Sarah Says: Does not play well with others – mixing lube, condoms and toys

I’ve gotten a couple questions recently about lube, condoms and toys and how they interact with each other, so I thought I’d put them together and talk about which substances play well with others and which decidedly do not.

I got the following question as feedback on Sarah Says: The friend zone and butt sex dos and don’ts after it was revisited in Ominocity’s Top 15 Stories of 2015.

Dear Sarah,

“I really liked your comments, but in the one about anal sex, you mention condoms (good!), but then say to use a lube (also good!), except that silicone lube, which you recommend, doesn’t play well with condoms. Or am I mistaken on that one?”
– Lube Looker

You are indeed mistaken, my friend. Both silicone-based and water-based lubricants are safe to use with latex condoms. I recommended silicone for anal sex because it usually lasts longer and is thicker, both excellent qualities when you’re entering an area that is not designed for penetration.

You were likely thinking of warnings against using oil-based lubricants with condoms. There aren’t many oil-based lubes on the market designed specifically for sex, but many a masturbating teenage boy has grown accustomed to using whatever is handy and slippery, including baby oil, cooking oil, hand lotion or petroleum jelly, all of which can degrade the latex of a condom. So once you’ve moved on to partner-based sexual activity, forgo the Vaseline if you want to maintain the structural integrity of that sheath of latex protecting you from sexually transmitted infections and unplanned babies.

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Got something to ask? Strange date ideas? Taboo topics that you can’t broach with friends? Sarah has been giving advice about sex and relationships professionally for the better part of a decade, and has written for men’s magazines and women’s, local and online publications on topics ranging from first date ideas to proper anal sex etiquette.

So ask away! No topic is off limits.

Use this new handy, totally anonymous form HERE.

Or email: sarahsaysadvice at

– Featured photo via Flickr user “Yelp Inc.” – Creative Commons.