Association of Lubricant Use with Women's Sexual Pleasure, Sexual Satisfaction, and Genital Symptoms: A Prospective Daily Diary Study

Debra Herbenick, Michael Reece, Devon Hensel, Stephanie Sanders, Kristen Jozkowski, J. Dennis Fortenberry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

49 Scopus citations


Although lubricant use is commonly recommended to women for solo and partnered sexual activities, little is known about women's use of lubricant or their relationship to sexual pleasure and satisfaction. Aim: The aim of this study was to assess: (i) how adult women used lubricant during partnered and solo sexual activities; (ii) relations between women's reports of sexual pleasure and satisfaction and their use of a lubricant during a particular sexual event; and (iii) to what extent lubricant use was associated with subsequent genital symptoms. Methods: A total of 2,453 women completed a 5-week internet-based, double-blind prospective daily diary study in which they were assigned to use one of six water- or silicone-based lubricants. Main Outcome Measures: Baseline data included demographics, contraceptive use, and sexual behavior during the 4 weeks prior to study enrollment. Daily diary data included reports of penile-vaginal sex, penile-anal sex, solo sex, lubricant use, lubricant application, ratings of sexual pleasure and satisfaction, and genital symptoms. Results: Water-based lubricants were associated with fewer genital symptoms compared with silicone-based lubricants. In addition, the use of a water-based or silicone-based lubricant was associated with higher ratings of sexual pleasure and satisfaction for solo sex and penile-vaginal sex. Water-based lubricant use was associated with higher ratings of sexual pleasure and satisfaction for penile-anal sex as compared with no lubricant use. Conclusion: The water- and silicone-based lubricants used in this study were associated with significantly higher reports of sexual pleasure and satisfaction and rarely associated with genital symptoms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)202-212
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Sexual Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2011



  • Dyspareunia
  • Genital
  • Lubricant
  • Sexual function
  • Sexual pleasure
  • Sexual satisfaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Reproductive Medicine

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