10 Reasons You're Not Getting Wet

One of the most amazing things about the vagina is that it self-lubricates, and in case you hadn’t heard by now, lubrication can make ALLL the difference in the world when it comes to having good sex. Unfortunately though, you can’t just will yourself to get wet, and it can be super frustrating when you are turned on, but your body isn’t giving you all the help you need. According to experts Jennifer Landa, MD, chief medical officer for BodyLogicMD, clinical sexologist Kristie Overstreet, PhD, and Laurence Orbuch, director of the GYN Laprascopic Associates and co-director of Gynecologic Robotic Surgery at the Beth Israel Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, here are some of the most common reasons you’re not as a wet as you’d like to be.

1. Your antidepressants might be causing the dryness.

Not only do SSRIs interfere with libido, they can also impact vaginal lubrication, explains Dr. Landa. Talk to your psychiatrist about switching to a different medication until you find one that works best for your mental health and your sexual health.

2. You’re breastfeeding.

Dr. Landa says that breastfeeding is also a common time when women have trouble with vaginal dryness due to hormones.

3. You’re a smoker.

Aging, smoking, and other factors that can cause blockage of the arteries could block small arteries in the vaginal area and reduce moisture there, Dr. Landa explains. “The main reason we get wet to begin with is that when the blood vessels in the vaginal area get engorged (like an erection in a man), the higher blood pressure in the blood vessels causes serum to leak across the blood vessels and the mucous membranes of the vagina leading to more moisture.” Dr Landa says.

4. Your hormones are wacky.

One of the most common reasons for a dry vag is a decrease in estrogen levels during menopause, perimenopause, after childbirth, or during breastfeeding, but cancer treatments like chemotherapy and pelvic radiation can also lead to low estrogen and a decrease in vaginal lubrication. If you’ve never experienced any of those things though, it’s probably not that.

5. You’re not connected with your body during sex.

Overstreet says if you simply go through the motions of sex and don’t enjoy the moment, this could be also factor. “If you are disconnected from your body and the present moment, you aren’t allowing your body to fully be aroused. This arousal is what gets the fluids pumping.” To tap into your body more fully, Overstreet recommends practicing mindfulness and breathing exercises to connect with your body and stay in the moment. The more in tune you are with your body, the more you can relax and allow yourself to be turned on.

6. The medications you’re taking have side effects that are drying you out.

Allergy and cold medications with antihistamines and even some asthma medications can cause vaginal dryness, so I guess the solution is simple: Never leave your house again and stop having asthma. Easy, right?! But you could try switching to more natural remedies or talk to your doctor about other options.

7. You might be feeling guilty or shameful about sex.

Overstreet says if you struggle with feeling guilty or dirty about having sex, this can also keep your body from getting wet. “Whether you have felt this way since you were a child or as an adult, it’s important that you work through these. If your mind is telling you that what you’re doing is wrong, your body will listen to it.” Overstreet says it’s important to explore any negative or guilty feelings you have about sex, and work to change your irrational thoughts into rational ones. Try seeing a therapist who specializes in cognitive behavioral therapy. “When your thoughts and beliefs about sex are healthy and accepting, your body will respond favorably.”

8. Your partner isn’t that great in bed. I know it seems obvious, but it’s not you, it’s him.

Sometimes vaginal dryness is just caused by having a low sex drive or having issues with your sexual partner. If he’s not doing what he should be doing or he is and it’s just not working for you, you’re not going to be as wet as you would be if you were really attracted to someone who was spinning your clit in circles like a plate on a stick.

9. The soap you’re using is messing with you.

Some women are allergic to chemicals in soaps, detergents, hygiene products, dyes, and perfumes, which could be on your underwear or towels, and that could cause dryness or irritation, which often go hand in hand. Even some lubes if they’re not right for you can cause dryness, so try switching to natural detergents or a different, more natural lube.

10. You’re way too stressed out.

It’s really hard for women to get turned on when they’re stressed out and not focusing on the sexy thing at hand. And if you’re too distracted to get turned on, your vagina’s not going to get turned on and lubed either. So basically take a nap, have some pizza, and watch Magic Mike. Ideally, you’ll be fine.

Of course, if it is severe and persistent, check in with your gynecologist to make sure it’s nothing serious. And then if it’s not, that Magic Mike thing though. For real.

This post was originally published in 2015 and has been updated.

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