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Someone asked us: What’s the right way to use lube with condoms?

Lubricant (lube for short) is a liquid or gel you can use during sex to lessen friction and increase pleasure. Lube and condoms are best friends — lube makes condoms feel better and helps keep them from breaking or pulling off, so they work better to protect you from pregnancy and/or STDs. Most condoms come lubricated in the wrapper, but you can add extra lube to make things even more slippery.

It’s easy to use lube with condoms — just rub lube on the outside of the condom after you put it on. You can also add a few drops of lube inside the tip of the condom or on the penis before you roll the condom on. And you can put lube directly on a vulva and/or anus too. There’s no right or wrong amount — whatever feels good works. 

Water-based or silicone lube are always safe to use with any kind of condom. Don’t use anything that has oil in it, like lotion, vaseline, or oil-based lubes with latex condoms. Oil can damage latex condoms and make them break. You can generally use oil-based lubes with non-latex plastic condoms. If you’re not sure whether your lube is safe to use with your condoms, check the directions on the condom package. Read more about the right way to use condoms.

It’s especially important to use plenty of lube if you’re going to have anal sex. The anus doesn’t make its own lubrication (get wet) like the vagina or mouth does, and putting fingers, sex toys, or a penis in your anus without using lube can really hurt. Anal sex without lube can also cause irritation or small tears in your anus that can make it easier for STDs to get into your body.

You can get lube in most drugstores, pharmacies, superstores, and sex shops. You may also be able to get free lube samples from community health centers, like your local Planned Parenthood.

Tags: safer sex, condom, using condoms, lube