Yes, the coconut oil in your pantry serves another purpose! Often, people complain that water-based lubes don’t last long enough. They dry up fast or get sticky or just aren’t cutting it for anal lube. Silicone lube solves all of those problems, but not all silicone lube is perfectly compatible with all silicone sex toys. Plus, silicone lube is not at all natural, whereas coconut oil is. While coconut oil as lube is not the perfect solution for all people, I think it’s pretty great and needs to be considered.
Coconut Oil and Condoms
Coconut oil also is not compatible with latex condoms. Oil lubes in general are a no-no to mix with latex condoms. I’ve read casual at-home studies from fellow sex geeks that showed that other oils degraded a latex condom very quickly, while the coconut oil took longer to do so but it still did weaken the latex. Coconut oil will also degrade polyisoprene condoms. If you want to use it, then you need to stick with polyurethane condoms – Trojan Supra is so far the only one I can find on US sites. The internal/”female” condom FC2 is made of nitrile which is compatible with coconut oil. This also means that nitrile gloves are compatible with coconut oil.
I have yet to find any studies that state how long is the appropriate amount of time to wait between using an oil-based lube (any oil) and latex condoms during PIV sex. If you like to use coconut oil as a lube but use condoms for partnered sex then you need to keep polyurethane or nitrile condoms on hand.
The Benefits of Coconut Oil as Lube
Coconut oil has unique properties that could be a benefit for use as a sexual lubricant: anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and excellent at moisturizing. It’s recommended for treating / preventing yeast infections — those who get yeast infections easily should absolutely consider switching to coconut oil. It’s often recommended for vaginal dryness, too. I’ve used it successfully for vaginal lubrication and have never experienced any issues with pores clogging, etc.
It works well as an anal lubricant, too. The delicate tissue of the anus can be susceptible to tiny micro-tears if you try to go too quickly to a large item, and/or there isn’t enough lube but if the skin is well-moisturized it is more elastic (which was how a nurse explained it to me). And oil-based lubes can keep things lubricated for a lot longer than water-based lubes. They do absorb into the skin, so reapplication may be needed during anal sex – just keep tabs on the situation (but you should anyways, no matter what type of lube you use).
It’s not just for sex! Coconut oil makes an excellent massage oil. You can easily transition from massaging the body to massaging the genitals to sex all using the same product. I really like using coconut oil as a massage oil in part because coconut oil is solid at room temperature – but will quickly liquefy on skin as it warms up. Too often in the past I’d end up with oil drips on bedsheets when someone was poring massage oil from the bottle to the body – this doesn’t happen when using coconut oil. Since it’s an oil it still can leave an oil stain on your sheets but it comes out fairly easily in the wash.
Coconut Oil and Sex Toys
Coconut oil is perfect with silicone sex toys, glass, metal, ceramic, etc. It is not compatible with the low grade sex toy materials – the ones I don’t think you should be using anyway: TPR, TPE, jelly, rubber, latex, vinyl, PVC, and so on. These are all porous and some are potentially toxic. Remember: if the material in question in crystal clear, then it is not silicone, no matter what the manufacturer/retailer says.
I’ve actually heard anecdotally that covering a silicone sex toy in coconut oil (make sure some of the oil goes in your butt, too, of course) can prevent the silicone from retaining odors as is common with anal play for most people. Silicone is considered non-porous but it still can retain odors (just try freezing coffee ice cubes in your silicone ice cube tray and you’ll see what I mean….*sigh*), yet a few people have told me that the oil seemed to act as a barrier. These people have been exclusively using coconut oil as their lube of choice with a few butt plugs and so far they aren’t retaining any discernible butt odors.
Gritty Coconut Oil
One issue about coconut oil lube is that coconut oil is a little finicky about melting. If it melts and solidifies too slowly it can become gritty and grit is absolutely not something you want in your lube. Gritty, grainy coconut oil is easy to fix, though: heat it up in the microwave (in a glass container) until it is 100% melted and then put the liquid coconut oil in the fridge to solidify. You’ll find that this only happens with virgin coconut oil, and happens the most frequently when it’s kept between 72-76 degrees. Some of the fats in coconut oil melt at 72 and some don’t melt until 78. So if your house is kept at 74 some of the fat particles will be solid and some will be liquid. When things cool down and all of the oil solidifes, that’s when the gritty grainy texture comes into play.
Many vagina owners might be confused about coconut oil as lube for sex because traditionally we’re told that “oil” and “pores” aren’t friendly. From what I’ve read, it can clog pores on people who are very susceptible to such things. One a scale of one to four with four being “highly comedogenic” coconut oil ranks about a two. Give it a shot as a skin moisturizer on yourself first, to see how you react. There doesn’t seem to be any specific studies that I can find about coconut oil – or other plant oils – being bad for the vagina. I have found studies that talk about petroleum-based oils being bad for the vagina, and that they can cause bacterial vaginosis or yeast infections in those susceptible to infections.
There is also a faint odor…..of coconuts. Most people don’t find it offensive; many people enjoy it. If it does have an offensive odor, consider that it could be rancid. Rancid coconut oil is yellow in color when it turns to liquid; the solid oil is no longer smooth, it’s lumpy; and it has a bitter taste/smell. The taste and smell of coconut oil should be unoffensive to all but the most sensitive people. In order to prevent contamination of the oil, you shouldn’t scoop it from the main jar with your finger. It would be best to spoon out a little into a smaller container to keep bedside. Otherwise, you’ve got people wondering what a 54-oz vat of coconut oil is doing on your bedside table. Or you’re running naked to the kitchen to scoop from the jar.
Which Coconut Oil to Buy
You’ll want to look for food-grade oil that is listed as organic and extra-virgin/virgin (which is unrefined). Organic is important, as you don’t want to absorb any pesticides/toxins through your skin from treated coconuts. Unrefined is the best way to go. You will see some brands that offer both types – for cooking it seems that refined is best for frying. Refined coconut oil is also called “RBD” – refined, bleached, deodorized. This strips away any of the beneficial properties of coconut oil.
Don’t think that you need to spend a lot on coconut oil. You can get Carrington Farms brand 54oz giant bottle for something like 38 cents an ounce? That’s about half a gallon — more than enough to keep you lubed up for a year AND learn to incorporate it into your cooking and baking for the health benefits. Of course if you don’t want the Costco-sized vat o coconut, this brand ends up being 50 cents an ounce which isn’t bad, especially considering how little you actually need for lube. The fact alone that there exists a valid “101 uses for coconut oil” article or 10 should assure you that this stuff won’t go to waste unless you’re extremely sensitive to the faint smell of coconut. Buy a small jar first to make sure you love the stuff.