I love coconut oil as a personal lubricant. LOVE it.
It’s the only lube I keep around at all times.
I keep it in a small container next to my bed, available for massages and all other manner of sexy things.
I recommend it in my anal play class and books and in my orgasm class.
And I recommended it to someone in a Facebook poly group who has been having trouble with staying wet. Many people had the same thoughts: coconut oil was the most recommended single lube in the thread.
Coconut Oil PROS:
- TWO options: Coconut oil (my preference) is solid at room temp, so can be scooped and placed easily. Fractionated coconut oil is liquid at room temperature, for super-slickness right away.
- Super slick.
- No parabens or endocrine disrupters.
- Nearly totally flavorless (once applied).
- Faint coconut scent — tends to fade easily.
- Safe for MOST skin (see below for additional details).
- Antifungal (could be a con as well, see below).
- Antibacterial (could be a con as well, see below).
- Antiviral (could be a con as well, see below).
- “Natural,” for those who care about such things.
- Easily integrates with other oils (including CBD).
- Virgin coconut oil is non-comedogenic.
- Widely available — you can get it in most grocery stores without a bunch of weird looks.
- Inexpensive — this is last, because, well, lube safety matters way above cost, but it’s a great thing, when you have all the other things going for you.
Coconut Oil CONS:
Three people in the Facebook thread, however, disagreed with the coconut oil suggestions and cited science.
Which, of course, meant that I had to do research. YAY! LOL!
The first one was easy:
“FYI coconut oil is actively bad for some people’s tissues.”
Coconut oil, like ANY nut oil can produce allergic reactions. Also, any oil could potentially react poorly with your personal ecology, whether used on your face, your arms or inside your nethers.
I use fractionated coconut oil as my primary facial moisturizer. Some who have tried it feel like they get more blemishes that way. Since I started it, my rare blemishes went to almost zero.
But that is 100% anecdotal. YMMV.
“Food stuff in the vagina is a potential yeast infection trigger. Some people are more susceptible than others.”
This is true.
Except, that it’s not really applicable to coconut oil in the way that this is usually intended.
For example, I am against nearly ALL food stuff going near my hoo-hah. Sugars are no bueno. Not even honey, which I know some people think is safe because it’s ‘natural.’
“Ummm, no, Sharon. It’s still sugar. Enjoy your yeast infection.”
Actually, I was given a HUGE dose of antibiotics a few months back, thanks to a not-so-friendly cyst, and it knocked out all the good biotics in me as well as the bad buggers, which triggered a yeast infection.
Coconut oil ended it almost as quickly as I discovered it.
“Coconut oil is an established antifungal. Although research on its use for yeast infections is limited, there’s evidence to suggest that this approach may work.
A 2007 lab study found that coconut oil helped kill a species of yeast. Researchers found that the Candida albicans strain was the most susceptible to concentrated coconut oil. In the study, less coconut oil was needed to get rid of the yeast than fluconazole. Fluconazole is an antifungal medication commonly recommended to treat yeast infections.
Researchers in a 2012 study also found that coconut oil produced maximum results against C. albicans.” source
I did also call an OB/GYN friend, and she agreed with my research.
For me, it gave immediate relief and total relief within a day.
HOWEVER, as anything that can cure, it can also potentially throw out of whack. Some people’s vaginal flora is quite precariously balanced. Going too far one way or another can cause issues, so be aware.
If this is a concern, you will probably know it, as many lubes (medicinal qualities aside) can have negative affects.
And the last (and biggest) objection:
“Please dont [sic] use coconut oil as a lubricant ever! Its can cause small tears in your vaginal tissue, infection and loss of sensation over time. I’m a Sexual Health Educator…”
Ok. So I’d NEVER heard this before, but since they said they are a sexual health educator, I immediately paid attention.
And so, I did a quick search on the topic, and could not find a single thing.
Which worries me, because I’m a pretty damn good researcher, and if there is even a rumor, I feel like I can usually ferret it out.
So, I asked for links to their sources. Because, naturally, I wanted to be sure if new information has come out, so that I’m able to update my books and how I teach.
“I’ve only got a few minutes but you can check the World Health Organization website, The Patty Brisben Foundation for Women’s Sexual health and if I’m not mistaken the CDC as well.”
Fair. Only a few minutes. I mean, I’ve totally done this, saying “I read somewhere…” when I was writing. Although recently, I’ve been citing my sources more often as a matter of course, because, well, it helps me keep my own mind more organized, and I need all the help I can get.
