Ladies. Let’s be real. Talking about the bedroom and sex can be uncomfortable and funny and weird. In my experience, discussing these things (and not being awkward about it!) can be a great way to open the doors for a needed discussion and surprisingly help you make new friends. Just the other day, a friend was reminding me that within moments of meeting her I leaned over and whispered “two words: coconut oil.” She looked both shocked and intrigued and then weeks later returned to me and said I’d transformed her sex life—and naturally!
Scroll down for a few items that are both safe and natural to use in the bedroom.
1. Natural Lubricant
Lube can be a necessary and helpful item in the bedroom, but there are a few things to consider. While inconclusive there are some studies that indicate potential cell damage, a cause for caution. Specific ingredients to avoid are glycerine, which facilitates the growth of harmful bacteria, creating a breeding ground for yeast despite its helpfulness in making the lube “slippery.” Another ingredient to avoid is Phenoxyethanol. According to the EWG, this chemical is moderately hazardous, with possible links to skin irritation and organ system toxicity, something I’m personally not willing to risk. High concentrations have been associated with reproductive damage, depressed immunity, and reduced nervous system function in newborns. Glycerine, is a form of sugar which may increase incidence of candida, and can result in vaginal yeast infections in women susceptible to them. It can read on a label as glycerine, glyceritol, or glycyl alcohol, so you want to be on the lookout for all these ingredients. Last on the list, you definitely don’t want any lubes that contain propylene glycol, although the FDA says it is an ingredient safely found in other items, the Center for Disease Control notes that it is does affect certain organ systems.
Ready for some safer, natural options?
Two words people: coconut oil. I wish I could just bold that and call it a day. We use it in cooking, and to remove our makeup. Coconut oil has become both trendy and scrutinized by the media as of late but I am still a true believer. As someone who has sensitivities to lots of ingredients in lotions, sunscreens, and yes, lubricants, a natural oil option like coconut oil is my go-to. Other oils like cold-pressed organic olive oil or almond oil are also good choices, but be sure to check and see if you have a sensitivity to any of these (including coconut oil) before using them…down there. Bonus: Coconut oil has anti-fungal properties that are helpful in avoiding yeast infections.
Organic water-based lubes. Yes WB Water Based Lubricant and Passion Natural Water Based Lube are also great options. Water-based lubes keep you away from synthetic or toxic ingredients, won’t stain your sheets, and wash off easily.
Aloe-based lube. Like this 100% vegan, petrochemical-free, glycerin-free & paraben-free lubricant from Good Clean Love. It’s organic, great for super sensitive skin, includes no harsh chemicals, and it smells kind of magical with hints of lemon and vanilla.
She said I transformed her sex life—and naturally!
I’m gonna throw out some words that really just sound like scary toxic monsters: parabens and carcinogens. Now what are they? Parabens are preservatives that are mostly used in pharmaceutical and cosmetic products (thank you EWG for helping me clean out my makeup stash!). They are regarded as toxic by many and are even shown to be associated with higher rates of cancer. They also reportedly cause infertility and can alter estrogen hormones. Parabens are commonly used in spermicides and lubricants. Most companies do not include parabens in their condoms but do contain nitrosamines which are carcinogenic and really common in non-latex and even some latex condoms. (They are also found in balloons, gloves, pacifiers, and cosmetics.) We should also note that using a natural oil as a lube should not be used in conjunction with condoms because it leads to breakage.
Good news! There are healthier condoms and they even have fancy titles!
The vegan (flavored!) condom. Glyde makes certified ethical, vegan & Fair Trade condoms. They are crafted through a special formula of plant-based ingredients like natural rubber latex and thistle extract. They were voted the #1 choice for a natural, sustainable, and ethical sexual health brand.
The Fair Trade condom. Sustain is a brand new sustainable, Fair Trade, non-gmo, organic condom company marketed to women. 10% of their profits go to organizations that provide reproductive healthcare and family planning services to women in the U.S. and they boast a low odor and free of nitrosamines.
The condom that gives back. For every item purchased, Fair Squared donates one to a girl in a developing country. They are made of natural rubber, they are C02 neutral, vegan, cruelty-free and produced under fair conditions. A similar company L. Condoms, also donates to women in other countries and is one of the most sustainable brands out there.
Good news! There are healthier condoms…
3. Essential oils
Great for giving your partner a massage and diffusing to set the mood, these natural oils can help you get in the mood, feel relaxed, and help things heat up. Oils like ylang ylang and wild orange are a great natural aphrodisiac. Others like bergamot, sandalwood, and rosemary can increase your libido. When looking for an essential oil, I know it’s tempting to just grab a cheap oil set and diffuser for $20 at Walmart or Target, but those oils aren’t certified and can be full of synthetics and fillers.
Below are a few ways to utilize oils in the bedroom.
Diffuse. Geranium is an oil that is great for elevating emotions of love and happiness, and clary sage can help improve sexual desire. Take note! Not all diffusers are made equal. Look for a diffuser that has an automatic off setting and that diffuses in spurts of time, instead of running for 4 hours at a time.
Massage. Want to make things spicy? Try the combo I like to call “fire and ice.” It’s a mix of black pepper and peppermint, one helps heat it up, while the other cools you down. Lavender is great to reduce anxiety, balance energy, and increase blood flow. It’s smart to mix a few drops of an essential oil with a carrier oil so as to avoid direct contact and follow safety guidelines as per an aromatherapist.
Pillow spray/Relaxing bath. Lavender, Roman Chamomile, and Valerian can help calm anxiety and make the mood light and easy, while adding a nice scent. Using these in a bath together can be a great way to connect.
4. Miscellaneous Items
I’ll end with a few items that might be things you’ve never heard of but can be really nice for you and your partner.
Epsom salts. Great for a foot soak (followed by a foot rub!) or as an addition to a bath, for you or your man. Relax a bit before getting frisky. Epsom salts are magnesium sulphate heptahydrate. The magnesium ions break apart from Epsom salt molecules and begin to relieve stress by promoting the production of serotonin and reducing the effects of adrenaline. Magnesium also plays a critical role in the production of energy in cells, helping us to feel invigorated. They were originally obtained by boiling down mineral waters at Epsom, England. Fancy! I’m married to a European so I think that means I need these. We use them on the daily. (You can even add them to a bath for your littles to help calm them at bedtime…and make more time for you two in bed!)
Speaking of magnesium…I learned about this when I was pregnant and had insane leg cramps. We talked about using essential oils in a massage but there are also some great magnesium body butters out there. Use this in a massage or as a “help-me-get-to-sleep body butter” since your husband is already out and you need time to relax (can I get an Amen?). You can also buy Magnesium in an oil spray form as well. If you want to get real crazy you can even make your own by just adding magnesium flakes with coconut oil, emulsifying wax and shea butter. Just know, I can see your eye rolls now, but I love a good DIY!
All of these items are fairly inexpensive and most are available on Amazon. If you haven’t yet, you should consider making the switch to more natural products (and not just in the bedroom!) Be sure to share with your friends too! You never know who will thank you for how you changed their sex life.
You’ll also like The Reality of STDs: Hard Conversations You Need to Have, Will Waiting for Marriage Lead to a Boring Sex Life?, Great Sex—What Is It?, 7 Things to Look for in a Man, and 5 Important Things to Discuss as a New Couple