Can You Use Coconut Oil As Lube, Or For Anal Sex? Is It Safe?

Yes, but only with certain condoms, sex toys, and if you’re not prone to skin sensitivity. Get all the facts beforehand to make sure it’s the right option for you.
Photograph Of Jar Of Virgin Unrefined Coconut Oil On White Table With Bedding In The Distant Background
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Updated:July 2023

Yes, you can and it is safe — with some caveats. 

Here’s why:

  • Like all oils, coconut oil will degrade condoms that are made from latex and polyisoprene, which can result in the transmission of STDs or STIs between partners or unwanted pregnancy.
  • While it can be safe for external use during masturbation or sensual massage (assuming you don’t have allergies or sensitive skin), coconut oil is comedogenic — meaning it can clog your skin’s pores — which can lead to breakouts, trapped bacteria, and potential skin infections.
  • Virgin (cold-pressed) coconut oil is the safest option because it likely has fewer additives, however, there are no regulations in place to ensure a product is “100% pure” or virgin.

Coconut oil — including MCT oil derived from coconut — is plant-based, organic, readily available, and can be great for the skin under the right circumstances.

But if you’re curious about using coconut oil or coconut-based MCT oil as a sexual lubricant, you’ll want all the facts beforehand to make sure it’s the right option for you.

In this article, we’re going to cover everything you need to know about using coconut oil 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.

Is It Safe To Use Coconut Oil As Lube?

Yes, virgin coconut oil can be safe as lube and it can also be used in homemade DIY lube recipes, but don’t reach for the container just yet.

Unfortunately, because applying coconut oil to your skin is a relatively new concept, there have not been any specific studies for using coconut oil as a personal lubricant by itself.

The same holds true for medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) oil derived from coconuts.

Unrefined, organic, cold-pressed, virgin coconut oil is the best option if you’re going to use it as a personal lubricant, but there are some important factors to consider before you do.

As we mentioned earlier oil-based lubes including those made from coconut oil will degrade condoms made from latex or polyisoprene, which can put you at risk for unwanted pregnancy, STDs, and STIs.

That said, it’s perfectly safe to use coconut oil with condoms made from polyurethane, nitrile, or lambskin, but it’s important to note that the latter does not provide adequate protection against STDs and STIs.

Even if you’re not having sex while using condoms, coconut oil can clog your skin’s pores, trapping bacteria that may cause breakouts around your genital area, skin irritation, or even infection.

Using coconut oil while masturbating is safe as long as you don’t have sensitive skin, and it’s often used as a massage oil — alone, or as part of a blend — due to its light, slippery texture.

Coconut oil and coconut-based MCT oil are perfectly safe to ingest during oral sex, as they’re often used in the process of making food.

Coconut oil has a light flavor, making it a good choice for lube during oral sex and a far better option compared to oil-based lubes in general since their thick consistency creates a choking hazard.

Not a fan of coconut oil’s flavor? There are better-tasting edible lube options available.

Coconut oil is safe to use with all sex toys except those made from latex, rubber, or jelly rubber — just make sure to clean your toys properly afterward.

Speaking of cleaning, coconut oil can stain your sheets and clothing, and it isn’t easy to wash off when used as a lube during sex.

Can You Use Coconut Oil As Vaginal Lube?

It can be, but depending on your personal situation, there may be better lube options available.

Coconut oil can seem beneficial to your vagina because of its antifungal and antibacterial properties — and it might be for some people, but only if it’s virgin coconut oil — but it has a higher pH of 5.5 to 7.5, which is well above your vagina’s normal pH of around 4.5.

For this reason, coconut oil or coconut-based MCT oil could disrupt your vagina’s natural PH balance if used as a lube during penetration.

When your vaginal pH is too high or too low, its unbalanced environment may breed bacteria that can lead to yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis.

This risk is higher if you’re pregnant since hormonal shifts make you more susceptible to developing yeast infections in general. If you’re in this situation, we recommend choosing a safe, water-based lube instead.

Coconut oil can also cause skin irritation when used as a vaginal lubricant.

Since this oil doesn’t get absorbed by the skin and is considered comedogenic, it can clog your skin’s pores and trap bacteria beneath its surface, potentially leading to breakouts, irritation, and infection.

Additionally, coconut oil and coconut-based MCT oil are difficult to wash away and requires soap and water to do so thoroughly.

You shouldn’t ever use soap inside your vaginal canal. If coconut oil is used as an internal lubricant, it is difficult to remove and can make you prone to developing an infection later on.

Coconut oil is easy enough to remove from the vulva with soap and water after using it during external masturbation, but you could still be at risk for a skin reaction, breakouts, or infection — especially if you have sensitive skin.

Even if you’re using sex toys that aren’t made from latex, rubber, or jelly rubber externally, you may find that coconut oil is just too irritating.

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Can You Use Coconut Oil As Anal Lube?

Yes, you can use coconut as an anal lube alternative.

The anus has a pH balance of 7-8, so any lube that would be safe for your anus must have a pH range of 5.5 to 7.

Since coconut oil’s pH is between 5.5-7.5, it could work as a safe anal lube — with some caveats.

As with vaginal use, coconut oil poses similar risks of irritation and infection when used as a lubricant during anal sex.

One study discovered that using oil-based lubricants increases the risk of experiencing condom breakage.

As we talked about earlier, coconut oil will degrade latex or polyisoprene condoms, which can increase the risk of STD and STI transmission between partners.

Even when using oil-safe condoms made from polyurethane, nitrile, or lambskin, coconut oil can still irritate the skin around your anus and delicate rectal tissue, leaving it more prone to infection.

This is true when using anal-safe toys during pegging or other anal play.

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What Is Coconut Oil Made From And Is It Safe?

