Never Fear: Lube


In lieu of addressing a question this week, I wanted to give a rundown on lube safety. Lube is great! There is no reason to feel ashamed for wanting or needing it. Some people don’t produce a lot of lubrication when they are turned on. Synthetic lubricant can reduce discomfort with certain toys and is a must for anything anal. Understanding different types of lube and their functions will help so you don’t end up wasting money or breaking condoms.

Oil-based lubes shouldn’t be used with latex or polyisoprene condoms. Oil-based lube combined with light friction on a classic latex condom will rip a hole in a matter of seconds. This includes petroleum jelly, lotions and coconut oil. If you want to use an oil-based lube, polyurethane, nitrile (used occasionally for internal condoms) and lambskin condoms won’t degrade. Unfortunately, lambskin condoms won’t protect from infections. If you are not worried about pregnancy or infections, coconut oil is fair game and smells lovely. Oil-based lube will stain your sheets and make a shower floor slippery, so remember a towel!

Silicone and water-based lube will not harm condoms. However, silicone should not be used with silicone toys. Many people like silicone in the shower, as it doesn’t wash away like water or oil. Silicone is the most gel-like, but honestly, I find that it dries slower than anything else. Most cheap lube is going to be silicone. So if you are sensitive like I am, steer clear of the 99 cent packets. Water-based is safe with toys and condoms and washes off quickly, but can get sticky the moment that it begins to dry. My favorites are water-silicone hybrids, which are silkier than silicone, but more durable than water. I hope this helps you buy with confidence; the right lube makes all the difference!

“Never Fear” is a sexual health column run by Teagan Webb ’19. If you have a question you’d like answered, send it to