Can You Use Jojoba Oil As Lube Or For Anal Sex?

Yes – in most cases, jojoba oil can be a fantastic natural lube alternative as long as you take into consideration a few caveats.
Photograph Of Jojoba Oil Bottle On White Tabletop With Out Of Focus Bedding In Distant Background
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Updated:July 2023

The answer is likely yes — with a few minor caveats considered first, many people can safely use jojoba  (ho-HO-ba) oil for anal sex or vaginal penetration, but not oral sex.

Here’s why:

  • Jojoba oil is fantastic for sensitive skin, boasting numerous antibacterial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties — which is why it is so often found in skin care products.
  • It can be safe for vaginal use as long as you are not prone to recurring yeast infections or bacterial vaginosis, as oils (including jojoba) can increase the risk of both.
  • Oil-based lubes break down latex, rubber, and polyisoprene. For this reason, latex or polyisoprene condoms, dental dams, and diaphragms can become porous after coming in contact with the oil, putting you and your partners at risk for STIs or unintended pregnancy. Toys made from latex or rubber will be damaged as well.
  • Jojoba oil is not recommended for oral play, as swallowing too much during oral sex can cause digestive issues such as diarrhea or keriorrhea — ”oily” diarrhea.

Considering that using any oil as lube has its share of potential problems, jojoba oil is one of the safer options.

Unrefined jojoba oil (the safest kind) has a slightly nutty taste and odor — which many people enjoy — and it can be safe for vaginal or anal sex if your personal circumstances allow it.

Things To Know
In this article, we’re going to cover everything you need to know about using jojoba oil as a personal lubricant, including:

Can You Use Jojoba Oil As Lube?

Yes, you can use jojoba oil as lube as long as it fits with your intended use. As far as natural lube alternatives go, it is one of the better options — although not always.

Here’s what you need to know about using jojoba oil as lube:

  • Being anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory, jojoba’s chemical composition is similar to your skin’s natural sebum so it won’t clog pores (and in fact, can actually unclog them).
  • Jojoba oil can be excellent for vaginal use, provided you are not prone to yeast infections or bacterial vaginosis, as oils (of any type) can increase the risk of both.
  • Oral sex with jojoba oil is not recommended because it can cause digestive issues (primarily diarrhea, or Keriorrhea — ”oily” diarrhea).
  • When using jojoba oil as lube, you cannot use STI and pregnancy barriers made from latex or polyisoprene, as the oil will degrade their materials, putting you and your partner at risk for STI transmission or unintended pregnancy. Likewise, the oil will degrade sex toys made from latex or rubber.
  • While jojoba oil feels smoother than more processed oils, it can still stain fabrics like bed sheets or clothing.

While many oils can upset vaginal flora or pH levels, jojoba leaves well enough alone, as long as you are not already prone to yeast infections or bacterial vaginosis — any oil-based lubricant can increase the risk of both.

Jojoba oil’s antibacterial properties don’t harm the body’s “good” bacteria and won’t disturb the natural microbiome in the vagina or anus.

Additionally, your skin easily absorbs jojoba oil and it is known to unclog pores, so there is less risk of residue building up on the skin’s surface and causing bacterial infections.

You’ll still need to be cautious when using protection and/or toys made from rubber, polyisoprene, or latex, as jojoba oil will degrade their materials.

Jojoba oil is excellent for sex in the shower, as it won’t wash away easily.

However, it’s important to keep that in mind when having fun elsewhere in the house. Oils can stain fabric and are difficult to wash out of sheets and clothing.

Swallowing too much jojoba oil can cause gastrointestinal upset and diarrhea, and in some cases, keriorrhea — ”oily” diarrhea — so it should not be used as lube for oral sex.

Depending on your circumstances and intended use, jojoba oil might be a great lube to reach for, but if it isn’t, there are plenty of other safe lube alternatives to explore.

Can You Use Jojoba Oil As A Vaginal Lube?

Yes, jojoba oil is actually a great option for vaginal sex as long as you’re not prone to yeast infections or bacterial vaginosis, as oils (of any kind) can increase the risk of both.

Jojoba’s skincare benefits are numerous — it is widely used in skincare and hair products.

Jojoba oil’s chemistry closely resembles your skin’s sebum and doesn’t combat the body’s natural bacteria.

What this means is that your body won’t see jojoba as a “threat” and can enjoy the benefits.

If you use a diaphragm or condoms, however, make sure they are not made from latex or polyisoprene, as oil will degrade those materials quickly, putting you and your partners at risk for STI transmission or unintended pregnancy.

Can You Use Jojoba Oil As Anal Lube?

Yes, you can use jojoba oil as anal lube. In fact, you may already have.

Pjur, a popular lube brand, includes jojoba oil as an active ingredient in their anal-focused lubes and previously marketed them as having the ability to relax anal muscles (including the sphincter) — although we could find no studies to support this claim.

One thing to note is that jojoba oil cannot be used with condoms made from latex or polyisoprene, as the oil will degrade those materials.

If this happens, the condom’s surface becomes porous — rendering it ineffective as protection against STI transmission and putting you and your partner at risk during anal sex.

Polyurethane and nitrile condoms are both compatible with oils. Lambskin condoms are, as well, however, they do not offer STI protection at all.

What Is Jojoba Oil Made From And Is It Safe?

