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What is a Warming Lubricant?

By Erin J. Hill
Updated May 21, 2024
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Warming lubricant is a type of water-based lubricant used for enhanced sexual arousal. The gel is designed to become heated while it’s being rubbed into the skin. This leads to heightened stimulation for both males and females.

Generally, warming lubricant can be bought over the counter at most pharmacies, department stores, and sexual supply stores. There are various brands available to choose from, and some may have additional enhancers, colors, and flavors. Those who intend to use a warming lube with a latex condom should always check labels to ensure the brand being purchased is water-based. Oil-based lubricants can break down the latex in condoms and result in tears.

The sensations provided by warming lubricant are meant to be enjoyable and only mildly warm upon contact with skin. Therefore, any uncomfortable heat or burning should be taken seriously and the product promptly washed off the skin. In some rare cases an allergic reaction may occur which can result in burning, itching, redness, and irritation.

Because the warming sensation takes effect upon contact and then gradually wears off, the warming lube should be applied to clean fingers and then placed directly on the genital area without rubbing it in first. This will provide maximum stimulation. If allergies with similar products have occurred in the past, though, it may be a good idea to try the product on the arms or legs before applying to the genital region.

Before using a particular warming lubricant, it is important to ensure the product is intended for sexual use. Some massage gels meant for the back or other less sensitive areas of the body also become warm to the touch, but these are generally made from oil and may feature fragrances and perfumes that are not recommended for genital use. Infection or irritation may occur when not used as directed.

If serious irritation occurs after using warming lubricant, a doctor should be consulted. After the area is cleaned and the lubricant is removed, any irritation should be monitored. Should irritation persist, medication or ointments may be recommended to stop inflammation. A serious allergic reaction may occur in very rare instances. Symptoms include dizziness, faintness, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, and shock. These symptoms would warrant a medical emergency and an ambulance should be called immediately for prompt medical care.

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Discussion Comments
By turquoise — On Feb 18, 2014

@fBoyle-- I don't think that's entirely true. There are warming lubricants with natural ingredients. For example, arginine is a natural ingredient. It's not exactly warming but it has similar effects as a warming lubricant because of its circulation improving properties. So there are more natural alternatives to warming lubricants with chemicals.

Of course, every individual reacts to products differently. So no one can say whether a product will work well for someone or whether it will cause allergies or not.

By fBoyle — On Feb 17, 2014

@ddljohn-- I have used a warming lubricant several times and did not experience any negative side effects. It worked as it was supposed to. There was a warming sensation, but not too much and definitely no irritation.

That being said, I try not to use this type of lubricant all the time because it contains more chemicals than a regular lubricant. The ingredients causing the warming sensation are chemicals. I try to use as natural products as possible. And when it comes to genital organs, we have to be careful about the products we use. We can't use everything that we use on our skin.

Also, if you plan on using a warming lubricant, read the directions and warnings carefully. Most warming lubricants are not meant for inside of the vagina and they are not to be ingested. You might want to read some warming lubricant reviews to decide which product works best before actually investing in one.

By ddljohn — On Feb 16, 2014

I've only used a regular water-based lubricant until now. I've never tried a warming lubricant but it sounds interesting. Has anyone here used one? Does it work well? Has anyone experienced irritation or allergic reactions because of these types of lubricants?

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