Can You Use Spit (Saliva) As Lube, Or For Anal Sex?

Spit is not recommended as lube for many reasons including an increased risk of STIs, overall ineffectiveness, and not being practical in most situations.
Image Of A Person's Lips, Saliva Dripping Down The Lower Lip And Chin
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Updated:September 2023

Should you use spit as lube during sex? In a word, no.

Here’s why:

  • Not only is it impractical and often ineffective, but using saliva as lube comes with serious potential health risks
  • This includes the potential for STIs like herpes, gonorrhea, chlamydia, HPV, and more to pass from person to person
  • The mouth is home to over 700 types of bacteria and 80 million bacteria are transferred in a single 10-second kiss. This means that there is a high potential for bacterial transfer to your vagina or anus when your partner uses enough spit to get you wet for sex
  • Finally, spit is not slippery enough and often dries out too fast to be a useful lubricant

In this article, we’re going to cover everything you need to know about using spit or saliva as a personal lubricant, including: 

Editor’s Note: This article is part of our Lube Alternatives and Everything Lube hubs, in-depth and evolving resources that comprehensively explore all aspects of personal lubricants from the different types and how to use them, to ingredients and safety — created to help you achieve the sexual pleasure you deserve.

Can You Use Spit As Lube?

Can you physically have spit applied to genitals or other body parts before sex? Yes. Should you? Not at all.

Here’s why you shouldn’t use saliva as lube:

  • Saliva is ineffective as a lube
  • It’s impractical
  • Spit can transmit some infections and STIs

Lube’s job is to create a slippery, slick feeling so that penetration is easier during sex, and fingers, sex toys, and other things can glide more easily against the skin.

Spit might be wet but it’s not slippery in the way that lube needs to be. It dries out very quickly so it’s not very effective. The lack of slickness can lead to tears in the body from the extra friction, making you more prone to infections and STIs.

At the same time, the amount of lube most people need for better sex is a lot more than the amount of moisture that comes with spitting.

The sheer amount of saliva you’d need to produce to make things more comfortable is impractical at best, and off-putting at worst.

Even if the sound of a partner hocking loogies at you isn’t a turn-off, the amount of bacteria in spit increases your chances of bacterial infections and STI transmission.

Although spit is a natural part of oral sex — you’re using your mouth, after all — a condom or dental dam should be used if there is any risk of STI infection, particularly if a partner’s STI status is unknown.

Can You Use Spit As Vaginal Lube?

Setting aside the impracticality and ineffectiveness of using spit as lube, the probability of infection increases when you and your partner attempt to use it for vaginal sex.

Remember those 700 types of bacteria located in the mouth and the 80 million that get swapped in a kiss? Well, some of those can upset the vaginal microbiome which could lead to bacterial vaginosis or a yeast infection.

Some STIs can also be transmitted through saliva.

For example, if your partner is going through a herpes outbreak, and they spit on your vagina, you’ve increased your chances of contracting herpes as well.

The same is true for multiple other sexually transmitted infections.

Can You Use Spit As Anal Lube?

STI transmission is still a very real concern if you decide to use spit for anal sex instead of vaginal sex.

But the impracticality is even more enhanced during anal, as well.

Most vaginas will likely produce some amount of natural lubricant, but butts don’t make any. That means you need even more spit to make sure anal can happen with minimal pain.

Allowing the saliva to flow from your partner’s mouth to your booty might be on someone’s fetish bucket list, but it’s not exactly a common turn-on.

And if you’re shuddering just imagining all that spit, just use real lube specifically designed for anal sex instead.

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What Is Spit Made From And Is It Safe?

Spit is mostly water, which is why it dries up so quickly. It also has digestive enzymes, electrolytes, proteins, cholesterol, and uric acid in the mix.

Don’t forget the 700 forms of bacteria we keep mentioning.

Spit, by and large, is “safe.” When you kiss a partner, you’re swapping tens of millions of bacteria and most people see no ill effect from that.

However, certain infections and illnesses can be transmitted via spit — like herpes, gonorrhea, or chlamydia (which has a minimal risk) — when they come in contact with genitals.

If you don’t know your own or your partner’s STI status or the spitting partner is in the middle of a known outbreak, the risk that more than spit is swapped during sex and kissing increases greatly.

The safest course of action is to not do anything physical. There is still a lot of emotional intimacy that can take place when you don’t know a person’s STI status for certain — and until you do.

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What Are Better Lube Alternatives To Spit?

If you’re rethinking the whole “spit for lube” idea, we get it. The good news is that you have plenty of other options.

