Which Lubes Are Safe to Use With Condoms?

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Which Lubes Are Safe to Use With Condoms?

Lubrication isn’t something everyone considers carefully when it comes to safer sex. However, being prepared and having a favorite lube on hand can greatly increase pleasure.  After this video, you should be assured you’re using the correct lube for your safety and play.

In this video, Oh Megan discusses her favorite subject of lubes and tells us that:

  • Water based or silicon based lubes (and hybrids of each) are safe to use with latex and non-latex condoms.
  • Water based lubricants can easily be found at the supermarket. However, you may have to step outside of the supermarket to find premium lubes (here are some high quality lube samplers).
  • Megan recommends silicon-based Gun Oil and Pink for safer sex (not to be used with silicon-based toys!).
  • Oil-based lubricants are fantastic for non-condom use such as hand jobs or anal stimulation but that they can’t be used for vagina stimulation.
  • A great oil-based recommendations is Stroke 29 that changes consistency around the 29th stroke and makes the hand feel like the real deal.
  • You shouldn’t use any oils you find around the home like massage oil or cooking oil with latex because it increases the chance of breakage.
  • Don’t just go with the cheapest lube, look for positive consumer reviews.

This video was originally posted here

BY MEGAN ANDELLOUX | ohMegan.com

condom ad condoms too loose

megan_andellouxMEGAN ANDELLOUX  is a Clinical Sexologist and certified Sexuality Educator, listed on Wikipedia as one of the top sexuality educators in America, her innovative education programs, writing, social media presence, and ambitious speaking schedule has made her one of America’s most recognized and sought-after experts in the growing field of sexual pleasure, health, and politics.
Follow Megan on twitter @HiOhMegan

Breastfeed? How to Make the Switch from Birth Control to Condoms

Photo by Chris Alban Hansen

Photo credit: Chris Alban Hansen

This August is National Breastfeeding Awareness Month- a time to empower and support women who have committed to breastfeed. The practice provides many health benefits to a mom and her baby, which is all the more reason mothers should take special care of themselves during this time. Choosing an appropriate birth control is often an important part of this process.

Doctors recommend an IUD or the “mini-pill” (a progestin-only birth control) starting right after birth.  For many reasons, another popular option during breastfeeding is condoms because 1) it’s non-hormonal; 2) in your new, sleep deprived schedule you don’t have to keep track and adhere to taking a pill everyday at a specific time; and 3) it’s inexpensive and, with no prescription required, it’s hassle free!

Considering the vast market, switching to condoms may seem like a daunting task. How do you choose a proper condom? How do you know which will fit right?

Melissa White, CEO of Lucky Bloke and a SheKnows expert, explains three basic steps to condom shopping. She also recommends condoms that will dramatically improve your new-found intimacy.

There are key steps to becoming a condom guru:

  • Know how to find your condom size. All you need is an erect penis and a toilet paper roll!
  • Experimenting is the best way to find the right condom that you and your partner enjoy. Sampler packs are the best, most cost effective way to explore the condom world.
  • Don’t underestimate the power of lube! Especially when your body is going through hormonal changes you may experience dryness more frequently. Lube is fundamental for increased sensitivity and pleasure. Use lube samplers to experiment.

Read Melissa White’s full article here at SheKnows.com

Some Lubes are Safer for Anal Sex

Image credit: Id-iom

Image credit: Id-iom

Educators have long recommended silicone lube for anal play. However, many also insist on using more low-cost, drug store-available water-based lubricants because water-based is compatible with all types of condoms. The Center for Sexual Pleasure and Health (The CSPH) reports on a pair of studies that found that silicone lubricant may actually be an all-around safer choice when it comes to anal sex.

This article is intended to illustrate the findings of these studies. Here are the main points:

  • Silicone lubricants appear to be safer for anal play than many drug-store lubricants.
  • Most of the popular water-based lubricants have low PH and high salt and/or additives in them that they can be toxic to rectal and cervical cells.
  • Lubricants that cause irritation can triple the risk of contracting STIs.
  • Silicone lubricants are less likely to carry these risks.

The following article was originally published on The CSPH website.

BY The CSPH | theCSPH.org

Finally some basic safety testing of lubricants. The International Rectal Microbicide Advocates released new study findings yesterday at the 2010 International Microbicides Conference and gave some preliminary data to prove what sex educators have been saying for a long time:

Silicone lubricants appear to be safer for anal play than most of the high profile, corner pharmacy, water based lubricants.

