When it comes to sex stuff, it’s probably a good idea to avoid using products that have the word “baby” in the name. Baby oil is no exception. Yes, it looks and feels like lube, but even with the creepiness of using a product marketed toward infants, baby oil is simply not a friend to most varieties of penetrative sex, and you should definitely axe it from your list of potential lube replacements.
Baby oil is essentially liquid Vaseline. Both are hydrocarbon byproducts of refined petroleum, but they feature slightly different chemical structures that make one semi-solid and the other an oil. But since they’re technically still made of oil, neither is good for most types of sex. The main issue with baby oil — and oil overall — is that it isn’t compatible with latex condoms. Oil degrades latex, and can cause a condom to rip, tear or break entirely, sometimes without your knowledge. For preventing pregnancy and STIs, that’s not safe.
But even with condom-less sex, baby oil has downsides. Oil isn’t easily removed from the vagina and has a higher, more neutral pH (vaginas tend to run slightly acidic), meaning it can promote the growth of bacteria and yeast that leads to infections. The same goes for condomless anal sex and other assorted butt stuff — oil can increase the chances of an infection there, too.
On r/AskGayBros, r/sex and elsewhere on the internet, people are constantly asking if baby oil is an appropriate lube for anal and are nearly always told to just buy some damn Astroglide or another lube designed to be put inside an orifice. If you’re super keen on using an oil (particularly one you might already have in your house), coconut oil or olive oil are frequent recommendations, though the same threat to condoms — and risk of infection — still applies. Additionally, oil-based lubes aren’t compatible with certain sex-toy materials, particularly porous ones like elastomer. It’s also not easily removed from fabrics, making it a messy choice for your bedding.
That messiness is really the only downside to baby oil if you’re doing hand stuff to a penis (solo or otherwise), but if you’re fine with stained sheets, it’s safe to jack off with. Just make sure to avoid baby oil that has an added fragrance if you’re sensitive to that kind of thing.
Really, though, just go buy some lube. The clerk at CVS doesn’t care. Breaking a condom or getting an infection will end up being far more of a nuisance than running to the store for a legit product, and besides, it’s for babies. Need I say more?