Lack of arousal can make it hard to get wet or stay wet during sex.

If You Have A Hard Time Getting Wet, Here's Why (And How To Fix It!)

Because the alternative is... ouch.

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You deserve to be having the best sex you want to be, and knowing how to make your body feel good can be a total game changer. If you're starting to find that you're not getting or staying wet during sex, there are plenty of ways to make getting frisky more comfortable for you. Feeling stressed about not getting wet or experiencing any pain from vaginal friction can make it harder to relax and really enjoy getting it on. There's no shame in feeling dry — it's more common than you might think, and there are plenty of reasons it might be happening to you. If you're not getting super wet, it's helpful to understand what factors might be at play, and what that means for your body.

"When sexually aroused, blood flow increases to the genitals," Alicia Sinclair, founder and CEO of COTR, Inc. and certified sex educator, tells Elite Daily. "For someone with a vulva, this means the clitoris and vulva swell, and the vagina reacts by lubricating itself with the famous Bartholin’s Glands (at the opening of the vagina). Dryness creates friction, so this is the body’s way of making any sort of vaginal penetration or vulva stimulation more comfortable."

You Might Not Get Wet If You’re Not Physically Or Psychologically Aroused

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While natural lubrication is defined by the physical, Dr. Misty Smith, PhD, LPC-S and certified sex therapist attests the psychological aspect of getting wet. "'Getting wet' is a physiological response by your body in preparation for sex," Dr. Smith says. "It requires sexual arousal, which begins with the 'excitement phase' of the female sexual response cycle". Although you may totally know what turns you on, Dr. Smith shares the importance of reading up on your body's sexual response cycle. "If you don’t understand the female sexual response cycle, I would encourage you to do a small Google search to get familiar! For us very complicated women, this 'excitement phase' typically requires both physiological and psychological stimulation."

You Might Get Wet More Slowly Than You’d Prefer

Of course, you can be totally aroused and still struggle to get wet. "If you feel aroused, you’re aroused; you don’t have to be physically wet to show you’re enjoying sex!" Sinclair says. "Getting wet can happen differently for everyone. It’s your body’s response, so sometimes we can’t help if getting wet is slower or sparse." Like everything sex-related, what's right for your body may not be the same as what's right for someone else. According to McKenna Maness, sex educator and former education and prevention coordinator at The Santa Cruz AIDS Project (SCAP), there are a number of reasons you may not be getting or staying wet.

You Might Not Get Wet Or Stay Wet Due To Other Physical Factors

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"Antidepressants, dehydration, marijuana use, not being turned on enough, age, sometimes it's just that person’s body, general friction — too much friction during penetration can reduce dryness," Maness says. From not drinking enough water before sex to having a little too much friction, there are many factors that go towards dryness. And while it's completely natural to deal with the occasional vaginal dryness, having sex without being properly lubricated can be uncomfortable or even painful. "Common causes of sex vaginal soreness is having too much sex, running out of vaginal lubrication, vaginal dryness, vaginal infection or a condom latex reaction," Dr. Sherry A. Ross, women's health expert, and author of She-ology: The Definitive Guide to Women's Intimate Health. Period., says. "These are often overlooked reasons to have vaginal dryness with sexual intercourse."

Still, the arousal process is paramount when creating natural lubrication. If you're jumping into sex before giving your body a little warmup, or if you're not in the right headspace when you're getting it on, it may be hard for your body to get wet. "If your body is not getting aroused as it should, this will affect its ability to lubricate appropriately," Dr. Smith says. "No arousal equals no vascular engorgement equals no blood flow and pressure to cause the increase in fluid production."

First of all, it’s important to remember that you never have to have any kind of sex you don’t want to or aren’t comfortable with. If your body is tense from nerves and you aren’t getting physically aroused for sex, it might be time to take a step back and take it slow. Make sure you’re in an environment and with a person who makes you feel safe, and try not to be too hard on yourself or get in your own head about whether you’re doing anything wrong. Criticizing yourself by wondering, “Why can’t I stay wet during sex?” may actually be counterproductive, taking you out of the moment and distracting your focus from sexual pleasure.

When it comes to having penetrative sex, experts attest the importance of starting with a sexy warmup to get both your body and head ready. "Foreplay stimulates lubrication, and lubrication is really the equivalent of getting an erection for the male," Dr. Mary Jane Minkin, OB/GYN at Yale-New Haven Hospital and clinical professor at Yale University School of Medicine says. Yet, if you're having plenty of pre-sex fun and you're still unable to get or stay wet, you may find sex to be uncomfortable or even painful. "The natural lubrications of the vagina can dry up with prolong sexual contact and penetration causing friction and pain," Dr. Ross says. "The vagina will be dry, making sex painful when the penis or fingers enter the vagina."

Lube & Toys Can Help You Enjoy Sex More Fully

If you're experiencing vaginal dryness, it may help to use some personal lubricants or toys before engaging in penetrative sex. Lube gets a bad reputation sometimes, but the truth is that there is nothing shameful about using it — it just makes sex more pleasurable and fun! "Lube mimics what your vulva would produce, and allows you to think less about how wet you are and more about the sexual encounter you’re having," Sinclair says. "After all, that is the goal." According to Sinclair, using lube doesn't mean anything is wrong or not working with you or your sex. It’s simply a way to make a good experience even better. Sinclair also suggests using sex toys that can increase blood flow or otherwise putting direct pressure on the vulva without penetration — dry humping, for example.

You deserve to be having the best sex for your body. If you're finding that it's hard to get or stay wet, there are plenty of ways to try to make your sex more comfortable for your body. Discovering what helps you get or stay wet can make fooling around totally hot.


Alicia Sinclair, founder and CEO of COTR, Inc. and certified sex educator

Dr. Misty Smith, PhD, LPC-S and certified sex therapist

McKenna Maness, sex educator and former education and prevention coordinator at The Santa Cruz AIDS Project (SCAP)

Dr. Sherry A. Ross, women's health expert, and author of She-ology: The Definitive Guide to Women's Intimate Health. Period.

Dr. Mary Jane Minkin, OB/GYN at at Yale-New Haven Hospital

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