We love to answer all your questions about sex here at the Bad Girls Bible. One question that readers frequently ask is “Why can’t I get wet?” You may be aroused but find that sex is uncomfortable because of vaginal dryness. This may be an ongoing issue or one that’s suddenly appeared, which means that there can be multiple solutions.
Why Can’t I Get Wet? Understanding Arousal and Vaginal Moisture
There’s a misconception that vaginal moisture is the most significant – or even the only sign – of your arousal. In fact, women experience more discordance between mental and physical arousal than men typically do. What does this mean? Your body might respond while your head isn’t in the game, or you might feel mentally turned on but not wet.
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with this. In fact, it’s common enough to be called normal. You can be insanely turned on and just not be that wet.
Much of the moisture that we associate with a woman’s arousal is simply a product of the vagina cleaning itself or even sweat. During your cycle, you may feel wetter because of discharge. Vaginal discharge isn’t pleasant in your underwear, but it sure makes for more pleasurable sex.
Of course, many women experience increased vaginal wetness because of arousal, which aids in sex. Trouble getting wet can make penetration more difficult, which causes discomfort to the point of pain. It’s often not a good feeling for your man, either.
If you try penetration without enough lubrication, it can damage your sensitive vaginal tissues. Microtears can make it easier to contract an STI or get a bacterial infection.
So there are definitely some worries if you have issues getting wet.
One of the following reasons may be why you can’t get wet…
1. You Don’t Want to Have Sex
Before we go any further, let’s address the obvious. If you’re in a situation where you feel forced or coerced into sex, you might not get wet. The same goes if you’re not attracted to the other person. Why would you want to make yourself wet?
Listen to the signs that your body is giving you. Recognize how you feel and what you need. Any boyfriend who’s worth your time will want to help you achieve those things.
Solution: Don’t Have Sex
Leave any situation or relationship where someone tries to pressure you into having sex if you can safely do so. Say, “No.” You do not have to have sex just because someone else wants you to or you think you should.
2. You’ve Got Relationship Issues
One reason why you might not get very wet is strife within your relationship, even if (or perhaps especially if) you’re not aware of them. If you don’t feel safe, loved, and valued by your husband, you might not be comfortable having sex and find that you don’t get wet anymore.
Solution: Improve Your Relationship
Make sure to deal with any problems within your relationship before they disrupt your sex life or become irreparable.
Instead of asking, “Why can’t I get wet?” you should ask, “What in my relationship needs fixing?”
This may not be a quick fix, however. Although, even small improvements in your relationship may ignite your sex life.
3. You Don’t Do Enough Foreplay to Make Yourself Wet
Vaginal lubrication is due, in part, to your body being aroused. Some specific factors can hinder arousal that you’ll read about in this guide. One of the main reasons you might not be aroused is that you’ve rushed to penetration without preparation. If you’re dealing with nerves, perhaps because of a new partner, your body might struggle to get fully wet.
Solution: Take Your Time, Add More Foreplay, and Romance Yourself
Fortunately, the solution to this problem is simply to get aroused, which can be a lot of fun! You might even get your partner involved; although, it’s totally possible to make it a solo job. You can try any of the following techniques before any fooling around starts:
- Wearing lingerie
- Reading or writing erotica
- Listening to sexy music or watching a sexy movie
Do you like these ideas? Then you’ll love these reader tips for getting wet fast!
If your partner is around, deep kissing, cuddling, or even slow dancing can also help you get in the mood. Of course, trading a sensual massage is great for that, too!
In fact, physical touch may be enough to get you in the mood. It may sound backward, but Dr. Emily Nagoski explains how many women feel desire after sexual activity has begun. Just make sure to give your body enough time to get there and incorporate plenty of foreplay (oral, manual sex, and toys are all great places to start to get you wet and possibly get you off, and we also offer these foreplay tips for more inspiration)! It can take more time for you to become aroused than your man. And this may vary between women or even for the same woman from time to time.
