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ISSUE 120 VOL 1 PUBLISHED 9/22/2006

Sex on the Hill: The slippery slope to better, safer sex

By Paul Dillon
Student Columnist


Friday, September 22, 2006

A friend of mine once had a mammoth bottle of passion fruit flavored lube proudly displayed on the coffee table of her Thorson dorm room. Next to the purple dispenser sat an equally tantalizing bowl of various chewy candies. Unable to control my desire and curiosity, I picked up a Starburst, slowly unwrapped it, and drizzled a bit of passion fruit love sauce on it for a taste test.

Eureka! Not only had I discovered the deep secrets of taste and texture combinations forged in the depths of the Gushers fruit snacks lab, but I had opened myself to new heights of personal comfort with lube. Lube and I were suddenly dancing through verdant meadows, coyly catching one another's gaze behind fragrant sunflower stalks. Soon, everyone in the room was trying my delectable lube and candy concoctions.

When I've told this story to other people at St. Olaf, many react with disgust to my recount of an everyday ingestion of personal lubricant. Ohmigosh, isn't lube what, like, homosexuals use to, like, have, like, anal sex? Yes. It is. And we love it.

Fear not, dear breeder, for hark! Lube is, in fact, a nifty addition to any comfortable penetration.

Sadly, large portions of the sexually active masses are still uncomfortable with the substance.

One student, '07, had never used lube before, but agreed to try it out during vaginal coitus with her boyfriend. Upon application of the lube, she became so aroused and excited that she lost control of her bladder and gave him a nice little treat: a golden shower.

Similarly, another student, '07, decided to use KY warming liquid for the first time during sex with her boyfriend. The liquid, which normally provides a mild warm and tingly sensation, made her vagina so hot when used in mass quantities that she had to excuse herself so she could put out her flaming lips with a cold shower.

The moral of these stories is not to avoid lube, but that some of us are so deprived of it, we may be uncomfortable to begin using it. However, lube is important not only for the increase of pleasure, but also for its abilities to prevent tears in vaginal and rectal walls and to alleviate the discomfort surrounding prolonged clitoral stimulation.

So. Let's talk about lube.

There are several major categories of lube: oil-based, silicone-based, water-based, and flavored.

Oil-based lube is a specialty kind of lube that cannot be used with sex-toys or with penetration. The oil in these substances completely destroys the integrity of any latex condoms and sex toys, and as such should be completely avoided during these activities unless special oil-lube compatible sex toys and condoms are procured. However, these lubes, such as Stroke 29, are long lasting and very smooth, and can make fantastic masturbation creams.

Silicone-based lubes are also long-lasting and slippery, but most brands of silicone-based lube are quite latex-friendly. These type of lubes are present in pre-lubricated condoms, and are also the stuff of brands like ID and Eros. However, these lubes will disintegrate silicone sex toys, and can also be especially sticky and water resistant. Some women report skin and vaginal irritation if these lubes are left on for too long.

Water-based lubes are the most common type of lube used. Because they are water-soluble, they are the least irritating to body surfaces, though some women prone to yeast infections are vulnerable to the glycerins and sugars within these lubes. Also, because they are water-based, these lubes may also dry out more quickly than other types, but may be rejuvenated by adding a little bit of water. Common brands of water-based lube include KYJelly, YES and Astroglide.

Flavored lubes are a great addition to any oral sex, and are especially useful to ease the discomfort and awkwardness of safe oral sex performed through dental dams and condoms. However, avoid using flavored lubes during anal or vaginal penetration, as they may contribute to infections.

While these lubes may not be available in the basement vending machines of residence hall laundry rooms, they are readily available at drug stores like Walgreens or the CVS pharmacy, sex toy shops such as the Smitten Kitten in Minneapolis, and, of course, next to the candy dish on my friend's coffee table. So make a new friend today; invite some lube into your life.

*Note: This year's sex columnist would greatly appreciate any sex-related comments, questions, and/or suggestions from the greater St. Olaf community, and can be reached at sexcolumnist@stolaf.edu.





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