3 January 2011
Lubes key to better sex
by George Atkinson
A new sexual health study from Indiana University found that women who used lubricant during intercourse and masturbation reported significantly higher levels of satisfaction and pleasure.
"In spite of the widespread availability of lubricants in stores and on the Internet, it is striking how little research addresses basic questions of how personal lubricants contribute to the sexual experience," said researcher Debby Herbenick. "... the lubricants in our study was associated with higher ratings of sexual pleasure and satisfaction and low rates of genital symptoms."
The study, published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, involved more than 2,000 women aged between 18 and 68. Each woman used one of six lubricants during solo masturbation and partnered sexual activities. Women were randomly assigned to use one of six lubricants, four of which were water-based lubricants and two of which were silicone-based lubricants.
Key findings of the study include:
- More than 70 percent of the time that lubricant was used for vaginal or anal intercourse, study participants indicated that they did so in order to make sex more pleasurable; more than 60 percent of women indicated this was the case during masturbation.
- More than one third of the time that lubricant was used for vaginal sex, anal sex or masturbation, women indicated that they used lubricant because it was fun to do so.
- Sizable proportions of women also indicated that they chose to use lubricant in order to reduce the risk of tearing, particularly for anal intercourse.
Analyzing the results, the researchers found that the participants' ratings of sexual pleasure and sexual satisfaction were significantly higher when a water-based lubricant or silicone-based lubricant was used compared to sex without a lubricant. While fewer penile-anal intercourse events occurred, pleasure and satisfaction were significantly higher when water-based lubricant was used during anal intercourse.
Interestingly, the researchers noted that study participants reported fewer incidents of genital pain when a water-based lubricant was used. "These findings help us to reinforce to sexually active individuals that not only are lubricants important to safer sex but that they also contribute to the overall quality of one's sexual experiences," the study concludes.
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Source: Indiana University