Bedroom Insider

A blog about relationships, intimacy and sex toys.

Friday, December 21, 2018

The Lowdown on Flavored Lube

Ice-cream, lips and tongue

Have you heard about all the different kinds of lube? There’s water-based and silicone-based and oil-based and hybrid and thick and thin and toy-compatible and condom-compatible and the list goes on and on. There’s a different lube suited for every purpose, and everyone has their preferences. When it comes to lube for oral sex however, flavored lube might be your best bet.

While all lubes are perfectly fine for oral consumption, they might not taste great. That’s where a good flavored lube comes in. Perusing the lube section of any sex toy store reveals heaps of flavored products like cotton candy hand job gel, oral sex “Tingle Drops”, and edible massage candles and oils. Lots of people use these products, too. Some folks find the taste of genitals unappealing and use something tastier to cover up that flavor. Some use it to aid their dry mouths and make oral sex more slippery and pleasurable. Others simply find candy-flavored bits to be a fun experience.

The problem with flavored lube is that it can upset the balance of yeast or bacteria in the vagina. Every vagina has it’s own little healthy world of perfectly balanced bacteria and yeast cells. If something were to upset that balance, such as introduction of a lubricant, semen, or douching, some of that bacteria or yeast may become overactive and cause an infection. Yeast infections (where the yeast cells overgrow), and Bacterial Vaginosis (BV for short, when bacteria become overactive), are incredibly common. In fact, most women will experience at least one of these in their lifetime.

BV is triggered by a change in the pH of the vagina, and yeast infections are often triggered by an increase in what those yeast cells eat, sugars. Anything you introduce to the vagina, such as the lubricant, semen, or douching, can cause either of these uncomfortable issues. However, flavored lube is especially risky because it contains more sweeteners than its flavorless counterpart. Glycerine, for example, is what makes many lubricants slippery. However, it’s actually a type of sugar and can therefore trigger yeast infections.

But fear not, this doesn’t mean you can never use a flavored lubricant. You may just need to pay close attention to what kind of lube you use and how your body reacts when you use it. When choosing a flavored lubricant, look for something with a short ingredients list, and avoid glycerine if you can. Usually, this will mean a more expensive purchase, but it’s still cheaper than a trip to the doctor to clear up an infection. Wicked, for example, has a short ingredients list (although it does contain glycerine) and has flavors like salted caramel and pink lemonade, while JO Naturalove is strawberry-flavored glycerine-free goodness (and it’s organic too!). Some brands even offer Sample packs, which allow you to try a couple flavors before buying a whole bottle.

When using a flavored lubricant, there are some things you can do to reduce your chances of an infection. First, using a flavored lubricant on a penis is usually fine. While penises can also get yeast infections, it’s far less common. If that penis is going into a vagina afterwards, however, you may want to use some precautions. For example, you could rinse off the lube before having intercourse, you could cover up with a condom (hooray for bonus STI protection!), or you could use a flavored condom for oral sex and switch condoms for vaginal sex. For oral sex on a vulva or anus (yes, yeast infections can develop there, too!), dental dams are a great tool to allow the giver to experience the flavor without the receiver coming in contact with the lube. Of course, as with any sex act, peeing after sex can help reduce chances of infections, especially those of the urinary tract.

After you play with a flavored lube, pay close attention to how your body reacts. If you experience any burning, redness, or swelling in your genitals, or pain or burning when you pee or during sex, it is most likely a sign your body didn’t react well to the lube. If you experience an unusual white discharge from your vagina, you may be experiencing a yeast infection. If that discharge smells “fishy”, it may be BV. Both of these infections are incredibly common and can be treated by a clinician, so refrain from sex and get yourself to a doctor.

If your body does respond with an infection, remember that there’s nothing shameful about it. Yes, it can be uncomfortable, but contrary to popular assumptions, it doesn’t mean that your vagina is “dirty”. Some sensitive bodies get them often, some get them once or twice, and some don’t get them at all. Some folks will be able to use a flavored lube with no problems, some will be able to use one but not another, and some won’t be able to use any at all. It’s up to you to be mindful of what lube you use and how you use it, so you can best take care of your body.

By: Sammi
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