Here’s the basic information: Researchers identified the most commonly used sexual lubricants in a survey, then went and tested their effects on tissue and cells “in vitro”, i.e. in the lab. They found that most of the popular water based lubricants have so low of a PH and so much salt and/or additives in them that they’re actually toxic to rectal and cervical cells as well as to the healthy bacteria that keep a vagina clean and happy. On the other hand, silicone lubricants were found to be much safer and non-toxic in these same tests.

In a separate but linked study, researchers found that individuals who used lubrication for receptive anal intercourse (though they didn’t specify which types) were at greater risk of contracting an STI than those who did not. And yes people, the analysis took into consideration variables such as HIV status, gender, sexual orientation, and condom use. Individuals who used lubricants likely to irritate rectum saw their chances of contracting an STI triple.

Combined, these studies indicate that while using some lubricants can increase ones chances of contracting an STI, Silicone based lubes most likely do not.

More silicone anyone?

condom ad condoms too tight

 

csphThe CENTER for SEXUAL PLEASURE and HEALTH (The CSPH) is designed to provide adults with a safe, physical space to learn about sexual pleasure, health, and advocacy issues. Led by highly respected founder and director, Megan Andelloux, The CSPH is a sexuality training and education organization that works to reduce sexual shame, fight misinformation, & advance the sexuality field.

Wetter Is Better: How to Choose the Right Lube

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Natural lubrication is commonly believed to happen biologically for all women, all the time. In actuality, many women (and men) find that a little extra lube is worth the investment. In short, it heightens sensitivity and increases safety!

Melissa White, CEO of Lucky Bloke, explains the “what” and “why” of the various lubricants available. Don’t miss her helpful video!

This article is meant to help you to navigate the world of personal lubricants: understanding not just what choices exist but why you should use lube.

Here are some main points to take away:

  • Lack of lubrication can lead to uncomfortable, even painful sex.
  • Lubricated condoms are often lubricated unevenly resulting in an unsatisfying experience.
  • Use water-based or silicone lube with latex condoms. Oil-based is not latex condom compatible.
  • The proper lube can make sex safer by lessening the risk of condom breakage.
  • “Pillow packs” are a great option for when you don’t want to carry a whole bottle.
  • Lucky Bloke’s “How to Choose Lube” video is a must-see!

See the original article on the Huffington Post

BY MELISSA WHITE | LuckyBloke.com

Many people believe that a woman is always wet when she’s sexually aroused. While this certainly can be true, there are many reasons (stress, lack of sleep and hormones, to name a few) that may result in an aroused woman experiencing vaginal dryness.

Additional lube can definitely make condoms feel more comfortable, pleasurable and natural. Often, using “lubricated” condoms can be ineffective against vaginal dryness. You see, lubrication is applied to condoms once they are rolled up and just before the condom foil is sealed. This results in condoms that are typically inconsistently lubricated: Wet at the tip, while quite dry along the shaft and base.Thankfully, there is a way to ensure smooth operating: By applying condom-compatible lubricant generously to the outside of the condom, sex with condoms becomes much better (and much safer).

Condom Pro-Tip: A few drops of lube inside the condom will greatly improve his experience as well.

Regardless of the reason (and whether or not you use condoms), lacking personal lubrication during sex can be uncomfortable, distracting and painful. Most women experience times when additional lubrication would greatly improve both comfort and sexual pleasure for her as well as her partner.

This is likely the reason that many couples who use a great, high-quality lube wouldn’t have sex without it. Not all lubes are created equal, of course. So let’s start with the basics:

Water-based lubes are slippery and may need to be reapplied. They are easy to clean up with water. Look for high-quality (body safe) choices that state they are petrochemical-free, glycerin-free and paraben-free.

Silicone-based lubes are slick and can be used in water (hot tubs, showers, lakes, swimming pools). They are less likely to need multiple applications (in comparison to water-based lubes). They generally require soap and water for clean-up. Use them sparingly and avoid getting them on surfaces you don’t want to slip on later.

