Questions from the Twittersphere: Oil as Lube?


Oil as a lube, is it safe? with a move to more natural/organic lifestyles, are natural oils an alternative lube?

Certain oils can be used safely as lubes. First let’s look at the disadvantages or issues:Natural Sliquid Gel Lubricant at Good Vibrations

One, they’re not compatible with latex. If you’re having safer sex, you MUST use a poly (not latex) condom or gloves with your oil-based lube.

Second, mineral oils aren’t good for the body, especially internal mucosa “ they’re very drying. So if you’re thinking of oil as lube, think vegetable or nut oils, not mineral oils like Vaseline, baby oil, Albolene or other makeup removers.

Third, if you’re allergic or sensitive to the food product associated with the oil (olives, corn, almond, coconut, whatever), don’t use the oil as a lube “ you might have a skin/mucosal reaction to it just as you have a reaction upon ingesting it. Ditto consider your partner’s food sensitivities, unless your partner is a dildo. (I mean *literally*! And if your partner IS a dildo, it better not be a latex one.)

Once you’ve considered those caveats, choose an oil you and your partner like the taste and smell of; consider the texture you’d like to go for; realize you won’t be able to get your sheets as clean as with a water-based lube; and check out the experience. I know one post-menopausal woman who swears by the “cush factor of oil, and feels water-based and silicone lubes are too thin, not giving her the right friction and sense that her vaginal walls are being cushioned. Everybody’s different, though. And I think for some women, in particular, oils will be a bad pick because they don’t leave the vagina as quickly as water-based lubes; women prone to yeast and bacterial infections should proceed with caution in trying out oils in this way.

Tweet! “CQ


Dr. Carol Queen

Carol Queen has a PhD in sexology; she calls herself a "cultural sexologist" because her earlier academic degree is in sociology: while she addresses individual issues and couple's sexual concerns, her overarching interest is in cultural issues (gender, shame, access to education, etc.). Queen has worked at Good Vibrations, the woman-founded sexuality company based in San Francisco that turned 35 years old in 2012, since 1990. Her current position is Staff Sexologist and Good Vibrations Historian; her roles include representing the company to the press and the public; overseeing educational programming for staff and others; and scripting/hosting a line of sex education videos, the Pleasure-Ed series, for GV’s sister company Good Releasing. She also curates the company's Antique Vibrator Museum. She is also the founding director of the Center for Sex & Culture, a non-profit sex ed and arts center San Francisco, and is a frequent lecturer at colleges, universities, and community-based organizations. Her dozen books include a Lambda Literary Award winner, PoMoSexuals, and Real Live Nude Girl: Chronicles of Sex-Positive Culture, which are used as texts in some college classes. She blogs at the Good Vibes Magazine and at SFGate's City Brights bloggers page and contributes to the Boston Dig. For more about her at

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