Dryness is a huge problem for me. How can I deal with it?
The best remedy is a water-based lubricant before sex. These formulas are less likely to cause irritation and infection than glycerin-based lubricants, are less messy than silicone (which can stain sheets and leave a coating on the skin), and are safe to use with condoms. Popular water-based brands like Good Clean Love ($10–$16) and Liquid Silk ($13.68) have the added bonus of containing natural ingredients, like aloe vera, which are great if youre sensitive to synthetic ingredients.
Another option: lubricant beads, such as K-Y Brand Liquibeads ($14.99). You insert them into your vagina and they dissolve, so there are no tubes or mess to deal with. Alsoand this may sound a little strangea light organic olive oil can work, too. (But dont use it with condoms, because oil can break down latex, which means you wont be protected against pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases.)
Just remember that for truly enjoyable sex, its crucial to make sure that youre fully aroused before you worry about dryness. Lubricants today work great, but they cant take the place of sexual arousal. Bottom line? Make time for plenty of foreplay before you reach for your lube of choice.
Lori Buckley, PsyD, CST, is a licensed clinical psychologist and AASECT certified sex therapist. She has a private practice in Pasadena, California.