Is It Safe To Use Coconut Oil As Lube?
A few years ago, coconuts emerged from deep within sandy tropical beachfronts as the superior form of oil. And since then people have found endless ways to use the famed coconut oil – from hair conditioners and facial cleansers to improving dental health and healing wounds.
But the one use that’s got everyone’s interests aroused? Using coconut oil as lube. And the idea of using oil as lube actually isn’t a new one. Olive oil was the sexual lubricant of choice for ancient Greeks and Romans, according to Dr. Ross, a women’s health physician and author of She-ology. But is it actually safe and what are some of the risks? Should you melt it? Is it condom-safe? There are just. So. Many. Questions.
The most important one being: Why aren’t people just buying lube? Why are we, as humans, so obsessed with using every some-what liquid product as lube, except for… actual lube? Unfortunately that’s something we can’t answer, but we can provide some clarity on what to know before you dive hand-first into the tub of coconut oil sitting next to your stove.
Why Should You Use It?
According to world renowned sexologist Catriona Boffard, if you’re having sex with someone else she always recommends using lubricant. “The term ‘wetter is better’ is something that is said to all clients. Dry sex can be painful sex. For vaginal sex, although women produce natural lubrication, it can differ at certain times of the month and depending on her level of arousal,” says Boffard. And as for anal sex? “The anus does not produce any lubrication at all, and so using lubricant with anal sex is imperative!”
“I think that hands down a silicone lubricant (e.g. Pjur Original BodyGlide & Silicone-Based Lubricant) is the best all round lubricant. Or go with the natural option of coconut oil,” recommends Boffard.
So if you’re all out of lube and you need something in the heat of the moment, coconut oil is in fact your best bet. For Boffard, she says it’s one of the best because it is natural, liquefies on contact with body heat (why not throw in a massage during foreplay, too?) and it stays liquid without drying up. Plus, it’s moisturising and shouldn’t irritate.
And out of all the natural options out there that are safe-to-use, we’re talking olive oil, Vitamin E Oil, aloe vera and even cornstarch and water (yes, you read that right), it’s the preferred alternative for a lot of gay men who don’t use condoms. So if you are wanting to try some anal play, coconut oil might be a good natural choice.
Plus, it’s a lot less messy and easier to clean than olive oil, which can stain your sheets.
What Are The Risks?
If you’re a condom user, you have to be extra careful. Oil-based lubes can break down latex condoms. The good news? If you use synthetic condoms, like ones made with polyutherene, then you’re good to go. But if you’re unsure what your condoms are made with, rather stick with water and silicone-based lubes.
If your partner is prone to vaginal infections like yeast infections then you might want to steer clear, too. “Because coconut oil is antibacterial and antifungal, it has the potential to disrupt the pH balance in your vagina and cause a yeast infection,” says Dr. Nita Landry, a ob-gyn and physician on the tv show The Doctors.
“Using anything as lubricant that isn’t meant for sex, such as Vaseline or hand cream, will lead to a disruption of vaginal pH, and thus could cause her to get a vaginal infection,” says Boffard.
And if you’re wanting to use lube with a sex toy like the one below, rather give the coconut oil a miss. “Oils are not compatible with latex, which makes them unsafe to use with condoms and certain sex toys. With an oil residue that is often left behind, hygiene and safety are always an issue with products other than water-based clinically tested products,” warns Brodie Meyer, managing director of online adult store Desir.
Always remember that too much of a good thing can be a bad thing, and it’s the same with lube. Dr. Landry advises you only use a small amount because an excess build-up of oil in the vagina will just create a breeding ground for unwanted yeast or bacteria. And that will spoil the fun in the future.
Boffard says it’s all about personal preference and that sometimes you might need more and other times, less. “Women produce less natural lubrication at certain times of the month, so you’d want to use a little more then. But don’t use so much that neither of you feels a little friction. It’s a trial and error, and communicate with your partner about what works for them or what they need.”
Feeling lost? Start with a dollop the size of a 20c piece and work up from there.
Is Any Coconut Oil Fine To Use?
In short, no. Dr. Ross advises that you stick to pure coconut oil that is unfragranced, natural and preservative-free. Life hack: read the ingredients list to make sure the only ingredient is coconut oil.
Virgin, unrefined coconut oil like below is extracted from fresh coconuts and it’s made without using chemicals or high temperatures. That refined or partially hydrogenated coconut oil? It often contains additives that could leave the skin drier than before and can irritate the skin.
And as for what lube you should use for each occasion? Boffard has the answers. “For oral sex, you might want to just go with saliva, coconut oil, or a flavoured lube. Some unflavoured lubricants aren’t safe for oral consumption or just taste pretty awful. For vaginal, anal or self-pleasure, I would suggest a silicone lubricant or coconut oil first and foremost, and water-based second. Both silicone lubricant and coconut oil will last longer and feel more natural than water-based, which can often feel a bit sticky.”
So if you’re wanting to add coconut oil to your bedside table, you’re in luck. As long as you’re careful and pay attention to how your partner’s and your body reacts, you’re good to go. Glide on into better sex!