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Medicine & Healthcare, Wiley-Blackwell

Bloomington, IN

Lubricant Use Increases Women’s Sexual Satisfaction

In spite of the increasingly large number of lubricants available for sale in the U.S., there is little information about lubricant use among women. A new study in The Journal of Sexual Medicine reveals that women’s use of lubricants is associated with more pleasurable and satisfying sex.

Researchers led by Debby Herbenick, PhD, MPH, Associate Director of The Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University assessed around 2,500 women over a five week period who were assigned to use one of six water-based or silicone-based lubricants.

Results found that the use of lubricant was linked to more pleasurable and more satisfying sex than sex without a lubricant. For vaginal intercourse, the use of a water-based lubricant or a silicone-based lubricant was associated with significantly higher ratings of pleasure and satisfaction. However for anal intercourse, only water-based lubricant was associated with significantly higher ratings of pleasure and satisfaction.

Additionally, lubricant use was only rarely associated with genital symptoms such as genital irritation or pain during sex.

“Findings from this study have the potential to help inform the general public about a common household product and its use during sex,” Herbenick notes. “We hope that more researchers will continue to investigate the use of a wide range of lubricants for their contributions to women’s and men’s sexual experiences.”

“This information is important for two segments of our society” explained Irwin Goldstein, editor-in-chief of The Journal of Sexual Medicine and Director of Sexual Medicine at Alvarado Hospital. “For those lubricant users interested in the efficacy of water-based versus silicone-based lubricants we now have the data. For those younger men and women who believe that lubricants are only for people with sexual health issues this research shows that, in fact, lubricant use both enhances sexual pleasure and knows no age limit.”