unless otherwise specified, have been shown in clinical studies to reduce sperm mobility. (Although, hey now -- don’t get carried away, all you folks who don’t want to get pregnant. You can absolutely still get pregnant if you’re using lube; make no mistake.) We’re simply saying that, if you’re actively trying to get pregnant, we recommend an expressly fertility-friendly lube. Many vulva-owners experience stress when attempting to conceive; 75% of vulva-owners trying to conceive experience stress-related vaginal dryness. A fertility-friendly lube like Pre-Seed or YES Baby, then, works by mimicking a vulva-owner’s fertile body fluids. Usually, fertility-friendly lubes come with disposable applicators so you can adequately lubricate inside and out before intercourse. The lube actually assists rather than hinders sperm mobility, and it feels great to boot.

    Some vulva-owners experience severe vaginal dryness during pregnancy, so lube could become even more crucial to happy, healthy sexy times. As far as the best types of lubes to use while pregnant, we recommend all-natural water-based formulas. See the water-based section above for our water-based recommendations.

    Desensitizing or Numbing Lubes

    Some lubricants contain lidocaine or benzocaine, which are supposed to numb or desensitize body parts, like the anus or vagina. Sometimes, they’re also used to dull sensation in the penis in order for a penis-owner to “last longer” during intercourse. Numbing lubes are most typically touted for use, however, during anal sex. At The CSPH, we don’t recommend these products; in fact, we recommend that you actively steer clear of them. Contrary what some folks have mistakenly come to believe, anal sex should not be painful. No type of sex should be. If any type of sex is painful or uncomfortable for you, that is your body attempting to send you an important signal. When your body signals that something is painful, it’s best to take heed rather than cover up the sensation. If you block or numb your pain receptors, you could end up getting hurt, and we never want that! For this reason, we recommend against desensitizing lubes as a general rule.

    The Center for Sexual Pleasure and Health is a sexuality education and advocacy non profit dedicated to reducing sexual shame, challenging misinformation, and elevating the field of sexuality. For more information on our services and resources, visit

    Part 5 Will cover Lube and Conception & Pregnancy

    Any questions about this or other topics be sure to send them to

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