Butter As Lube: Is It Safe For Anal Or Vaginal Sex?

In short, no. Butter is not a safe lube alternative for any kind of sexual contact including oral, vaginal, or anal sex for many reasons.
Photograph Of Curled Butter Pat Resting On White Tabletop With Blurred Bedding In The Distant Background
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Updated:July 2023

No — butter is never considered to be safe to use as a personal lubricant for any kind of sexual contact.

Here’s why:

  • Butter contains milk solids, salt, and trace amounts of sugar (in the form of lactose), which can alter the pH of the vagina and lead to irritation or infection.
  • The casein proteins found in milk — a dairy product that is used to make butter — go rancid quickly. Swift bacterial growth is likely to occur within the warm environment of the vagina or anus, which can lead to infection.
  • Although butter isn’t exactly an oil, the animal fats in the milk used in its manufacture are a type of oil — which can degrade STI and pregnancy barriers made from latex or polyisoprene, including condoms, diaphragms, and dental dams.
  • Although butter is edible, it isn’t safe to use during oral sex because of the risk of bacterial growth, irritation, or infection associated with genital contact.
  • Butter is best cleaned with soap and water, which shouldn’t be used inside the vagina or anus.

Butter is great for tons of culinary uses, but literally no sexual ones.

In this article, we’re going to cover everything you need to know about using butter as a personal lubricant, including:

Editor’s Note: This article is part of our Lube Alternatives and Everything Lube hubs, in-depth and evolving resources that comprehensively explore all aspects of personal lubricants from the different types and how to use them, to ingredients and safety — created to help you achieve the sexual pleasure you deserve.

Can You Use Butter As Lube?

You absolutely cannot use butter as a personal lubricant for any type of sexual contact.

It is bad news from start to finish.

Here’s what you need to know about using butter as a lube:

  • Butter’s ingredients include milk solids, animal fat, salt, and lactose (a type of sugar), which can disturb the natural pH balance of the vagina, leading to irritation, inflammation, or infection.
  • Although butter won’t spoil when stored at room temperature for a day or two, bacterial growth within the warmth of the vagina and anus is likely, which can easily cause infections in both.
  • Butter can only be cleaned thoroughly with water and soap — which should never be used inside the vagina or anus. Anything less than immaculate post-sex cleanup will result in butter potentially spoiling inside your body, which can lead to bacterial infection.
  • Butter isn’t classified as cooking oil, however, the animal fats in milk contain oil that can degrade latex and polyisoprene condoms, as well as latex diaphragms and dental dams, putting you at risk for unintended pregnancy or STI transmission.
  • Even though butter is food and safely edible, it can’t be used for oral sex because of the associated risk of irritation and infection of the vagina or anus.

Sex with butter, even anal sex with butter, will probably feel amazing at first. Butter melts quickly, it’s slippery, and has a slick glide.

It’s the aftermath that’s regrettable.

Butter is a dairy product and as such, is prone to going rancid. Although butter is pasteurized, it’s only safe at room temperature for a couple of days, according to the USDA.

The typical human body temperature is 98.6º — meaning that butter will go rancid inside the vagina or anus, quickly.

When this happens, the risk for vaginal or anal infection is high.

Butter can’t easily be removed from the skin without soap and water and, since you should never put soap inside your vagina or anus, you can’t easily remove butter from either orifice.

As we mentioned earlier, butter contains animal fats (oils) that can degrade condoms made from latex or polyisoprene, as well as latex diaphragms and dental dams — putting you and your partner at risk for STI transmission or unintended pregnancy.

Additionally, butter has a pH of roughly 6.1 to 6.4. It can disturb the pH balance of the vagina (3.8 to 4.5), putting you at risk for irritation, inflammation, or infection.

Even though butter is edible — it is fantastic for cooking, of course — it shouldn’t be used for oral sex because it can lead to irritation or infection of the vagina and anus.

You might be asking yourself “Is butter a safe lube for sex toys?”

The answer is no — if those sex toys are going to come into contact with your genitals in any way, butter is not a safe lube option.

Leave the butter in the kitchen and find a safer lube alternative or store-bought lube for the bedroom.

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Can You Use Butter As A Vaginal Lube?

No, you can’t use butter as a lubricant for vaginal penetration.

Anything you use as vaginal lube is going to remain inside you to some extent. Even if you shower or take a bath.

Having sex with butter means, to a degree, that you and the butter are joined at the proverbial hip — leaving you vulnerable to yeast infections, vaginitis, or bacterial vaginosis.

Butter requires soap and water to remove thoroughly from the skin and since you should never use soap in your vagina — there will be some butter left behind.

It’s important to remember that butter is a dairy product, and therefore prone to spoilage.

If the word “spoilage” sounds gross and a little scary — good. Nobody wants a spoiled anything inside their vagina.

Additionally, butter’s pH is much higher than that of the vagina. When vaginal pH is disturbed, your risk for irritation and infection increases.

The takeaway here is that butter and vaginas don’t mix. Find a safer lubricant alternative or a body-safe, store-bought lube.

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Can You Use Butter As Anal Lube?


For many reasons similar to vaginal use, butter should never be used as an anal lubricant.

Spoilage is the biggest caveat here, as it can be nearly impossible to rid your anus of every last bit of any lubricant.

For this reason, butter is bound to stay in your body long enough to go rancid and cause an infection — not to mention odor.

Additionally, butter is mostly animal fat in the form of oil, which will degrade condoms made from latex or polyisoprene, putting you and your partner at risk for STI transmission.

No matter how much you love butter, anal sex with butter is not a safe option in any circumstance.