So, I spent about 30 minutes searching for those references and did not find even one of those places suggesting that coconut oil will cause micro tearing in the vaginal tissue.
WHO — World Health Organization
The WHO says:
“Much of this new information is based on laboratory (in vitro) testing. Several papers (13 –16) suggest that lubricants with high osmolality might cause vaginal and anal epithelial damage. Confirmation that lubricants with high osmolality can cause epithelium damage when applied rectally to humans has been demonstrated in a group of 10 volunteers (15).” source
First, let me say: 10(!!!!!) Volunteers. TEN. Not much of a sample size.
Also, they said:
“The effect of high osmolality might be more important when these lubricants are used rectally (15).”
Both refer to rectal issues (which, to be fair, has been a primary source of interest for me). So, I double-checked my coconut oil osmolality. Organic coconut oil has an osmolality of 180–340.
“Ideally, the osmolality of a personal lubricant should not exceed 380 mOsm/Kg to minimize any risk of epithelial damage. Given that most commercial lubricants significantly exceed this value, imposing such a limit at this time could severely limit the options for sourcing personal lubricants for sector procurement. It is therefore recommended on an interim basis that procurement agencies should source lubricants with osmolalities of not greater than 1200 mOm/kg.”
So, the osmolality of organic coconut oil is 180–340, and The WHO says ideal lube should be under 380 (check). It also “allows” for up to 1200 for commercial lubes.
I did find LOTS of warning at the WHO about microtears in latex condoms, which is something that everyone should know about oil and latex.
Patty Brisben Foundation
Searched: http://pattybrisbenfoundation.org for “coconut oil” and googled coconut oil site:pattybrisbenfoundation.org
Brought up zero results on the site.
CDC — Center for Disease Control
Searched: coconut oil site:cdc.gov and coconut oil lubricant site:cdc.gov
No results beyond warnings of coconut oil being incompatible with latex condoms, which is true of oils in general.
So, that brings me to my cons list, as I understand it right now:
- Nut oil — may cause allergies
- Stains sheets — although using non-polyester sheets (which are oleophillic and will suck up oil and keep it) and dish detergent can actually get oil stains out
- Can be messy — fractionated cocount oil is VERY slick and not very viscous, it rolls out of hands quite fast (which is why I like the solid-at-room-temp kind)
- Dipping fingers into solid oil can contaminate all the oil — I have a small plastic container by the bed, and I put in a certain amount at a time, changing it out regularly. Antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties DO help here, though.
- Is not very viscous — it doesn’t “stick.” Especially for anal play, you’ll need to reapply often. It gets “squeegeed off” by the anus.
- The strength of it’s antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties can cause “overcorrection” in some systems.
- NOT COMPATIBLE WITH LATEX CONDOMS
- Lubricants are also not compatible with getting pregnant, because they can affect sperm motility, so leave off lubrication while trying to conceive.
- Slight smell/flavor — better than most options, but it may be objectionable to some.
A few notes:
Despite antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties, coconut oil CAN go bad. Don’t think it is magically resistant to bad stuff, and use good sense.
- Transfer solid-at-room-temp oil into a smaller container for “one-time” uses, or keep a scoop in your container so your hands don’t contaminate it. Coconut oil is an antibacterial agent effective CERTAIN susceptible microorganisms (Not ALL OF THEM), and usually does not contain preservatives, repeatedly reaching into the jar with wet or bacteria-laden hands can cause bacteria or fungi to grow in your jar. (I can’t say this enough.)
- Put fractionated coconut oil into a clear container to “squirt” into your hand, so your skin doesn’t come into contact with your bottle of unused oil.
- Dark spots at the top or bottom of your oil might be bacteria or fungi. If you see spots, throw your coconut oil away immediately. It’s cheap enough to replace, it’s not worth the risk.
- Sometimes it will also smell different, or “off.” If it smells weird, toss it.
- I suggest organic, 100% virgin coconut oil. It’s slightly more expensive, but it’s also more carefully tested, and you won’t get a blend or inferior product. Interestingly, coconut oil is right up there with olive oil as the top oils now being counterfeited.
- Oils sold in glass tend to be higher quality and safer.
- It’s good practice to get separate coconut oils for your bedroom and kitchen.
Anyway, this is what I know right now. I’ve been researching this for years off and on, for my own personal use and safety and to recommend to others.
I am not a doctor, MD or otherwise, so do your own research, ask your own doctors, and yadda, yadda.
I do feel comfortable presenting this information to you as a good jumping-off place for your own investigations.