LubricantLubricant, or lube, is used to moisten the vagina or anus for sexual stimulation and penetration by a hand, penis, or sex toy. Lubricant can also be used for masturbation. There are many kinds of lubricant, and the choice of which one to use is a matter of personal preference as well as health and safety. There are water-based, oil- or petroleum-based, silicone-based, and performing, or specialty, lubricants such as those that increase blood flow in the areas where they are applied, and ones that are warm to the touch or breath, are flavored, or tingle on the skin. Household items such as hand lotion, cooking fat, Vaseline, Crisco, butter, or the gel from Aloe Vera leaves can be used as lubricant. Most safe-sex and health advocates encourage the use of water-based lubricant by everyone under most circumstances, because lubricant helps prevent the anal and vaginal skin tears associated with friction that can allow the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and other sexually transmitted diseases to enter the body. Silicone lubricants hold up longer than water-based lubricants in the water, and thus are recommended for aquatic erotic play. Old-style petroleum-based lubricating products such as Vaseline are discouraged, because they can break down latex, and so are unsafe to use with condoms. Other oil-based lubricants are also discouraged because they can cause vaginal irritation, which is less likely with water-based lubricants.
Hovey, Jaime. "Lubricant." Encyclopedia of Sex and Gender. Ed. Fedwa Malti-Douglas. Vol. 3. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA, 2007. 917-918. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 11 Jan. 2013.
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