Olive oil as anal sex lubricant?

Dear Alice

Two months ago I met an amazing man from Spain, we had a hot affair during the time that he was visiting my city and he told me that he was a collector of olive oil. We talked about having anal sex during the time that he was here but it never happened. Anyway, I am planning a trip to Spain to visit him and I thought about bringing him a nice bottle of olive oil to be used as a lubricant for our anal adventures! But my question is: is it a safe lubricant in terms of keeping the condom from breaking?

Thank you!
Hot for Spain

Dear Hot for Spain,

Olive oil + latex condom = broken condom! Avoid using latex with any oil, oil-based lube, or petroleum products.

That's the quick answer, but there's much more that can be said about safer sex, condoms, lube, and erotic olive oil options. 

A good lubricant for anal sex is essential. Lube makes anal sex more pleasurable, decreases risk of condom-breakage, and helps protect sensitive tissue. If you are using latex condoms, or any other latex barriers such as gloves or dental dams, olive oil should be avoided because oils and oil-based lubricants and lotions cause latex to break down. For any sexual activity using latex barriers, water-based or silicone-based lubricants are recommended.

Water-based lube, the most oft-recommended kind, can be used safely with latex and with silicone toys and it cleans up easily. Water-based lubes abound at sex novelty stores and drugstores alike. For anal sex, look for non-flavored varieties (flavored lube often has sugar and other ingredients that may cause irritation in penetrative anal or vaginal sex). Water-based lubricants may be somewhat sticky when they dry, but can be refreshed easily by adding water, saliva, or more lube.

Some people prefer silicone-based lube for anal sex because it typically has a slicker quality, stays wetter longer, and does not dry sticky. Like water-based lube, silicone is safe for use with latex. The body does not absorb silicone, which means it won't clog pores, but it may be more difficult to wash off (and out) of the body. Silicone lube will damage silicone sex toys, so the two should not be used together unless there is a condom on the toy.

Olive oil may be an option for lubricant if you use polyurethane condoms instead of latex. However, a word of caution with regard to olive oil and orifices: It may be difficult to remove, may clog pores, or may cause infection or irritation, so it is not recommended for internal use (except for eating, of course). Olive oil may be used erotically in other ways though, as an external masturbatory lubricator (probably safer for use on the penis than the clitoris) for example, or as massage oil with very little risk of any of the health concerns noted above (thought it may stain sheets). If you decide to use olive oil externally first, and have sex after, even if you use silicone or water-based lube, polyurethane condoms are still recommended rather than latex because the condom may have come into contact with olive oil residue left on the sheets or on other parts of the body.

Here's to overseas adventures with slippery substances!

Last updated Apr 30, 2015
Originally published Mar 14, 2008

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