Best & Worst Lube Alternatives

by Hannah Lovegrove

on Jan 4, 2023

Fresh outta love juice? We’ve pulled together our top suggestions for what can you use if you don't have lube.

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When it comes to bumping beautifuls, hitting a home run and a silky lube may go hand in hand. But if you’ve ever been caught out without sufficient slippage to get the deed done, there are a few household items that you can safely sub in to get that sweet satisfaction.

So the next time you’re wondering what to use as lube, you’ll be able to tell the safe lube alternatives from the options you should avoid.

What is Lube?

Personal lubricant, sledding oil, boom juice or simply lube, whatever you know it as, lube is a liquid or gel that’s specially formulated to reduce unwanted friction and ease penetration while you’re getting hot and heavy.

Whether you’re indulging in a bit of anal action, you’re rubbing one out on a solo mission, or you’re just putting the P in the V, lube is there to make your sexual play a helluva lot more enjoyable. But not all slippage was created equal. There’s a whole bunch of different types of loobie out there that have been specially formulated for specific types of sexual play. We’ll touch on this in more detail later in the piece; otherwise you can check out our beginner’s guide to lube for more juicy deets.

Why use Lube?

They don’t call it the slippery stuff for nothing. This slick concoction is designed to cut chafing so you can rock and roll in comfort.

While the vagina is a self-lubricating organ, it doesn’t always produce enough slippage for a good time. From fluctuating hormone levels to medication and even where you are in your cycle, vaginal dryness is very common and completely normal. And that’s where our good friend the lube tube comes in.

Lubricants can help to enhance your pleasure. The mere fact that this magical thrusting paste reduces friction means that you’re less likely to do yourself a mischief while doing the deed. It also helps to reduce the chance of any potential breakages if you’re using frangers, which can help to keep you protected from sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and unwanted pregnancies.

Swelly jelly is also an absolute MUST for all things anal. Unlike the vajango, your booty hole isn’t self-lubricating, so you need to lather your ring and whatever you plan on putting up your patootie with plenty of love juice to make for a pain-free, pleasurable experience.

Types of Lubricants

Like all great things in life, loobie comes in all shapes, sizes and types. The best type of lube depends on a number of different factors. From what kind of sexual activity you’re treating yourself to, the type of condoms you're using, and even the kind of toy you’re playing with, these factors will all influence the type of slippage that’s best for the job.

Water-Based Lube


Water-based lube is one of the most popular types of slippage and for good reason. Water-based love juice has a nice, light consistency that lends itself well to both bonking and mazzin’. Plus water-based lubes are compatible with all sex toy materials and most condoms. Just be sure to check the label before dowsing your rubber.

Water-based lubes do have a habit of drying out a little quicker than their other thicker counterparts, but you can reapply this slick stuff to your heart’s content.

Silicone-Based Lube


Silicone snail track is long-lasting and waterproof, making it the ideal choice for any sexual shower shenanigans you plan on getting up to. You can use silicone sledding oil for both vaginal and anal penetration, as well as solo play. And while this boom juice pairs well with some sex toy materials, it shouldn’t be used with silicone or real-feel toys under any circumstances. Silicone is attracted to itself, so it’ll turn your authentic toy into a gross, tacky mess.

If you’re after a little more guidance on the dos and don’ts of silicone slippage, you can have a read of our guide to silicone loobie.

Oil-Based Lube


Oil-based lubes are often formulated from plant-based oils, like aloe vera, almond oil and vitamin E. These formulas are incredibly nourishing and lend themselves well to most types of sexual play. The thick consistency is especially good for backdoor action.

A word to the wise though: oil-based lube has a tendency to degrade condoms and some sex toy materials, so be sure to check the label before slathering it all over your fave dildo or dommie or it could come back to bite you.

Anal Lube


Booty boom juice is often formulated using a water or silicone base. Anal lube is designed to be super thick, slick and long-lasting, making it ideal for your anal escapades. Keen to know more about the best slippery stuff for spelunking? We’ve got you covered with our top anal picks.

And if those options weren’t enough to wet your whistle, you can also choose from hybrid lubes, flavoured lubes, organic lubes and warming or tingling lubes.

There truly is a lube tube for everyone! Keen to learn more about which swelly jelly could be best for you? Check out our lubricious guides to get the low down on all things slippage.

Lube alternatives


If you’ve ever reached for your fave tube of sledding oil only to realise it’s dry as a dead dingo’s donger, chances are you’ve probably wondered ‘What can I use instead of lube?’ Lucky for you, we’ve done the hard work for you so can avoid putting anything questionable on your bits.

There are a few other items you can use in its place in a stretch. And chances are you’ve already got one or two of these lying around your house. Here are five of our fave lube alternatives for when you’re fresh out of thrusting paste.

Olive oil

If you’re at home when you run out of lip lard, there’s a good chance you’ve got a bottle of olive oil sitting in your pantry somewhere. While olive oil can be used as a sub for loobie if you’re in a bind, there are a few things worth noting before you slick yourself up.

