Please note that this post has been sponsored by K-Y.
Growing up, I had a mother who was very open about everything. It was just the two of us for a long time, so she took it upon herself to make sure she taught me everything that she wished she knew when she was a young girl, going through changes and feeling all of the feels. She always encouraged me to be comfortable with my body and to not feel ashamed for wanting to express myself, wear what I choose to wear or even run around naked if I felt like it. But equally, it was also okay to just not wanna talk about it sometimes, as my body changed and gradually morphed into a woman. I definitely learned from her that it can be a very personal experience.
When I was 12 years old, I was invited into the hospital room when my mother was giving birth to my little sister. The doctor got me quite involved by handing me a pair of gloves and allowing me to put my hand on her tiny head while she was crowning – and yes, still inside of my mother. I watched her enter into the world and was even the first person to hold her. I had front row seats to the entire birth process from start to finish, and everything in between. When I tell people this story, I’m usually met with a look of shock and complete awe. But it really was such a huge bonding and learning experience for me and my family. I was able to see firsthand just one of the many ways in which a woman’s body can be so truly incredible.
I remember the first time my mother and I talked about me getting my period. Obviously, I was pretty mortified and confused, but talking to her about it took away some of the shame. She described in great detail certain things that can start to happen, how to use a tampon correctly should I want to use one, and even the way I might start to feel physically and emotionally. So on my first day of high school when I actually got my period for the first time (yep, pretty great timing), I was fairly prepared – or as prepared as one can be when you’re all of a sudden surprise-bleeding from your vagina for the first time in your life on your first day of high school.
By 15, I had already learned about sex numerous times from numerous sources – my mother, my friends and even through health classes at school. But, I remember her sitting me down and saying, “Listen, yes there’s biological sex and all of it’s components, but then there are so many other factors involved as well. There may be love, there may be different partners, there may even be different things that you want to try for fun – but whatever or whomever you decide that you’re into, I want you to be proud of it and know that it’s okay and that you should never feel ashamed.”
I’m not sure if she knows it, even to this day, how much it meant to me that she found a way to help me open the doors to feeling empowered about my sexuality. It’s a deeply inherent part of who we are as humans and should be recognized as such. Removing the shame and stigma of being and feeling sexual, especially as a woman, is now something I’m very passionate about. I know what I like in a partner inside and outside of the bedroom and I sure as heck know what I like when there’s no partner involved whatsoever. But let me tell you, it’s okay to feel sexual, in general – with or without the sex. It’s okay to want to express this sexuality outwardly. It’s also okay to not want to express it at all. But what isn’t okay is shaming someone for it, whatever it is that they decide.
K-Y is encouraging Canadian women to take control of their bodies and sex lives by bringing pleasure and comfort to the forefront. It’s time to break the stigma of embarrassment so that we can take charge of our bodies and get back to enjoying sex on our own terms. Our bodies change throughout each stage of life, meaning our sexual and physical needs can change too. Which also means that naturally-occurring lubrication can vary throughout the menstrual cycle due to normal changes in hormone levels.
Hormones are tricky little things within the human body. And they can really dictate what the heck is going on down there. For example, some women who have hormonal imbalances or some women who are perimenopausal or menopausal, may experience forms of vaginal dryness. And trust me when I say, that shit is uncomfortable, my friends. As a woman ages, vaginal atrophy can also occur, making it more painful to have intercourse. The need for extra lubrication, not only for sexual activities, but for comfort in general, can be necessary.*
Adding in a personal lubricant can help to relieve discomfort and friction associated with many forms of intimate activity, including with the use of a condom. And while this can help to make sex more comfortable for those experiencing issues like vaginal dryness, adding in the K-Y SILK-E® Vaginal Moisturizer and Personal Lubricant is a great option. It’s specially designed to help relieve discomfort due to vaginal dryness. But why don’t we actually talk about this more often? And why is it that when we go to grab a bottle of lube, we’re all automatically hyper-sexualized, instead of just accepted, understood and celebrated?
And listen, when I’m talking about sex, I’m not just talking about a penis entering a vagina – although that’s still pretty darn great if you ask me. But there are so many different ways and definitions of how one can “have sex”, so to speak. And within each of those definitions, can come different needs for additional lubrication. With K-Y offering alcohol-free, fragrance-free options and being the #1 Doctor Recommended vaginal lubricant brand, you know you’re in good hands (do you see what I did there?) no matter what sexual activity you’re partaking in.
A personal favourite of mine is the Naturals Intimate Extra Moisture Gel. Since it’s water-based (rather than oil-based), it can pair well with toys. It’s also a good choice for those of you who are sensitive to specific additives that may be contained within some silicone-based lubricants. Another one that’s fun to use with a partner is the K-Y Warming Jelly, which has a warming sensation that’s fun to play with, all while keeping the pleasure and comfort going strong.
I actually had a guy ask me once during an intimate situation, “why would you even need lube?! Is there something wrong with you that you just can’t produce it yourself?”. Oh my goodness, honey. You’ve gotta get “woke” as the kids these days say. Just because I want to add in a personal lubricant, doesn’t mean that there’s anything “wrong” with me. It does mean that I may want the option to enjoy my experience a whole heck of lot more if I feel like it, no matter what we’re doing. And if you can’t see that, then we’re not gonna have much fun here. Ammirite?!
So, what do you think? Isn’t it time for us women to take charge of our sex lives?
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K-Y is hosing a contest and to enter, be sure to visit www.mykycontest.ca/ymc – contest closes January 9th 2020.
Photos by Catherine Sugrue
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by K-Y. In exchange for this post, I have received perks in the form of compensation and products. All opinions on this blog are my own.