Can You Use Olive Oil As Lube For Anal Or Vaginal Sex? Is It Safe?

Although it is technically safe to use as a personal lubricant, incorporating olive oil into your sex life can lead to more problems than it solves.
closeup photograph of olive oil being poured from a dark green glass bottle against a dark grey background, concept of using olive oil as a personal lubricant for vaginal, anal, or oral sex
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Updated:February 2024
safety infographic about using olive oil as lube for vaginal, anal, and oral sex with three separate slider bars depicting that olive oil is sometimes safe for vaginal sex, sometimes safe for anal sex, and sometimes safe for oral sex, with the women’s health interactive logo at the bottom

Although it is technically safe to use as a personal lubricant, incorporating olive oil into your sex life can potentially lead to more problems than it solves. 

Key Takeaways:

  • Olive oil is a type of cooking oil that can be used as a personal lube for vaginal intercourse, anal sex, and even oral sex, but only if it is extra virgin and pure.
  • Unfortunately, olive oil’s purity is not regulated and it’s often diluted with other oils — which may or may not be safe for sexual purposes.
  • If your extra virgin olive oil is 100% pure, it’s safe for vaginal and anal sex as long as you’re not using condoms made from latex or polyisoprene, because oils will degrade both.
  • Being edible, olive oil can be used for oral sex if applied minimally; however, it’s important to note that thick oils can become choking hazards if too much is swallowed.

If you do decide to use olive oil as lube, it’s best to use the extra virgin variety — however, unless you know for certain that it’s 100% pure, we recommend choosing something else because your oil may not be olive oil entirely (or at all).

Can You Use Olive Oil As Lube?

At its base, olive oil is “safe” and it is a cooking oil that can be used as a personal lube — but it isn’t a great choice for several reasons.

Olive oil’s purity is not regulated, which may come as a surprise — one that’s likely unnoticeable when you’re cooking with it — but it’s true, even if you’re using extra virgin olive oil.

Olive oil is often diluted with other oils to varying degrees depending on the product, so you won’t really know what ingredients are in your “olive” oil — or whether they’re safe when used as a lube.

Like oil-based personal lubricants, olive oil will cause latex condoms to break, potentially leading to unintended pregnancy or STIs.

Additionally, using oil as a lube during vaginal penetration may increase your risk of infection, including yeast infections or bacterial vaginosis.

Although olive oil as an external personal lube for a little solo action may be safe, there are still some pretty compelling downsides.

Olive oil can potentially clog your pores, leading to unsightly breakouts and uncomfortable irritation.

In the worst cases, the oil can trap bacteria within your pores and cause a skin infection around or near your vagina or anus if you use olive oil as sex lube.

Long story short, if you’re in the mood to get erotic with olive oil, it’s best to use it for a sexy massage — as long as you don’t have sensitive or acne-prone skin.

Last but not least, olive oil lube is hard to wash off of your skin since it isn’t water-soluble and it can permanently stain your sheets and clothing.

There are much easier and safer lubes you can choose from.

Can You Use Olive Oil As Vaginal Lube?

If you’re not susceptible to yeast infections already and you’re positive your extra virgin olive oil is 100% pure, it is safe to use as a vaginal lube.

If you’re pregnant, however, hormonal shifts put you at higher risk for yeast infections, so it’s best to skip olive oil as lube during pregnancy.

Can You Use Olive Oil As Anal Lube?

Unfortunately, you’ll come across the same issues when using olive oil as anal lube: condom breakage leading to potential STI transmission (including HIV) and potential skin irritation or infection.

For this reason, you should also avoid using olive oil as an anal lube alternative when playing with sex toys or while pegging, as well.

It’s better to choose a body-safe anal lube for any backdoor play.

What Is Olive Oil Made From And Is It Safe?

Olives are a type of fruit that grows on trees and the oil is extracted from ripe olives that have been harvested, de-leafed, washed, and milled to extract the oil, often referred to as “liquid gold.”

In a sense, olive oil is actually a type of fruit juice — albeit not a sweet one.

Once the oil has been extracted, it goes through a decantering process, which means that it sits still for days (or even weeks) until all of the fine particles settle on the bottom.

In general, the oil is typically filtered after being decantered to improve its shelf life, as even small particles of olive can cause it to spoil sooner.

All of this sounds pure and “natural” — because it is — but the problem with olive oil’s purity comes later.

To maximize profits (while minimizing costs), many manufacturers dilute their olive oil with other oils to stretch this “liquid gold” further — and unfortunately, there is no regulation on the purity of olive oil.

So while it is perfectly safe to cook with, olive oil isn’t necessarily suited to sexual activity or even skin care, unless you know for certain that it is 100% pure.

What Are Better Lube Alternatives To Olive Oil?

Instead of the olive oil in your kitchen cabinet, there are plenty of natural and organic lubes to choose from — as well as others made from water, silicone, or oil — that use safe ingredients you can trust.

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:
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 Safe Home Lube Alternatives?

If you’re looking for personal lubricant alternatives to olive oil, there are several options you can likely find at home, including:

If you use any oil-based lube alternatives, just make sure to keep in mind that they’re not compatible with latex and polyisoprene condoms.

Closing Thoughts

Although it’s tempting to reach for olive oil during some sexy time, especially since it’s so readily available in most homes, it’s best to leave the olive oil where it belongs: in the kitchen, not the bedroom.

Luckily there are plenty of safe personal lubricants to choose from, no matter where your sexual adventures might take you.

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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