We all know the old adage, “a little bit of lube goes a long way.” Okay, so I made that up, but research on the use of lubricant during solo and partnered sexual activity demonstrates the benefits of lube. In a new study of women, there is a clear benefit for sexual pleasure and sexual satisfaction when using either water- or silicone-based lube.
In a study of 2,400 women, researchers at Indiana University‘s Center for Sexual Health Promotion investigated women’s reports of sexual satisfaction and sexual pleasure when using no lubricant, water-based lube, or silicone-based lubricant during solo and partnered sexual activity. Women were randomly assigned one type of lubricant and asked to assess their sexual experiences for two weeks. The participants reported greater sexual pleasure and satisfaction when using either silicone-based or water-based lubricant during sexual activity compared to activity without any lubricant. Indeed, this corresponds with the majority who report using lubricant during vaginal or anal intercourse (70 percent) and masturbation (60 percent) to make sexual activity more pleasurable.
Choosing And Using Lube
In our resources section, we include information about the various types of lubricant and tips for effectively using them. It is critical to know that some lubricants (like those that are oil-based) compromise the effectiveness of many kinds of condoms and may irritate one’s skin or genital tissues.
If you have questions about your personal health and which lubricants may be best for you, particularly in the context of any medical conditions you may be experiencing, check in with a healthcare provider.
Reviewed and updated July 2017.