The 10 Best Arousal Gels, Sprays and Serums For You and Your Partner
Plus what the hell do they do?
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There is no magic cure-all for bad, boring sex. Any attempt at fixing it has to start with honest, open communication between yourself and the person you’re having sex with (I know, boring!). But there are some products that will help — or simply enhance it if you’re already happy with the sex you’re having. Vibrators and other sex toys are highly recommended solutions, but if you’re looking to turn it up even a few more notches, allow us to introduce you to the world of arousal gels, sprays and serums — all designed to help you and your partner experience heightened pleasurable sensations.
“As much as I’d love to say that our body and mind were always on the same page, that isn’t always the case, unfortunately. There are times when we want to believe that our body is hungry for sex, but due to a million other factors, our mind isn’t letting us fully relax to become aroused enough during foreplay,” Tatyannah King, a sex blogger and graduate student at the Widener University Center for Human Sexuality Studies tells InsideHook “That’s when arousal gels and sprays may come in handy because they assist us with reaching the excitation phase of sexual desire.”
One 2008 study examined how arousal gels affected 500 sexually active heterosexual women between the ages of 18 and 59, with most participants reporting that using arousal gel met or exceeded expectations, increased sensitivity in their genital area and made their intimate experience better, notes King. And while arousal products have been around at least since 2008, they seem to be having a moment in the current sexual wellness market, with modern sex brands like Dame and Cake releasing their own versions of arousal gels each designed for different genitalia.
So what do you need to know before adding a new stimulating oil, spray or gel to your sex routine? First, while they can increase lubrication, arousal products are not the same as personal lubricants. Personal lubricant is commonly a water-based product (also silicone-based, oil-based, or a hybrid form) that mimics the natural lubrication of the body that happens during sex. “Arousal oils and gels are like an aphrodisiac to your skin that helps get you in the mood. Arousal gels work by increasing blood flow to the genital tissue, which can lead to enhanced sexual arousal, lubrication, and orgasm,” says King.
You should also be on the lookout for products that include ingredients like glycerin, parabens, petroleum jelly, benzocaine, menthol, or propylene glycol. While King notes these ingredients aren’t harmful, they might just have irritating side effects like burning or itching. And as with any serum, oil or cream you’re about to put on your body, King recommends doing a quick skin test by massaging a few drops into your inner wrist before putting it elsewhere.
“If your skin starts to form a rash or has an adverse reaction to the product, then don’t use that lube. Still, I wouldn’t necessarily assume that if your external skin doesn’t have a bad reaction to the product then that automatically means you won’t have a reaction internally, but the quick skin test on your wrist is at least a good place to start,” she adds.
Most importantly, be sure to check if a product is safe to use with condoms. “If the product is oil-based then it can potentially break down the material of a latex condom (and silicone sex toys, as well), so make sure to check the ingredients before use,” says King.
So to start you on your journey to better sex, below are 10 arousal gels, sprays and serums for you, your partner and anyone else involved.
Foria offers a collection of 100% plant-based and organic hemp products for intimacy and everyday well-being. The Awaken Arousal Oil is the brand’s best-seller — a topical made to enhance pleasure and help ease discomfort, especially for those with endometriosis, vaginismus and other pelvic and genital pain conditions.
Stim for him is an arousal gel for your solo endeavors. The gel from the Los Angeles-based startup produces an intense tingling sensation, and switches between cooling and warming feel for maximum pleasure. The herbal formula includes natural extracts and ingredients like Kwao Krua Dang, caffeine and niacin for a unique, invigorating sensation that moight even help your solo sessions last longer.
We’re not sure what they put in this thing (okay, we do it’s formulated with a ton of natural ingredients like passionflower and pumpkin seed oil), but this pleasure oil from clean intimate brand Bloomi gets the blood rushing almost immediately.
Bloomi Arousal Serum
Another effectively titillating option from Bloomi, though this serum features a water-based formula with CBD and botanical aphrodisiacs — meaning, unlike the oil above, its compatible with silicone and latex products. (Huzzah!)
The female-founded sexual wellness brand’s Arousal Serum is designed to generate a warm, tingling sensation for those with vulvas to enhance and heighten clitoral stimulation. The 100% natural, water-based formula utilizes intriguing ingredients like ginger, peppermint and cinnamon.
A customer-favorite from the eccentric, female-founded company Unbound, Jolt Gel features natural, stimulating ingredients like peppermint oil, plus organic extracts and amino acids to encourage blood flow and incite a tingly sensentation that gets her where she needs to go without getting too intense. Also a pro: it’s a water-based formula, meaning it’s compatible with toys, condoms and lubricants.
While not technically an arousal product, Promescent’s best-selling “Delay Spray” will help intimate moments last longer. The lidocaine-based formula is clinically proven to help penis-owners last longer in bed, thanks to the brand’s patented fast-absorption technology that doesn’t leave you entirely numb or transfer to your partner.
Promescent also offers a paraben- and hormone-free arousal gel designed to be massaged onto sensitive areas and within five minutes of application, produce a buzzing sensation with gentle warming effects.
Trojan Arouses & Intensifies
Trojan’s Arouses & Intensifies is a lubricant/arousal gel combo. So yes, you can use it like a personal lubricant, it’s safe to use with latex condoms and produces an array of warming, heating, cooling and tingling sensations for both you and your partner.
For when you need to delay while you’re away. These travel-friendly benzocaine wipes from the online telehealth platform hims work quickly to help extend your sexual endurance.
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