You won’t believe the awesome science that has cracked the sexual response cycle and can help get yourself wet!
Arousal Nonconcordance: It’s not uncommon for women’s physical and mental arousal to differ. This is known as arousal nonconcordance. It means that you can feel in the mood without your body responding, and the opposite can also happen. Sex researcher Lori Brotto writes about how mindfulness practices help women get their bodies and mind on the right page [2 p 146].
4. You’re Distracted
Distractions are no friend to a happy and engaging sex life. Not only is it hard to enjoy sex if your mind is a million miles away, but it can be hard to get and stay wet during sex, too. Common distractions include anxiety over a new partner of your first time having sex.
It’s also incredibly common for people, especially women, to be distracted because they lack body confidence. Dr. Lori Brotto cautions that women can spend time monitoring themselves while they have sex instead of being in and enjoying the moment [2 p 50].
Solution: Learn to Stay In the Moment
Mindfulness, which you’ll see mentioned a few times in this guide, is helpful for staying in the moment. When it comes to sex, focus on the sensations. Enlist the help of your partner. Perhaps he can instruct you to make eye contact or do or say something if he notices that you’re distracted.
Sensory deprivation, which can include wearing a blindfold or earplugs, may also be one way to experiment with staying in the moment.
For body image issues, try wearing lingerie that makes you feel confident and hot. More pervasive issues, however, might require a little professional help.
By the way, if you’re experiencing a lack of confidence when it comes to sex in general or riding your man, you’ve got to read guide to having sex in the girl on top position.
5. You Are Stressed
Distractions go hand in hand with stress. Stress can not only kill your libido in general but may be the reason why you can’t make yourself wet [1 p 117], even if you’re taking the same steps that would otherwise get you in the mood.
Solution: Lower the Stress In Your Life, Find Coping Mechanisms
The first step to stop stress from interfering in your sex life—and every other part of your life—is to reduce stress where you can. If this means taking a step back at work, not committing to as many volunteer opportunities, or hiring a professional to help keep the kids and house in check, do it. Make sure to talk to your partner to ensure he’s doing his fair share around the house. Sometimes it takes professional help to find that balance.
Sadly, sometimes life is stressful, and there isn’t much you can do about it. In those times, it’s all about coping techniques. For some people, sex can be a coping mechanism. However, you might consider a physical activity such as running or kickboxing, crying your eyes out to a chick flick, or your favorite self-care activity.
Don’t be afraid to seek therapy if it will help. They can help you with healthy coping strategies, including the mindfulness mentioned above, that might be one way that you cope with stress in a more healthy way.
6. You’re Breastfeeding
Although you may have anticipated many of the changes that a bouncing baby might have caused in your life, vaginal dryness may not have been one of them. However, breastfeeding can cause a temporary decrease in estrogen, which makes it harder for you to get wet . However, you might never think that breastfeeding is why you can’t get wet.
Solution: Use Lube, Wait It Out
Fortunately, estrogen tends to rise once you stop breastfeeding, so this isn’t usually a permanent problem. In the meantime, lube is always your friend!
7. You Need More Intensity
If you’re not getting wet—or wet enough—it might be an issue of intensity or even sexual chemistry rather than biology preventing you from getting and staying wet.
Solution: Know When to Explore Sexually and When to Walk Away
There are plenty of ways to add intensity to your sex if you just make a few adjustments. You can experiment with bondage, role playing, and rough sex. You might try dominating your man—or submission if that’s your thing. There’s no shortage of things to try in the bedroom, and you’ll find plenty of them explained in detail here on the Bad Girls Bible site.
However, all of these things require a willing partner. If yours doesn’t want to try new things, it might be better to look for someone who does have the same interests. Of course, sometimes, you just don’t click with a person, or you might not be sexually compatible no matter how hard you try.
8. You Have a Latex Allergy
Does sex with a condom burn? It might feel like you can’t stay wet. However, it might be due to a condom allergy that’s making you feel inflamed.
