What type of lubricant can I use during sex? A friend says you can use soap or toothpaste to lubricate a condom. Can you?
What to use if you don’t have lube? This is a common question that many of us have asked ourselves at one time or another. You’re in the moment, getting hot and heavy with your partner, and then, suddenly: you realize you have no lube anywhere.
Never scared. Some household items can be used as a lubricant. What household items are these, you ask? We have the information you need. Now, you might want to use just about anything you have on hand for homemade lube (we’ve all been there), but that’s not the best choice. “While you might think that anything greasy or slippery you can find in your home can be used as a lubricant, think again,” certified sex coach and clinical sex therapist Lucy Rowett told TheBody. “Not all products, including food products, are safe for the body. And some products can be used externally but not internally, or for anal penetration but not vaginal penetration.
If you’re able to get your lube from a store, we also have a comprehensive guide to store-bought lube options. For this article, we will focus on the safety and effectiveness of using local lubricating solutions found in cabinets.
From aloe to coconut oil, there are indeed items found at home that can be used as lube substitutes when you’re in a bit of a pickle but want to get weird. However, before you hit the Crisco or shampoo, here are our top three recommendations for household items to use for lube during sex. Remember to always ask your partner if they have any allergies before playing.
Cooking oil as a sexual lubricant: virgin coconut oil and olive oil
You may have heard that coconut oil is a fantastic natural lubricant. You would be right! Just make sure the coconut oil you use is virgin or unrefined. that means it hasn’t gone through a ton of processing.
Coconut oil is a great choice if you’re looking for something natural that has great staying power. “It has a long-lasting glide, which is why many organic and natural lubes have a coconut oil base,” says Taylor Sparks, erotic educator and founder of Organic Loven, one of Canada’s largest lubes. online bio intimacy, at TheBody.
It is really very good for your skin, keeping it healthy and soft. So there’s more than one reason to use it, especially if you love having baby-soft skin. “It easily penetrates the skin; has antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral properties; and reduces inflammation,” says Sparks.
An alternative to coconut oil is extra virgin olive oil. “[It is] safe for the body and can be used for lots of sex play,” says Rowett, adding that it’s “ideal for things like vulva and anus massage, finger masturbating, toys in glass or steel, [and] oral sex.
When not to use cooking oil for sex
If using latex barrier methods, oil-based lubricants should not be used. Oil can degrade rubber and cause breakage. You should also be careful when using silicone toys, says Rowett: You should make sure to wash them immediately after sex with warm soap and water to avoid damage.
If you and your partner are fluid bound or use glass, ABS plastic, or stainless steel toys, coconut oil is an appropriate household lubricant.
How to keep it hygienic when using cooking oil for lube
If you’re in a rush and need to grab some coconut oil ASAP, be sure to grab a spoon and pour it into a bowl first. You don’t want to mix your sexual fluids, hair, and other rather nondescript body bits with coconut oil that you plan to cook with later. It is better to have “coconut oil for cooking” and “coconut oil for sex”.
Aloe Vera as a sexual lubricant
Ah, the aloe. The best sunburn treatment under the…well, sun. Who knew it was also a fantastic choice for lube during sex? “Aloe vera is soothing [and] cooling, which can be great on a hot vulva, [anus, or penis]. It is water-based, so it is [safe to use] with latex condoms,” says Sparks.
There is just one problem: Aloe has very little slip and tends to dry out quite quickly. “It may serve better after a long love session to cool things down [on your genitals]says Sparks. “Just make sure you’re using pure aloe vera and that no other ingredients are included, such as alcohol.” 100% natural is the key here – always read the ingredients.
When not to use aloe vera for sex
Aloe vera is essentially a natural water-based lubricant, so it comes with very few “rules for use”. That’s probably what makes it so appealing. It is safe to use with latex condoms and all your toys.
Just make sure that when you go to use it, you do a little patch test on your (and your partner’s) skin to make sure it’s not irritating.
How to keep it hygienic when using aloe vera for lube
Since you’re using aloe on your body anyway, there’s not much risk of contamination. What is there even to contaminate? Aloe (usually) comes in a squeeze bottle, so just squeeze it and go. Be sure to wipe down the bottle (and all your toys!) after you finish putting it on.
Oils for the skin as a sexual lubricant: vitamin E oil and evening primrose oil
If you love skin, chances are you already have some 100% natural vitamin E oil in one of your drawers. “Vitamin E oil can be a great lubricant if you suffer from vaginal dryness,” says Rowett.
If you don’t have vitamin E, Rowett suggests an alternative found in many household bathroom cabinets: primrose. “Evening primrose oil can be purchased in a bottle, and although it is usually taken orally as a dietary supplement, it can also be used as a lubricant, especially if you are female or someone with a vulva that suffers a lot from vaginal dryness and inflammation,” she says.
Evening primrose and vitamin E are also decent choices for anal and vaginal sex.
When not to use skin oils for sex
The same rules we mentioned above for coconut oil also apply to vitamin E and evening primrose oils. Oil-based lubricants are not a good choice when using barrier methods like condoms or dental dams. You should also be careful with silicone toys, as the oil can cause the material to degrade. Be sure to wash your toys thoroughly immediately after use.
How to keep it hygienic when using vitamin E oil or evening primrose oil for lube
If you are going to use face/hair oil as a lubricant during sex, be sure to pour it into a separate small container first. You want to keep your sex oils separate from your facial oils. It won’t hurt you to mix them up, but it’s a bit gross.
We also suggest you take a travel shampoo bottle and fill it with oil to keep by the bed.
Or you can just plan ahead next time by buying some lube from the store that is specially designed to enhance safe sex.
Household items that should never be used as lubricant during sex
Finally, we’d be remiss if we didn’t put the kibosh on a few common household items that people use as lube, but really shouldn’t.
Vaseline (aka petroleum jelly) is often the quick choice for many people. Sparks says that’s a mistake. “It can’t be absorbed through the skin and blocks the pores,” she says. “It is literally the essence’s offspring.” Yeah.
On top of that, “vulva owners who use it are 2.2 times more likely to develop bacterial vaginosisadds Sparks. It is also “not compatible with latex condoms and is greasy, not slippery.” Definitely give it a pass.
Baby oil (aka mineral oil)
Mineral oil is another quick fix choice that sounds like a good idea (because, hey, it’s oil), but isn’t a smart choice either.
Shaving cream is full of harmful chemicals and additives that will almost certainly cause irritation and redness. This is a terrible choice for lube. Take coconut oil and live your life without inflamed and angry genitals.
The same concerns about shaving cream also apply to toothpaste. Your genitals should never feel minty fresh because they’re also going to feel like they’re burning. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.