Can You Use Vaseline as Lube: 5 Slimy Truths You Need to Know

Written by: Quanna Experts



Time to read 6 min

When it comes to those hot passionate moments, comfort and pleasure are paramount. Nobody wants to experience discomfort or pain when things are heating up between the sheets. This is where personal sex lubricants come into play. They can significantly enhance your sexual experience by reducing friction, making the act more enjoyable and pleasurable. But what happens when you don't have a personal lubricant at hand?

It can be tempting to reach for the first thing that looks slippery like skin lotion, baby oil or vaseline. We already know that using baby oil for lube is a bad idea but what about vaseline? Can you use vaseline as lube?

Recommended Reading: The Truth About Using Baby Oil as Lube

Vaseline, or petroleum jelly, is a common household product known for its moisturizing properties. It's often used to soothe dry skin or chapped lips. But is it safe and effective to use as a lubricant during those intense sexual moments when you desperately need some extra lubrication? We've scoured through research, medical studies, and our own expert opinions to bring you the best answer to this question. So, buckle up for an informative ride!

Vaseline: The Basics

Petroleum jelly, popularly known by the brand name 'Vaseline,' is an oil-based ointment. It's smooth, soft, and sticky, and it warms easily in your hands. When it's warmed up and “melts” it’s the perfect slippery viscous liquid that appears to be a great makeshift lube for sex.

But is it really a good idea to use it in such a way? Could there be possible health risks and complications to your genital and reproductive health?

The short answer is no, you should not use vaseline as lube. Despite its slick, gel-like texture, Vaseline is not recommended as a personal sex lubricant for several reasons.

Let's delve deeper to understand why.


The Potential Risks of Using Vaseline as Lube

1. Prolonged Presence on Skin

Vaseline is a petroleum-based product, meaning it doesn't dry out quickly and can stay on the skin for a longer time than intended. This can lead to skin irritation and even infection. It's also more difficult to wash off than water-based personal lubricants, which may necessitate the use of soap for thorough removal. This can disrupt the delicate pH balance in the intimate vaginal areas, leading to discomfort or potential health issues.

2. Increased Risk of Infections

The thick nature of petroleum jelly means that it tends to cling to the skin longer than other types of lubes. This prolonged presence can invite bacteria to set up shop, increasing your risk of developing an infection. According to a 2013 study, women who used petroleum jelly inside their vaginas were 2.2 times more likely to develop bacterial vaginosis compared to those who did not use petroleum jelly [1].

3. Incompatibility with Condoms

Another significant drawback of using Vaseline as lube is its damaging effect on latex and polyurethane condoms. Petroleum jelly can weaken these materials, leading to potential breakage or tearing during sexual intercourse. This can increase the risk of unintended pregnancies and transmission of STIs.

4. Unsafe to Use With Sex Toys

Most sex toys are made from silicone, latex, plastic or rubber. All of these materials will be damaged by oil-based lubes such as Vaseline.

Using a sex toy that is disintegrating and breaking a part will lead to vaginal injuries and infections. Do not use vaseline with your sex toys.

5. Potential to Stain Fabrics

Vaseline, being an oil-based product, may leave greasy spots on your sheets or clothing, which can be tricky to wash out. If you're going to use Vaseline as a lube, it would be wise to protect your sheets or any fabrics you may come into contact with to avoid unwanted stains.

Can You Use Vaseline as Anal Lube?

The answer remains the same, even though the type of penetrative sex has changed: can you use vaseline as anal lube?

The answer is still no due to the fact using Vaseline for anal sex can increase the risk of condom breaking. If the condom breaks you are at higher risk of contracting STIs. It can also irritate the delicate rectal tissue, leaving it more prone to infection.

Can You Use Vaseline as Lube for Masturbating?

The question of whether can you use vaseline as lube for masturbating might pop into your mind. Although masturbation is a solo act and the risk of STIs or unintended pregnancy is not a concern, the potential for skin irritation and infection still exists. Therefore, it's still not ideal to use Vaseline as a lubricant for masturbation.

However, if you are able to wash the vaseline away post-masturbation using warm water and soap, then you could get away with using vaseline as lube for masturbating.

Is Vaseline Safe for Pregnant Women?

Pregnant women still enjoy having sex and in a pinch, they too might ask themselves, can you use Vaseline as lube while pregnant? Given that the risks associated with using Vaseline as lube remain the same regardless of pregnancy status, it's generally not recommended to use Vaseline as a lubricant during pregnancy. It's always best to consult with your healthcare provider for personalized advice.

Is Vaseline a Good Lube?

So with all of this in mind, is Vaseline a good lube alternative? Given the risks highlighted above, it's clear that Vaseline is not a good lube for sexual activities. While it might provide temporary relief from vaginal dryness, the potential negative health effects far outweigh any short-term benefits. It's best to stick to products specifically designed and tested for sexual use.

Other Sex Lubricant Alternatives to Avoid

  • Oils such as cooling oil and vegetable oil
  • Dairy products like butter
  • Lotions and creams for your body
  • Medical ointments

Safer Alternatives to Vaseline for Lubrication

Fortunately, there are several safer alternatives you can use instead of Vaseline for lubrication. These include water-based lubricants, silicone-based lubricants, and oil-based lubricants.

Water-Based Lubricants

Water-based lubricants are a popular choice for many due to their compatibility with all types of sex toys and condoms. They provide a nice slip n slide, making sexual intercourse smoother and less frictional. They are easy to wash off and do not leave behind any stains. However, they might require reapplication as they can dry out quicker than other types of lubes.

Silicone-Based Lubricants

Silicone-based lubricants are ideal for longer-lasting lubrication. They are waterproof, making them a perfect choice for shower sex. They are compatible with natural rubber and latex condoms and can be used with non-silicone sex toys. However, they can damage silicone toys and may leave stains on fabrics.

Silicone based lube

Oil-Based Lubricants

Oil-based lubricants provide long-lasting lubrication and are great for those dealing with vaginal dryness. They are ideal for longer sex sessions and can be used in the shower. However, they are not compatible with latex condoms or dental dams and can leave stains on clothing and sheets.

Oil based lube

Best Lube For Intended Use

  Water-based Silicone-based Oil-based
Oral sex: Yes Yes No
Vaginal sex: If pH suitable Yes Yes
Anal sex: If considered suitable  Yes Yes
Condom type: All All Polyurethane & lambskin
Sex toy type: All Not silicone Not latex
Shower use: No Yes Yes
Stain: No Yes Yes

Natural Alternatives to Vaseline for Lubrication

If you prefer natural alternatives, you can consider using pure aloe vera gel, or virgin coconut oil as lube. However, these options may not be compatible with latex condoms, and you should always do a patch test first to make sure you don't have an allergic reaction.

Other at home natural alternatives to Vaseline include Vitamin E oil, Shea butter, CBD oil and Avocado oil.

The Bottom Line

In conclusion, while Vaseline might seem like a convenient option for lubrication during sexual activities, it's not a safe or effective choice. It's best to stick to products specifically designed for sexual use to ensure your intimate moments are as pleasurable and safe as possible.

So, next time you're in the heat of the moment and find yourself reaching for that Vaseline jar, remember the risks and opt for a safer alternative instead. Your body will thank you!