7 MAJOR Lube Mistakes You're Making Before Having Sex

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how to use lube during sex

We know that lube plays a big part in many aspects of our sex lives, but are we using it correctly? Lube has endless benefits, whether you experience dryness or discomfort during sex. But it's not even just for that! It can also make sex, with a partner or by yourself, a lot better.

That said, there are times you can be using it wrong. You may be using a lube that will weaken or break down condoms or those that can potentially cause allergic reactions or irritations. You may be using something that's technically not lube at all. And if you are using lube with flavoring or sugar, you are opening the door to lots of other problems as well.

There's no question that we should all have lube in our arsenal, but first we need to know how to use lube during sex. Just take some precautions to make sure it's the right choice for you. Here are lube mistakes you're making during sex and what you should be doing instead.

1. Don't use oil-based lubes with condoms or latex toys.

"While oil-based lubes do last longer and can work well for anal play, they can weaken and break down the latex in your condoms or toys. They can also cause irritation or even infections in women," says Antonia Hall, MA, psychologist, relationship expert, and sexpert.

2. Forgo using saliva when you have a cold sore.

Saliva is probably the oldest lubricant, but that doesn't make it the best or safest. But if you happen to have a cold sore, that's a great way to transfer the virus to their genitals. Not an ideal hookup.

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3. Avoid conditioner when having sex in the shower.

Similar to oil-based lubes, lotions or oils can work for masturbation, but they can break down condoms or cause irritation in women, says Hall. It's also not okay to grab body gel or conditioner when you're getting down in the shower.

Stick with a good natural lube so you don't end up with an unhappy ending. After all, understanding how to use lube during sex involves not slathering your privates with harsh chemicals meant for your hair!

4. Flavored lubes can actually cause infections.

"It can be appealing to use a flavored lube, but these sweet toppings can cause less than sexy yeast infections," says Hall. Skip the sugar coatings for any play below the waist. 

5. Never use lubes with carcinogens.

There's no reason to put parabens or glycerin in your delicate parts.

"They can increase chances of hormone imbalances and toxicity known to be carcinogenic. Instead, use a good natural lube like Aloe Cadabra or Pur Naturals," says Hall.

RELATED: The ULTIMATE Guide To Using Lube To Make Your Sex Wetter & Better

6. Don't taste it.

"Let's be honest, even flavored lubes either don't taste great or feel good in your mouth. So if you're doing oral play, hold off on the lube. If we are talking about the self-heating or tingling lubes, keep your fingers, hands, and other areas smeared with the slick stuff away from your eyes and mouth or you might get an unexpected burn or buzz," says sexpert Laurel House.

7. Be aware of lubrication that stains.

Make sure that your lube doesn't leave a mark on colored sheets.

"While white sheets generally won't show an oily spot, colored sheets will and you probably don't want to look at and sleep in dried puddles of last night's wet and wild fun!" advises House.


Aly Walansky is a NY-based lifestyles writer. Her work appears in dozens of digital and print publications regularly. Visit her on Twitter or email her at

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