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It’s a hot one out there; I’ve got all the fans on full blast and am still managing to sweat. 1.5 million hectares of BC are on fire, and I just finished eating a bowl of five alarm chillie. Yup, heat is on the mind. And so today, I’m going to be talking about a type of products that brings heat into bedroom (or bathroom, or hotel room, or golden sunlight dappled meadow): warming lubes.

Like so much in the body, arousal is all about blood flow. Tissues becomes engorged with blood and experience heightened sensitivity, faces flush, heart rates rise. We experience that increased blood flow as heat, since blood is hot (38 degrees Celsius to be exact), and so warming lubricants can help induce or enhance our natural reaction to being sexually aroused.

Warming lubes use a number of different ingredients to create thermoception (or the perception of heat), but they all do roughly the same things. Once applied to the skin, a mild irritation occurs, which pulls blood to the skin and causes blood vessels to dilate. When used vaginally, this vasodilation allows for increased natural lubrication, as this dilation is what allows moisture to pass through the walls of the vessels.

Lubricants are usually either water, or silicone based, and either variety can be warming. Melt, from intimate organics uses a combination of plant-derived glyercin, cinnamon, and ginger to create the sensations of warmth (they also smell great!).

It’s important to note: warming lubricants should feel warm, not hot. If they burn or itch then there’s a chance you’re allergic to sensitive to one of the ingredients (glycerin is a fairly common sensitivity). If this is the case and you’re still craving heat, there are toys that use actual heat that might be worth trying, or you can try putting your bottle of sensitive skin-friendly lube in a bowl of warm (not hot!) water before use.

And with that, I’m going to pour myself a glass of ice cold water. All this heat talk on a hot day has got me sweating.