What's the Best Lubricant to Use with the Sponge or Diaphragm?

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Betty Dodson

Dear Dr. Betty,

I have been an avid follower of DodsonAndRoss for a couple of years. I would love to say that the work you and Carlin are doing spreads so much good into the world that it is beyond words!  I have been sexually active for about 6 months with my lovely boyfriend and we have been using condoms for most of that time.

After extensive research on both our parts (since neither of us have any STIs) we decided that the Today Sponge is the best form of birth control for our circumstance. In case our circumstance changes, we were also looking into using the diaphragm.

While using condoms, the lubrication from the condom and my own natural lubrication has always been enough for comfort and pleasure. But with the sponge, we have found that (unless I'm very, very excited) our bodies' lubrication is not quite enough to keep us both happy. We have both been slightly chafed almost half the time we've tried using the sponge- I more than him, especially on my inner lips.

In my masturbation practice, I alternate between almond and grape seed oil, in combination with my body's lubrication. But I'm not sure how oil will affect the sponge during intercourse, and I can’t find any information about it on the Internet.

I would like to know what you believe is the best type of added lubrication is when using the sponge and what type of lubrication you found is best with the diaphragm.

Thanks a million!

Dear O,

Although I've had no experience with the sponge, I see no conflict in using your oil. Even with the diaphragm, we used a petroleum based cream for sex as did the rest of NYC swingers for 10 years. There were no negative repercussions and my diaphragm was never damaged. I would feel safe saying you can use your oil with a diaphragm.

Since the AIDS scare, people have gone into what I'd call "overdrive" on safer sex rules. You are both young and healthy, so don't get too focused on all the awful things that can happen due to sex. Maybe that's America's way to scare us into spending more time in church and voting Republican.

Dr. Betty