Personal Lubricants

True or False: Petroleum jelly, Vaseline Intensive Care, baby oil, and Nivea are good lubricants to use with a condom or diaphragm.

This statement is FALSE because all the lubricants listed contain petroleum. Petroleum-based personal lubricants break-down condoms and diaphragms on a microscopic-level, making them porous, and allowing sperm, bacteria, or viruses to pass through them — negating their birth-control or safe-sex effectiveness.

Thus, I only recommend petroleum-based personal lubricants used with condoms or diaphragms for people who want to gain a child or an STI (sexually transmitted infection).

With this said, and knowing the anus has no natural capacity for lubrication and knowing the vagina’s natural capacity for lubrication decreases with age and hormonal changes, I highly recommend water- or silicone-based personal lubricants, for people having any form of sexual intercourse.

For example, despite having increased sex drives, most postmenopausal women experience significant vaginal dryness because of a loss of estrogen, and often stop having sex because of the pain brought on by this dryness. A potential easy fix to this dryness is including personal lubricants in foreplay.

A final thought about personal lubricants, although it is easy to use, I do not recommend saliva as a lubricant for anyone because it has no chemical properties allowing for it be a good lubricant and STIs are easily spread through it.

Water-Based Personal Lubricants:

Silicone-Based Personal Lubricants:

Petroleum-Based Lubricants:


Chow, E. P. F., Cornelisse, V. J., Read, T. R. H. et al. (2016). Saliva use as a lubricant for anal sex is a risk factor for rectal gonorrhoea among men who have sex with men, a new public health message: A cross-sectional survey. Sexually Transmitted Infections, 92, 532–536.

Nappi, R. E., & Lachowsky, M. (2009). Menopause and sexuality: Prevalence of symptoms and impact on quality of life. Maturitas, 63, 138–141.

Voeller, B., Coulson, A. H., Bernstein, G. S., & Nakamura, R. M. (1989). Mineral oil lubricants cause rapid deterioration of latex condoms, Contraception, 39, 95–102.

Dr. Don Lucas, Ph.D. is a Professor of Psychology and head of the Psychology Department at Northwest Vista College in San Antonio Texas. He loves psychology, teaching, and research.

If you like this paper, check out Don’s YouTube channel, 5MIweekly:, like his Facebook page:, and check out his Medium site:

Sexuality personal lubricants STIs STDs pregnancy contraception safe sex menopause

I am a Professor of Psychology at Northwest Vista College in San Antonio Texas. My research focus is human sexuality. I also host a YouTube channel, 5MIweekly.

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