Sometimes people are concerned about the lube that is left over after sex, the remains of the lubricant that may be left in the vagina or anus, or on the penis. Should you wash it away after sex, or leave it alone? Can it cause any issues, or is it harmless?

 

Good news! Lubricant that is safe for internal use (ie, silicone based and water based lubricant) is fine to leave in your body. Of course, oil based lubes should never be used internally, so this lube shouldn’t be left inside any orifices. If you do use oil based lubes for things like hand jobs or jacking off, you can use soap and warm water to remove it. However, it won’t harm you to leave it on.

 

Why is this ok? Most water based lubricants will actually be primarily absorbed into your skin/vaginal tissue/anal tissue. Our bodies are made out of 80% water, and so while using water based lubes, you may find them drying out or getting sticky – this is just them absorbing into your skin. If this happens, you can add a little water (from a glass, squirt bottle, straw, spit, etc) to reactivate it. However, if you’re done with sexual activity, just letting it absorb in is fine.

 

With silicone base lube, which does not absorb quickly, and also with large amounts of water based lubes, you may feel that there is a significant amount of lubricant left over. If it bothers you, you can use some toilet paper or a tissue to wipe off some of the extra before you head on to your next activity. Wearing underwear can help you to absorb any extra that might continue to flow out of you later on. If you’re really worried about it, you can use warm water to rinse out. Remember than douches can actually cause more issues like infection, so just stick with soap and warm water.

 

It’s almost always better to use more lube than it is to not use enough. If you have a little bit of lube left over after sex, it’s a sign that you are using enough lube during sex, which means that not only are you helping your sexual activities be more pleasurable; you are protecting your body from irritation and tears that happen when you don’t use enough lubrication.