Is This All-Natural Lube a Good Idea? (2023)

You've used coconut oil for your skin, your hair, and your coffee. But is using coconut oil as lube a good idea?

That question is trending on TikTok thanks to the viral reactions to a NSFW video. In the vid, coconut oil is poured into a kettle, heated, and then poured—a clever if not slightly scary hack. (It should go without saying that you should never pour hot oil of any kind onto your body, especially the most sensitive areas of your skin. Stick to warm, people!)

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TikTok trends aside, coconut oil does often come up as a natural-lube option. Vaginal dryness can result from a number of things, everything from a yeast infection to menopause, the latter of which decreases the body's estrogen levels. “Estrogen is the hormone that is responsible for providing more blood flow to the vagina, making it more elastic,” says Shari Martin Lawson, M.D., division director of general obstetrics and gynecology at John Hopkins Medicine. The lack of fluids down there can make intercourse uncomfortable, even painful, while being mentally frustrating. This is where lubricants can be your best friend.

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The good news is that are dozens of lubricants for women on the market for women to explore, in addition to topicals that your doctor may prescribe. But for women looking for an all-natural (and wallet-friendly) alternative, heading to the kitchen for a jar of coconut oil is a compelling idea.

Is coconut oil safe for lube?

Extracted from mature coconuts, coconut oil is rich in saturated fats. These fats, the majority of which are made up of lauric acid, are what cause it to thicken up and turn solid at room temperatures and melt into a slippery liquid when it heats on your skin. It's pretty much accepted that the oil is like the OG Dr. Bronner's all-in-one, but how does it factor as a natural lubricant?

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“I recommend coconut oil for select patients of mine, and it is absolutely safe to use as a lubricant,” says Lawson. (In addition to coconut oil, extra-virgin olive makes a great natural lube as well.)

If your vaginal dryness is related to a health condition, an all-natural alternative like coconut oil can be an especially good idea. Says Lawson, “We usually will recommend that patients use topical estrogen, but there are some patients, in particular patients that have estrogen-sensitive cancers—most commonly breast cancer—that can't use or choose not to use estrogen.”

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Not all coconut oils are created equal however, so it's important to be mindful of which one you're picking up when it comes to using it as a lubricant. You'll want to make sure you're grabbing a food-grade type that is free from any preservatives or additives, says Lawson. “I find that people get a lot of irritation, in general, when they use fragranced soaps and body washes in the vulva and vaginal areas.”

To keep the jar as sterile as possible, just add a sexy-time spoon (our words) “to take some of it out of the jar and it will warm up in your hands and melt at your body temperature,” Lawson says. You can store the oil in a cupboard or cabinet, where it should be “shelf-stable for at least 6 to 12 months.” Of course, expiration dates are good to keep in mind, but trust your senses: If there's a strong odor coming from the oil, it's probably best to toss it.

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Benefits of using coconut oil as lube

Part of what makes coconut oil so appealing is its versatility—you can lather it on your skin postshower for a luminous glow or work some of the solid into your hair for an intensely moisturizing overnight mask. Even better, “it's easy to come by and is cost-effective," says Banafsheh Kashani, M.D., a reproductive endocrinology and infertility specialist.

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FAQs

What can a girl use as lubricant? ›

Although it is best to purchase and use water-based or silicone-based lubricants, there are alternatives people can consider if they are unable to do this. These include aloe vera, yogurt, olive oil, and virgin coconut oil.

What are the pros and cons of lube? ›

The three main types of lube are:
  • Pros- Rinses off easily from skin and fabric.
  • Cons- Absorbed quickly into the body, so may require reapplication.
  • Feels- Smooth at first, sometimes sticky as it's absorbed.
  • Safe to use with- Latex, polyurethane/polyisoprene, and internal condoms.

Is it good to use saliva as lube? ›

Saliva is not a lubricant! The result can upset your vaginal microbiome and leave you susceptible to developing yeast infection or bacterial vaginosis. “Any STI in the throat or mouth can be transmitted to the genitals through saliva.

Is lube actually necessary? ›

It can make sex safer. Lube reduces friction, so lessens your risk of injury during sex. And if you're using condoms, lube also makes it less likely that it'll break or fall off, therefore increasing your protection against STIs including HIV.

What should you not do in lube? ›

Ingredients to AVOID IN LUBRICANTS
  • Petroleum or petroleum-based ingredients: These often stay put for longer than other lubes by coating your skin, which can lead to infections. ...
  • Parabens: ...
  • Glycerin: ...
  • Benzocaine: ...
  • Propylene glycol: ...
  • Chlorhexidine gluconate: ...
  • Nonoxynol-9:

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