Can i use saliva as lube? 2 Facts on using saliva as lube

Welcome to Dr Shahs Clinic, in this quick video we are going to answer the question ‘Can i use saliva as lube?’.

We will explore the magic of combining sex with saliva (we will see how magical it is!). Jokes apart let move on to the more serious stuff.

Doc, can i use saliva as lube?, this is probably the single most common question I get. Its not surprising. An estimated 40% of couples use lubricants (saliva, KY jelly) or otherwise some ridiculous flower scented concoctions.

Don’t get me wrong though. Using lubes definitely adds to pleasure for most couples. I mean people use saliva while masturbating, partnered sex, mutual masturbation and what not? Lubes of various varieties are also put into the mix.

Moreover, saliva as lube is utilized in men with erectile dysfunction and in women with vaginal dryness

However, there are some instances where you probably do not want to use saliva as lube. The best instance being ‘when trying for a child’.

Saliva can basically give your sperms a knock-out punch. Studies done as early as the 1980’s have shown that saliva reduces sperm motility by 50% within just 5 mins of exposure.

Not just that, by 15 mins of coming in contact with saliva, the sperm motility basically drops to zero.  This is because saliva contains numerous substances that can technically ‘kamikaze’ your sperm.

So, unless you are planning to use saliva as contraception method (not the best of course) you are probably better off not using saliva a lube when trying to conceive.

Moreover, their are few more studies with some interesting observations.

Can saliva kill sperm? Oh yeah. Saliva is a sperm terminator

In a few other studies, under the light microscope, scientist’s tried placing drops of sperm and drops of saliva beside one another. What did they find?

Here again, sperm motility fell withing 5 mins of exposure and in about 15 mins the total sperm motility dropped to ‘0’. Interestingly, the sperms exhibited a kind of ‘shaking movement’ when exposed to saliva (sperms can get scared as well, have some mercy)

Moreover, from the context of sexual hygiene, things get a bit more serious. Say….you are single and in a ‘not so committed’ relationship (in other words you do not know if you are going to marry the person), in these specific scenarios, you better watch out for STD’s

And boy oh boy, saliva does transmit STI (sexually transmitted infections). In fact saliva can transmit a variety of sexually transmitted infections. Some common infections that can spread to your partner via saliva include

1. Herpes Simplex Virus leading to genital warts

2. Gonorrhea (by kissing and oro-genital sex)

3. Chlamydia (again by oral-penile sex)

A beautiful study conducted in Australia called the HIM study has shown clearly that both Gonorrhea and Chlamydia can transmit through saliva.

On an average, upon stimulation, via kissing and during oro-genital sex, saliva production in a man can reach 4-5 ml per minute (similar to that of eating food or chewing) thus aiding transmission of std’s.

So should you use saliva as lube during sex? Well be careful and be damn cautious. The last thing you want is to end up with a damn STD. Trust me, it takes you out.

Most importantly, I am sure you do not want your partner to end up with genital ulcers or lesions post sex. That is a bit unfair right? So, exercise caution and avoid using saliva as lube.

Should you definitely need to use a lube, use K-Y jelly or coconut oil as lube (more so when fertility is not a goal). I hope you found this blog post on ‘can i use saliva as lube’ informative.

Please do ask your questions below. This is Dr Shah, Consultant Andrologist and Sexologist. I will see you soon with another interesting post


Chow EP, Fairley CK. The role of saliva in gonorrhoea and chlamydia transmission to extragenital sites among men who have sex with men: new insights into transmission. Journal of the International AIDS Society. 2019 Aug;22:e25354.

Templeton DJ, Jin F, McNally LP, Imrie JC, Prestage GP, Donovan B, Cunningham PH, Kaldor JM, Kippax S, Grulich AE. Prevalence, incidence and risk factors for pharyngeal gonorrhoea in a community-based HIV-negative cohort of homosexual men in Sydney, Australia. Sexually transmitted infections. 2010 Apr 1;86(2):90-6.

Tulandi T, Plouffe Jr L, McInnes RA. Effect of saliva on sperm motility and activity. Fertility and sterility. 1982 Dec 1;38(6):721-3.

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