Solution: Switch Types of Condoms or Use Other Birth Control
Fortunately, there are other types of condoms, including those made from polyurethane and lambskin, as well as female condoms. If none of those fit, you might consider a different hormonal or barrier method of birth control.
9. You Have a Medical Condition
Various medical conditions can make it harder for you to get wet naturally. Unfortunately, some doctors may not be aware of or may even avoid talking about sexual side effects, so it’s important to do your research. The following are a few of the medical conditions that may interfere with your natural vaginal lubrication.
Sjögren syndrome – causes dry eyes, mouth, and vaginal dryness, which your doctor may have missed as another symptom . However, more attention is being paid to how it affects a woman’s sexuality .
Spinal cord injury – may also decrease your ability to get wet like you once did.
Diabetes – may damage blood vessels, interfering with vaginal lubrication 
Heart disease – reduces bloodflow, and the vagina cannot as easily become engorged 
Scleroderma – dries out mucus membranes, including the in the vagina 
High blood pressure (hypertension) – It’s long been known that high blood pressure can make it more difficult for men to get an erection. However, a recent study found that “women with hypertension reported significantly decreased lubrication and orgasm and increased pain” than women without high blood pressure .
Of course, other medical issues may cause problems getting wet, so make sure to research all possible side effects.
Solution: Seek Treatment, Use Lube
Treating these conditions may relieve some symptoms, including vaginal dryness. However, that may not always be the case. Vaginal moisturizers, which you’ll read more about in a bit, may help. Your doctor may also recommend hormone replacement therapy to reintroduce estrogen into your body if that’s playing a role in your vaginal dryness. Otherwise, use lube if this symptom cannot be helped.
10. You’re Taking Medication or Receiving Treatment
Sometimes the medication that provides relief for one problem can cause another. Several medications have side effects related to arousal or desire.
- Blood pressure medication 
- Antihistamines [10 p 592]
- Radiation 
- Hormonal therapy for cancer 
- Chemotherapy 
- Birth control 
- SSRIs 
A good rule of thumb is that anything that dries out one part of your body can make your pussy dry, too. However, you might not think of that when you take a pill to deal with an allergy attack or a cold. Similarly, any medicines that impact blood flow or heart function can prevent you from getting wet.
Of course, just because a medication isn’t on this list doesn’t mean it may not be the reason why you can’t get wet. Pay attention to any changes in your body when you begin a new medication and check that label if your vagina won’t get wet.
Solution: Seek Alternative Treatment, Adjust Dosage, Use Lube
If you can seek an alternative medication, you might be able to avoid vaginal dryness. In some cases, adjusting the dosage may be all it takes to find relief from the unpleasant side effects of medication. Do not stop taking any medication or change doses without doctor approval.
Unfortunately, you may need medication to allow you to be as healthy as possible. Hormone replacement therapy may be appropriate, or you can use lube.
11. You Take Drugs
All sorts of recreational drugs, legal and otherwise, might be the reason why you’re not getting wet. While alcohol may be known as a social lubricant, it may be no friend to your vaginal lubrication . Smoking both cigarettes and marijuana may impact your ability to get wet. And you might face similar struggles with other drugs.
Solution: Stop or Decrease Drug Use, Add Lube
Consider partaking in alcohol, pot, or other drugs less frequently or avoiding them on days when you’ll want to get wet. If you prefer to have a few drinks or use marijuana before sex, add lube to keep things slick and slippery. Stopping smoking or drug use altogether might have the greatest impact of all.
12. You’re Dehydrated
If medication that gives you dry mouth can do the same to your pussy, then poor hydration can also explain why you are so dry. Of course, you may notice that you can’t stay wet, but you might have other signs of dehydration, such as dry skin, eyes, or mouth.
