Brace yourselves, because this one’s going to be a bit personal. Just as there are guys with ED (erectile dysfunction) who swear by Viagra, there are women with various issues who swear by lube. I’m one of them.
In my last lube-related blog, I explained why my first joyous lubed-up hand-job turned me onto the stuff. A slippery two-handed squeeze as part of foreplay works well for someone who is otherwise nervous about my ham-fisted technique. But for years lube was a kind of occasional extra in the bedroom: something to use for handjobs and anal sex and not much else. Now I use it far more frequently, and here’s just one of the reasons why.
If you’re a gentleman you may well be unaware that, while your younger self was trying to hide impromptu erections on the bus, and in other inappropriate situations, many of your female friends were having the same problem. It just wasn’t as obvious with us.
Up until about twenty eight I had no problem with the natural production of sex juices. A kiss, a hand down the jumper, even the right comment from a particularly filthy boy would get me flowing like Niagara. Other than special treats, the idea of using lube during the course of your average shag seemed a bit alien and unnecessary.
Then I got anxious. I had a bit of what I’ll euphemistically call a ‘wobble’ and which my doctor more practically called a ‘problem’, and had to take some time off work. I had some mental health issues that meant a lot of the things I’d previously enjoyed gave me waves of nauseous panic. Sex no longer got me going, despite the fact that I was still… well… me: a rampantly horny sex blogger who lives off wanking in the way most people live off fresh air. It was weird.
I’d still get in the mood occasionally, but even when we got down to it the panicked hammering of my heart and the weirdly shaky sensation that is the start of a low-level panic attack meant I’d have much rather had a cuddle. What had once been the Niagara falls was now the Sahara desert, and naturally that fact pissed me off, made me more stressed, and made it even less likely that I’d get the shag my brain was telling me I really needed.
It’s a weird one, and I’m still not sure I’ve explained that properly, so let’s switch from the personal into the general. Just as women experience inconvenient horniness while guys are hiding erections, so to do we experience struggles occasionally to get wet. Sexual anxiety if you can’t get aroused properly isn’t just confined to your post-pub struggles to get it up: women get similar problems too sometimes, whether it’s because of stress, drinking, illness, or a combination of lots of things.
It’s not always because we don’t want it: sometimes we’re gagging for it – delighted to be able to relax into a good shag at the end of a hard day, but we just need a little help to get there.
I don’t mean the help of you spitting on it, either. I find spit quite sexy, as it happens, but it doesn’t quite do the job when you’re looking for Niagara falls. Sometimes we just need lube.
When I was at my most anxious, the misery and rage that came when I realised that something wasn’t working, well, it added to the spiral of stress and made sex even less likely. The good news is that, now I’ve taken some time out, and am working through some of my mental health stuff, sex comes as naturally to me as it did a few years ago. It’s mostly because of a super-supportive partner and a doctor who gets that sometimes your brain gets just as sick as your body, but I do put a tiny bit of the success down to practical things.
After all, if I’m struggling to get there and ashamed that I can’t get worked up enough to shag, instead of spitting and trying and mumbling “why is your VAGINA BROKEN?”, my guy just stocked up on lube. Handy bottles next to the bed, and that was one more thing to tick off my ‘things to worry about’ list.