I get a lot of husbands asking me the question “Why doesn’t my wife get wet?” I similarly get questions from wives asking why their husband doesn’t believe them when they say they’re enjoying themselves during sex despite not being lubricated.
So, here we go. A short primer on why your wife (or you) might not be lubricating during sex.
Lubrication is not an indication of mental arousal
First off, we have been wrongly taught that arousal = wetness for women. Just as we’ve been taught that arousal = hardness for men. However, any guy with erectile dysfunction knows that that’s not the case. Even if you don’t deal with E.D. in your marriage, most men remember being a teenager, when a slight breeze could get you erect. So, men sort of know this is true. However, society is a little slower to accept this same truth for women.
Truth is that the part of the brain that directs lubrication is not the same part that is responsible for our mental arousal. They are part of a much larger system that deals with sexuality in general, but separate. In short, a woman can lubricate when she’s not aroused and she can not lubricate when she is aroused. In fact, for a woman, on average, arousal non-concordance (the link between the two) is about 10%. That means 90% of the time, her mental arousal and her lubrication level do not have a correlation.
So, just because she’s not wet, doesn’t mean she doesn’t want to have sex. It doesn’t mean she’s not enjoying what her husband is doing. It doesn’t mean you should give up.
You need a lot of water to lubricate
Our bodies run on water. We use it for … well, a lot of stuff. One of those things is to produce lubrication. So, if you don’t have enough water in your system, guess what’s going to suffer? Well, everything, but also lubrication.
So, make sure she is getting enough water. If she drinks alcohol or coffee, she might find it harder to lubricate as they dehydrate you. Yes, alcohol and coffee do not count as water, even though they contain water. They will actually cause you to be more dehydrated. Same thing if your salt intake is high.
Hormones can alter your ability to lubricate
Pregnancy, childbirth, menopause and monthly cycles can all play havoc with how much a woman lubricates. And it’s different for every person, but here are the general guidelines:
Pregnancy – Typically someone will lubricate better during pregnancy because there’s a ton more liquid in the entire system. However, this assumes that they are drinking adequate water. You need a lot more water for amniotic fluid and there’s also a lot more blood in the body during pregnancy, which is mostly made up of water. So, often pregnancy comes with more lubrication.
Childbirth & Nursing – Childbirth typically kicks off breastfeeding, which takes a lot of water. It also drastically changes the hormones in the body and the body is using a lot of water to deal with healing after birth. As a result, lubrication suffers. It can for months afterwards, if not longer.
Menopause – Women typically experience dryness during menopause. I’m afraid I don’t have a specific cause other than hormones. But, be aware, it’s a common problem.
Monthly Cycles – The common effect works like this: The closer to ovulation, the more lubrication. The further from it, the least. However, during menstruation, there’s blood, which is lubricating, but a different system. However, you can take advantage of that if you wish.
Stress plays with the system I alluded to above. It affects the component that registers mental arousal. In short, for 90% of the population, stress makes it harder to get aroused, both mentally and physically. That means that whatever concordance you have between arousal and lubrication will be dampened.
There are a lot of medications that have side effects of sexual arousal issues. Often they aren’t even listed
because arousal issues are not really considered medical problems by the FDA. At least, not in women.
However, there are some ordinary medications that you might not know cause dryness:
Adderall – Taken for ADHD and all its subtypes
Acutane – For acne
Blood pressure – If you have high blood pressure, then the meds are designed to decreased blood flow. Unfortunately, this means it’s harder to get water to the proper places for lubrication.
Antidepressants – Not only does the depression cause arousal issues, but the meds do too.
Antihistamines – For allergies and colds. The meds are designed to dry you up to stop watery eyes and mucus. However, it also dries up your genitals as well.
Shampoos, Soaps, Perfume, etc.
Lastly, check what’s in your soaps and such. Some of them contain parabens, which might be hidden under many names. Anything with “paraben”, “ethyl”, “butyl”, “methyl” and “propyl” could be in the paraben family.
Parabens can confuse our systems. They think their hormones which can cause our bodies to stop producing the proper ones because it thinks it has enough. That can seriously mess with your body chemistry. It affects some people more than others, but if you are looking for reasons, try buying paraben-free soaps, shampoos, etc..
The point is, it could be a lot of things
But it’s probably not you, or what you’re doing. Just grab some lube and continue having fun. I’ll be writing a post on different kinds of lubes soon, so, make sure you subscribe so you don’t miss it.
7 thoughts on “Why doesn’t my wife get wet?”
I’ve always used artificial lubricant Everytime I have sex and I’ve never worried about it.
So many reasons to use it – being wet on the inside (vagina) but dry on the outside (labia) can make penetration very painful.
Also I sometimes get dry right in the middle of sex for no reason at all which makes sex painful.
If your wife is having pain during sex a good place to start is making sure she is lubricated enough by using artificial lubricant.
I like wicked brand lubricant and they make a vaginal lubricant for sensitive skin.
Do you have children? My wife has the same problem and I’m worried use of lubricants is affecting our chances of getting a child. It’s traumatizing TTC and still nothing happens.
We use lube almost all the time, mostly coconut oil or sweet almond oil, though some synthetics as well, and we have 5 children.
Thanks Jay. This is encouraging; we’ll keep trying and hope for the best.
My wife says it hurts during intercourse, and some time has caused he to bleed. We use a good silicone lubricant “Navy something”. What else cone we or she do?
I would book an appointment with a doctor to figure out what’s going on.
Post menopausal now, so I’m dry as a bone. But, I’ve always needed to use lube of some kind and it’s never been a problem. Some women just don’t produce a lot of wetness.