Friday, December 08, 2006

Durex Condoms Contain Silicone Lube

So, you've taken the advice of your friendly local adult store employee/sex educator/toy-savvy friend, and you always cover your dildos with condoms to make for easier clean-up and to keep porous toys from getting germy. You even switch condoms between orifices. Congratulations!

But do you know what kind of lube is on your condom? I posted about this several weeks ago, after I emailed Trojan, Durex and Lifestyles to inquire about the lubricant used on their condoms. Trojan quickly wrote back to inform me that only their polyurethane condom (Avanti) uses a silicone-based lubricant. The rest use water-based lube. I took that response from Trojan, along with Kimono's proud advertisement of their "unique" water-based lubricant, and felt safe in generalizing that most condoms were probably lubricated the same way.

Oh, but I was wrong. This email arrived recently from Durex:
All of our lubricated condoms contain lubricants that are silicone based
except the lubricant used in our Natural Feeling condoms which is water
based.
Now, I'm sure you recall hearing from your friendly local adult store employee/sex educator/toy-savvy friend that silicone lube is bad news for silicone and cyberskin toys. It breaks down the material, although I can't honestly tell you to what degree. I've heard reports that a nickel-sized amount of silicone lube and a little friction will literally melt a silicone dildo. I've also heard that the effect isn't quite as visible, but just as sad: silicone lube degrades the material, making it porous and ruining one of the best things about having silicone toys! Since I know better, I've never had a silicone meltdown accidentally, and (let's face it folks) who has the extra cash to willfully ruin a perfectly good sex toy, even if it is in the name of science?

That being said, I can't tell you for sure what the effect of a silicone-lubed Durex condom is on a silicone toy. I definitely think it's possible that the combination of
silicone-on-silicone and lots of friction could create a reaction. Anyone else want to weigh in? If you've ever had a major condom-related dildo meltdown, or if you use Durex on your Johnny all the time and have never noticed a problem, or if you have more hard facts about the science, I'd love to hear from you.

In the meantime: Trojan and Kimono are (mostly) water-based, and Durex uses (mostly) silicone. Still no response from Lifestyles. I feel like I should write an investigative report... think 20/20 would buy it?

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Amanda,
Silicone and water based lubes feel very different. You can tell immediately upon touch (water based: a bit tacky, silicone: oily).

Sasha

Anonymous said...

That's interesting.. I have recently used a Trojan Supra.. Thinking that it would be the hypoallergenic alternative to safe sex. Some months ago I had contact dermatitis on my hands to secondary contact with polyurethane finish, my hands turned hot pink from holding this person's hand. I thought it'd be fine to use a polyurethane condom since its in a dry form but now I know that silicone breaks down the material it explains why I had a burning reaction to it. I used the condom on a sex toy, didn't do anything to the sex toy though.

Anonymous said...

I bought a whole bunch of toys at once. My purchase included a silicone vibe and a silicone dildo. The non-silicone vibe I bought came with a free packet of "Body Fluid" lube. I didn't consider that the lube would be incompatible with the silicone. After my 400 dollars worth of "afternoon delight" I realized that my silicone vibe and dildo, even after washing had become permanently tacky. They aren't melted -- just porous, I guess. I'm ticked that the store I bought all the stuff from didn't mention the silicone issue. :-(

Anonymous said...

Never had a problem with silicone condom lube on silicone toys, but I've always bought the highest grade of the latter and haven't heard or given any complaints.

--CL, S. F., Calif.