As an Emergency Medicine Physician, I have treated various ailments, illnesses, and emergencies, from stab wounds to folks using toothpaste as a vaginal or penile lubricant. I know what you’re thinking. It sounds impossible, or I’m exaggerating, but you read that correctly!
On the brink of Cardi B. and Megan Thee Stallion’s hit song “WAP,” it has opened the door for a more fluid conversation around normalizing vaginal lubrication. However, before discussing the various types of lubrication, I will provide insight into why toothpaste is not to be used as a lubricant for your genitalia.
First and foremost, toothpaste contains bleaching agents and scented oils such as peppermint, causing irritation and skin damage. Other common ingredients in toothpaste include calcium carbonate, an abrasive used for grinding and polishing, and sodium lauryl sulfate (a detergent). These chemicals should never be in contact with your vaginal area or penis. Toothpaste on your genitals can cause a mild burn, blisters, discoloration, and scarring. It can also disrupt the vagina’s pH level, leading to an unhealthy and unbalanced level causing yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis.
Women have glands located on both sides of the vagina’s opening and in the cervix that naturally produce vaginal lubrication to protect the genital area from an injury or tearing and keep it clean and moist. Without sufficient lubrication, engaging in sexual intercourse can be quite painful. Suppose you are experiencing vaginal dryness or think you may need the sexual activity to be wetter and better. In that case, I highly recommend using water and/or silicone-based lubricants but not toothpaste.
Remember, not all lubes are created equal. Each suits different needs. There are four types of lubricants: water, oil, silicone, and cannabis. A great lube can heighten pleasurable sensations and reduce chafing during an all-night (or day) sex marathon. But, I would suggest avoiding fragrance or flavor lubricants because it may cause irritation and increase the risk of vaginal infections or other health problems. If you are trying to conceive, some lubes may hurt sperm motility. Make sure to look at the packaging for the words “fertility-friendly” or “sperm-friendly.” Overall, it is easy to apply lubrication to your vulva, vagina, penis, or sex toy before penetration, and it can be used as a part of foreplay, and you can reapply it as needed.
Water-based lubricants are the easiest to find in drugstores or at the family dollar store. The advantages include compatibility with sex toys, safe to use with latex condoms, doesn’t stain fabrics, and can be used for vaginal or anal sex. Glycerin, a natural by-product of the soap making process, is a popular ingredient in most water-based lubes. Although it is safe to use on your body, it is not safe to use on your vulva. If you are experiencing vaginal dryness or are prone to yeast infections, you may want to stay away from lubes that contain glycerin. Another con is water-based lubricants can dry out quickly and might not work while having sex in the shower, pool, or underwater.
Oil-based lubricants last longer than water-based lubes, but they can lead to the breakdown of latex condoms. If you are practicing sex safe methods like using condoms, I suggest that you do not use oil-based lubes. On the other hand, you can also use this type of lube during masturbation.
Silicone-based lubes also last longer than water-based lubricants and are safe to use with condoms. Unfortunately, it is not safe to use with silicone sex toys. Please avoid using these lubricants with any sex toys that may have silicone because it can break down the silicone material and become a source for bacterial growth. I do not think your private parts would enjoy that.
Cannabis and CBD-Infused
Using cannabis before engaging in sex can stimulate endorphins production, which are chemicals in our brain that are released to create feelings of pleasure. But did you know that cannabis and CBD can be used as a lubricant? It is believed to increase one’s libido and increase vaginal lubrication. According to a recent study from the Journal of Sexual Medicine titled, “The Relationship Between Marijuana Use Prior to Sex and Sexual Function In Women,” approximately 70% of women reported have a more pleasurable experience from using cannabis before sex. About 62% revealed that it enhanced the quality of their orgasms and their libidos.
You can apply it to your vulva, vagina, and anus. But remember it doesn’t work instantaneously in the same way other lubricants can. It takes time for your body to absorb -possibly an hour or more for the full effects. It is also possible that it may make you high depending on THC’s proportion in the lube. If your partner goes down on you after you applied the cannabis-infused lube to your genitals, he or she may also get high, since they are consuming it orally, similar to eating an edible!
The only significant difference between the cannabis-infused lube and CBD lube is that the CBD lube only contains CBD, and cannabis-infused lube contains a mixture of THC and CBD. Both CBD and THC can be found in cannabis, but have different effects. THC can make you feel high and have physiological effects on pleasure, while the CBD can make you feel more relaxed.
The bottom line is vaginal lubricants can be a great way to heighten your sex sessions, either solo or with your partner. Extra wetness can reduce friction or discomfort and help increase sexual arousal. So, be comfortable and confident with your decision when choosing which lubricant to use. Remember, each lubricant has its own effects and may still increase the risk of infections.