VFT Mailbag: Will shampoo work as lubricant in a tight spot?

As always, submit your anonymous questions at the end of this post.


A while back a bed buddy and I attempted unsuccessfully to have sex. He was using a lousy condom, the kind you get for free and would never buy on your own, and so we had some trouble … getting it in. Since we didn’t have lube, he suggested—and I’m not kidding—that we could use just about anything, like shampoo. I promptly took sex off the table for that night.

But, it got me thinking: Besides baby oil (because anyone who owns baby oil definitely only bought it for the bedroom) is there any common household product at all that’s orifice-safe if you’re short on real lube?

[Editor’s note: A few commenters noted that baby oil weakens latex condoms, so it should not be used as a lubricant.]

I’m no lubricant MacGyver, so I’m not even going to try to recommend a lube-focused grocery list. In the time you spend pondering the weird substitutes you might put inside of yourself, though, why not just walk down to CVS and pick up some of the real stuff?

More importantly, your question throws up a bunch of red flags about that cheap-o bed buddy of yours. Free condoms and shampoo as lubricant? Sounds like the kind of kid who only takes you to dinner at Qboba. On half-priced Monday.

Can you actually imagine leaping out of bed mid-hook up to grab a bottle of shampoo from the shower? Then having the debate on whether it’s better than the conditioner? Doesn’t exactly set the mood, if you ask me.

Tell you man friend to lock it down; it won’t break his bank to invest in legitimate lube, and more importantly, the between-the-sheets experience will be much better.

Dear VFT,

Is it just me or are straight and single mutually exclusive qualities at Georgetown. It seems like all the good-looking nice guys are either dating some girl or, worse, not interested in XX chromosomes. What are your thoughts?

It might seem like there aren’t any straight, single guys on campus, but there are thousands of dudes here at Georgetown. THOUSANDS.

When we narrow our scope based on proximity—our social circles or cultural and regional backgrounds, for example—that pool suddenly turns into a puddle. That limited selection of guys is a fraction of the undergraduate population; the truth is that straight, single guys are here and they’re looking—even when you feel like you’re playing a losing game of romantic Marco Polo.

Albert Einstein said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again while expecting different results. Maybe you’re having problems spotting the keepers because you won’t change your expectations. Maybe you’re just looking too hard, instead of trying to meet new people on the basis of friendship. Maybe it’s not them, it’s you. (Kidding.)

Those men are out there. You just might need to broaden your perspective to see them.


I don’t have a sexy question, but I was hoping you could help me anyway.

My roommate smells terrible. He smells bad constantly, sometimes so much that I can’t be in the same room with him or I can smell it from our living room and I definitely can’t have a conversation with him without being distracted by his odor. He wears deodorant and he seems to shower every day in the nighttime, so I’m not sure what the problem is. The smell collects in the room so even when he’s out, I can’t bring friends/ladies back to our room.

I’m willing to take the direct approach and talk to him, and the other guys in our apartment (he’s a rando, so none of us know him too well) all want me to be the one to talk to him, but I don’t have any idea of how I would start that conversation. Plus, he’s a nice guy, he’s not weird at all. We all like being on friendly terms with him. Do you have a suggestion for how to tell someone something this awkward?

—Holding my nose in Henle

For the love of God, just tell him. Even if you sit there and ponder this for as long as it takes Sarah Palin and Christine O’Donnell to come up with name of a single Supreme Court case, you’ll come to the same conclusion.

Just approach him when there’s no one else around and lay out the facts. Making him feel targeted for his stinkiness won’t be fun, but it will definitely get better if you slowly try to include him in your plans after talking about his stinky pits. If it weren’t for his force field of funk, you’d hang out with the guy, right? Remind him that you don’t have a problem with him—just his odor. But, avoid complaining his impact on your love life. I’m guessing that your fearfully fetid friend doesn’t deal with the same kinds of romantic problems, so let’s not kick him while he’s down.

Give him time to cool (err … clean) off, then have another roommate ask him to join your group of friends for dinner or a night out. If you boys don’t make a big stink, after a while he won’t either.

The VFT Mailbag






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6 Comments on “VFT Mailbag: Will shampoo work as lubricant in a tight spot?

  1. Um, VFT? You should probably have mentioned that baby oil is NOT a safe lubricant with a latex condom. Unless you were hoping to get pregnant. Oil-based lubricants, such as baby oil or Vaseline, weaken the latex and make the condom much more likely to break. You should only use a water-based lubricant on condoms.

    Baby oil is, however, great for getting your mascara off before you go to bed.

  2. VTF! I heart your column, but you need to make a correction right away. Eileen is right, but getting pregnant is only one consequence of a broken condom. HIV and a frightening number of other life threatening infections may also result. Use your voice to tell people no oil based lubes with latex!

  3. shampoo is bettah! I go on first and clean the hair!

  4. Pingback: Vox Populi » VFT Mailbag: Another polite request for questions

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