three nights in a row

I often sleep with earplugs, because my apartment faces a main road so traffic noise sometimes keeps me awake. Lately though, no.

But. Three nights in a row this weekend, I was awoken by the sounds of my neighbor having sex.

Three. Nights. In a row.

Now, I’m a GREAT neighbor when it comes to that kind of thing. It doesn’t bother me at all. (In fact I once accidentally embarrassed the hell out of a roommate by sweetly expressing my appreciation for the fact that he made his girlfriend come three times one night. Apparently this was awkward for him. Woops.) The first night, I just smiled and thought, “Awwww, that’s nice,” when I heard the little whimpering noises and gasped “oh gods” coming from #6. And then it went on… and on… for an hour and a half. At which point I gave up and put in my earplugs. No offense to my neighbor, I just needed to get some sleep.

Night two. “Must be a new relationship,” I thought to myself. Squeak-a squeak-a squeak-a. “Oh god!” For an hour and a half. Earplugs.

Night three. “Hope they’re using a high quality silicone lube.” Earplugs.

So I’d like to take this opportunity to talk about lube.

Humans are not designed for marathon sex. Both male and female genitals (and everything in between) will chafe and ache with friction. The vagina is not designed to provide adequate lubrication for any but the most perfunctory intercourse. And a chafed vagina is a vagina more at risk for infection! Add to that the non-concordance of physiological arousal and experienced arousal and you have some extremely compelling reasons to use LUBE.

What kind of lube?

I am a silicone lube evangelist. Things like this one or this one or indeed all of these. Look for ingredient lists that consist primarily or exclusively of things like cyclomethicone, dimethicone, etc.

Why do I praise silicone lube to the heavens?

1. Latex safe. Use it with both male condoms and female condoms, latex or polyurethane.

2. Waterproof. Need I say more? You’ll need SOAP and water to wash it off in the morning. Plain, unscented soap on your naughty bits, please.

3. Thick. It doesn’t dribble all over in runny mess, losing its efficacy. Especially for super-long marathon sex (an hour and a half definitely qualifies) or anal sex, look for something like Pjur Power Cream, which is nice and thick, so it stays where you put it.

4. Lasts longer than you do. It simply does not evaporate. It lasts a long, long, long, long time. So even though, yes, it is expensive, you only need to use a tiny bit, so one bottle goes a long way.

5. Dries to a silky powder finish. Where water-based lubes often dry to a sticky, gummy mess on your hands, silicone lubes just feel soft and powdery, so you can caress your partner’s body and face without feeling like you’re smearing spirit gum all over your lover.

It’s also very unlikely to cause an allergic reaction or yeast infections (unlike flavored and/or glycerin-based lubes), it has no flavor so you can taste your partner’s skin and fluids, and silicone is a comparatively sustainable, biodegradable resource, so it’s not too atrocious for the environment, unlike petroleum-based lubes (which are also unsuitable for use with latex.)

The one thing silicone lube ISN’T good for is use with silicone toys. It’ll break down the surface of the toy. Bad news bears. Put condoms on your toys if you’re not sure. And ALWAYS use lube with protective barriers. Lube increases their efficacy AND makes them more pleasant to use.

So look: if you’re going to have noisy sex for hours at a time, three nights in a row, there are two things you should do. (1) Have a patient, sex positive neighbor like me; and (2) Use silicone lube.

And I will sleep with earplugs, both to guard my neighbor’s privacy and to improve my sleep.