Jojoba is a woody shrub that grows natively in the American Southwest and Northern Mexico but it is cultivated around the world in desert conditions.

The oil itself is extracted from the seeds of the jojoba plant, but it more closely resembles a liquid wax, rather than a thin oil.

Indigenous tribes have used jojoba oil medicinally for centuries. They would treat wounds with oil to aid healing and avoid infections.

The oil extracted from jojoba seeds closely resembles the sebum produced by human skin, which is why it is so compatible and often used in skincare products.

When the US banned the use of Sperm Whale oils in 1971, jojoba oil took its place as an alternative and is often used in place of animal fats in cosmetics.

Jojoba oil commonly shows up in skincare applications (cosmetic oils and acne treatments, for instance) and throughout the pharmaceutical industry.

Additionally, jojoba oil is derived from a seed and is perfectly safe for those with allergies to nuts.

Dr. Susan Milstein, a human sexuality health educator on our medical review board, said, “Because it’s a seed, nut allergies aren’t an issue.”

The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) explains that most people with tree nut allergies can safely consume seeds (along with some “nuts” that are technically seeds or fruit — like pine nut or coconut), but if you’re all unsure, speak with your allergist before using jojoba oil.

“You can still be allergic to jojoba oil so a patch test is still recommended,” Dr. Milstein advised.

Jojoba oil is extracted through cold pressing, applying mechanical pressure to the seeds, which releases the wax-like oil for collection.

Raw jojoba oil has a nutty taste and scent and is the purest (and best) form, discernible through its golden or pale yellow color.

Refined jojoba oil, on the other hand, is typically clear, odorless, and flavorless, having gone through further treatment with caustic alkali substances or activated charcoal.

What Are Better Lube Alternatives To Jojoba Oil?

Although jojoba oil can be safe as lube in many sexual circumstances, you may prefer using a store-bought personal lubricant.

Luckily, there are plenty of options to choose from, 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?

If you’re not sure which one will meet your needs (or intended use), read our in-depth lube guide or take our lube quiz to find the answer.

Let’s take a quick look at the four main categories of lubricants.

  • Water-Based Lubricants

Water-based lubes are water-soluble and they typically have a texture that closely resembles your body’s natural lubrication.

Water-based lube is safe to use with any type of condom, diaphragm, dental dam, and sex toy material — which is why they are so popular.

If you are planning a long sex session, you’ll likely need to reapply water-based lubes often.

They can also be reactivated with a little water when needed, however, they are not suitable for use in the shower or bathtub because they’ll rinse away easily.

To learn more about water-based lubes, we tested and reviewed the safest and best water-based personal lubricants to help you find your perfect partner.

  • Silicone-Based Lubricants

Silicone-based lubes last a lot longer than their water-based counterparts.

They are also equally safe for condoms of all types.

Silicone personal lubricants tend to have a thicker consistency and silky-smooth texture, but it is noticeably different from your body’s natural lubrication.

That said, their heavier, cushiony texture makes them particularly good for anal sex play.

Remember that silicone-based lubes can’t be used with silicone sex toys. The lube may damage the material and nobody can have fun with a corroded sex toy.

Our review of the best silicone-based personal lubes explores all of our hand-picked and tested recommendations of the safest products available to purchase now.

  • Oil-Based Lubricants

Oil-based lubricants are made from natural oils that are body-safe for vaginal and anal sex. Some of these oils can be organic, but not always.

Many oil-based lubricants include nut-based oil ingredients, along with those derived from seeds or flowers. Always check labels carefully if you or your partner have allergies or sensitivities.

The texture of oil-based lubes is similar to silicone-based lubes. They are another great choice for anal sex — just remember to avoid using them with latex or polyisoprene condoms.

Additionally, they are not compatible with dental dams, although oil-based lubes generally shouldn’t be used during oral sex because they can pose a choking hazard.

If you want to find out more about them, we have tested and reviewed the best oil-based personal lubricants on the market.

  • Natural And Organic Lubricants

Natural and organic personal lubricants can be water-based or oil-based.

Your choice will depend on how you plan to use it.

As with other oil-based lubes, natural and organic products made using oils derived from nuts, seeds, or flowers should be avoided by those who have allergies or sensitivities to such ingredients.

Through our independent research, we tested and reviewed the best and safest natural and organic lubricants that are available.

  • Are There Any Safe Home Lube Alternatives?

If it’s an emergency — we’ve all been there, right? — you might need a lube alternative that can be found around the house.

Don’t panic, there are some safe options you might have at hand:

Remember that oil-based lube alternatives should not be used with latex or polyisoprene condoms, diaphragms, or dental dams because the oil will degrade their material, rendering them ineffective against STIs or unintended pregnancy.

To avoid experiencing a potentially irritating reaction, do a patch test on the skin of your inner elbow to watch for reactions before using it on your genitals.

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.

Bottom Line: 

Jojoba oil can be a fantastic natural alternative lube to try as long as it suits your personal circumstances and intended use.

The benefits that make it a popular cosmetic additive give it a unique leg up when it comes to sex.

Gentle on sensitive areas and biomes, jojoba oil is in the upper echelon of natural lubes for both vaginal and anal sex.

If it doesn’t meet your needs, however, there are other lube alternatives and store-bought lubes to explore.

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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