Can You Use Cocoa Butter As Lube, Or For Anal Sex?

While it is generally safe to use cocoa butter as lube for anal or vaginal sex, or external masturbation, it is not always the best choice for a variety of reasons.
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Updated:July 2023

Cocoa butter technically is safe to use as lube for anal or vaginal sex, but there are some precautions to consider before you do.

Here’s why:

  • Like with all oil-based lubricants, latex and polyisoprene condoms, along with latex diaphragms and dental dams, degrade when they come into contact with oil, making them ineffective against STIs and preventing unintended pregnancy.
  • Cocoa butter is highly comedogenic — meaning it will likely clog your pores, trapping bacteria beneath the skin’s surface and potentially leading to irritation or infection. 
  • Purity is an important factor, as many cocoa butter products have added fragrances or other ingredients that may render them unsafe when used as a personal lubricant. If used as a lube, seek all-natural, 100% pure cocoa butter only.
  • The sensitivity of your genitals is not something to overlook. Cocoa butter can cause an allergic reaction or skin irritation in those who are sensitive to it. It’s important to note that cocoa butter is NOT nut-based; it is made from cocoa beans.

Even though cocoa butter is safe to use as lube in many instances, it may be best to steer clear of it depending on your situation, especially since there are many other, safer products to choose from.

In this article, we’re going to cover everything you need to know about using cocoa 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 Cocoa Butter As Lube?

Although it can be safe to use cocoa butter as lube — particularly for external masturbation — it is not always the best choice.

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

  • Its purity may be in question, especially if it has added ingredients or fragrances
  • It will degrade condoms made from latex or polyisoprene
  • It can cause reactions in those with allergies or sensitivities to cocoa butter
  • It may cause bacterial vaginosis, or yeast infections if you are prone to them
  • It can be difficult to remove from the skin after use
  • It can damage sex toys made from latex or jelly rubber
  • It will likely stain fabrics

All oil-based lubricants — including cocoa butter — will degrade condoms made from latex or polyisoprene, putting you at risk for STI transmission or unintended pregnancy.

You can use cocoa butter with condoms made from polyurethane, nitrile, or lambskin, but keep in mind that lambskin condoms do not protect against STIs — this is an especially important consideration when it comes to anal sex.

Cocoa butter can be used for lube without condoms, but it is very likely to clog your pores. When this happens, bacteria can become trapped beneath the surface of your skin, which may lead to infection and irritation.

On that note, oil-based lubes can increase the risk of vaginal infections like yeast or bacterial vaginosis, especially if you’re prone to these already. If that’s a concern, it’s best to stick with a safer, formulated lubricant.

Additionally, sensitivities and allergies to cocoa butter do exist.

Although cocoa butter is derived from a bean and not a nut, it’s smart to do a patch test elsewhere on your skin to make sure you won’t react to it before trying it on your genitals.

Cocoa butter can be used as lube for external masturbation of a penis or vulva, but it may clog the pores on or around your genitals, potentially leading to breakouts or irritation.

Because of its thick, oily texture, cocoa butter can be difficult to wash off of the skin after use and the act of scrubbing it off can lead to irritation, as well.

Cocoa butter is compatible with sex toys made from silicone, glass, or metal, although it will damage those crafted from jelly, rubber, or latex, just as all oil-based lubricants will.

Even though cocoa butter is a good lube alternative for some, its safety depends on your personal situation.

Before using cocoa butter lube, you’ll have to take the proper precautions required by any oil-based personal lubricant.

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Can You Use Cocoa Butter As Vaginal Lube?

Just like all other oil-based personal lubricants, cocoa butter can increase your risk of infections, such as a yeast infection or bacterial vaginosis.

Keep in mind that during pregnancy especially, the natural shift in hormones puts you at a higher risk for developing yeast infections in general, and as a result, cocoa butter as lube is best avoided entirely.

During pregnancy, a safe, water-based lubricant is your best bet.

Cocoa butter is oil-based, so it will degrade condoms made from latex or polyisoprene, increasing your risk for STI transmission and/or unintended pregnancy.

Likewise, don’t use cocoa butter as lube if you wear a diaphragm for pregnancy prevention — it can degrade its material, as well, making it ineffective.

Cocoa butter can be difficult to remove from the skin, especially when it’s inside your vagina, which only increases your risk of irritation and infection if it can’t be removed thoroughly.

When using cocoa butter during external masturbation, make sure your sex toys are not made from latex or jelly rubber, as the oil will degrade the material.

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Can You Use Cocoa Butter As Anal Lube?

You can, as long as you don’t use it with condoms made from polyisoprene or latex and you don’t have any allergies or sensitivities to it.

Condom breakage increases your risk of transmitting an STI, so if either partner is unsure of their status, be sure to select a lube that is safe to use with your condom of choice.

You can only use cocoa butter safely as lube with condoms made from nitrile, polyurethane, or lambskin, but the latter will not offer STI protection.

Furthermore, you should not use cocoa butter as a lube with anal sex toys made from latex rubber or jelly rubber because it will break down the material of both.

Even though cocoa butter is generally considered a safe anal lube alternative, it is far stickier and much more difficult to clean compared to a store-bought lubricant.

That said, oil-based lubes are wonderful for anal sex and activities like pegging because they’re thick and long-lasting, and are safe to use without condoms.