Although olive oil can be used for both vaginal and anal penetration, it can cause condoms to break down depending on the material. And because olive oil doesn’t dissolve easily on the skin, it can clog pores leading to infection, which probably isn’t ideal when you’re using it on your privates.

If you’ve got a choice between straight olive oil and EVOO. The extra virgin is a little thinner, which will help your substitute slippage to spread more easily.

Aloe vera

From soothing sunburn to relieving itchy bug bites and even stepping in for sledding oil when you’ve run out, is there anything aloe vera can’t do? This natural, water-based option is usually safe to use with condoms and all sex-toy materials.

Just be sure to grab 100% pure aloe vera as some aloe products contain additives that can be irritating if you use them down there. And if your bod doesn’t agree with latex, then give aloe vera a miss. Its leaves contain latex, which could cause your latex allergies to flare up.

Virgin coconut oil

Not only does coconut oil smell and taste like a tropical escape, but it also doubles as an absolutely stellar sub for regular old lube. Perfect for reducing friction and alleviating vaginal dryness, coconut oil does come with some of the same risks as olive oil though and can lead to infection if the area isn’t thoroughly cleaned afterward.

You’ll want to reach for the unrefined or virgin coconut oil as it’s usually subject to less processing and bleaching. And rather than grabbing the jar out of the pantry that you’d usually use for cooking, it’s generally best to pick up a fresh jar that’s dedicated purely to your sexy time.

Vitamin E oil

Vitamin E is great for keeping your skin hydrated and it can also be used as a bit of love juice in a pinch. But be warned, like other oils, including olive oil and coconut oil, Vitamin E can cause condom breakages and irritation for some vagina owners.

Avocado oil

Avocado oil is a great alternative to olive and coconut oil if you’re after something a little more neutral. It’s tasteless, odourless and food-safe, meaning that you can use it for a bit of tongue fun. Avo oil can be used for the front and backdoor, but similarly to other oils, it doesn’t pair well with condoms and certain sex toys. And if you’ve ever been victim to an oil splash on your clothes, you’ll know it’s not always the easiest to remove from fabric, so be careful with your sheets or swap them out for an old pair you don’t mind risking stains.

What not to use as Lube


While we’re on the topic of suitable lube alternatives, we thought it only fair to also bring you the products you should steer clear of. Although these items might seem like a good sub for your regular snail track, you could be in strife if you put them near your pink bits, so it’s best to avoid them altogether.

Baby oil

While some plug baby oil as a good alternative for lube, chances are it’ll do you more trouble than good. Not only will baby oil bust your donger but its use can also lead to nasty yeast infections for vulva owners. Baby oil is often formulated from mineral oil, which is great for glowing skin but not so good for the sensitive skin around your privates.


You’d be forgiven for thinking mayo could be a good lube alternative thanks to the high oil content, but this is one condiment that should be kept strictly for sandos only. Plus mayonnaise also has a bunch of other ingredients in it too that you absolutely don’t want anywhere near your downstairs. Mayo can go rancid if it’s not stored properly, so best to leave anything that could potentially spoil out of your holes.

The same goes for butter, yoghurt and honey. Keep these ones for kitchen use only.

Body soap

If you find body soap drying and irritating on your skin, it’ll be a whole heck of a lot worse on your privates. Soaps contain a whole bunch of irritating ingredients, including fragrances, preservatives and parabens that can leave you uncomfortable and with an infection if you’re not careful.

Soap can dry out quickly, which can lead to friction if you plan on bumping and grinding, so it’s usually best to leave this one in the shower for an after-bang scrub down.


Is it bad to use spit as lube? In another case of don’t believe everything you see in porn, it turns out that you should probably lay off the spit in place of actual slippage. While your saliva might seem like an obvious choice if you’ve been sloppin’ it, it can actually facilitate the transmission of STIs and vaginal infections. Plus it dries out quickly and it’s just not as slick as you need it to be.


Vaselines and other petroleum jelly-based products should be avoided when you take a trip to poundtown. It can cause bacterial vaginosis for people with vaginas and the oil component can also damage condoms, leaving you susceptible to STIs and unwanted pregnancy.

Lube powers your pleasure levels


Whether you’re flying solo or getting hot and heavy with your kinky companion, lube is there to up the ante on your pleasure and make for a more enjoyable experience all round. If you ever find yourself in a bind wondering ‘What can I use as lube?’, chances are you’ll be able to track down one, if not more of our suggested items around the house.

If you’d rather play it safe and stick to the slick stuff, then Lovehoney has a whole stack of lubes to suit all different occasions. From water-based lubes to anal lubes and delicious flavoured loobies, we’ve got plenty of options to suit your needs and your tastes.

Best Lubes for Rimming

Hannah Lovegrove

Written by Hannah Lovegrove.

Originally published on Jan 4, 2023. Updated on Jan 5, 2023