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Kit Q&A: Polyisoprene Condoms and Oil-Based Lubricants

Posted in Kit Q&A, and Sex & Relationships

On Saturdays I answer questions from my readers or respond to popular web searches.

Is it safe to use polyisoprene condoms with oil-based lubes?

A flower arrangement made from condoms, produced by Bangkok's Cabbages and Condoms restaurant. Photo by Bill McElligott.

Since I reviewed both Lifestyles Skyn and Durex Avanti Bare, two varieties of polyisoprene condoms, several of my readers were curious about this topic. A lot of people find the idea of using oils like olive oil or coconut oil as sexual lubricants appealing — they are thick, long-lasting, and natural; there are even some commercial blends out there sold for use on the body.

Polyisoprene Condoms have many advantages over latex condoms such as the amount of sensation they transmit, in addition to the obvious benefit to those with latex allergies. Most people know it’s unsafe to combine oils and latex, but what about these new alternative condoms? To answer this question, I called both Lifestyles Customer Support (800-327-8659) and Durex Customer Support (973-404-2600).

Unfortunately for the oil lovers out there, the answer is no. The Durex representative even asked me to emphasize that “none of our condoms are compatible with oil-based lubes.”

Does the smell of a condom linger on a dick?

Latex condoms smell bad to me. There is also a distinct taste which can stay on the genitals after use. This is a problem for people who don’t like the odor, or who want to mix oral sex with penetrative sex. One of the reasons that I like polyisoprene condoms better is that they do not smell or taste as bad — compared to latex condoms they are effectively odorless.

What does it mean when a vibrator says for novelty use only?

Many cheaper sex toys are labeled For Novelty Use Only. As Violet Blue reveals, this is probably a legal strategy by sex toy vendors to avoid responsibility for cheaply made vibrators, dildos, and other toys. Everyone knows what they are for, but this prevents companies from being held accountable when toys break easily or from answering to the safety of the materials. Though many of these toys are safe to use, and can give a lot of pleasure, you should always research them carefully before purchase.

In recent years, a number of companies began offering luxury sex toys. The toys they manufacture are high-quality, body safe, and make use of exciting new technologies. Many are more environmentally conscious as well — constructed of responsible, renewable materials or featuring rechargeable batteries. Most of them even offer warranties, so you won’t worry about them breaking after just a few uses. The future of sex toys is exciting, and I’m thrilled to be a small part of it as a reviewer!

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