So first up! What is a lubricant? A lubricant is a gel or liquid that helps reduce the dryness in the vagina during sex, thereby reducing the pain or irritation caused by friction that the movement of the penis into vagina might create. It can also be used to ease the friction during anal sex.
Lubricants are widely available in the market at pharmacies. But if you find them expensive or you are simply unsure if you would ever use them, why not use a homemade lubricant? Yes, that’s right, there are several regular household items that can double up as efficient and safe lubes. But at the same time not every greasy thing (for example vaseline) can be used as a lubricant. It is also important to note that some of the homemade lubes may interfere with the effectiveness of a condom. So what’s safe and what’s not? Read, right on.
7 natural lubes for sex
Another good reason to explore natural or homemade lubes for sex is the growing concern around the harmful effects of some of the chemicals parabens, glycerine, propylene glycol and artificial fragrances found in lubes available in market. These harmful chemicals pose a lot of hazards, ranging from irritation to rashes, increased risk of uterine cancer and hormonal imbalances.
Here are a few off-the-shelf options of natural lubes you can safely explore for enhanced sexual pleasure:
Coconut oil is a popular natural lubricant. It smells and tastes good and is gentle on the skin, which makes it a top choice as a lubricant for not just penetrative but also oral sex.
When using coconut oil as a lube, it’s important to use the virgin or unrefined variant, or organic one, which is free of any artificial additives. However, this may not make an effective choice if you’re using a latex-based condom for pregnancy or STI prevention. The oil can damage the latex of the condom and can result in breaking of the condom.
Olive oil is another kitchen item that serves as a popular alternative to the artificially manufactured lube. It not just helps reduce friction during penetrative sex but is also a great option for oral sex since it is safe for consumption.
Like coconut oil, it’s best to use the extra virgin variant of olive oil too and avoid it if you’re using latex-based barrier methods such as condoms and dental dams. Since olive oil isn’t absorbed by the skin, it must be washed off right after the act to avoid skin pores getting clogged.
The nourishing and soothing properties of almond oil make it a great choice as a natural lube for those with sensitive and rash-prone skin. Almond oil too is safe to consume and can be used for oral as well as penetrative sex.
It stays on the skin for a long time so you don’t have to worry about reapplication during the act. Like other oils, this too doesn’t go well with latex-based condoms and dental dams.
Aloe vera, a natural, plant-based gel that comes out of the aloe vera plant, has been quite a popular skin care product due to its soothing and hydrating properties. It’s good for skin, hair and many people even drink it for its medicinal properties!
When used as a lubricant, aloe vera works effectively in reducing not just friction but also skin irritation and also hydrates the sensitive genital skin.
Since it’s water-based, aloe vera is also safe to use with latex-based protection methods such as condoms. All in all, a win-win option and a clear frontrunner in your quest for natural lubricants.
Ghee, or clarified butter, has rightly earned the tag of liquid gold, thanks to its nutritional and healing properties. Being a rich source of healthy fatty acids and loaded with moisturising and soothing properties, ghee is a safe choice for topical application on sensitive areas such as the genitals. Its subtle fragrance and taste also make it ideal for use during oral sex.
Given its dense nature, it can cause a condom to break and is not the best choice of lube when using a condom. Even though it gets absorbed into the skin, some residue is likely to remain on the skin’s surface and can turn rancid if left on. So, it’s best to wash your skin with warm water post sex if using ghee as natural lube.
Simple home-made lube
If oil-based natural lubes aren’t a viable option for you because of their incompatibility with your preferred method of practicing safe sex, you can make your own lube from scratch with just two simple ingredients – water and corn starch (मक्की का स्टार्च). You can get corn starch at any grocery store.
Take one cup of water, add 4 teaspoons of cornstarch, boil on medium heat until it comes to a boil, then stir for about 30 seconds. Let it cool before use.
What not to use
While there are many variants available in your home that work effectively in making sex more pleasurable, not all greasy or oil-based substances in your kitchen and bathroom cabinet can be used as lubes. Here are a few that must be avoided at all costs:
- Petroleum jelly: Despite its moisturising properties, petroleum jelly doesn’t work well as a lube. For one, it is too slippery, which can interfere with smooth insertion. Besides, studies show that using petroleum jelly on genitals can increase bacterial infections.
- Refined oils: Hydrogenated, refined cooking such as canola oil and vegetable oil are unsuitable to be used as lubes because they’re heavily processed using preservatives and chemicals. Owing to the process of heating, bleaching and chemical treatments, they can hardly be considered natural. That’s why using them as lubes can put you at risk of vaginal infections.
- Baby oil: Baby oils are typically petroleum or mineral oil-based, which makes them excessively sticky and hard to get rid of. If the baby oil is left in the vagina or penis post sexual intercourse, it can turn the vagina into a breeding ground of bacteria, leading to infections. It’s best avoided.
When trying any of the natural or home made lubes for sex for the first time (or even every time), it’s advisable to test their compatibility with your skin and your partner’s by performing a patch test. Apply the chosen material on an area with sensitive skin, like the inside of the elbow, leave it for a few hours. If you don’t experience any irritation, it's likely safe to use it as a lube.
Lubricants are used during sex to help women and men enjoy sex smoothly, without experiencing any pain that might otherwise occur during penetrative sex of any kind owing to vaginal dryness or tightness in the anal area. The pleasure definitely enhances if both the partners involved enjoy the sex smoothly! So next time when in pain during sex, head to the kitchen for using some of our above mentioned lubes!