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Water-based and silicon-based lubricant
Debby Herbenick of Indiana University.
Credit: Indiana University
The study, involving 2,453 women, is the largest systematic study of this kind, despite the widespread commercial availability of lubricant and the gaps in knowledge concerning its role in alleviating pain or contributing to other health issues.
"In spite of the widespread availability of lubricants in stores and on the Internet, it is striking how little research addresses basic questions of how personal lubricants contribute to the sexual experience," said Debby Herbenick, associate director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion. "These data clearly show that use of the lubricants in our study was linked to higher ratings of sexual pleasure and satisfaction and low rates of genital symptoms."
While these findings, published in the recent issue of the "Journal of Sexual Medicine," involve the use of water-based and silicone-based lubricant, scientists also observed that study participants reported fewer genital symptoms -- and, in particular, fewer reports of genital pain -- when they used a water-based lubricant.
Michael Reece, director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion and co-author of the study, said public health professionals have long recommended the use of lubricants as an important safer sex tool, especially when used with latex condoms.
"These findings help us to reinforce to sexually active individuals that not only are lubricants important to safer sex but that they also contribute to the overall quality of one's sexual experiences," he said.
Here are some of the findings:.
For the study, "Association of Lubricant Use with Women's Sexual Pleasure, Sexual Satisfaction, and Genital Symptoms: A Prospective Daily Diary Study," 2,453 women ages 18-68 participated in an Internet-based, double-blind evaluation of the use of six lubricants during solo masturbation and partnered sexual activities. Women were randomly assigned to use one of six lubricants, four of which were water-based lubricants and two of which were silicone-based lubricants, during two weeks of a five-week study period.
Analyses of more than 10,000 acts of penile-vaginal intercourse, and more than 3,000 masturbation experiences, showed that participants' ratings of sexual pleasure and sexual satisfaction were significantly higher when a water-based lubricant or silicone-based lubricant was used in comparison to sex without a lubricant. Far fewer penile-anal intercourse events occurred; however, ratings of sexual pleasure and satisfaction were significantly higher when water-based lubricant was used during anal intercourse as in comparison to sex without a lubricant.
For all types of sex, genital symptoms were rarely reported and were generally less likely to occur when lubricant was used. More than half of the time that women used lubricant, they applied it to their own or their partner's genitals, or directly to their fingers and in about 10 percent of instances of vaginal intercourse, lubricant was applied directly to a sex toy.
"These findings demonstrate how lubricant can be used during foreplay or sex play with a partner, and incorporated into a couple's sexual experience," Herbenick said.
Posted by: Beverly Source