During sexual activity, people often use commercial lubricants to reduce friction. Using a lube can make the moment more pleasurable and prevent skin irritation. While there are many synthetic lubes available in stores, you may be keen on a natural alternative. If you’re looking for a natural lubricant, olive oil might seem like a good option. It’s inexpensive and easy to find, and it can be used for both vaginal and anal sex. But there are some downsides to using olive oil as lube. Here’s what you need to know.
Here are some of the upsides of using extra virgin olive oil as lube:
Olive Oil Is A Natural Product
Some people’s skin tends to react with some of the ingredients used to manufacture some lubes, leading to irritation. If you fall in this category, natural alternatives may just work for you.
Natural lubricants like olive oil are safe from glycerin, perfumes and propylene glycol, making it harmless if you have sensitive skin.
It’s Inexpensive And Easy To Find
It doesn’t take much to access olive oil considering all you need is to walk to your nearest grocery or convenience store. In fact, chances are that if you’re into Mediterranean diets, you probably have a bottle of it lying down in the kitchen.
It Can Be Used For Both Vaginal And Anal Sex
Any lube that can be used vaginally is considered safe for use during anal sex without concern of specific pH.
You should also keep in mind that your anus does not self lubricate. This implies that lubrication for anal sex should be longer lasting, making oil-based lubes like olive oil a good fit.
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Whether olive oil is one of the best sexual lube is still widely debated. This is why:
Olive Oil Can Cause Condoms To Break
Some experts discourage the use of olive oil as lube due to its ability to damage latex condoms and dental dams (3).
This kind of damage can lead to tearing or breaking in as little as one minute (3). The result? Significant increases the risk of pregnancy or contracting sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
Olive Oil Can Cause Irritation If It Gets Into The Vagina Or Anus
Olive oil is naturally a heavy oil, which means that it’s not easily absorbed into your skin. Now this can lead to a number of issues including:
Worsening Acne Breakouts
It’s best to avoid olive oil if you’re prone to acne breakouts. Your pores may end up being blocked, worsening your condition especially if it’s not washed off afterwards (1).
Clogged pores can result in irritation which may mean infections are not far off.
Olive oil can potentially weaken your skin’s barrier leading to mild irritation. Additionally, bacteria can end up being trapped in your vagina or anus causing infections (2).
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Some People Are Allergic To Olives And Olive Oil
While most people aren’t allergic to olive oil, there’s still a small population that is.
Before using olive oil as lube when masturbating or before sex, do a patch test. Apply a small portion of olive oil to an area of skin on your arm. If rashes or itchiness develops, you’re allergic and shouldn’t use it.
Washing It Out Is Difficult
Cleaning up after sex can become a challenge, mainly because olive oil is not soluble in water, meaning it’ll take longer to remove. Additionally, any kind of oil can potentially stain fabrics leaving marks on your bed sheets and clothes.
What Are Better Alternatives To Olive Oil?
While olive oil is considered to be relatively safe for use as a lube, there are other better lube alternatives. There are several varieties of lubricants in the market but before making your choice, you should consider:
- Your preference.
- Whether you’ll be using condoms or other barrier methods.
- Whether you and your partner are allergic to the product.
Next are some of the best vaginal and anal lube alternatives you can go for:
Water Based Lubricants
This is probably the most popular type of lube. Water based lubricants are less likely to irritate your skin, are tasteless and feel like natural lubrication. All these factors make them less likely to interfere with oral sex or other types of sex play.
However, keep in mind that water based lubricants dry faster than oil based products, so ensure you have enough.
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Silicone Based Lubricants
This type of lube lasts longer than water based products and is safe to use with condoms. They, however, should not be used with silicone toys.
Silicone based lubes also stay slick for longer periods and they even leave your skin feeling soft and smooth. Some downsides of using this lube include:
- They are difficult to wash out of fabrics
- They take longer to expel from the anus and vagina.This can potentially increase the risk of infection if bacteria are trapped by it.
Finally, always ensure that any lube you decide to use doesn’t contain glycerin or sugar. These ingredients can increase a woman’s risk of contracting yeast infections.
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The Bottom Line
Olive oil as lube is likely safe for use, especially where penetration is not involved. Using it during vaginal or anal sex puts you at risk of developing skin irritation, infections or even pregnancy where the condom breaks.
Additionally, oil is naturally a water repellent so it’ll be difficult to wash them out of fabrics. While it’s technically possible to use olive oil as a sexual lubricant, there are better alternatives in the market. At the end of the day, it all comes down to your preference.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- Acne (2020, clevelandclinic.org)
- Effect of Olive and Sunflower Seed Oil on the Adult Skin Barrier: Implications for Neonatal Skin Care (2012, wiley.com)
- The Impact of Lubricants on Latex Condoms during Vaginal Intercourse (1994, sagepub.com)