  • Always use water-based or silicone-based lube with latex condoms.
  • To put it another way, never use an oil-based lube with latex condoms (this includes, baby oil, coconut oil, etc.) or you run the risk of condom breakage!
  • Not only will the slickness of lube enhance your enjoyment, lube can make sex with condoms much safer. (Reducing friction helps to keep the condom intact!)
  • Always add additional lube when using thin condoms.
  • Arousal lubes (generally water-based) can enhance the experience by warming, tingling and adding a little zing.
  • Flavored lubes (also water-based) can add a certain tastiness to the experience. They come in many, many flavors. There are now even organic lubes.
  • Desensitizing lubes (Pjur offers a great desensitizing spray) can support men to last longer. If you (or your partner) are struggling with premature ejaculation and want endurance, they are the way to go.

Did you know that you do not have to buy an entire bottle of lube?

Pillow packs (think travel size or sachet) are perfect for trying a new lube (or two) — convenient and compact for life on the go! Typically, they are about the same size as a condom package, and good for a single use.

condom ad condoms too tight

6 Ways To Make Safer Sex Sexy

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BY JOELLEN NOTTE | theRedheadBedhead.com

Sometimes, in the heat of the moment it can feel like safer sex is a huge, unsexy wet blanket, taking sex from something steamy and fun to something clinical and full of fumbling. It doesn’t have to be that way though! You can engage in safer sex practices and keep it fun and sexy. All it takes is a little preparation and a little know-how. Here are 6 things you can do to have the sexiest safer sex ever!

Learn your options

When it comes to safer sex, there are so many options available to you. Condoms come in various sizes, thicknesses and materials. Check out the variety of condom samplers available online. (Note: Many men who face erection issues with condoms are trying to wear ones that are too small!). Don’t know your size? Check out this handy condom size chart.

Dental dams and condoms come in a variety of flavors. There are tons of lubricants to choose from and you can mix and match to find your ideal pairing! Get educated as to what your options are. Here are lube samplers worth exploring. That’s what’ll help you determine what makes sex both sexy and safe for you.

Learn what your like

Now that you know so many options exist it’s time to find the ones that will make up your sexual toolbox. Whether it’s condoms that feel fantastic, lubes that make things glide more smoothly, or the dam that comes in a flavor you actually enjoy, get out there and find favorites. Enlist a partner to help you hunt. Best. Testing. Process. Ever.

Keep a stockpile handy

One of the biggest spoils to good intentions is lack of preparation. Suddenly folks find themselves about to get down without a condom in sight. Cue frantic late-night runs to the pharmacy or (perhaps more likely) someone just saying “What the hell?!” and forgoing the safety measures altogether. So always be prepared.

Once you have found something you like, make sure you have a ton on hand or nearby at all times. Build a safer sex toolkit. Find a fun, convenient way to store it. I use a cool, glam, 1950s make-up case and it is STOCKED: Regular condoms, female condoms, flavored condoms, dental dams, nitrile gloves and two kinds of lube – all at the ready. This kind of set-up saves you from the frustrations of being unprepared.

Learn about your partner

I’m constantly saying that I think we need to talk more about our sex. Thankfully, I’m not the only one. Check out beforeplay.org, a website devoted entirely to the concept of talking openly before sex. LOVE this!

Something I recommend all the time is Safer Sex Elevator Speech. It’s an amazing tool for initiating the safer sex conversation. it comes from sex educator Reid Mihalko of ReidAboutSex.com. I love the Elevator Speech because it is quick and easy, allowing both partners to get on the same page and quickly get on their way to getting it on.

Find out what everyone is comfortable with, what everyone’s safety needs are and how you will meet them. Most importantly, do not argue about safety. That’s not sexy! If your partner wants more safety measures in place than you do go with that. Why? Because if you are right and the safety measures were unnecessary, well then, nothing happens. But if you are wrong, don’t use them and it turns out that you should have, well, you will have a problem on your hands. If you really don’t feel comfortable with the precautions a partner wants to take, you may want to consider alternate activities or exploring whether you and that partner should be playing together at all.

Make it sexy

It’s important to treat safer sex measures as a part of your sexual play rather than a speed bump along the way to real fun. Don’t let your sexual energy drop just because you need to put on a condom. Keep kissing, keep touching, keep talking. Use it as a means of building sexy anticipation.

Enjoy yourself

Sex is play time for adults, so make sure you have all the fun! Try ALL the condoms! Play with how you use that dental dam. Giggle with your partner when you snap on nitrile gloves (silliness can be hot). Experiment. Try things. Enjoy both, yourselves and each other.