Better personal lube choices include:

Here’s a cheat sheet for selecting the best lube based on how you intend to use it:

Lube Type:
Oral Sex Yes Yes Not usually
Vaginal Sex ONLY if pH/Osmolality suitable Yes Yes
Anal Sex ONLY if pH/Osmolality suitable Yes Yes
Condom Types All All Polyurethane, nitrile and lambskin only
Sex Toy Types All All but silicone All but latex
Bath/Shower Use No Yes Yes
Does It Stain? No Yes Yes
Lube Type:
Oral Sex
Vaginal Sex
Anal Sex
Condom Types
Sex Toy Types
Bath/Shower Use
Does It Stain?

There is a personal lubricant designed for every situation, so if you’re not sure which to choose, you can read through our in-depth lube guide or take our lube quiz to find your perfect match.

Our Top Lube Recommendations

After researching hundreds of personal lubricants — and personally testing dozens of them ourselves — we have found the very best lubes of each type, vetted by our team and recommended for their safety and performance.

Editor's Note: When you purchase a product via an affiliate link (*) on our site, we earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. On behalf of our entire team, thank you in advance for your support!

We’ll take a quick look at the four main lubricant categories below.

  • Water-Based Personal Lubricants

The most versatile type of lube, water-based products are water-soluble and easy to clean. Even better they’re safe for use with any kind of condom, dental dam, diaphragm, or sex toy.

The downside to being water-based, however, is they don’t last as long as other lubricant types during sex and you’re likely going to need to reapply them.

The upside is that water-based lubes feel like your body’s natural lubrication.

Also, water-based lubricants can’t be used for sexy fun times in the shower or tub. Because they are made of water, they easily wash away in water, too.

Still, these lubes remain incredibly versatile and popular. If you want to learn more about them, we reviewed the best water-based personal lubricants to help you out.

  • Silicone-Based Personal Lubricants

Silicone-based lubricants last a long time and are safe for all condom types and most sex toys, with one exception — toys made from silicone.

Silicone lube will degrade most toys made from silicone. There are some exceptions but they’re so rare that it’s safest to skip silicone lube with your silicone sex toys.

Silicone-based lubes have a silky, smooth texture that doesn’t necessarily feel “natural” like water-based lubricants do. But it still feels amazing and reduces friction wonderfully.

But because of its staying power, thick consistency, and silky texture, silicone lube is a great choice for anal sex.

You can use silicone lubricants for sex in the tub or shower because these lubes are waterproof. The downside, though, is that they’re more difficult to clean up afterward and can stain your bedding and clothes if you’re not careful.

We explored the best silicone-based personal lubes to help you find the safest and most effective lubricants out there.

  • Oil-Based Personal Lubricants

Oil-based lubes are usually made using natural (and sometimes organic) body-safe oils.

However, some of these lubes use oils derived from nuts. This can be a serious issue if you have nut allergies or sensitivities.

Oils can’t be used with condoms made from latex or polyisoprene because they’ll degrade their material; they’re only safe for lambskin, nitrile, or polyurethane condoms.

We’ve already done the research and reviewed the best oil-based personal lubricants to help you in your search for the perfect one.

  • Natural And Organic Lubricants

Natural or organic lubes can be water-based or oil-based, depending on their ingredients and formula. Yes, this can sometimes include nut-based ingredients.

Again, if you have a sensitivity or allergy to nuts — or anything — always read through the ingredient list first. It’s the best way to keep yourself safe and healthy.

We found the best and safest natural and organic lubricants to help you find the right lube for you.

Are There Any Safe At-Home Lube Alternatives?

If you’re experiencing a lube emergency and need something handy, coconut oil or pure aloe vera are generally safe as lube alternatives.

Coconut oil is a near-universal safe option for most people.

Like canola and any other oil you grab for lube, don’t use it with latex or polyisoprene condoms or dental dams, or latex or jelly rubber sex toys. The condom will be ineffective and the toys will be destroyed.

Pure aloe vera can be a great lube alternative for many people, although not everyone can use it because depending on how the aloe vera is harvested, some latex could still be found in the formula.

High-quality manufacturers like Aloe Cadabra, who we personally reviewed, remove all traces of latex during the manufacturing process — but that might not be true for other manufacturers.

Aloe vera is an ideal option for vaginal sex because its pH closely matches that of the vagina. Even better, the texture is similar to your body’s natural lubrication so it’ll feel really good.

That said, it’s not a great fit for anal sex for those exact reasons; it’s better to use anal lube with a thicker consistency that will last longer and has a higher pH.

Additionally, aloe vera is less than ideal if want to get pregnant.

Bottom Line:

Spit as lube is not recommended at all, no matter what you see in porn.

It doesn’t work as well as lube or even other lube alternatives and generating enough for good sex is impractical.

The risk of infections also isn’t worth it, especially when there are so many other options available.

Don’t forget that there are plenty of store-bought personal lube options to choose from too!

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