Is it Safe and Effective? Exploring Can You Use Olive Oil as Lube

Written by: Dr Dmitry Loktionov



Time to read 10 min

Have you ever reached for that bottle of olive oil in the heat of the moment and wondered, "Can you use olive oil as lube?". It's natural, readily available, and has been around for centuries used in cooking, and is known for its health benefits.

Sex lubricants are an important part of many people's sex lives. They reduce friction, enhance pleasure, and prevent discomfort during sexual activity.

Some individuals prefer synthetic lubes like silicone. Others, natural lubricants like olive oil extracted from the fruit of the olive tree. But can olive oil be used as lube safely?

Is Olive Oil Safe for Use as Lube?

Olive oil is generally safe for use as a sexual lubricant. However, there are a few things to consider before using it.

Firstly, many couples have reported that olive oil becomes too thick and sticky during prolonged sex that lasts more than 15 minutes. This is because the friction between body parts heats up the oil changing its consistency and may interrupt your sex session.

Secondly, it is not recommended for use with latex condoms or other latex products. This is because the oil can weaken the latex, making it more likely to break [1].

Thirdly, it is not recommended for use with certain sex toys made from rubber. Olive oil can cause these materials to break down, making them less effective and potentially harmful.

It is also worth saying that olive oil is not a sterile substance. This means that using it as a lube can increase the risk of infection.

If you or your partner have a history of vaginal or urinary tract infections or bacterial vaginosis, it may be best to avoid using olive oil as a lubricant [2].

The Benefits of Using Olive Oil as Lube

One of the main benefits of using olive oil as a lubricant is that it is a natural, non-toxic substance. Unlike many commercial lubricants, it does not contain any harmful chemicals or additives, like parabens, glycerin, & alcohol. It is also readily relatively inexpensive and available in most food stores.

Olive oil is a great option for people with sensitive skin or allergies to synthetic lubricants. It is gentle and moisturizing and can help to soothe any irritation or dryness. It is also long-lasting, meaning that you won't need to reapply it as frequently as other lubricants.

  • Natural and Gentle: It's non-toxic, sans harmful chemicals or additives, which means you're indulging in pure, unadulterated pleasure.

  • Cost-Effective and Accessible: Why break the bank when you can find a cost-effective alternative right in your kitchen? Olive oil is relatively inexpensive and readily available in most grocery stores.

The Drawbacks of Using Olive Oil as Lube

While olive oil is generally safe to use as a lubricant, there are a few drawbacks to consider.

Firstly, as mentioned, it is not recommended for use with latex condoms or sex toys made from some plastics or rubber. This can limit its usefulness for some people.

Olive oil is also a relatively heavy oil, which can make it difficult to clean up. It can leave stains on sheets and clothing and may require multiple washes to fully remove [3]. Additionally, it has a distinct smell and taste that not everybody likes.

  • Compatibility with Condoms and Toys: If you're a fan of latex condoms or have a treasured collection of toys, olive oil might not be your best bedfellows.

  • Potential for Infections: Olive oil as lube can disrupt the delicate balance of the vagina, potentially leading to unwanted guests like yeast infections.

  • Messy Aftermath: Post-coital bliss can quickly turn into a laundry conundrum with olive oil potentially turning your tumble in the sheets into multiple tumbles in the wash.

  • Conception Concerns: Unlike commercial lubricants designed with conception in mind, olive oil may prevent sperm from reaching and fertilizing the egg. In some studies, it has been shown to decrease sperm mobility by 50% [4]. Olive oil also has a lower pH level (more acidic) between 0.8 and 2% compared to the normal vaginal pH levels between 3.8% and 5% [5]. Olive oil lube will most likely kill the sperm.

Olive Oil as Anal Lube

When it comes to anal sex using an anal lube, is essential. The anus does not produce its own natural lubrication, so using a lubricant is necessary to prevent discomfort and potential injury.

Olive oil can be used as an anal lubricant if there are no better options available, such as silicone lube designed for anal sex. Anal sex can be more intense than vaginal sex, which means that a thicker, longer-lasting lubricant, like olive oil, may be necessary.

However, there are a few things to consider. Olive oil is a relatively heavy oil, which can make it difficult to apply and may not provide enough slipperiness for some people. Additionally, it is not recommended to use latex condoms, which are the most effective way to prevent sexually transmitted infections during anal sex.

On a side note, olive oil can also be used during masturbation thanks to its slippery, long-lasting consistency. However, remember that body heat can cause it to become too thick making masturbation difficult.

Olive oil as anal lube

How to Properly Use Olive Oil as Lube

Firstly, make sure to test it on a small area of skin before using it during sexual activity. This will help to ensure that you are not allergic or sensitive to the oil.

When applying the oil, it is important to use a small amount at first and add more as needed. Remember that a little goes a long way. It is also important to avoid using too much, as this can make it difficult to clean up and may increase the risk of infection.

Tips for Using Olive Oil as Lube

If you decide to use olive oil as a lubricant, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  1. Choose the Right Olive Oil: Use 100% pure extra virgin olive oil, as its purity will feel better on sensitive skin. Read the ingredient list on the bottle to make sure there are no unnatural additives.
  1. Application Tips:

    • Start Small: A little goes a long way. Begin with a modest amount to gauge how your body responds.

