Jelly my vagina?

Hi Alice,

Just wondering if Vaseline is an okay form of lubrication... I notice that the container says, "for external use only," but I am wondering if this includes vaginas! Thanks. You're hilarious.

Dry and Resourceful

Dear Dry and Resourceful,

"For external use only" means that Vaseline and other petroleum jellies like it are intended for very dry skin and the lips on your face, as opposed to the ones further south. In fact, when mixed with water, petroleum-based care products get a little looser, but they also hang around, allowing bacteria, body fluids, lint, etc. to make their homes in vaginas, anuses, and on penises the world over. This can lead to infections in and around these areas — an outcome not so hilarious to their hosts.

Using petroleum jelly and oil-based products as lubricants on latex condoms can also make for sticky situations, as they tend to break down the latex, making the condom less effective in protecting against pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

Silicone- and water-based lubricants intended for vaginas, clitorises, et al., abound in drug stores and sex shops both online and in your neighborhood. Some lubes are better than others, so you might want to sample and test a few out to see which one(s) slide right for you and your partner. Rolling a little lube between your thumb and index finger will give you a pretty good idea of which ones work for you — if it dries and gets sticky quickly, you might want to shelve it. But, if it takes a lickin' and keeps on slippin', you've got your brand.

Last updated Jul 21, 2015
Originally published Dec 07, 2001

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