From Our Readers
April 22, 2016 8:47 am
Getty Images / Regine Mahaux

They say there’s a time and place to try everything, and June 2015 found me selling lube at the baseball fields of one of Seattle’s gay softball leagues. I had just launched my company, Penchant, which sells luxury personal lubricant. While my marketplace is mainly online, I figured a jaunt to the baseball fields would give me the opportunity to see people’s firsthand reactions to the new brand. The softball league organizers graciously let me indulge my desires, so I stood there, sweating slightly in my heels, squinting into the sunlight and asking people if they wanted to enhance their sex lives.

In retrospect, lube is one of those products that people really want to buy in the privacy of their homes. I got a few surprised glances as people read the sign that said, “Your new favorite lube,” and then looked at the bottles in front of them. But overall, the reception wasn’t bad. After all, the men I spoke with were some of my target market, and they lined up with good-natured smiles to buy a few bottles. The thing that troubled me the most, though? The reaction from so many women there.

“No thanks. I don’t need lube,” one woman said, brushing past my kiosk in one of the more defensive gestures of the day.

Yikes. I didn’t have time to counter that argument before she hurried past, and to this day I remember her words. Many other women since have given me this same knee-jerk reaction, one that makes me want to tell them everything I’ve learned about the importance of lube and women’s pleasure.

First of all, there’s a huge misconception that if you don’t need lube, you can’t benefit from it. Lube is such a multi-purpose powerhouse. You can use it for a sensual massage. You can use it to prevent chafing when you run. But most importantly, it can enhance the great sex you’re already having.

Lube makes everything so. much. fun. Studies have shown that using lube during sex significantly increases your satisfaction and pleasure, and can make it easier to achieve orgasm. Sex is one of those rare cases where the thing that feels good is actually super good for you. Let me repeat that: your pleasure is good for you.

Orgasms bring a host of health benefits, from boosting your endorphins to helping banish your lingering headache. Studies have shown that a morning orgasm can actually increase your concentration and improve your performance at work. Sounds like a good reason to set the alarm a little earlier, don’t you think?

While society will weigh in on your sex life with one hundred different opinions (too much, not enough, too vanilla, too kinky…), you have to do what’s right for you. What brings you pleasure and what works for your body is unique to you, and you’re allowed to embrace that. The only way you’ll know what you like is if you explore your own body and sexuality. Hand in hand with that, ahem, comes masturbation. Whether it’s with your hands or a favorite toy, self-pleasure is part of a normal, healthy sex life. After all, the more you learn what you like, the more you can ask for it from your partner. The key is to give yourself permission to experience those feelings. And if you want to use lube while doing it, all the better.

If you’re trying lube for the first time, here’s a quick guide to get you started. Water-based lubricants are great for playing with toys and are typically very easy to clean up. Because of this, they come recommended for quickies! Silicone lubricants are the longest-lasting variety, and a few drops will last you a whole session. They also work great when you’re in the shower or pool, since water can strip away your natural lubrication. Either one you choose, have fun experimenting until you find your favorite kind. Trust me, there’s a lube for every mood, and they all lead to more pleasurable experience.

Women deserve that pleasure. Our bodies are built for it, with nerve endings and sensors that serve no other purpose than to delight us. Pleasure really is for everyone — an equal-opportunity proposition, if you will. Gratification is both ageless and classless, and with the range of pleasure-enhancing products on the market today, body size, shape, gender, ability, or disability are no longer roadblocks to having the experiences that you want.

Sex may have been one of the taboo topics of the past, but I’m happy to say the conversation is growing every day. With Penchant, I’m proud to be part of a new tradition that helps people of all genders and ages take charge of their pleasure. We all have a right to healthy, safe, and fulfilling sex lives, and lube can be part of that equation.

Tanya Gallagher is a writer and entrepreneur living in Seattle. She traded pencil skirts in the boardroom for e-commerce in the bedroom and hasn’t looked back since. You can find her traveling the world in search of beautiful scenery and delicious cake. Her products are available on and at