The best thing to do is seek a quality anal lubricant that will do your booty good.

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What Is Butter Made From And Is It Safe?

Butter is the product of churning cream until the solids separate from the whey — also called buttermilk, though it’s very different than the buttermilk you buy in the carton.

At least 80% of butter is highly-concentrated milk fat, known as butterfat.

The rest of the ingredients in butter are water (about 16%) salt (less than 2%), and other milk solids.

Breaking the composition down further, the fat in butter contains a variety of fatty acids, which largely depend on the diet of the animal the milk originally came from.

Depending on your butter source of choice, butter may also have added colorants, flavorings, or even preservatives.

Butter, when handled and stored properly, is a completely safe product in culinary applications.

Potatoes, toast, popcorn — there are lots of things butter is safely (and deliciously) used for.

Intimate lubrication isn’t one of them.

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What Are Better Lube Alternatives To Butter?

Any compatible personal lubricant is going to be better than butter for anal or vaginal intercourse.

There are many personal lubricant options available, including:

Here’s a cheat sheet for selecting the best lube based on how you intend to use it:

Lube Type:
Oral Sex Yes Yes Not usually
Vaginal Sex ONLY if pH/Osmolality suitable Yes Yes
Anal Sex ONLY if pH/Osmolality suitable Yes Yes
Condom Types All All Polyurethane, nitrile and lambskin only
Sex Toy Types All All but silicone All but latex
Bath/Shower Use No Yes Yes
Does It Stain? No Yes Yes
Lube Type:
Oral Sex
Vaginal Sex
Anal Sex
Condom Types
Sex Toy Types
Bath/Shower Use
Does It Stain?

There is a personal lubricant designed for every situation, so if you’re not sure which to choose, you can read through our in-depth lube guide or take our lube quiz to find your perfect match.

Our Top Lube Recommendations

After researching hundreds of personal lubricants — and personally testing dozens of them ourselves — we have found the very best lubes of each type, vetted by our team and recommended for their safety and performance.

Editor's Note: When you purchase a product via an affiliate link (*) on our site, we earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. On behalf of our entire team, thank you in advance for your support!

We’ll take a quick look at the four main lubricant categories below.

  • Water-Based Lubricants

Water-based lube is, as the name implies, water-soluble.

The viscosity and texture are pretty close to the lubrication that the body produces naturally and many people prefer it for this reason.

Being water-soluble, it’s also very easy to clean up after sex.

Water-based lube is safe with all sex toy materials, dental dams, and birth control devices like condoms or diaphragms.

There are a few downsides to water-based lubricants, however.

They aren’t as long-lasting as other lube types and they’re not compatible with sex in the shower or bath, as the water will rinse it away too easily.

Interested in knowing more about water-based lube? We’ve reviewed a bunch and you can find our favorites here!

  • Silicone-Based Lubricants

Lube connoisseurs often sing the praises of silicone-based lubes.

They have excellent, long-lasting glide and they’re safe for any kind of condom.

At the same time, they don’t get along with silicone sex toys.

Silicone-based intimate lubes are usually heavier, thicker, and feel very different compared to the natural lubricant produced by the body.

They’re a favorite for anal sex, thanks to their cushiony consistency.

Silicone lube is a good option for shower sex since it doesn’t wash away quickly. Of course, that can make cleaning up more of a challenge.

If you’re curious about silicone lubricants, check out our rankings of the best silicone-based lubes.

  • Oil-Based Lubricants

Oil-based lubricants are those made from naturally occurring plant-based oils (rather than formulated oils made in a lab).

Oil-based lubricants are often a good choice for those who prefer an organic lube, since many use ingredients that are certified organic.

Some oil-based lubricants may contain nut oils including almond, hazelnut, shea, and walnut.

If you have an allergy or sensitivity to tree nuts, it’s advisable to avoid using them as a personal lubricant unless you read the ingredient list very carefully.

Oil-based lubes are a popular and safe choice for anal sex, however, they are not compatible with latex or polyisoprene condoms or diaphragms.

Additionally, they’ll degrade latex dental dams, although most oil-based lubes are unsafe for ingestion during oral sex because they pose a choking hazard.

If you’d like to try an oil-based lube, we curated our top picks here!

  • Natural And Organic Lubricants

Natural and organic personal lubricants may be oil-based or water-based, depending on their formula.

Organic products tend to be more eco-friendly, though organic produce does require more space for farming.

We suggest doing your own research to ensure that whatever lube you choose is compatible with your body, your sexual activities, and your ethics.

Like other oil-based lubricants, these may use nut-based oils that can be problematic for anyone with an allergy or sensitivity so always read the label thoroughly before using.

We also suggest checking out our list of the safest and best natural and organic lubricants.

Are There Any Safe Home Lube Alternatives?

If you find yourself in need of a safe lube alternative that can be found around the house, there are some options available:

It’s important to note that if you use any oil-based lube alternatives, take the same precautions you would with any other oil-based lubricant and don’t use them with latex or polyisoprene barriers against STIs or pregnancy.

If you’re at all unsure of how your skin may react, do a patch test on your inner elbow to watch for a reaction before using anything as a personal lubricant on your genitals.

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Bottom Line: 

By now, we hope we’ve convinced you that butter is not a safe lube alternative.

Butter ingredients are simply incompatible with genitals — not to mention sheets, mattresses, sex toys, and everything else associated with sexy times.

There are oodles of better lube alternatives out there, some of which you probably have at home right now!

To learn more about lubricants you can buy that are specially formulated for sexual activity, check out our Personal Lube Guide.

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