    • External Use First: Test the oil on external skin to check for any adverse reactions before full application.

    • Warm it Up: Cold oil can be a shock to the system. Warm the oil between your hands up to body temperature.

  1. Consider Different Types of Sex:

    • Vaginal Sex: While olive oil can provide long-lasting lubrication, remember it's a no-go with latex condoms and can lead to infections for those prone to them. Don’t use it if you’re trying to fall pregnant.

    • Anal Sex: Olive oil is generally safe for anal play, but avoid it with sex toys, as it can degrade the material.

    • Oral Sex: If the distinct taste of olive oil doesn't tickle your fancy, consider an alternative lube that's taste-friendly.

  1. Sex Toy Materials:

    • Compatible: Silicone, metal, glass, ABS plastic, and ceramic sex toys can happily be used with olive oil without any material breakdown.

    • Incompatible: However, for toys made of latex, TPR/TPE, or PVC, olive oil is an unwelcome guest. It can degrade these materials, leading to damage and potentially ruining your beloved toys.

  1. Post-Sex Clean Up:

    • Immediate Attention: Olive oil's water-resistant nature means you should clean up immediately after sex to avoid stains.

    • Laundry Tip: Treat any stained fabrics with a pre-wash stain remover before tossing them into the wash.

    • Shower Time: A warm shower with soap will help remove any residual oil from your skin.

Alternatives to Olive Oil as Lube

If you are unable to use olive oil as a lubricant, there are plenty of alternatives available. Water-based lubricants are a popular choice, as they are safe to use with latex condoms and sex toys made from silicone or rubber. They are also easy to clean up and do not leave stains.

Silicone-based lubricants are another option. They are long-lasting and work well for anal sex, but they are not recommended for use with silicone sex toys.

Oil-based lubricants, such as coconut oil or almond oil, are also safe to use as lubricants. They are similar to olive oil in terms of texture and moisturizing properties but come with the same risks of infection.

Avoid lubes with chlorhexidine gluconate, nonoxynol-9, propylene glycol, and any claims of warming, cooling, or tingling sensations that might lead to irritation.

And for those of you seeking a modern natural twist, why not try a body-safe CBD lube rather than olive oil? It’s natural and comes with added benefits such as increased blood flow for better orgasms.

Precautions to Take When Using Olive Oil as Lube

Firstly, it is important to use high-quality, extra-virgin olive oil that is free from any additives or preservatives.

If you are unsure whether a particular product is safe to use with olive oil, check the manufacturer's instructions or consult with a healthcare professional.

Additionally, it is important to clean up thoroughly after use. Olive oil can leave stains on sheets and clothing, so make sure to wash them as soon as possible.

Finally, it is important to clean your genitals thoroughly after sex with olive oil to avoid potential infections.

Is Olive Oil Safe for Lube

Yes, olive oil can be safely used as a sexual lubricant for some people. It is a natural, non-toxic substance that is gentle on the skin and moisturizing. However, this is not its primary function and you should rather use sex lube designed for sexual intercourse if one is available close by you.

The Impact of Olive Oil on Skin Health

When it comes to olive oil, most people think of salads, not skincare. But surprisingly this kitchen staple has been used as a moisturizer for centuries.

Olive oil is rich in vitamins A, D, E, and K which are all nutrients needed for healthy skin [6]. Vitamin E especially is known for its hydrating properties and helps fight off oxidative stress.

However, olive oil might be comedogenic for some people—that means it can clog pores leading to acne breakouts especially if you have oily or acne-prone skin.

Final Thoughts on Using Olive Oil as Lube

If you decide to use olive oil as a lubricant, it is important to use it correctly and take precautions to ensure your safety and comfort. Remember to test it on a small area of skin first, and know that infection is a risk you may face.

However, there are plenty of better alternatives to use rather than olive oil. Water based lubricants are a popular personal lubricant choice, while silicone-based are also safe to use. Whatever option you choose, make sure to prioritize your safety and comfort during sexual activity.

Olive Oil as Lube FAQs

Can I use olive oil on my private parts?

Yes, olive oil is mostly likely safe to use on your private body parts however you should do a patch test first to check for any skin reactions. If there is, do not use it further.

Can you use olive oil or vaseline as lube?

Olive oil, yes is safe to use as lube but be cautious. However, you must avoid using vaseline as its chemical ingredients are not designed for internal use and can cause infections.

What oil can I use as lube?

It's best to use 100% natural oils, with no preservatives, as lube. This can be olive oil, coconut, aloe vera, and almond oils are great natural lubes. Just pick pure, unrefined options.

Can you masturbate with olive oil?

Yes, you can masturbate with olive oil but know that your body heat will make the consistency thick potentially making masturbation more difficult.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog is intended for educational and informative purposes only and is not intended to serve as a substitute for medical or professional advice. Always consult your healthcare provider in the area of your particular needs before making any medical decisions.

Dr Dmitry

Dr Dmitry Loktionov - MB. BCh. OB-GYN

Dr. Dmitry is an accomplished doctor, women's health advocate, and founder of Quanna, a next-generation sexual wellness brand. With a background in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, he works towards empowering women with knowledge and improving access to holistic care.

LinkedIn    Website