Dear Sex Counselor,
I like to give my partner whole-body massages, and they sometimes lead to intercourse. I know oils don’t make good sexual lubricants (and that they can make holes in condoms). Are there any products I can use for massage and for sexual intercourse?
It’s a dilemma. We don’t recommend using massage oil on the genitals, particularly not on the vulva and in the vagina, since the vaginal tissues can't clear oils quickly, and some women can get yeast infections from oils or experience irritation from the essential oils that scent massage products. And unfortunately, most sexual lubricants don’t work very well as massage "oils".
When looking for something that can be used for body massage and genital massage/sex play, you’ll want to avoid anything that contains glycerin (ID Glide, Sex Grease, Astroglide, and Probe), since these products will get sticky. Non-glycerin, water-based lubricants are perfectly safe to use for massage and for sexual activities, but tend to dry out faster than you might like for massage.
We’ve heard from several customers that the silicone-based lubricants (UberLube and System Jo) can work well both as massage products and sexual lubricants. Because they don’t contain any water they won’t dry out, and because they don’t contain any glycerint they won’t get sticky. They’re genital-safe for men and women, won’t make holes in latex barriers like condoms, and provide a slippery surface for massage.
The one downside to using silicone lubricants for all-body massage is that they have to be washed off, since they won’t soak in on their own. Nonetheless, they’re the best thing we’ve found that’s safe and effective for massage and for sexual activities.
We usually recommend that you use a good-quality light oil for body massage, then wash your hands (or at least wipe them off if you’re using an unscented oil) and switch to a sexual lubricant for female genital massage and penetrative sex play. But if that won’t work for you, try silicone lube plus a sexy shower afterward for an uninterrupted whole-body experience.
The Sex Counselor