Hi Yana,

I’m with a guy with an uncircumcised penis for the first time in my 16 years of being sexually active. I love how he looks, and it feels great when we can have sex. But, after three years, we haven’t been able to get into a good rhythm, sex-wise.

I’m not naturally super wet, so I’m used to using lube, but often we have to stop because he starts to tear. It’s basically almost every time that he’s either getting injured or we have to constantly reapply to the point where it completely disrupts everything and we have to give up. Oral is great, but we both wish we could explore each other in all the ways.

Water-based lube such as Yes! isn’t working, and Sliquid Organics is so-so. We’ve talked about it, and it seems a major issue is that the combo of the lube and my natural fluids are sort of quicker-drying than we need, and the mixture makes his foreskin stay painfully retracted and then it starts to tear rather than sliding like it needs to.

Do you have any recommendations for a better lube? He is on a medication that is dehydrating, but simple extra water intake isn’t enough. We love each other, but the lack of and fear of sex isn’t something we are happy with.

There’s got to be a fix to this one issue of an otherwise loving and intimate relationship, right?

—Unlubed, Uncut, Now What?

Dear Unlubed & Uncut,

You’re absolutely right — sex should feel good. Pleasurable! It shouldn’t hurt (unless intentional and consensual pain is your game, of course) and it certainly shouldn’t hurt so much that you and your partner have developed a FEAR of it, that’s for sure.

Foreskin isn’t necessarily my forte but lucky for me, I’ve got some of the best access to sex educators across the country thanks to ye ol’ secret internet groups. When I asked them what they thought about your predicament, suggestions ranged from having your partner visit a urologist to rule out any ongoing health concerns that may be affecting the elasticity of his foreskin to the most heartbreakingly difficult suggestion of all: more penis massages!!

Several educators mentioned that what can happen over time with foreskin is that the skin can lose pliability which may affect the skin’s slide no matter the quantity or quality of your natural or bottled slip. Massaging the foreskin and head of the penis with coconut oil regularly certainly can’t be THAT much of a chore and could go a long way in helping your partner’s privates maintain plasticity.

And then there’s The Butters. This lube boasts nine all-natural ingredients like coconut oil, aloe vera, and raw shea butter and is, according to the maker of this lube himself, perfectly concocted “at home with love by Jerome Stuart-Nichols in Ypsilanti, Michigan.”

This simply luscious and luxurious lubricant is all-natural, non-toxic, body-safe, and non-staining, and can be made unscented, hypoallergenic, or customized in a variety of ways just for you and your sweetie. The Butters has been making well-oiled waves since its debut in 2014 and has the sex educating likes of folks like Kitty Stryker and Emmeline Peaches saying things like “Magical,” “Fucking fantastic,” and “Creamy. Rich. Decadent.”

Bonus, when you buy The Butters you’ll be directly supporting a progressive, sex-positive small business owned and operated by a person-of-color. Plus, it’s a personal product committed to being 100 percent cruelty free or, as cheeky Stuart-Nichols puts it: “Never tested on animals other than humans and my friend’s dog who ate an entire jar. Porkchop is fine — my friend’s original post-date plans … not so much.”

Remember, all oil-based lubes are not compatible with latex condoms, gloves, dental dams, or other latex barriers so make sure to keep your Butters and your barriers separate for safer-sex. Lucky ducks, though, this lube has been tested safely with silicone and other non-porous sex toys.

Slather on the Butters, regularly massage that foreskin, and please do report back as I’d love to hear how it pans out (and in, for that matter).

Yana Tallon-Hicks is a relationship therapist, sex educator, and writer living in the Pioneer Valley. You can find her work and her professional contact information on her website, yanatallonhicks.com.