JoEllen-NotteJOELLEN NOTTE is helping to share the gospel of better living through better sex ed (amen!) – serving as both the Education Coordinator & Lead Sex Educator for the Portland Academy of Sex Education and a co-Emissary of Sex Geekdom Portland. Working as an adult retail consultant, she is working to help promote better sex through better adult retail. JoEllen first began fighting sexual mediocrity on her site theRedheadBedhead.com. Follow JoEllen on twitter: @bedheadtweeting

5 Things I’ve Learned from Teaching People about Sex

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BY KATE MCCOMBS | KateMcCombs.com

Even before I got my first formal sex ed job, I was teaching friends about how to use safer sex methods.

Like most Americans, I didn’t get much in the way of sex ed in school, so it was up to my budding sex geeky research skills to get information I needed on my own. With this knowledge, I became an unofficial peer educator, sharing what I knew with friends (and even their friends) at after-school hangouts and parties.

In college, I became an official peer educator and continued teaching about safer sex and birth control, this time in one-on-one counseling sessions and workshops. It was a great training ground for the sex ed career I have now where I specialize in educating adults about the intersections of health and pleasure.

Through the research I did during my masters of public health, workshops and lectures I’ve taught on two continents, and through years of causal conversations with folks about their sex lives, I’ve learned five key things from teaching people about safer sex

1. Health and pleasure are not mutually exclusive.

The single most common reason people give for not using condoms is that it “doesn’t feel as good.” There is some reality to barriers diminishing sensation for some people, but the research doesn’t back up the claim that it ruins sex. In a study carried out by Indiana University, they found that on the whole, people’s sexual pleasure and satisfaction were not diminished by condom use.

There are many things people can do to increase their pleasure and satisfaction during sex, regardless of whether barriers are used. For some people, using barriers allows them to relax more fully, which increases their enjoyment of the overall experience.

2. Finding the right lube is paramount.

I am a lube evangelist and I still marvel at how many people aren’t aware of the benefits of using lube with condoms. Lube helps transmit more sensation, reduce uncomfortable friction, and keep condoms form drying out. It’s also handy to have around for other types of pleasure, like mutual and solo masturbation.

Not all lubes are created equal. Finding a formulation that feels best to you and your partner’s body is essential and experimenting with lubes can be a fun thing to sex lab too.

3. One size does not fit all.

I remember one of the first times I saw someone teach how to put on a condom. The educator stretched a condom over his whole arm and said, “No one is this big!” and that men who complained that condoms were too tight are just making it up. This is neither helpful nor true.

Condom fit is hugely important in pleasure and safety. A condom that’s too tight can break more easily and a condom that’s too loose can slip off. A bad fit can make using barriers less pleasurable too. Get a sampler pack from Lucky Bloke and find one that fits you like a glove.

4. Communication is key.

For many people, talking about sex at all can be really challenging – especially with the people they’re having it with. Learning to talk, listen, and learn about sexuality is a key adult skill, but there are few opportunities for people to learn the things about sex that help build an amazing, healthy sex life.

Having meaningful conversations about sex with our peers can be great practice for having challenging conversations within our romantic relationships. By fostering curiosity, learning compassion, and creating safe spaces within our relationships, we can more easily negotiate the kind of pleasure and health we desire.

5. It’s important to meet people where they’re at.

Early in my sex ed career, I was very absolutist in my opinions about condoms. People should just wear them! As I’ve listened, learned, and taught more, it’s become clear to me that this message doesn’t land with some people. It’s not empathetic and it doesn’t reflect understanding of the complexity of people’s feelings and desires.

All humans make calculated risks and meeting people where they’re at to help them reduce their risk is a more fruitful strategy then telling them what they “should” do. What I can do is give people information and support them in making choices that align with their health goals.

 

kate_mccombs

KATE MCCOMBS is a NYC-based sex educator, writer, and maker of puns.
Ultimately, all of Kate’s work is about helping people feel more comfortable talking about sex. She believes that meaningful conversations + accurate information can help us create a healthier and more pleasure-filled world. Kate writes articles and teaches workshops about sexual health, pleasure, and communication.  Follow Kate on Twitter @katecom

How to Choose & Use Condoms: A Better Guide

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BY JOELLEN NOTTE | theRedheadBedhead.com

Condoms may not be anyone’s favorite but they are far preferable to unplanned pregnancies and STIs, right? Right. So, if we’re going to use condoms, we should definitely make sure we’re using them right, right? Right.

