Reader Question: What Can I Do if My Husband is Opposed to Lubricants?
Hi Dr. Jennifer,
My husband has always been opposed to the idea of me using a lubricant during sex. The whole sexual experience is painful. So we don’t do it because of his stubbornness (among other things) and my fear of being in pain. He says he feels like I get dry because I’m not “into him” and if I was, I would stay lubricated naturally. So using a lubricant (e.g., KY Jelly) would make him feel less of a man, I guess. What do we do? Should I try to convince him? There are so many times I want to have sex with him, and I know we would so much more if I could have a lubricant.
I’m in my mid-twenties, had a baby 3 months ago, and also have a two-year-old. Things changed after the birth of my first child. I nursed my first child to 11.5 months exclusively, and I’m nursing my 3 month old exclusively also.
Vaginal dryness is a huge issue for women–that’s why you are seeing so many commercials on TV for vaginal lubricants. Sometimes, it can have very little to do with how turned on you are.
Breastfeeding is most likely causing your vaginal dryness. When you nurse exclusively, your progesterone and estrogen levels drop to near menopausal levels. Once you are no longer nursing, you should see an increase in lubrication. However, fatigue from childrearing and daily life can also decrease the hormones that make sex feel pleasurable and promote lubrication. The bottom line: Tell your husband that your decreased amount of lubrication doesn’t mean you aren’t attracted to or “into him.” It’s related to breastfeeding and fatigue. And, as you enter your late 30’s and 40’s, you will most likely find that you need increasing amounts of lubrication due to aging. Older women have dryer skin, not just on their face, but everywhere. As your husband ages, he’s probably going to need a lubricant as well because older men have dryer skin too–everywhere.
So, break out the lubricant!
Jennifer Degler, Ph.D.
Clinical Psychologist and Life Coach