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 a jar of unrefined organic coconut oil on a white nightstand table with bedding in the distant blurry background, concept of using coconut oil as a personal lubricant for vaginal, anal, or oral sex
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Updated:February 2024
safety infographic about using coconut oil as lube for vaginal, anal, and oral sex with three separate slider bars depicting that coconut oil is safe for vaginal sex, safe for anal sex, and sometimes safe for oral sex, with the women’s health interactive logo at the bottom

Yes, you can use coconut oil as a personal lubricant and it is safe for vaginal and anal sex (with some caveats), and although it is edible, it may not always be the best choice for oral sex. 

Key Takeaways:

  • Coconut oil is safe for vaginal and anal sex, however, it will degrade condoms that are made from latex and polyisoprene, which can result in the transmission of STDs or STIs between partners or unintended pregnancy.
  • Coconut oil as an edible lube is considered safe but only if its consistency is thin (or it is used minimally); thick oils can potentially become choking hazards during oral sex.
  • While is 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 potentially clog your skin’s pores and 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 a great lube alternative under the right circumstances.

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.

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.

Oil-based lubes including those made from coconut oil will degrade condoms made from latex or polyisoprene, which can put you at risk for unintended pregnancy or STIs if either (or both) are a concern.

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 potentially 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 medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) oil are perfectly safe to ingest during oral sex, but they should be used minimally to avoid becoming a choking hazard — a common problem with thick oils.

Coconut oil has a light flavor but if you don’t enjoy it, 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?

Yes, you can safely use coconut oil as a vaginal lube — and many natural and organic oil-based lubricants include it as a key ingredient, however, if you’re using latex or polyisoprene condoms, there are better condom-friendly lube options available.

Coconut oil may actually prove beneficial to your vagina because of its antifungal and antibacterial properties.

That said, oil-based lubes can potentially be problematic for those susceptible to recurring yeast infections and 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.

Can You Use Coconut Oil As Anal Lube?

If you’re using condoms that aren’t made from latex or polyisoprene, you can use safely use coconut as an anal lube alternative.

One study discovered that using oil-based lubricants increases the risk of experiencing condom breakage, which can increase the chances of STI transmission between partners.

This is true when sharing condom-covered anal-safe toys during pegging or other anal play.

Only condoms made from nitrile or polyurethane should be used during anal sex with coconut oil as your lubricant.

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.

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:
Water-Based
Silicone-Based
Oil-Based
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.

  • Are There Any Other Safe Home Lube Alternatives?

If you’re looking for other personal lubricant alternatives aside from coconut oil, there are several safe options you can likely find at home, including:

All of these are considered safe to use as lube, just keep in mind that oil-based alternatives are not compatible with latex or isoprene condoms.

Closing Thoughts

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 is 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.

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.

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