The Silent Stigma of Lube: A Slippery Subject

The Silent Stigma of Lube: A Slippery Subject

Alisa Eddy |

With enough lube and enough determination, you can do anything! That’s my motto. As the CEO of Joosi I get access to LOTS of lube, and I use lube almost every time I have sex or masturbate. Yep I’m a lube-a-holic. But I’m taking a big risk by admitting this. Do you know why?

While I extol the virtues of lube, people often blush and look at me with slight embarrassment and say something like, ”I don’t use lube, I don’t really need it.” The implication being that not needing lube is good, and needing lube is bad. Why on earth would that be? Well, it’s because there’s a lot of stigma around lube. Here’s are three myths that stigmatize lube:

  1. The myth that lube is for old, dried up vaginas. And, there’s nothing worse that being an old dried up vagina (fuck that noise). Admitting that you don’t always self lubricate is tantamount to declaring yourself sexually irrelevant, because it implies aging, and a women’s perceived value is deeply threatened by aging. No one talks about it, but suggesting that a thirty-something could be in perimenopause is an insult to her femininity. You just don’t do it. In the minds of many, a dry vagina equals menopause, and menopause equals old, and old represents a real and terrifying change in our perceived value as women. There’s not a lot of positive information about what lies beyond that change, besides the increased likelihood of being marginalized and called a a Cougar or a Karen. This, of course, is deeply problematic, and worthy of an entire book. But it’s worth mentioning this dark little truth here. There’s age shaming wrapped up in the stigma around lube.

  2. The myth that if you need lube, you’re not turned on. The good news is that this myth has been scientifically busted by peer reviewed studies! There is a well known phenomenon called “arousal non-concordance”. (Come As You Are by Emily Nagoski covers this in excellent detail). Arousal non-concordance means you’re subjectively turned on, but you’re not wet. Or, that you’re wet but not turned on. For women, there’s only a 10% overlap in when we’re subjectively turned on and when we are self-lubricating. That means lube can come in and save the day when you’re ready to fuck but not wet. I hope this goes without saying, but it also means ‘wetness’ should NEVER be used as a proxy for consent or desire. What the researchers found was that “sexually relevant” stimuli were what predicts self lubrication, regardless of how turned on or off the woman was. (sexually relevant stimuli being indications that sex may be about to happen).

  3. The myth that there wasn’t enough foreplay. While foreplay is often great for getting self-lubrication started, it’s often not sufficient - see above. And sometimes we don’t want a lot of foreplay! There are plenty of times I’d like to get down to business quicker than my body can respond. Enter lube! And an important note if you’re relying on foreplay for lubrication: spit doesn’t count! Sure, it’ll help you get started in a pinch, but saliva doesn’t provide sustained lubrication needed to protect the delicate tissue of a vagina or anus. It’s easy to have someone go down on you and assume you’re ready for penetration because there’s saliva in the area, but that’s usually not enough. Stick a finger inside yourself to see if your vagina is sufficiently lubricated. Or, you could just habitually use lube, like me!

There’s already enough shame around sex and masturbation to weed through, can we remove lube stigma from the list? It’s such an easy upgrade to your sex life. I suggest you keep it around, use it liberally when you want to, and remember it doesn’t mean anything negative!

You can help support our mission to take the shame out of sex and masturbation by buying your next lube from I’ve included a link to my 3 favorite lubes for you (there are different types for different uses!). My faves are Good Clean Love Bionude Lube for water based, which I recently tried and loved. Wicked Simply Timeless Silicone for silicone, because it’s simple, has great lasting power, and a twist pump package which reduces mess. And Pjur Back Door Silicone for anal because it’s extra thick with the extra staying power you need for anal, since your booty doesn’t self lubricate.

That’s all for now, I hope you shamelessly incorporate more lube into your love making today!