Safer oral sex – how to protect yourself from STDs

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Let’s get this straight – yes, you can contract sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) from oral sex. However, it’s not entirely clear how high the risk associated with oral sex alone is, because most people tend to have vaginal or anal sex before or after oral stimulation. Nevertheless, if you’re changing partners frequently, you should be aware of the risks of contracting chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, herpes, HPV and HIV from oral sex.

Whilst the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is generally passed on through blood, semen, and other bodily fluids, chlamydia and gonorrhea are transmitted via the mucous membranes making them more easily contractible during unprotected oral sex.

Oral sex and STDs: how can I protect myself?

If you’re engaging in fellatio – that is the oral sex act involving the mouth or throat – it’s best to use a condom. But what about cunnilingus (the oral stimulation of the vagina) and anilingus (oral stimulation of the anus)? That’s where a dental dam may come in handy. These are made of thin latex and are available in a wide variety of flavors. They can be bought online or in store. If you’re feeling up for it or don’t have one at hand, you can make your own dental dam. Just grab a condom, cut off both ends and then cut it open lengthwise – et voila you’ve got yourself a latex rectangle.

Never mind, what you decide to do: dental dams are easy to use. Just place one over your partner’s vagina or anus and hold it in place with both hands. Your partner may want to land a hand as well to hold the lower end of the dental dam in place.

And don’t worry, your sexual desire and pleasure won’t markedly decrease when using a dental dam. On the contrary, if you apply a little lube to the side facing the genital area, you could even heighten the sexual experience.

Photo by Merch HÜSEY on Unsplash

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