coconut

(UPDATE 2/19/2016: Here’s some experimental evidence showing why you should NOT use coconut oil (or any other oil) as a lube with a condom. The conclusion: “Coconut oil is in no way safe for any latex or polyisoprene condom. Don’t believe what anyone else says. I’ve done the science. We all love the coconut. Don’t be betrayed by it.”)

Back when we posted 4 Reasons Not To Use Coconut Oil as Lube, we had no idea how popular the topic would be. Or, more accurately, how unpopular: we heard from many people who enjoy using coconut oil for all sorts of things, including lubrication during sex, and they were not happy with our advice. Read the post’s comments and you’ll get the gist.

We’re sympathetic: lots of us here at Good Clean Love like coconut oil — it’s a great high-heat cooking oil and also a gentle moisturizer that makes you smell like a macaroon. We eat virgin, unrefined coconut oil straight from the jar and put it on chapped lips. However, given how little we know for sure about the effects of oil-based lubricants on latex condoms, one thing we do not do with coconut oil is use it as a lube when we’re also using a condom.

There is good experimental evidence showing that mineral oil definitely weakens latex. There is also good evidence showing that the use of oil-based lube caused condom breakage, while a water-based lubricant did not. The takeaway from this study (and this is coming from the National Institutes of Health): “From a functional perspective, this study suggests that condom users should be told not to use oil-based lubricants.” For this reason, which is a compelling one, we cannot recommend coconut oil as a lubricant for condom sex.

That said, having heard from many people who enjoy using coconut oil as a lubricant for vaginal intercourse (we’re hoping they’re not also using condoms), we’re happy to revise our original stance to be more inclusive of coconut oil. If it works for your body, and you’re not also using a condom, then by all means, use that coconut oil as a lube.

Since refined coconut oil is highly processed and probably not good for you, we stick with virgin, unrefined oil. However, if you do use a condom during sex, even occasionally, then stick with a water-based lubricant — having the jar of oil by the bed might encourage its absent-minded use when the condom is on.