Lubricants, Spermicide, and Numbing Products

  • Use silicone-based lubricants for anal sex – they last longer and are safer than water-based lubricants.
    • A study evaluated several lubricants and found that water-based formulas can kill rectal cells, because they draw water out of the cells lining the rectum.  While the effect of silicone-based formulas on rectal tissue has not been studied very much, current evidence suggests that silicone-based lubricants are safer than water-based lubricants.
  • Do not use numbing products (which are products that contain benzocaine, a type of an anesthetic) for anal sex.
    • A lack of sensation increases the chance that the receptive partner wouldn’t notice an injury.
    • They can cause an allergic reaction, like skin irritations.
  • Do not use products with spermicide (which contains a compound called nonoxynol-9) for anal sex.
    • They can cause skin irritation or inflammation, especially when used frequently.
    • They can cause an allergic reaction, like skin irritations.
  • Genital skin irritations or abrasions increase the chance of infection with an STI. So, any product that damages or kills genital skin or tissue puts you at an increased risk for an STI.