Not as Hot and Bothered

I’m a 24-year-old female and I just lost my virginity a couple months ago. I’ve only had sex that one time, but I’ve noticed that I don’t get as wet anymore. I still get horny, but not the way that I used to before I had sex. It’s making me nervous about future sexual encounters because I’m not getting wet as easily as before. Is this normal? —Missing the Moisture


It’s perfectly normal to experience changes in your arousal levels or lubrication over time. That said, I think it’s unlikely that this change is related to you physically having sex. Most issues with arousal and lubrication in women most often originate from rushing through foreplay.

Arousal doesn’t happen on demand, and most women need some warm-up time. There are a few other common reasons women might experience a decrease in sex drive and lubrication, so we’ll explore those and you can see if any resonate with you.

The first thing to consider is if there have been any significant lifestyle changes between the initial intercourse and now. Many things can affect sex drive, but the most obvious change with an effect in this area is medication, specifically hormonal birth control methods, like the pill, patch, ring, shot or IUD.

These methods regulate your hormones and menstrual cycle, both of which have a direct effect on sex drive and lubrication. I’d recommend checking out the side effects if you are currently using one of these methods, and discussing it with the doctor who prescribed them if you’re bothered by any of the common side effects.

Other common medications that can affect sex drive and response are ones typically prescribed for anxiety-related disorders and depression. Aside from medication, stress and exercise can also have an effect on arousal.

Alternatively, wetness and sex drive are quite subjective and difficult to measure, so what you’re experiencing might be due to past experiences that you’re using as a frame of reference for comparison.

Sexual response is situational, so it’s possible to see a significant difference between situations like masturbation, sexual activities with a partner and the time you did have sex. For example, you might see a difference when you masturbate with the goal of reaching orgasm quickly versus when you’re taking your time with a fantasy.

There are also very natural reasons you may be experiencing changes in these areas. Just as hormonal birth control can have an effect, the hormonal changes that naturally accompany your cycle could be a primary factor.

These changes directly affect arousal and lubrication levels, so it’s normal to experience times where you feel more aroused and lubricate more easily, and times where you have little desire or response. A way to monitor this is by tracking these levels and changes throughout the month using a cycle-tracking app like Period Tracker, which has free versions available for both Android and iPhone.

Finally, it might be worth reflecting on the expectations you had for your first time. Women tend to get bombarded with ideas of what sex is like the first time, but in reality those expectations rarely measure up. If you had certain expectations and the sex you had didn’t quite meet them, it might be affecting your ability to get as aroused or lubricated in anticipation for the next time.

In general, I suggest listening to your body and trying not to put any pressure on yourself to have a specific response. If you feel it, awesome, and if you don’t, then you shouldn’t force it. If wetness is a major concern, starting out slow and taking your time can make a huge difference. A good personal lubricant will also help make sex and any other activity feel better, so don’t be shy about incorporating one into your sex life.

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