pelvic health, Sex, women's health

The 10 Second Rule

Our natural vaginal lubrication process is complicated, but SO important to understand when it comes to having healthy sex.

In a young-ish woman, it takes between 10 and 30 seconds after sexual stimulation for the vagina to produce lubrication, and up to 3 minutes in an older-ish woman. And sexual stimulation doesn’t mean having intercourse – Remember when I mentioned foreplay, or not to play? The answer is always foreplay. That should make sense to you now knowing that it takes some time for our vagina to lubricate adequately before going for the goal!

But is that 10 to 180 second timeframe a rule? Will the lubrication process always occur so simply? Has anyone ever said that women are uncomplicated (lololol!)? The answer is nope, nope and nope.

So, let’s talk about the nope’s.


Are you into it or just along for the ride? Like, did you really want that broccoli cheese casserole from your mother-in-law or are you just eating it because you’re a better daughter-in-law than me? This is one of the main ingredients to enjoying sex. Not broccoli, headspace.

First of all, check that libido! Do you have one? If you struggle here, there may be a hormonal issue (in general, from medications, or medical problems), a relationship short-coming, or you may have a personal history that alters your ability to have a healthy libido.

Being in the right frame of mind for sex not only requires a well-oiled libido, but also the confidence to become vulnerable. You must begin to think of yourself, your body, as  beautiful – desirable! Because it is, and you are! Letting go of your inhibitions will allow your sex life to bloom…and boom.


Where is your hot spot and has it been located by your partner? Back up. Have you even discovered your hot spot? Hint: it isn’t on your phone.

It has been surprising how many patients I have seen that aren’t familiar with their own vulvar anatomy. Explore, y’all! Become BFF’s with your ladyflower! Numerous studies have been performed concluding that about 75-80% of women need clitoral stimulation in order to have an orgasm (only about 1 in 4 women orgasm from intercourse alone). You can, but don’t have to, orgasm prior to sex, you may just need a few seconds/minutes of clitoral caressing to allow adequate vaginal lubrication in order to prepare for penetration. So, if you don’t know where your clitoris is, your partner probably doesn’t either, which means you are hugely missing out!

I will add that your let’s get it on button may not even be located in or around your ladytown. It could be your partner unloading the dishwasher without you telling him too, or a kiss on the neck letting you know you’re still beautiful even when you haven’t  showered in 8 days. That may be enough to flip on the vaginal lubrication process!

Listen to your bod and direct your partner!


This is beyond important. As mentioned above, you have GOT to tell him where things are, what works for you, what doesn’t, if it’s painful, if it’s perfect, etc. Tell him when you’re in the mood. TALK, sext, email, Facetime throughout the day to lead up to sexy time. It will make it more exciting and enjoyable for both of you.

If you don’t communicate the good and bad to your partner, it will decrease your chances of enjoying sex, which may result in the formation of a negative association and some not-so-awesome issues can arise from that.


It’s ALL about that ovulation. Your bod naturally increases vaginal lubrication during that time, even without sexual stimulation. However, the weeks surrounding that time, you may experience a lower level of lubrication and might find yourself requiring some assistance from artificial natural lube and that’s totally ok! Nothing is wrong with you. 


On average, at age 50 (after menopause), the vaginal lubrication occurs more slowly and the amount overall diminishes due to the decrease in estrogen production. The vaginal walls and pelvic floor musculature become thinner and less elastic, making it even more important to have adequate lubrication. These changes can also occur at an earlier age if you have had a hysterectomy. There are many things you can do to combat these changes by working with your naturopathic physician or medical doctor, but here are a couple of simple things to try:

  1. Have an orgasm a day.
    • The involuntary contraction of the pelvic floor muscles during an orgasm increases blood flow, keeping them strong (to a certain extent) and plump!
  2. Use a natural lubricant.
    • Since the lubrication process is stunted somewhat, apply the lube on the tip of the penis, as well as, in and around the vaginal tissues.
    • For healthy lube recommendations, see this post.


You are last hormones, but not least. This really falls into several categories, but it is so influential I want to highlight it.

Anyone been pregnant before? You know a little bit about hormones then. Sometimes vaginal lube increases and sometimes it decreases during pregnancy (along with libido). There may be some parts of your pregnancy where you are serious about sex and other parts where you may not want to even say the word out loud. That was me and goat cheese for about 28 weeks.

Any nursing mamas out there? The hormone show continues there and totally affects your natural lubrication. Again, estrogen is key is keeping your BFF operating properly and when you are nursing, it is kept at bay because it interferes with milk production. So you may need to slather up with some lube.

And how about beloved stress? This affects your body’s ability to produce appropriate hormone levels because it is focused on managing the effects of stress on your body. Therefore, estrogen and progesterone decrease, which affect the health of your vaginal tissues and lubrication production. On top of that, when you’re stressed, sex is usually not at the top of the list of things to think about or do for the day, right? Stress is super annoying. It messes with your headspace, communication, hormones and lubrication limiting the likelihood of a healthy sex life. Needless to say, it is so important to find effective ways to manage your stress!


You may not have any issues with the factors mentioned above, but still experience decreased vaginal lubrication – that isn’t uncommon! It doesn’t make you any less of a woman to need to use artificial lubrication in order to enjoy sex. Or you may just have time for a short ride because you know your kid will wake up at any minute, so using artificial lubricant may help you pass your go button and still have an enjoyable 47 seconds. Remember to chose your lube wisely, and apply liberally to the tip of the penis, in and around the vagina for best results.


I know I missed some other factors affecting our vaginal lubrication process, but wanted to hit the high points. I would love to hear from you guys with comments, questions, advice for others!




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