This post was stimulated(!) by a post made by @KaylaLords for #WickedWednesday entitled Why Couldn’t I Just Ask for Lube? In her post Kayla bemoans the lack of natural moisture in her cunt during a sexual encounter with John Brownstone, and how she initially just gritted her teeth and continued, until John became practical and applied some lube.
Having been down that road myself a number of years ago, I know how daunting it can be to feel and admit that ones body isn’t functioning in quite the same way as it did even a few years previous. As Kayla suggests, “For me, the “dripping down the inner thigh” proof of excitement that features in a lot of erotica is no longer a thing. I want to be soaking wet and slippery under his touch. Of course I do, but right now, that’s not my reality.”
Like Kayla it took some mental adjustment on my part to need to ask for/reach for lube. As a woman engaging in partnered sex I took pride in how wet my cunt was. I loved it when a lover gasped when they encountered no resistance to a finger or a cock. Not only no resistance but a fabulous slickness that actively drew him in, and remained so throughout our sexual encounter.
Wetness, Erotica and culture
I have an appreciation for the many years I have had that sort of ongoing response to a sexual thought, encounter or piece of erotica, but little nostalgia. I too have imaginatively identified with, been biologically stimulated by and taken for granted the “fabulous slickness” and “sopping cunts” that writers of erotica (including myself) frequently refer to. Sopping cunts are the equivalent of the “rock hard penis”, and both have a powerful effect on the Western erotic imagination. (1)
Erotic writing is, as @ZenNudist observes in his recent post The Ethics of Writing Filth; “an “idealised” version of sex based on the context of the scene we’re writing.” He goes on to relate: “We tend not to mention the inevitable “fails” that happen in “real” sex; those mouthfuls of hair, the elbowing your partner in a tender spot when changing position, the entangle limbs, the cat jumping on the bed just at the point of orgasm.”
Kayla’s story of frustration over needing to use more lube reflects a clash between “real sex” involving a practical issue to be solved (John Brownstones approach) and her internalisation of what is, for many of us, a cultural erotic ideal. While Kayla, like Zen, observes later in her story that reality is much more nuanced, she admits that initially she “perceived (the need for more lube) as a problem, a weakness.”
I couldn’t help but wonder when I read Kayla’s post, how many of us have blamed ourselves for this and similar bodily changes or fluctuations, seeing them as failures. I suspect that quite often women who are not as sexually self aware and questioning as Kayla may take a spiral path of continuous self blame and body shame (I did this for some time over the changing taste of my cunt). Partners who are not as self confident and practical as John Brownstone may have seen it as a failure on their part too – an inability to arouse their mate sufficiently. However Kayla identifies possible sources of her changing internal lubrication including anxiety, weight gain, long-term pain, and/or medication, and while she remains frustrated at having to use lube, in the end she recognises (on an intellectual level at least) that it “isn’t a big deal.”
While I didn’t identify the same potential sources for the changes I experienced in my wetness as Kayla, I too sometimes found the need to stop and apply more lubrication inconvenient, annoying and a bit embarrassing. However I also made a connection to the onset of menopause and to the ongoing decline of my relationship at the time. It’s hard to get wet when unresolved issues, suspicions and resentments are simmering in the background. And I read with horror a medical diagnosis of “vaginal atrophy” on a print out from my doctor…
But changes wrought by aging and separation have taken me down another – dare I say “slippery path”? – a path I hadn’t paid much attention to in the days when I was partnered (nor when I was caring for my ailing elderly mum). Now I don’t have the added distraction/concern or even pleasure of another person to take my focus in another direction – nor do I, in my retired state, have huge demands on my time, so frequent masturbation has become a familiar pleasure which can be as leisurely or as rapid as I need and prefer.
Masturbation means I now pay far more attention to what works for me than I have in the past, and lube has a positive role to play in that. Now I almost always use lube throughout a session, not only because I’m not as wet for as long, but also because my body tissues are thinner than before menopause and most sexual activity feels more “padded” with lube. But I do appreciate it when my impulse to masturbate means I become wet naturally, and will now use this opportunity to massage my labia and create some slow finger clitoral love as a prelude to the lube aided suction action of my womaniser.
Typically my wank sessions involve fingering, the use of various silicone or glass sex toys clitorally, vaginally and anally and lots and lots of lube. Despite towels I make ridiculous messes on my indigo sheets – usually the top sheets – keeping 3 sex toys on the go at once means I’m always adding more lube. Indeed this is my biggest complaint apart from the irritation that my favorite lube (Sliquid Organics Natural Lubricating Silk – FYI no kickbacks) isn’t available to me in a 1 litre bottle, both for convenience and economy.
(Providers of all lube take note – needs vary – don’t just cater for coupledom and additional wetness, think about the dedicated masturbator of the world too!)
Stopping to apply more lube was once an inconvenience, but these days it is just part of what I do (along with going to the toilet in the middle of a wank or changing one toy for another). Nowadays I mostly see it as a positive break. A means through which I can edge my orgasm more effectively (the exception being when the lube gets lost in the bedding or falls off the dresser).
I find the need to urinate halfway through a session – despite having gone before I started, far more annoying than applying lube, mostly because I have to remove all toys, get out of my comfortable bed and go into a cold bathroom, then reverse the process. But I often get to a point where an orgasm will not happen if I don’t pee, so pee I must. It’s taken me a while to understand that this is actually what is happening, because I don’t always feel an urgency, just a lack of intensity.
I enjoyed reading Kayla’s post, because it made me think about an issue I rarely pay any attention to these days. I can understand her emotions, having been there myself in the past, although these days I tend to take John Brownstones approach to the issue and just slap the lube on.
(1) I say Western erotic imagination because there are cultural factors at play here too. Some time ago I read about cultural practices that privilege a tight dry cunt while wet cunts are regarded (as in some Western circles) as a sign of promiscuity and sluttishness. Women for whom this is a culturally promoted sexual ideal (often transmitted by other women) apparently resort to a range of risky practices and foreign materials to dry out their vaginas. These range from herbal preparations through to dangerous chemicals and the vaginal insertion of matter such as paper, leaves, chalk and grit. Understandably this practice has all sorts of health risks associated with it for both men and women (notably but by no means exclusively the spread of HIV/AIDS) due to micro-tears. However due to a range of factors including cultural shaming, there is a lack of opportunity for education around the functional biology of women’s vagina’s far less any concept of women’s pleasure. For a detailed article on this practice and it’s health ramifications click here
This post is a very condensed #SoSS post – not posted on a Saturday.