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I have extremely sensitive skin, but I also want to try using lube more often because I don’t always get as wet as I want. Do you have any recommendations for something that won’t make me break out in hives down there? Is there something all-natural that I could use for this? —Anonymous, Tumblr
Bummer about your chemically-sensitive kitty. Not a bummer about your desire to use more lube, because wetter is indeed better, most of the time. I have a good friend who is notoriously skin-sensitive who rocks the store-brand, no-fancy-label stuff that just says “PERSONAL LUBRICANT” on the frill-free label. Personally, being present for this purchase super bums me out, because if there’s one thing I don’t want to express to my lovers, it’s that they’re not worth a little extra coin for solid label design and a light but inviting fragrance. I’ve had success with coconut oil (Wear it! Eat it! Fuck it!), and I also recommend the staying power of avocado oil if you like the “slip” of silicone-based lubes. Just make sure they won’t break down your chosen method of contraception first!
Dr. Debby: Good Clean Love
all the way! And if that doesn’t do the trick, check out a lube sampler pack to find one that’s right for you. Spending lots of time doing things that feel arousing and exciting for you as part of foreplay can also enhance your own natural vaginal lubrication.
Pants Off, Hands Off
Something horrible happened to me over the weekend and I have to make sure it never happens again. Long story short, I was giving my BF head and he pushed my head a little too far down on his penis, I gagged and some puke came out (not on him, thank god). So, so, so embarrassing and gross. How do I improve my gag reflex so that never happens again?
Let’s just take a minute here to appreciate the ingrained power dynamics of this question: your boyfriend shoved your
head down on his dick so hard that he made you puke mid-blowjob, and you’re
doing the apologizing?! What the fuck, compadre? Here’s a hot tip: tell your boyfriend not to use your head like a Fleshlight in a wig, for starters. I realize that pop culture has taught ladies that once they’re on their knees headbanging away to the beat of the meat we lose all personal autonomy, but I’d like to reclaim that, please and thank you. You’re already doing the hard work, so you’re allowed to tell him to keep his limbs inside the ride when it’s in motion. Tell him that if he ever wants to get Extra Special Birthday head/sex again, he’ll keep his goddamn hands to himself. As for the second half of your question, eh, a few spritzes of Chloraseptic and a lot of practice will do the job.
You might ask him not to push your head down so far, or at all. Then again, perhaps he has learned his lesson. Some women and men who have sex with men practice reducing their gag reflex by touching the back of their throat with their finger. Others use flavored oral sex lubricants (that are essentially numbing agents; like Good Head or Great Head) to help. Practice can also help… and that can be fun.
Tangled up in Boo
My girlfriend has an insulin pump, and something about knowing she has a tube that goes inside of her makes me really nervous about having sex (which we haven’t done yet). I’m so scared of pulling it out or hurting her in some way, and the last two times we’ve fooled around, I was so focused on it that I couldn’t even get hard. It just really freaks me out. Am I going to hurt her if it gets in the way, or is there something we can do to make sure it doesn’t get tangled up?
When I was 17, I had to have my gallbladder removed and several drains placed into my abdomen. I looked like the plastic snake mother with my babies bursting forth from my torso, and every time those things moved, I became terrified that one false move would make me bleed to death all over my parents’ bathroom. The reason that never happened and was a distant possibility is because those doctor’s know how to sew in all kinds of medical accessories so that even our dumb, civilian idiocy cannot kill us by way of our medical implants. If your GF has had her pump for over a year, it probably feels second-nature to her and it’s almost a part of her body. If you’re as freaked out by it as you seem to be, you need to just have one long, exhaustive Q&A with her over some wine and apps to settle your anxieties. She’s been through all the mental processes you’re going through, but on a much larger and more intimate scale. Just ask her about it and keep the dialogue going. I bet she’d be pretty psyched that you care about her enough to make sure you fully understand her diagnosis and treatment.
Many people who live with diabetes have to deal with this issue as do their partners. Some people disconnect their pump prior to sex but they can only leave it disconnected for a certain amount of time (your partner should ask her doctor how long she can leave hers disconnected if she wants to try this). Research shows that most people don’t find their pump to be an obstacle to intimacy. With patience and practice, it will likely get easier for you too. You might ask your girlfriend for tips on how to do this most easily with her, since everyone is different. Take it slowly. Talk with her. Let her know that you’re nervous. And when you’re in the midst of sex, try to focus on your arousal, on her body, and on your own physical sensations, as well as your intimate connection with her, to maintain your arousal.