The problem is, a lot of folks are still kind of fumbling the condom thing and so much of the information out there is, well, not great. With “helpful” tips like, “if it’s not rolling the right way, it’s on the wrong way”(what?), intense mis-leading warnings such as “you should ONLY USE WATER-BASED LUBRICANTS!!!!” (not actually true) and condescending instructions like “remove the condom carefully, not spilling the contents. Wrap it up and dispose of it” (this just seems obvious), folks aren’t really getting a ton of help with the whole thing.

So I’m going to give you some quick and fun pointers to help you rock rubbers right.

Choosing your condom- As with anything you wear, you want your condom to fit right and be comfortable. Unlike anything else you wear your condom also needs to protect you from diseases and feel good to the inside (whether it be vagina, mouth or anus) of another person. There’s a lot to think about.

Luckily the folks at Lucky Bloke put together this great guide to determining your condom size. You may have to try a couple different condoms to find what works for you, but seriously? Best. Research process. Ever.

The most important thing is that, in the end, you buy condoms that fit!

Fitting your condom- If a condom is too tight to comfortably roll it down it can cause problems ranging from discomfort and loss of erection to broken condoms. Don’t assume larger condoms are just there for men of crazy porn-style proportions. If regular condoms bind or are particularly difficult to get on look into a bigger fit. Also, when wondering if you need bigger, length isn’t everything. Even if your penis is of an average length, it may require more room in terms of girth.

Sometimes standard condoms maybe a bit big. In this case these are slimmer fitting condoms out there. Check out your options.

Rolling it on- The “is it facing the right way?” thing has long been perhaps the most troublesome part of condom application.

The best tip I ever got on the topic came from Megan Andelloux: Take your condom out and put it on the tip of your finger- What kind of hat does it look like? If the answer is “The kind of beanie you’d wear because it’s cold out” (the roll is pointing down) then it’s facing the wrong way. If the answer is “A sombrero” (the roll is pointing up) then it’s time to party! “Olé!” indeed!

Leave yourself some space- Ejaculate moves quickly, like really quickly. It leaves the penis at about 35 mph (that’s faster than a moped can go, just fyi). This little fact makes it very important that you make room in your condom for that high-speed sperm to go without bursting your bubble, so to speak.

Okay, here’s the deal: you need space in the tip of your condom and you need that space to not have air in it. It can be helpful to unroll the condom a little before you go to put it on so you have some slack. Once you have it on, grip the penis and condom firmly at the base, give a gentle tug to that tip and squeeze out any air and voila! All dressed up and ready to go.

Keep it slick– I love lube. Lubricant is great for increasing pleasure with condoms especially as latex can stick to skin. Further, a few drops of lube inside a condom can do wonders for the wearer’s pleasure.

I find the lube instructions that come with condoms a little discouraging though- there’s a lot of talking about only using water-based products. This is not strictly necessary. What you don’t want to do is use oil-based products (lotions, vaseline, even mineral oil) as they will break down latex or polyisoprene condoms. Generally, silicone based lubricants are okay for condoms.

Take it all off- After ejaculation you do want to be sure to withdraw the penis from your partner before it goes limp and hold onto the condom at the base of the penis so as to not spill ejaculate on/in your partn​er, rendering the use of the condom futile.

After that, it’s pretty much basic campsite rules – leave no trace. Carry out your mess and dispose of it properly. If you can master the use of a condom you can also master the use of a trash can – I believe in you!

Bonus tips!

Foreskin – If you are in possession of a foreskin and it is mobile (this is not always a given) pull the foreskin back first, then put the condom on. Once it is in place and you have pinched the tip to get any trapped air out, push the foreskin back toward the tip of the penis, while holding onto the base of the condom to keep it in place. This allows for free movement of the foreskin during sex. Add a drop or two of lube inside the condom and away you go.

Colored condoms – This is another tip from the fabulous Megan Andelloux: Colored condoms are safer than plain ones. Why? It’s easier to see if they have broken. So get colorful! Megan suggests coordinating with upcoming holidays.

 

JoEllen-NotteJOELLEN NOTTE is helping to share the gospel of better living through better sex ed (amen!) – serving as both the Education Coordinator & Lead Sex Educator for the Portland Academy of Sex Education and a co-Emissary of Sex Geekdom Portland. Working as an adult retail consultant, she is working to help promote better sex through better adult retail. JoEllen first began fighting sexual mediocrity on her site theRedheadBedhead.com. Follow JoEllen on twitter: @bedheadtweeting