K-Y jelly by K-Y Brand - review by Love Perpetua

K-Y jelly

Lubricant by K-Y Brand

Add resource

K-Y did I use this for so long?

The best thing about K-Y is that it is cheap, and you can buy it pretty much anywhere. However, there are way better lubricants out there; ones that don’t cause irritation, don’t dry tacky, and don’t ball up during sex. If you have any choice in the matter, pick something else.
Inexpensive, available practically anywhere.
Irritating, dries up quickly, gets sticky and balls up.
Rating by reviewer:
extremely useful review


K-Y Jelly is a water-based lube, and it’s kind of a classic. It’s the one you’ve probably seen in the drugstore next to all the condoms, next to the latex gloves in the gynecologist’s office, or the plastic tube you wish you didn’t see while rifling through your parents nightstand as a kid. But did you know that K-Y Jelly was originally produced by Johnson & Johnson as a surgical lubricant? They created a sterile version for medical markets (now discontinued), and a non-sterile version that was marketed as a personal lubricant. That’s the one you are looking at right now. Generally used for sexual purposes, it won’t react with condoms or silicone toys.
It can be used for most things that require lubricant. The back of the bottle has suggested uses: Lubricates condoms, provides personal lubricant, and eases insertion of rectal thermometers, enemas, and tampons. It does say that it lubricates condoms and provides personal lubricant, but I don’t particularly like using it for sex. It causes me irritation, doesn’t last long, and has a tendency to get sticky and ball up as it dries (more on all of that later). I think it works best for simple insertion - as long as you aren’t sensitive to the ingredients. I have to assume that this use is why it’s #1 doctor recommended - it's thick and cushiony, and it works okay on a speculum or on doctor’s gloves, but it’s not the best for vigorous thrusting, at least in my experience. I mean...nobody wants lumpy clumpy balls of dried up lube where the sun don’t shine. Am I right? However, where this lube really shines is in it’s accessibility - you can basically get K-Y anywhere at a decent price. It’s okay in a pinch, but there are much better options out there.

Texture / Consistency / Thickness / Viscosity

K-Y jelly is clear and has a very thick consistency for a water-based lube - it reminds me of a dense hair gel. To give you a sense of just how thick this "jelly" (it doesn't wobble like jello) is, I put a pea sized drop on my finger, turned it upside down and waited for it to drip. It had gotten a bit longer, but didn’t drip after four minutes, so rest assured it is going to stay wherever you put it. It does tend to dry out and get sticky, but can be “reactivated” and thinned out using water.

Taste / Aroma

It doesn’t smell like much besides a faint chemical smell, but it tastes bad. Really bad. It has an unpleasant, chemical taste that is almost bitter. I suppose that would be okay for a surgical lubricant - nobody licks their scalpel, after all - but not for your lady/man parts. Seriously, you do not want to go down on someone who has used this. I once tried to go down on my boyfriend after my poor vajay got really irritated and I couldn’t go on, and OH GOD it was gross. I ended up suggesting that we get in the shower and rinse off before going any further. I tried to be sexy about it, but I’m sure the faces I was making were not appealing. Just take my word for it and don’t get this in your mouth. You won’t be happy if you do.


It is very thick, so a liberal application is necessary. Even then, it’s not the most slick or slippery. I found that during thrusting it dried up kind of quickly, but not uniformly. It has a tendency to get kind of lumpy, for lack of a better word. It’s not exactly sexy. It actually seems to work a bit better if you mix it with an equal part of water before applying it - it thins it a bit without losing it's lubricating quality.

I have sensitive skin, and I have always experienced irritation when using K-Y. I thought maybe it was just because my vagina was especialy sensitive, but I did some quick hand tests using K-Y and I actually experienced irritation on the skin of my hand. I was applying it in thin layers and rubbing back and forth (much as you would when having sex) and I have redness and itching on that side of my hand. I washed it off ASAP. This is definitely not going anywhere near my vagina again. I know there are probably lots of people who won’t experience irritation, but some will, so if you are gung-ho about using this, I would advise a spot test before applying it to your most sensitive areas. I have never tried this anally, but given it's poor performance vaginally, I wouldn't recommend it.

In terms of after sex clean-up, K-Y dries a bit sticky-tacky, so you’re going to want to wash this off after sex or play. Lucky for you, it is water-based and will come of pretty easily with soap and water, or a thorough rinse.


It comes in a squeeze tube, with the cap on the bottom. This is a pretty easy and convenient way to dispense the product - must like a toothpaste tube, just squeeze the tube until you have the amount you want. When it starts to run out, you may have to shake it a bit to get the lubricant to the bottom of the bottle, but if you store it upright, you probably won’t have this issue. Just make sure to close the cap properly after you’re done, or it may leak out. The packaging is not at all discreet, because pretty much everyone knows what “K-Y” means, and the letters are very big.

