But you know what I rarely see in men’s apartments? Lube.
I've been sexually active for 11 years. Yet I can count on one hand the number of times I've spotted a bottle of lube in a guy's nightstand drawer. For some reason, you guys seem totally resistant to using lube. There seems to be this widespread belief that lube is a last resort, only to be used in cases of an extreme sex emergency.
But I'm here to tell you that's not the case. Take it from me, guys: women want you to have lube on hand, because it makes sex a zillion times better — for both you and your partner.
I first became aware of guys' resistance to lube a few years ago, when I was seeing a guy I’ll call Joshua. One night, after a particularly stressful workday, I went to Joshua’s house in Brooklyn for some TLC (and by TLC, I mean wine, Sopranos reruns, and orgasms).
But when we started getting to work on the orgasms part, there was a problem. Maybe it was the stress of the day, or the wine I’d used to try to wash it away, but my body simply wasn’t responding the way I wanted it to. Put it this way: no matter how hard Joshua tried, there was a serious drought going on south of the border.
So I asked Joshua what I thought was a benign question: "Got any lube?" Judging by his reaction, you'd have thought I’d asked him to stand on his head.
“Of course I don’t have lube,” he said. “I’m good in bed, and you said you didn’t want to have anal sex.”
I calmly tried to explain to Joshua that my body’s need for additional lubrication had nothing to do with him, and that there were more reasons than anal to keep lube in one’s nightstand. But he didn’t believe me. So for the next 15 minutes, he continued to try to get me wet to no avail, before we both gave up and ordered a pizza.
Since that night, I've found that Joshua's reaction is all too common among men. It seems that the main reason for this is a basic misunderstanding of the female anatomy: guys seem to think that if they’re good in bed, they should be able to get women wet on their own. There's also a widespread belief that women only need lube if they're old and too "dried-up" to achieve lubrication on their own.
But this, of course, is total BS. In fact, about 30 percent of women between the ages of 18 and 59 say they have trouble with vaginal lubrication during sex, according to a 2009 National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior.
“The reality is, all women are unique,” sexologist Juliet Allen told MensHealth.com. “The amount of lubrication they produce isn’t the same throughout their cycle. It changes depending on where in their cycle they are.” There are also other factors that play into this, like stress, birth control, and alcohol use (which perhaps explains why things weren't working for me during that fateful night with Joshua).
Just as there are endless variations in penis size for men, there are differences in women's lubrication levels. “Some women just don’t get as wet as others, and that’s OK,” Allen says. It doesn’t matter how excited she is, or how good you are at going down on her. Some women just need a little bit extra lubrication, and it has nothing to do with you — or her, for that matter.
Lube doesn't just create "a smoother and more comfortable sexual experience for both women and men,” says Allen. It also makes sex safer. The moisture reduces friction, which means that condoms are less likely to break. Oh, and there's some evidence that lube can actually make sex last longer, which, if you ask me, should be the beginning and end of this conversation, because who doesn't want to have more sex?
In summation, guys, lube isn't a bad thing. In fact, pulling out a little lube to make sure your girl enjoys herself is the mark of a good lover. Lube is great for everyone, and you should probably be stockpiling it for winter.
So if you're trying to get your partner in the mood, turn on some Sopranos, pour a few glasses of red wine, and break out the lubricant. Here are just a few of our favorites.