If you have an allergy or sensitivity to cocoa butter, a formulated oil lube may be a much better choice during anal sex — provided it isn’t one of the ingredients used.

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What Is Cocoa Butter Made From And Is It Safe?

Also known as Theobroma oil or cacao butter, cocoa butter is a moisturizing and edible fat found in the cocoa bean, which is probably best known for its use in chocolate.

Cocoa beans are native to the tropical regions of South and Central America and are widely cultivated in western Africa as a crop from the Theobroma cacao tree.

Just over half of each bean’s weight is comprised of cacao butter and while you’d think they simply press the butter out of the beans, the extraction process is a bit more complicated than that.

The beans are fermented before they’re dried, roasted, and cracked — turning the beans into “nibs.” At that point, the dried nibs are ground to form a paste.

The act of pressing the paste is what releases the cacao butter and separates it from the rest of the bean — which is used to create cocoa powder later on.

Cacao butter may go through an additional process that involves either chemical or physical treatment to reduce its natural odor, but not always.

In most cases, the deodorization process involves steaming it with high heat — something that’s typically done to cocoa butter that will be used in cosmetics.

If cocoa butter hasn’t been deodorized, you’ll notice a heavy scent and, if eaten, a strong flavor.

Cocoa butter is made up of stearic, palmitic, and oleic acids, which are healthy fatty acids that occur naturally in vegetable and animal fats.

Cocoa butter is a common ingredient found in many beauty products, including lotion, moisturizers, and hair conditioners. It’s extremely hydrating and is a great ingredient for moisturizing dry or chapped skin.

It is safe to ingest and to use as a personal lubricant, but since it can clog pores, it can cause breakouts and skin irritation for some.

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What Are Other Lube Alternatives To Cocoa Butter?

At this point, you might be reconsidering the thought of using cocoa butter as lube, but you have plenty of other lubricant options to choose from.

Better personal lubricant options include:

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 Personal Lubricants

Water-based lubes are incredibly versatile because they can be used with all types of condoms, dental dams, diaphragms, or sex toys.

They are water-soluble and easy to clean, and the best ones are pH-balanced.

As awesome as they are, water-based lubricants generally require reapplication during use. They do feel similar to your body’s natural lubrication, however, and many people prefer that.

Water-based lubes won’t work in the bath or shower because the water will rinse them away too easily.

Since water-based lubes are so versatile, be sure to check out our review of the best water-based lubes to find your perfect match.

  • Silicone-Based Personal Lubricants

Silicone-based lubes are much longer-lasting compared to water-based lubes and they are safe to use with all condoms and most sex toys, except for those crafted from silicone.

You’ll find that silicone lubes feel smooth and silky to the touch with a slickness that’s noticeably different from your body’s natural lubrication.

They’re luxurious in texture compared to water-based lubes, offering more cushion that makes them ideal for anal sex.

Silicone lubricants are also waterproof if you’re looking for a lube that will perform well in the bath, shower, or jacuzzi. They can stain bed sheets, clothing, and towels, so that might be a bit of a trade-off.

Take a peek at the best silicone-based lubes to find the safest and best options available.

  • Oil-Based Personal Lubricants

Oil-based lubes are blended from natural and often organic body-safe oils of various types.

Some oil-based lubricants contain oils derived from nuts, which might be a bad choice for those with allergies or sensitivities.

As we discussed earlier, oils and oil-based lubes cannot be used with latex or polyisoprene condoms because they will degrade their material.

You should only use oil-based lubes with lambskin, nitrile, or polyurethane condoms.

But like silicone lubes, oil-based lubricants are waterproof for sex play in the bath or shower and they will stain fabrics.

We researched and reviewed the best oil-based personal lubes if you’re curious about finding one for yourself.

  • Natural And Organic Lubricants

Depending on their formula, natural or organic lubes might use a water-based or oil-based formula made from natural ingredients.

If you have an allergy or sensitivity to nuts or seed oils, be sure to check the ingredient list first.

We found the best natural and organic lubes if you’re looking to treat yourself or your partner.

Are There Any Safe At-Home Lube Alternatives?

There are several safe at-home alternatives for personal lubricant to choose from, including:

Coconut oil or pure aloe vera gel are both very safe lube alternatives.

Coconut oil is a safe option but it shouldn’t be used with latex or polyisoprene condoms, or sex toys made from latex rubber or jelly rubber.

If you use coconut oil as a lube alternative, make sure to use only extra virgin, unrefined oil.

Pure aloe vera gel can also be a safe lube alternative for many people — though not everyone.

Aloe is best for vaginal sex because its pH closely matches that of the vagina and it has a texture that’s similar to your body’s natural lubrication.

It’s not a good choice, however, during anal sex because its pH is too low and its texture is thinner compared to formulated anal lubes.

Finally, the leaves of the aloe plant have a layer of natural latex, which is a source of concern for anyone with a latex allergy.

Quality manufacturers like Aloe Cadabra, who we personally reviewed, take the appropriate steps to make sure that the aloe gel is removed thoroughly and cleanly — without traces of latex left behind.

Additional safe lube alternatives include argan oil, avocado oil, vitamin E oil, and shea butter.

Bottom Line:

Cocoa butter is a safe lube alternative but like other oil-based lubes, it requires a bit of forethought and caution depending on your circumstances and the lubricant’s intended use.

Ultimately, you may find that it’s worth it to invest in a formulated lubricant, and luckily, there are many store-bought options to choose from.

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