In the previous installment of Sex Talk, Dr. Pat and Dr. Hilda kicked off a conversation about vaginal lubrication, sexual satisfaction, and oral sex. Here, they get down to business, talking about their favorite lubricants and vaginal moisturizers, how to save those expensive bed linens, and why they know that men enjoy performing oral sex on women.

Dr. Hilda: There are so many lubricants on the market now, it’s just amazing. I love going to the adult stores in New York City because there are so many really good ones.

Dr. Pat: Ovules that go into the vagina —

Dr. Hilda: They have ovules that keep you moisturized —

Dr. Pat: Right. You put one in two times a week.

Dr. Hilda – every day. That’s a moisturizer. That’s the difference between a moisturizer and a lubricant. The lubricants you use right before sex or during sex. For older women, I love lubricants with silicone. They ruin your sheets, though. If you’ve got nice, expensive, cotton sheets, they stain.

Dr. Pat: Put a towel on top of the sheets!

Dr. Hilda: Yes!  That’s what I do—put a towel on it, because they ruin your sheets.

Dr. Pat: And a water-based lubricant is especially important when we talk about condom use.

Dr. Hilda: Exactly.

Dr. Pat: Oil-based lubricants can interfere with the effectiveness of a condom, both in terms of preventing sexually transmitted diseases and allowing the emergence of those crafty spermatozoa.

Dr. Hilda: Absolutely. And the silicone-based ones, which are also water-based, have an oily texture, but you can use them with a condom. And the reason I like to use them in menopausal women is because they last a long time.  THEY really lubricate the vaginal wall very, very well, protect it from abrasions, and last a long time, so you don’t have to add any additional lubricant during sex. But silicon lubes are difficult to remove, and will stain your sheets, so you do need to put a towel down.  [Laughs]

And then there are a lot of other ones. Astroglide is not silicone-based, but is water-based. It has glycerin in it. Some women who have diabetes may find that they get more yeast infections when they’re using lubricants with glycerin in them, but it’s a great over-the-counter water-based lubricant that I particularly like.

Dr. Pat: And for patients who are allergic to just everything, who are in a monogamous relationship and do not need to consider condoms, mineral oil is a very good lubricant.  Not a moisturizer, but a lubricant. You know, it comes in that quart jar, it costs $10 for a quart. And I always say to my patients, “Honey, be sure to decant that into something pretty and pink, because no erection is going to withstand the sight of a quart of oil being pulled out.”[Laughter]

But I also suggest to patients that they try a little of a new lubricant, that they try it just on the inside of their upper thigh a couple of days before they decide to really put a lot of it on there. Because I’ve seen some really unpleasant reactions.  We just don’t know how each woman will react to every product.

Dr. Hilda: Yeah.

Dr. Pat —No woman wants to use the wrong potion.

Dr. Hilda: I think that’s especially true if you’re going to use one of the warming lubricants. You know, now they have these lubricants that warm, that tingle, that do everything except –

Dr. Pat: And how do they do that?

Dr. Hilda: They have menthol.

Dr. Pat: Ah!

Dr. Hilda: A lot of them have something like menthol in them, so when you put it on a moist surface, body part—

Dr. Pat: Yes.

Dr. Hilda: — it warms.

Dr. Pat: Like camphor rubs. Vicks.

Dr. Hilda: It warms up. And for some women that’s very arousing. When you put it around the clitoral area and it heats up, they become very aroused.

Dr. Pat: And also there’s always the placebo effect.

Dr. Hilda: Of course.

Dr. Pat: You know?  Yes, they say “This works on television,” so …

Dr. Hilda: Do they say “This works on television?” I haven’t been watching the right channels! [Laughs]

Dr. Pat: Certainly there are commercials.

Dr. Hilda: I don’t watch enough television, I think. PBS doesn’t have much of that.

They also have these wonderful flavored lubes. Yours & Mine, Kissable Sensations.

Dr. Pat: Ah!

Dr. Hilda: Amazing! Chocolate and strawberry. And they actually taste good.

Dr. Pat: Well, this is a way to enjoy counting calories.

Dr. Hilda: They say, “Don’t use it inside your vagina.” But why would you need to put it inside your vagina?  You put it on your vulva.

Dr. Pat: Right.

Dr. Hilda: And you rub it on the penis, and it just makes the whole oral experience so much better. And I find that women are very uncomfortable with oral sex because they worry about how they smell and how they taste.  Now, I always say that men love —

Dr. Pat: Yes!

Dr. Hilda: … men love nothing —

Dr. Pat: Men love it!

Dr. Hilda: — more than giving oral sex. What I say to my patients is, “If a man didn’t find it pleasurable, do you think he would stay down there for more than ten seconds?”  I mean, really now. What man would stay in that position —

Dr. Pat: Right.

Dr. Hilda: — for more than ten seconds if it wasn’t pleasurable?

Dr. Pat: Right.

Dr. Hilda: I mean, we might be martyrs . . .

Dr. Pat: [Laughs]  Right.

Dr. Hilda: . . . but very few men are going to be martyrs like that.

Dr. Pat: That’s true.

Dr. Hilda: And so I try to get women to be more accepting of their bodies by giving them that little scenario. But this lube, it’s a combination called His and Hers. It doesn’t matter whether he uses the chocolate or you do, or he uses strawberry or you do, whatever. You can even make a nice little mixture of chocolate and strawberry on your vulva. And it makes women feel better because it also smells good. So if they can smear some of this on the vulva, it makes them feel more comfortable, because “Now I don’t have to worry about how I smell or how I taste because it smells good, and it tastes good because of this lube.” And so I’ve found that many women enjoy oral sex more by using this little addition of the flavored lubes. And they really do taste good.

Dr. Pat: Of course, so many women are only orgasmic with oral sex, which is why —

Dr. Hilda: Absolutely.

Dr. Pat: — which is why it’s such a shame that they feel bad about it.

Dr. Hilda: Absolutely. And I tell them, the easiest way for most women to experience orgasm is to get it out of their heads that they’re distasteful down there, that it smells bad, it looks bad, it tastes bad.

Dr. Pat: Oh, let’s get to the looking bad part.

Dr. Hilda: But once they get past that, they can just like present themselves, like dessert on a plate — [Laughter]

Dr. Pat: Yes.

Dr. Hilda: —and they’re able to enjoy it.  [Laughs]

In the next Sex Talk, Dr. Pat and Dr. Hilda on “the looking bad part:” women, body image, and the bedroom.