Solution: Stay Hydrated
Increase your water intake. Use a bottle with measurements, a smart bottle, or an app if it helps. Remember that any liquid helps, including soup. If you struggle to remain hydrated, sports drinks can replace electrolytes and help you hydrate better. Fruit also tends to have high water content.
13. You Use Spermicides, Diaphragms, or Douches
Using spermicide multiple times in the same day may lead to vaginal dryness . However, spermicide isn’t that great, to begin with. It can irritate the sensitive tissue of your vagina, which may be the cause of your dryness, and can also make it more likely to contract an infection .
Douching may also be a culprit, and using a diaphragm may be why you are so dry because it prevents the flow of vaginal secretions from the cervix and upper vagina .
Solution: Use Different Birth Control, Stop Douching
Ditch the spermicide and diaphragms for a different type of contraception. There are various types of hormonal birth control to consider, as well as IUDs and condoms.
Douching is completely unnecessary because the vagina is self-cleaning and can even lead to worse problems such as a yeast infection. Remember that every body has a natural musk, and that’s not a bad thing. If you’re dealing with a pungent odor, it’s typically from external sweat glances, and choosing breathable fabrics for underwear and pants may help.
14. You’re Going Through Menopause
As women get a bit older, they enter menopause, which means her period stops and estrogen drops. This can make it harder to get wet. You might also experience thinning of the vaginal walls that make it more likely to tear during penetration.
Removal of the ovaries can cause similar symptoms as natural menopause, including vaginal dryness. A hysterectomy that leaves both your ovaries may also explain why you don’t get wet . So the same treatment options can be effective.
Solution: Try Vaginal Moisturizers, Hormone Therapy, Use Lube
Menopausal and pre-menopausal women sometimes use vaginal moisturizers that provide more long-term moisture than personal lubricant. You might prefer lube rather than vaginal moisturizers or like using both to stay wet longer and increase comfort during sex.
Hormone therapy replaces some of the estrogen lost from your body, which can help with the symptoms of menopause, including vaginal dryness. However, it’s not right for everyone, so you’ll definitely want to talk to your doctor to determine the best course of action.
15. You’re Less Wet Naturally
There may not be any particular reason that you don’t get wet. Not every woman experiences a waterfall between her legs. You might just not get as wet as some people. Or you may have been lead to believe that you should get super wet but in sexual situations only get kinda-sorta wet.
It’s just not realistic to get perfectly wet in every single situation throughout your entire life.
Solution: Use Lube
Like so many of the possible issues discussed in this guide, lube can help here as well. In fact, the next section is all about lube. It can make things more comfortable and even be fun if you opt for edible or sensation lube. Intrigued? Keep reading…
Why We Love Lube and You Should, Too
The easiest solution to not getting wet enough is to use lube. However, some people think that something is wrong or shameful if they can’t stay wet and use lube instead. It’s not! It’s perfectly normal if you don’t get wet. In fact, we recommend using lube even if you don’t think you need to.
Personal lubricant is also wonderful when you start out wet, but your sex session has lasted longer than expected. You might find that you’re able to climax multiple times once you’ve added a little moisture after your first orgasm.
Discover how to have multiple orgasms.
Lube is a good idea for transwomen who experience vaginal dryness after gender confirmation surgery and transmen who take testosterone supplements but still have a vulva.
Lube not only makes things slicker and easier, but it can also enhance sex. Flavored lube, tingling lube, and warming lube are all options you can consider. If you’re not sure what type of lube to get – and there are a lot of options available to you! We’ve written all about the types of lubes and those best for sex, masturbation, and other activities.
You can skip buying lube if you buy condoms that are lubricated, but reading our guide to lube can still be helpful when it comes to picking the right product.
On the topic of lube: you should always use it during anal sex because the anus isn’t self lubricating. Discover why anal sex hurts and what you can do about it.
If you take anything out of this post, know that there is no ‘right’ amount of wetness, even if you’re aroused. You can fix most vaginal dryness by adding more foreplay or lube, but some cases may require other treatments that your doctor can recommend.