All About Arousal Gels

by Kristin T.

November 11, 2023


Arousal gels may be one of the pleasure industry’s best kept secrets, but they shouldn’t be mysterious or scary. Those who don’t know the wonderful sensations they can enhance in the bedroom just don’t know…but those who do know absolutely love them! Perhaps you’ve even looked over the section of all the cute little tubes and bottles at your favorite Lover’s Lane store and moved on without a second thought. Well, hopefully this FAQ about arousal gels will demystify them so you’re willing to pick one out on your next shopping trip and give it a try. Then you’ll just wonder why you waited so long!

What are arousal gels? How do they work?

Arousal gels are topical, pleasure-enhancing, stimulating gels that you apply – typically to the genitals, but sometimes on other erogenous zones like the nipples – that are meant to heighten sensitivity and increase arousal. Arousal gels work by stimulating blood flow to the area you apply them to, typically accompanied with a feeling of warmth, chill, tingling, or even a “bubbly” sensation, so everything becomes more sensitive, and every touch becomes more pleasurable. They often come in the form of liquid serums or creams, too, but we’ll just call them all “gels” here for simplicity’s sake. Whichever form you choose, they’re made to introduce new sensations and enhance how sensual touch feels beyond what sex or masturbation alone can provide. Many of them are formulated specifically for use on the clitoris, the penis, the g-spot, or the nipples. It’s important to use the right one for the right body part to get the most effectiveness and enjoyment.

Are arousal gels effective?

While everyone’s experience with arousal gels will be a bit different, they sure seem to be effective! Arousal gels are very popular. They are often one of the best-selling products at adult retailers because: A) they tend to work well for most users, so folks keep coming back for more, and B) We like to think they are recommending them to their friends! Many people who use arousal gels enjoy intensified sensations and stronger feelings of pleasure during foreplay and sex. While they are great for enhancing partnered pleasure, they’re also helpful during masturbation. The increased blood flow to the erogenous zones you stimulate leads to reaching peak arousal more easily, and can often provide more powerful or more frequent orgasms, even if you’ve experienced difficulties reaching climax in the past.

Many arousal gels such as High on Love Diamond Stimulating O Gel, especially if used hand in hand with a lubricant, can help boost your levels of natural lubrication, allowing for more comfortable penetration. Clitoral arousal gels can make your already sensitive clitoris come even more alive with feeling when stimulated. That’s why Intense Clitoral Arousal Serum from Intimate Earth is the #1 best seller at Lover’s Lane, along with Dragon Virility Cream from Shunga as the most popular counterpart for those with a penis. Arousal gels, creams, and serums can be useful during masturbation, too, as they heighten every touch, whether it be from your own fingers or a toy, and make it feel that much more orgasmic. If you have a hard time getting yourself turned on enough to enjoy solo sex play, they might be a good option for you! 

What’s in them?

The ingredients in arousal gels vary from product to product, but as a general rule, they contain something to increase blood flow to the area by creating a warming, cooling, or tingly sensation – think similar to how Ben-Gay works but much, much milder and safe for your most sensitive body parts. Ingredients like peppermint oil, menthol, cinnamon, or capsicum (a derivative of various peppers that gives them their spice) are the most commonly used, as they essentially create a mild & safe level of inflammation on the skin, causing blood to rush to that area. Libido-boosting herbs like horny goat weed, damiana, and gingko biloba can also be found in some arousal gels, like the Rain of Love G-Spot Cream from Shunga. Relaxing & stimulating CBD is becoming a popular ingredient, too, found in luxury arousal gels like NEO Sensual Tingle Nano CBD Clitoral Pleasure Glide. These ingredients all take effect after being absorbed by the skin and going to work at stimulating blood flow to the skin and increasing sensitivity in that area.  

Do they have any side effects? What about precautions to take to minimize side effects?

While most arousal gels should be safe and effective for most users, there are definitely some precautions to take to avoid negative reactions or side effects. First and foremost, arousal gels should not be used by people with STIs unless that product has been specifically cleared by your doctor. This is because, especially in conditions like herpes, the ingredients may cause flare-ups of symptoms or leave you more susceptible to infection or prone to passing on the STI.

Since many ingredients in arousal gels can be absorbed by the skin, they also should not be used by people who are pregnant. There just hasn’t been enough research done to ensure that all ingredients in all arousal gels are perfectly safe for pregnant people and their babies, so it’s best not to risk it. You also shouldn’t use them if you’re allergic to any of the ingredients in them. If you have allergies or sensitivities to certain foods or plants, read the label carefully. Hopefully you can find at least one that will work for you!

As for side effects, there shouldn’t typically be any, making arousal gels a great alternative to oral stimulants & libido supplements which can cause headaches or other unpleasantness for many users. The sensation the gel causes on your erogenous zone is what you will notice most, but that is how they work, and should be part of the fun! The best part? If you ever find the sensations unpleasant, you can wash the gel off with warm water on a washcloth or wipe it off with a wet wipe, and the undesired feelings should stop immediately.

Is there a “right way” to use arousal gels?

This question goes well with the “side effect prevention” bit just discussed. Especially if you have sensitive skin, I recommend spot-testing the gel somewhere else on your body before you put it on your genitals – the thin skin on the inner crease of your elbow works great. This helps make sure you don’t have an adverse reaction to the product, and gives you a little bit of an idea of the sensations you’ll experience during use, too! Once you’ve cleared it for safety and sensitivity, it is best to follow the directions for use on the package of your specific product, as they are all a little different. Generally speaking, you’ll want to apply the gel just before you begin foreplay. This gives it time to “kick in” and start taking effect by drawing more blood flow to your skin. They can usually be used during penetrative sex, too…just make sure the one you’re using is condom-safe if that’s a factor. Depending on how long the sensations from the gel last, you may need to reapply occasionally, so keep it handy if you’re expecting the action to go all night.  

What else are arousal gels good for?

If you’re a seasoned pro at using arousal gels, you know that the intense warming, cooling, or tingling sensation is sometimes the best part of the experience…other than the over-the-top orgasms, of course! Enhance your lovemaking (and your self-love sessions) even more by enjoying those sensations in other ways through temperature play. Stainless steel toys and glass toys are perfect for heating up or cooling down, in water or even in the fridge, so you can enjoy those sensation rushes in a whole new way! Pair these sensory seductions with an arousal gel that enhances that sensation, and WOW! Whether you’re inserting the toys or just rubbing them along your most sensitive erogenous zones (or your lover’s), be prepared for some sensational sighs and screams! 

The Bottom Line: Do you recommend arousal gels?

As long as you meet all the criteria for being able to use arousal gels safely, I definitely recommend them as something that may help spice up your sex life. Whether things have gotten stale and you’re looking to revive that spark, or you just want to experiment with adding different sensations to your sexual encounters, arousal gels can create unique and exciting feelings and heighten your lover’s touch (or your own) for better orgasms and a more pleasurable experience. Arousal gels for the penis, such as Mojo Penis Stimulating Gel from Intimate Earth, may even encourage arousal enough to help those experiencing problems with erectile dysfunction. If you’ve been curious about how these products can intensify your erotic enjoyment, now’s the time to try one! You’ll most likely ‘cum’ back for more! 

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