Special Features

Ingredients on the label are listed in order of concentration, although they won’t tell you exact percentages (that would be like giving away a secret recipe!) The higher up on the list, the greater the amount.

Purified water: Water that is processed to remove impurities.
Glycerin: A naturally occurring or synthetically made lubricant and humectant. Glycerin attracts water, and helps create a smooth surface. Glycerin is a kind of sugar, so it can encourage microbe or yeast growth. This is why many women who have sensitive skin or are susceptible to yeast infections often avoid glycerin-containing lubricants.
Hydroxyethylcellulose: A gelling and thickening agent.
Chlorhexidine Gluconate: Chlorhexidine is a chemical antiseptic, which can be used safely in low concentrations, usually in products like mouthwash and contact lens solution. It is the main ingredient in doctor prescribed germicidal mouthwash. It is often used to treat gingivitis (swelling, redness, bleeding of the gums). I once got a prescription for Chlorhexidine Gluconate Oral Rinse after I had my wisdom teeth out. It is also used topically as an antiseptic, for preoperative skin preparation and wound disinfectant. What the heck is it doing in my lubricant? Well, in small quantities it is used as a preservative (to prevent the growth of bacteria). It is not effective against viral or fungal infection, but it does help the lubricant to have a longer shelf life.
Gluconolactone: Composed of multiple water-attracting hydroxyl groups, Gluconolactone hydrates the skin. It can also protect from some of the damage resulting from UV exposure, but unless you are applying K-Y jelly to your vulva and then sunbathing, I doubt you’ll really be affected by this property.
Methylparaben: A preservative and anti-fungal agent in the paraben family. It is generally recognized as safe for food and cosmetic antibacterial preservation. Methylparaben is quickly absorbed through the skin, and there is a lot of controversy about its use. There is evidence that parabens mimic estrogen and can act as potential endocrine system disruptors (disrupting your hormonal regulatory mechanisms). Some studies have suggested that it is connected to breast cancer - when breast tumors were examined by researchers, high levels of methylparaben were found in the tissue. While it is generally non-irritating, some people may be allergic to parabens, and should avoid them.
Sodium Hydroxide: Also known as lye, sodium hydroxide is an industrially produced caustic metallic base. Most of the sodium hydroxide produced is used by the chemical industry as a very strong cleaning agent. You might see it around the house in products like drain cleaner, but it can also be used for pH regulation. While strong sodium hydroxide solutions can cause chemical burns and other injury if it comes in contact with the skin, it is likely that only a tiny amount is used in K-Y, and it is probably used to adjust the pH. Still, there may be some concern that sodium hydroxide can cause skin irritation.

Since it contains Glycerin, Parabens, and Sodium Hydroxide, there is a potential for irritation. It can also promote yeast infections and/or UTIs in susceptible individuals. Being a sensitive gal myself, I always thought using lube was a necessary evil. I was horny and wanted sex, but I didn’t always self-lubricate in plenty. The obvious solution was to pick up some lube when I was at the drugstore buying condoms, and K-Y was always available. Since it is the “#1 Doctor Recommended Brad, “Safe and Gentle” I figured there was no way this could be what was causing the irritation and discomfort I experienced during sex. For a long time, I thought my vagina just wasn’t capable of having sex without irritation and/or burning. I was actually pretty devastated about it, and often avoided penetration unless I was dripping wet myself. I really thought there was something wrong with me. As it turns out, it was just my choice of lube. If you are experiencing irritation and pain with penetration, I would advise you to try switching lubes, and using something with natural, non-irritating ingredients.


I had an embarrassing incident when using KY for PIV sex. My beau and I were semi-desperate, out of lube, and ended up at a drugstore around midnight where we picked up the cheapest condoms and lube possible. Bad idea. First of all the irritation isn’t fun, but also, this stuff dries up so quickly that it gets tacky and lumpy with thrusting. At the risk of TMI grossness, he pulled out after a couple minutes to apply more lube and there were little balls of lube on the surface of the condom. He thought it was coming from me and got a little weirded out. However, I had never had that happen before, and it has never happened again since I stopped using K-Y. There are way better options out there; lubricants that don’t cause irritation, don’t dry tacky, and don’t ball up during sex. If you have any choice in the matter, pick something else.
This content is the opinion of the submitting contributor and is not endorsed by EdenFantasys.com
Become a Reviewer. Get free toys. Enjoy Special Deals
  • mrssnyder
    nice review
  • SassySam
    thank you for the review
Discussion Posts Last Update
KY - Jelly or Oil? 19
Thank you for viewing K-Y jelly review page!