Does lube cause condoms to slip-slide away?

Dear Alice,

If an individual is concerned about putting a condom on easily, would it be beneficial to use some lubrication on the inside of the condom? Would this increase slippage?

Dear Reader, 

When using condoms, a touch of lube surely may help things feel slick 'n smooth. And some already come lubricated, making it that much easier. Whether or not the condoms are already lubricated, some people find that adding additional lubricant can be helpful. Not only may a little lubrication on the inside help glide the condom right on, but it may also increase sensations to the tip of the penis. However, as you noted, slipping can occur if there is too much!  

So how much is too much? Just use a few drops of lube inside of the tip is all that’s needed! A little dab will usually go a long way inside the condom, since there is no evaporation, so it's good not to overdo it! For latex condoms, remember to use water- or silicone-based lube since oil-based lubes damage latex. Furthermore, putting some lube on the body part to be penetrated may also help keep the experience feeling smooth. As for internal (also called female) condoms, which are made of nitrile, water- or oil-based lubes can increase comfort for both partners and also decreases noise! 

If you're concerned about how much is too much, you may find it helpful to practice with your barrier method of choice and lube during solo play to see if additional lube is helpful and if so, how much. This may help inform your use with future partners. For more information on how to correctly put on a condom, check out the Go Ask Alice! Sexual and Reproductive Health archives. But to sum it all up, using a drop or two of lube inside the condom can not only make it easier to put on, but also increase sensations of pleasure. Now, slide on home! 

Last updated Jul 09, 2021
Originally published Sep 19, 2003

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