Dry sex

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Dry sex is the sexual practice of having sexual intercourse without vaginal lubrication. Vaginal lubrication can be removed by using herbal aphrodisiacs, household detergents, antiseptics,[1] by wiping out the vagina,[2] or by placing leaves in the vagina[2] besides other methods.[3] Dry sex is associated with increased health risks.[4]

Removing or preventing vaginal lubrication through practices associated with dry sex increases friction during intercourse, which may be perceived as increased vaginal tightness, and enhanced sexual pleasure for the male partner.[5] Some men who insist on dry sex regard "wet" women as unchaste.[5] Dry sex can be painful for women[1] and men.[6][7][medical citation needed] Dry sex is common in Sub-Saharan Africa[1][2] and it has also been reported in Suriname among Afro-Surinamese women.[8]

Health risks[edit]

The practice has been linked to the high incidence of HIV/AIDS infection in South Africa.[1] The practice is regarded as increasing the risk of transmitting sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) for both partners, including HIV[1][3] in a number of ways. Increased friction during intercourse can cause lacerations in vaginal tissue.[9][medical citation needed] Drying the vagina also removes the natural antiseptic lactobacilli which combat sexually transmitted diseases. Furthermore, dry sex increases the risk that a condom will break because of the increased friction. It may also result in vaginal inflammation and/or traumatic lesions which in turn may increase the transmission of STDs in other ways.


  1. ^ a b c d e Baleta, Adele (17 October 1998). "Concern voiced over "dry sex" practices in South Africa". The Lancet. 352 (9136): 1292. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(05)70507-9. PMID 9788473. S2CID 41852110.
  2. ^ a b c Sandala, L; Lurie, P; Sunkutu, M. R.; Chani, E. M.; Hudes, E. S.; Hearst, N (1995). "'Dry sex' and HIV infection among women attending a sexually transmitted diseases clinic in Lusaka, Zambia". AIDS. 9 Suppl 1: S61–8. PMID 8562002.
  3. ^ a b International Family Planning Perspectives, Volume 24, Number 2, June 1998, Vaginal Drying Agents and HIV Transmission Archived February 24, 2011, at the Wayback Machine by Karen E. Kun.
  4. ^ "Gendered innovations, stanford". 8 January 2021. Archived from the original on 2012-03-09.
  5. ^ a b Ray, Sunanda; Gumbo, Nyasha; Mbizvo, Michael (May 1996). "Local Voices: What Some Harare Men Say about Preparation for Sex". Reproductive Health Matters. 4 (7): 34–45. doi:10.1016/S0968-8080(96)90004-X. JSTOR 3775349.
  6. ^ January 2001 edition of "Parade": Page 45: "Dry sex is painful for both men and women and may expose one to infection."
  7. ^ "Women in Action" published 2001 by Isis International Page 11: "there is nothing pleasant about dry sex because both the man and woman feel pain and they experience cuts"
  8. ^ van Andel T, de Korte S, Koopmans D, Behari-Ramdas J, Ruysschaert S (February 2008). "Dry sex in Suriname". J Ethnopharmacol. 116 (1): 84–8. doi:10.1016/j.jep.2007.11.003. PMID 18083316.
  9. ^ Hyena, Hank (1999-12-10). ""Dry sex" worsens AIDS numbers in southern Africa". Salon.com. Retrieved 2012-05-23.

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