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Monday, June 10, 2024

Why You Shouldn’t Use Hand Lotion for Sex or Masturbation

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Some extra lubrication can greatly improve sex or masturbation, but it’s important to use a product that’s designed specifically for your body. Hand lotions, petroleum jelly, and other substances might look the same as your favorite lube and even be just as slick, but they’re a poor substitute – some can even put your health at risk. Sex and masturbation should always be about the pleasure and should never be harmful.

Before you reach for your bottle of hand lotion, here’s a few things to keep in mind.

Lotions Usually Aren’t Condom Safe – Most lotions use an oil base, and oils break down latex, silicone, and some other materials. This is inconvenient if you use sex toys such as silicone cock rings, vibrators, or other types of vibrators. Keep in mind it’s outright dangerous and irresponsible if you practice safe sex. Lotions or petroleum jelly products will quickly degrade your condoms, creating worn areas in the latex and increasing the risk of breakage. Lotions can have the same effect.

Some Lotion Ingredients Can Cause Irritation – Hand lotions are designed for fairly tough skin. They usually contain softening agents, and many leave behind a pleasant fragrance. However, they’re not designed for sensitive membranes; most even contain a warning message that reads “for external use only.”

The fragrances, alcohols, and other substances in hand lotions can cause localized irritation when they come into contact with erogenous areas. Side effects can include itching, burning, and swelling. Personal lubricants use a much gentler set of ingredients, and they’re much safer for sensitive skin.

Raised Risk of a Yeast Infection – A study from UCLA showed that some oil-based products may increase the risk of yeast infections. 44 percent of women who used oil-based products tested positive for the fungus that causes yeast infections (Candida albicans), compared to 5 percent in the group that didn’t use oils. The same study showed that petroleum jelly doubled the chances of a vaginal bacterial infection.

While men are less susceptible to bacterial and fungal infections, they’re certainly not immune. Hand lotion and petroleum jelly formulas lock in moisture, but this can have unpleasant side effects when they also lock in harmful microbes.

Specially formulated oil-based masturbation creams limit the chances of a genital infection by using body-friendly substances like coconut and almond oils as opposed to the harsh petroleum-derived chemicals found in many hand lotions. Many lubricants also have additives like carrageenan to limit microbial growth.

Lotions Don’t Work Especially Well – The best hand lotion on the market simply doesn’t compare to a quality lube. Petroleum lotions and other non-specialized products will form a sticky mess when exposed to air and friction, and because they’re not designed for sex, they dry out quickly.

On average, personal lubricants provide much more pleasure and much easier cleanup. They transfer heat efficiently and stay slick (silicone lubricants can even stay slippery when submerged in water).

There’s also a variety of different textures and viscosity options – whether you love the feeling of a oil-based masturbation cream or the natural glide of a water-based lubricant, you can find a safe sexual lube that meets your criteria.

The next time you’re preparing for sex or masturbation, make sure to have plenty of your favorite personal lubricant nearby. Hand lotions don’t feel nearly as good, and more importantly, they’re potentially unsafe. By sticking with lube, you’ll stay comfortable and satisfied.

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