Dear Alice,

Recently I got silicone-coated condoms in my university health service. Just wondering whether silicone coat is good or bad for health? Please enlighten me.

Dear Reader,

Several brands of condoms on the market now use silicone-based lubricant to help users slip and slide their way to pleasure. Silicone, a synthetic substance much used in industry, retains its slippery properties longer than water-based lube, which can explain why some manufacturers may prefer it.

Silicone lube is an alternative to water-based lubricant (the more well-known variety of lube). Unlike oil-based lubes, silicone-based lube is safe to use on latex and polyurethane condoms and dental dams (but not recommended for sex toys made of silicone). It also does not react with the human body. If ingested, it is simply absorbed by the skin or digestive tract. In fact, silicone can turn up in places you least expect, such as in canned soup, where it is used to prevent foaming and clumping.

Silicone lube is not water-soluble. While this is a definite plus for under-water sex, it does take a little effort in washing away the lube after sex.

So go ahead and enjoy the silicone-lubed condoms. And in case you're wondering, it's perfectly fine to add water-based personal lubricant to silicone-lubed condoms if you find yourself in need of a little more slide and glide.


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