Lubricants are one of the most accessible sexual accessories on the market. They have a wide range of applications and are easy to use. Simply open the bottle and apply some lube on body parts, right? Seems pretty straight forward, right?
Not so fast. Many men make the mistake of assuming all lubricants are interchangeable and can be used in the same ways. This isn’t the case. Although the world of lube isn’t rocket science, there are a few misconceptions about its ingredients and uses that can lead to some pretty embarrassing (or downright dangerous) sexual mishaps. In this article, we’ll cover the 6 most common mistakes men make when purchasing and using lube.
Mistake #1: Using oil-based lubricants with latex condoms
Every guy knows condoms are a necessary evil. They’re crucial for avoiding STIs and unwanted pregnancy, but they also diminish the raw sensations of penetrative sex. One of the best ways to compensate for the pleasure-numbing effects of condoms is applying lube inside and/or outside the material. But before you dump a gallon of slide sauce on your rubber, make sure you aren’t using an oil-based lubricant.
Oil-based lubricants are infamous for breaking down latex condoms, increasing the risk of STI transmission and pregnancy. Natural oil-based lube like coconut and canola oil – and also oil-based products marketed specifically for sex (e.g. YES Oil-Based Vanilla Personal Lubricant) – should be avoided when using condoms. Additionally, oil-based lubes can trap bacteria in vaginas, leading to nasty little infections.
We recommend sticking to water and silicone-based lube for intravaginal sex and use with condoms
Mistake #2: Using saliva as lube
To be fair, using your body’s natural lubricant (saliva) is convenient in a pinch and works reasonably well in many circumstances. But like most easy solutions, there’s a catch: Saliva can transfer viruses and bacteria from your mouth to your partner’s genitals.
According to the CDC (https://www.cdc.gov/std/herpes/stdfact-herpes.htm), oral herpes (commonly referred to as cold sores, technically known as HSV-1) CAN spread from the mouth and cause genital herpes. If you have (or recently had) cold sores, DO NOT use saliva as a lubricant.
Beyond oral herpes, the mouth is one of the most bacteria infested parts of the human body. Using saliva to aid vaginal sex increases the risk of bacterial infections. Do you really want to be that guy?
Again, we recommend playing it safe and sticking to water/silicone-based lubricants. They’re cheap, effective, fun, and safe.
Mistake #3: Using over-the-counter lubes while shooting for fatherhood
If you’re trying to get your woman pregnant, don’t let common drugstore lubricants hurt your attempts at procreation.
Water, silicone, and oil-based lubricants can significantly hinder your sperm’s ability to swim far enough through the vagina to hit the bullseye. Even worse, many OTC lubes contain spermicidal chemicals that can actually KILL your spermies even after you’ve shot your load.
Luckily, you can find several fertility-friendly lubes on the market, such as Pre-Seed or baby-oil.
Mistake #4: Using over-the-counter lubes as contraceptives
You know how we just said that common drugstore lubes can interfere with your sperm’s effectiveness? Yeah, well, some guys think it’s a good idea to use OTC lubes as a contraceptive substitute for condoms and birth control pills.
NOT. DO. THIS. To clarify, lubricants can decrease the probability of your sperm hitting the mark, but they do not eliminate it. If you’re trying to avoid pregnancy, please stick to conventional contraceptives, as they prevent pregnancies far more effectively than lubricants.
Mistake #5: Using cooling lotions on your penis or your partner’s vagina
Cooling lotions like Icy Hot contain ingredients like menthol and camphor. They will most likely burn the hell out of your penis. They will definitely burn the hell out of your partner’s vagina.
If you want to get adventurous with stimulating lubricants that warm and tingle, there are far better options that won’t irritate your genitals.
Mistake #6: You’re using personal hygiene products as lubricants
Shower and bathroom sex can be some of the most intense, spontaneous moments you can share with your woman. It’s easy to get carried away and lose yourself in the moment.
While impulsive spontaneity and sexual passion are important parts of any relationship, don’t make the painful mistake of using bathroom soaps or shower gels as makeshift lube. Most soaps and liquid cleaners are meant for EXTERNAL use and often contain chemicals that irritate mucus-producing areas of the body (e.g. mouth, urethra, and vagina).
We recommend keeping a bottle of silicone-based lube in your bathroom for steamy shower sex. Silicone lube lasts longer underwater and doesn’t irritate sensitive body parts.