Coconut oil comes in two forms: unrefined (virgin) and refined. Each has a different production process that affects their overall safety when used as a lube.

Unrefined coconut oil is safer because it’s made from fresh coconuts. It’s always pure and clean with no extra additives, so it’s much better for your skin — and as a lube during sex.

Unrefined coconut oil can be “virgin” or “extra virgin,” although the terms are used interchangeably.

It may go through a “dry” process that presses the oil from dried coconut meat or a “wet” manufacturing process that presses the coconut milk and oil from fresh coconuts.

Both methods yield the purest form of coconut oil.

That said, unrefined coconut oil is usually in a dense state that’s opaque white and solid at room temperature. It has a heavy, thick texture that can be softened by warming it in your hands.

When using this type of oil as part of a homemade lube recipe, it generally must be melted first.

Refined coconut oil, on the other hand, is a cooking oil with a thinner, liquid texture. This may seem like the easiest version to use compared to its solid, unrefined counterpart, but it’s best to skip this one as a lube.

Refined coconut oil goes through a lot more processing that can include steam for deodorization, clay for filtering particles, and hexane — a chemical derived from petroleum or crude oil — to further extract oil from the coconut.

It should be noted that there is no regulation of claims like “100% pure” or “extra virgin” when it comes to coconut oil.

“Virgin” only means that the oil was cold-pressed and not processed using heat, leaving all of its nutrients intact.

Coconut oil can be organic, antibacterial, and antifungal, but you should use it as a personal lubricant with caution and you should always opt for unrefined coconut oil.

    • Coconut Oil Vs. MCT Oil

Although MCT oil can be made from coconuts, it is not quite the same as pure coconut oil.

Both oils contain medium-chain triglycerides, however, MCT oil is made from coconut oil through fractionation, a process that pulls the medium-chain triglycerides from the coconut oil.

The result is concentrated MCT oil that can be used for a variety of health-related purposes, either as a supplement, food additive, or part of a skincare routine.

Coconut-based MCT oil has moisturizing properties and can be highly beneficial for your skin, but just as with coconut oil, should be used with caution as a personal lubricant.

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What Are Other Lube Alternatives To Coconut Oil

Maybe you’re on the fence about using coconut oil or MCT oil as a lube, but you still want to stay natural. If so, we suggest trying natural and organic lubes with 100% safe ingredients.

Your favorite lotion might have coconut oil as a primary ingredient, but that doesn’t make it a wise choice — lotion generally shouldn’t be used as a lube, although it can be safe for external masturbation of a penis.

If you’re just looking for a safe lube alternative or a store-bought personal lubricant, however, there are plenty to choose from.

Other 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!

Let’s take a quick look at the four main lubricant types below.

  • Water-Based Personal Lubricants

Water-based products are the most versatile since they can be used with all condom types, dental dams, and diaphragms. Being water-soluble, they’re easy to clean up and feel similar to your body’s natural lubrication.

The biggest downside to water-based lubricants is their endurance — they generally will need to be reapplied during sex because they’re absorbed by your skin and can “dry up” during long sex sessions.

Being water-soluble, they are dissolved by water and can’t be used during sex in the bathtub or shower.

If you’d like to explore water-based lubes, we found the best body-safe water-based personal lubricants available right now.

  • Silicone-Based Personal Lubricants

Silicone-based lubes are long-lasting, safe for all condom types, and they’re a great choice for anal sex.

Their slippery texture and thick consistency works well during marathon sex sessions, but they are considerably different when compared to your body’s natural lubrication.

Silicone lubricants are completely waterproof so they’re perfect for sex in the bath or shower, but that also makes them more difficult to wash off and they can stain fabrics.

They also can’t be used with silicone sex toys, as silicone lubes can degrade their materials.

If these sound like the best fit for your needs, we did all the research and found the safest and best silicone-based personal lubes.

  • Oil-Based Personal Lubricants

Oil-based lubricants are made from body-safe oils that are natural and sometimes sourced organically — including coconut oil.

Some oil-based products use oils that are derived from nuts, which can be a particularly important concern for those with allergies or sensitivities, so make sure to check the ingredient list of any product you’re considering.

As we talked about earlier, oils can’t be used with latex or polyisoprene condoms and should only be used with those made from lambskin, nitrile, or polyurethane.

Oil-based lubricants have a texture that’s similar to silicone and they’re equally long-lasting and waterproof.

We reviewed the best oil-based personal lubricants to help you on your search for the perfect lube.

  • Natural And Organic Lubricants

Natural or organic lubes can be water-based or oil-based depending on the specific formula.

They may include nut-based oils in their ingredient list, so if you have an allergy or sensitivity, always make sure to read the label before using it.

We did all of the research to find the best and safest natural and organic lubricants available right now.

Are There Any Safe At-Home Lube Alternatives?

Aloe vera is safe for all condoms and its antimicrobial and antifungal properties make it a good option for most. It has a slick consistency that’s similar to your body’s natural lubrication and its pH is vagina-friendly.

However, those with latex allergies may want to steer clear as the aloe vera plant contains natural latex.

Some quality manufacturers like Aloe Cadabra, who we personally reviewed, take steps to ensure that the latex is completely removed, but if you’re in doubt, do a patch test on your skin — or choose a better lube option.

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

Bottom Line:

There’s no doubt that coconut oil is a fantastic natural moisturizer with amazing benefits.

Is it safe to use as a vaginal or anal lube? Yes, virgin coconut oil can be safe — but only with certain condoms, sex toys, and if you’re not prone to skin sensitivity.

If you’re an all-natural kind of person who tolerates different balms, creams, salves, and lubes, you might want to give it a try.

When in doubt, however, it’s best to find a safe lube you can trust.

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