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Sex-Ed

Also as a Fabulous Personal Lubricant

Coconut oil has become a versatile and healthy choice for many daily applications. In days gone by, it was derided because of the negative associations of oils in general and the trans fats in hydrogenated coconut oils. Nowadays, the beloved fruit (yes, it is a fruit and not a nut) is packaged by many brands using a variety of manufactured processes. People are using it as a supplement, for cooking, as a coffee creamer, in smoothies, as toppings, for oral and body care, for first aid, massage oil, candle-making and cleaning products. And many are loving coconut oil also for sexual pleasure.

Pros of Coconut Oil for Sexual Pleasure

  • You can buy the oil just about anywhere. You do not need to get it from a sex shop, and you can use the same coconut oil for almost all of the different ways you want to use it.

  • It has a long shelf life. As a lubricant it is really long lasting and will not require reapplication as often as using the best water-based lube.

  • It is really natural and has many sexual health benefits: it can hydrate and improve the elasticity of thinning skin and mucous membranes in the vagina with regular use, especially during and post-menopause or cancer treatments.

  • Those who enjoy the taste of coconut oil will usually prefer its flavour on their partner’s body rather than most regular or even overly sweet-tasting water-based lubricants that can be unpleasant.

  • Oil is not easily washed off with water, thus it is great for female ejaculators and for sex in the shower.

  • This versatile oil is deemed antibacterial, which can feel like a relief to anyone who has had vaginal or urinary tract infections. Finally, it contains caprylic acid that is an antifungal that kills candida cells (that contribute to yeast overgrowth).

Cons of Coconut Oil for Sexual Pleasure

  • Some, however, argue that coconut oil’s anti-bacterial qualities might not be ideal in all situations. Vaginas are delicate ecosystems with a range of bacteria that keep them in balance. If coconut oil is antibacterial, will it harm the good bacteria that we want in our bodies as well as the bad bacteria that we don’t want? So far no studies have examined coconut oil’s effects as a sexual lubricant, therefore we only have personal anecdotes and trial and error to help us assess.

  • The other disadvantage is that oils clog our pores and trap bacteria, taking longer for our bodies to flush them out when used internally.  So those who are prone to repeated infections might not find coconut oil as the best option.

  • In addition, vaginas and butts absorb whatever is put in them, so although coconut is natural, some of the chemicals that can be used in the process of extracting the oil such as hexane might not be as healthy to absorb. You might want to research which process is used for your brand of coconut oil.

  • Of course, those with coconut allergies won’t want to use the oil for any purpose, including sexually.

  • For those practicing safer sex, coconut oil cannot be used with latex condoms, nor can it be used with latex toys. Fortunately it can, however, be used with wood, glass, metal and silicone toys.  

  • When the oil is in its most raw or unprocessed state, it is a solid at room temperature. This means that it requires some warming in your hands or in a warm location in order to make it easy to apply.

  • Finally, if you like to minimize your post-sex cleanup, you have to be careful with coconut oil as it can stain your sheets. Using a large towel or a sex blanket is the best way to have carefree adventures without creating extra work for yourself.

Which Type of Coconut Oil is Best?

Most health-conscious people choose an oil manufactured with the least amount of processing. It can be hard, however, to ascertain from a label how much processing and what type is involved. There are many terms on bottles and it can be hard to know what to look for and it may be impossible to determine just from the label. Here are some basic differences and you may need to contact the manufacturer to uncover the process used in its extraction.   

Virgin or Raw: Starts from fresh coconut meat. (Note that “extra virgin” is not more pure than “virgin”.) The fresh coconut is pressed to extract a coconut “water”. The oil then has to be separated. It can be done by centrifuge (usually considered to produce the best quality product), or other methods including heat.

Refined: Starts from the dried “copra” coconut meat. These types can be highly processed with chemicals such as hexane, losing many beneficial qualities, or more naturally processed with little impact. Generally these ones have the least coconut taste and scent and are often the most affordable. These are the most common forms of coconut oil commercially available.  Fractionated coconut oil is in liquid form, which makes it ideal and more practical for spontaneous sex play. But fractionated oil has lost its lauric acid, the antimicrobial part (and one potentially desirable aspect) of coconut oil.

Container: It is better to purchase products that go in and on our bodies in glass bottles rather than plastic, especially when a product is sitting in it for a long time, as plastic can leach into the oil.

Organic: Technically organically produced coconut oil is better, however most coconut production is pesticide-free. Choosing organic can increase the expense without much benefit other than peace of mind. You may want to invest in other organic products instead.

In the end, the choice is yours. Knowledge is power and making the best decision for yourself and your sexuality means taking into consideration many factors. Coconut oil might be a good choice for your cooking or skin care practices. You might want to try it to see if it also complements your sexual practices using the same or a different variety. If not, fortunately there are lots of other options!

Carlyle Jansen is the founder of Good For Her, a sexuality shop and workshop centre in Toronto. If you have questions or comments, email carlyle@goodforher.com or go online to goodforher.com