Q&A: Why Do I Get So Wet When I’m Aroused? Can I Control This?

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QUESTION: I become very wet when I’m aroused. This is problematic when it becomes difficult for my partner to stay in me when we’re in certain positions. Is there anything I can do about my wetness? And what is it that causes me to become so lubricated anyway?

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Some women who lubricate quite a lot enjoy it or look to it as a sign of their sexual excitement.

Where It All Comes From

When a woman becomes sexually aroused or excited, her body goes through various changes to help her prepare for sex – even if she never goes on to have sex. As part of these changes, the vagina begins to lubricate, which some people describe as “becoming wet”.

Vaginal lubrication largely comes through the vaginal walls, with the fluids having originally been a part of the blood that flows to the genitals and pelvic area during a sexual arousal.

Estrogen is linked to the production of vaginal lubrication, too, so that women who have higher natural levels of estrogen, such as young women, tend to lubricate more easily and in greater amounts than women who have lower levels of estrogen. Women who are breastfeeding or who are taking low estrogen birth control pills may experience more difficulty with vaginal lubrication, as do many women who are in menopause.

Your Body, Yourself

Even among young, healthy women who have sufficient estrogen, the experience of vaginal lubrication is not the same for all women. Some women may lubricate more because they spend more time in sexual arousal.

Perhaps you are more easily excitable, find a wider range of things to be sexually arousing or get excited earlier in the process than some of your friends. Or you may have naturally higher levels of estrogen than some of your friends. Estrogen production can be influenced by genetics, by body fat and by normal variations in the menstrual cycle.

Some women who lubricate quite a lot enjoy it or look to it as a sign of their sexual excitement. Other women find that it may be enjoyable up to a point but that too much lubrication can interfere with vaginal sensation, their ability to “feel” their partner during intercourse or a male partner’s ease of staying inside their vagina during sex.

Some Things to Try

If this is the case for you, consider keeping a towel near the bed to slightly dry off your and his genitals during short breaks from sex. It may sound awkward but if you are comfortable with each other, it can be an easy fix to a common problem.

If you are using condoms, consider a non-lubricated condom as you may not need extra lubrication in your sex. And if your natural lubrication requires more than an occasional dab with a towel, you might find it helpful to insert a tampon briefly into your vagina to soak up the fluids and then throw it away.

You might also try sex positions, such as woman on top or those that involve slow grinding motions (such as coital alignment technique) that give you more control over him staying in.

More Information

You can learn more about vaginal lubrication, the “towel trick” and coital alignment technique in Because It Feels Good: A Woman’s Guide to Sexual Pleasure and Satisfaction. You can learn more about sexual excitement and vaginal response, including lubrication, in The V Book: A Doctor’s Guide to Complete Vulvovaginal Health.

Dr. Debby Herbenick (M.P.H., Ph.D.)

is a sexual health educator at The Kinsey Institute, Associate Director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University and author of several books including Sex Made Easy and Because It Feels Good: A Woman's Guide to Sexual Pleasure and Satisfaction.
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