Unsealed: Lubri-CAN’T!

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Words || Jasmine Phillips

For my last ever Unsealed, dear Reader, I thought we should have a talk.

Over the last nine months, we’ve had a beautiful budding relationship. We’ve been really open with each other – I’ve taught you things, you’ve confessed things to me. We’ve shared an innumerable amount of sexual experiences over this time, and I must admit that I’ve really enjoyed myself.

And now it’s time to part ways. It’s not you, I promise. It’s my impending graduation, it’s the existential crises knocking at my door.

But I need to share something with you before I go.

You see, I haven’t been truly honest with you. And it really isn’t you.

It’s Lube.

Every sexual health educator’s holy grail. It helps prevent pregnancies/transmission of STIs, it makes sex more enjoyable, it takes pressure off people’s natural wetness, it prevents injuries and it makes everything just generally more sexy.

And I cannot stand the stuff.

Ever since my sexual debut, I’ve had a hate-hate relationship with lube. That is, I hate lube, and lube hates me.

Well, it hates my vagina at least.

Time after time, with condoms or without, my poor genitals lash out in anger and anguish. I’ve tried water-based and oil based, flavoured and plain. I’ve tried Durex and Skyn, Wet Stuff and Lifestyle, and still I’m left stinging and sore. Even the hypoallergenic, all-natural lubricant I got in my ACON Safe Sex Kit (seriously google it – they’re free and they ROCK!) isn’t safe.

And it’s not just the sting, my dear Reader. It’s what follows.

What I mean to say is, there’s a dark side to lube and I’m here to help you out. Your genitals might not be quite as contrary as mine, but almost everyone has some level of sensitivity to one essential ingredient that is found across the majority of personal lubricants: glycerin.

Glycerin is a kind of sugar that basically stops your body from absorbing lube. Without it, your skin naturally wants to soak up all of that delicious moisture – which might be great for your skin, but not great for sex! In order to do its job, lube needs to stay wet enough to make things slippery without sinking into your skin.

Here’s the unfortunate twist: vaginas do not like glycerin. Depending on how sensitive your vagina is, or what your Ph balance is like, there are all kinds of consequences for this sudden influx of gluclose in your nether regions.

And, dear Reader, I’ve had ’em all.

Urintary Tract Infections, yeast infections, rashes, allergic reactions – my body has expressed its displeasure in an abundance of angry ways over the years. I cannot tell you how many cranberry juices, yoghurts and Ural sachets I’ve had to choke down.

Not everyone gets a yeast infection from lube – we all have a varying level of sensitivity – but everyone is at least a little sensitive to glycerin.

The most common side-effect of glycerin in personal products for vagina-owners is undoubtedly the dreaded Yeasty. Which is a bummer for you because they’re painful, itchy, and they love to hang around.

Vaginas do not like sugar. That’s why food sex should always steer clear of syrups and whipped cream near vulvas.

Which brings me to my next point: flavoured lube and condoms.

They are not designed for penetrative sex.

I absolutely promise you that this is true. They are designed for oral sex only – which is really the only time you’re going to taste that skittle-flavoured rubber anyhow. Not only is it a waste to use one of those bad boys in a bottom hole, but if you’re as sensitive as me, this will become the Mother of All Yeast Infections.

I’m serious, Reader. If you own a vagina and you keep sticking these inside, you will be eating yoghurt every day for the rest of your life.

What can you do to improve your vaginal wellbeing? I’m glad you asked!

Yoghurt really does help improve vaginal health. No, I’m serious.

Lots of substances, like lube and bathwater, can increase the bad bacteria in your vagina, which leads to a yeast infection. To combat this, you can increase the good bacteria in your vagina. And these good bacteria are found, among other places, in regular store-bought yoghurt.

The more you know!

CON-FESS UP

I tried to give my partner a lap dance. One laughing fit later… Never again. -Unsexy

The first time I ever slept in a bed with a guy my family was away for the week. He came over to hang out and then slept over. He joked that he wanted to sleep next to me because it was cold, so we slept cuddling. I totally would have slept with him, but I was too shy to say anything at the time. He started ignoring me the next day anyway, so I guess men just suck.

The first time I squirted I was on my period. To say I was surprised would be an understatement. – Oops?  

Winner of the best confession from 2019: I lost my virginity to a 30 year old turkish man who lived in glebe. I was 18. we shared a joint and had mangoes. he even gave me a lift to the station when I had to leave. great guy, filthy apartment.

Question of the Month:

“Dear Dr Grapeshot,

My boyfriend and I have been together for a few weeks and last week we had sex for the first time. It was kinda awkward, but mostly really sweet, and I have absolutely no regrets. But for some reason, my coochie is like all messed up? It’s kinda sore and it stings when I have to pee. He told me I was his first, and he’s mine – did I somehow get an STI anyway? -Ouch!”

Dear Ouch,

Oh honey, I can almost guarantee you do NOT have an STI going on. I don’t know for sure, but I know the most likely culprit and how to get rid of it quick smart!

Urinary Tract Infection. Here’s some serious life advice from your Aunt Grapey: always. Pee. After. Sex. When you have sex, everything gets really slick and slippery and it’s awesome at the time. However, your urethra, or “pee hole” (which is a different hole to your vagina) can get kinda gunked up with bacteria while everything’s all slippery. When you pee after sex, you get rid of anything that’s gotten caught all up in there, and you’re much less likely to get a UTI. However, if this is what you have now, it’s totally easy to treat! Go to your doctor for some antibiotics and to get it checked out. If it’s not too severe, your GP might just prescribe you a bottle of cranberry juice and some Ural and you’ll be on your merry way!

Lots of Love, Aunt Grapey x