Oral Sex – Safety First (And How To Talk To Your Partner About It)

Oral sex is commonly engaged in without thought to safety – but you should take precautions. Here’s how to have safer oral sex, and how to bring it up.

Why You Need To Consider Safer Oral Sex

It’s relatively common for people, especially with younger couples, to engage in oral sex without talking about safety first. As the Guide to HIV at About.com reports in an article called: The Risk of Oral Sex, many believe that oral sex is a low-risk activity because of its inability to get someone pregnant. Unfortunately STD’s are still a concern, even if they aren’t as prevalent as with penis-vagina intercourse.

Oral sex also increases the risk of other STDs, such as Herpes, Human Papillomavirus (HPV), Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, and Hepatitis C. These nasty bugs are transmitted by saliva, skin-to-skin contact, genital lubrication, and/or ejaculate, and can then be passed along to someone else via more oral sex, kissing, or other forms of skin-to-skin contact.

Barrier Methods

You may be familiar already with dental dams; they are what dentists use to keep any bits and pieces during a root canal or other mouth surgery from falling down your throat. These simple pieces of latex are slowly becoming well known in lesbian and bisexual circles, and men are now following suit.

Most, but not all dental dams are made out of latex. They stretch and are flexible, but hold their shape and are much firmer than say, Saran Wrap. They are square and come in several different colors, translucency and tastes. Almost all of them are powdered, and it isn’t terribly difficult to find ones that are flavored, scented, or both.

If the taste or smell of an cunnilingus encounter isn’t your favorite part of the occasion, dental dams are a very welcome addition to your arsenal. The only issue with them however is that latex takes a bit of getting used to in the taste department as well, so it’s highly recommended that with your first few attempts, you purchase a package that offers a variety of flavors or scents to get you through those first few moments of uncertainty.

Latex Allergies

For those with allergies to latex, there are a few options to consider. The easiest is to buy some Saran Wrap that isn’t made to be used in the microwave; there are extra additives in the special stuff that isn’t vagina-friendly. A step up from Saran Wrap (which can be difficult to keep in place) is to buy some non-latex condoms, like polyurethane condoms, and then cut a slit up one side of them to make it into a longer, flatter piece.

What A Dental Dam Feels Like

‘Feeling’ a woman while using a dental dam takes a bit of getting used to – just like using a condom. You won’t feel the squishiness of your partner’s excitement, and it’ll be more difficult to tell how she’s reacting to your hard work. Getting your tongue in the right place can also be trickier, because you’re having to feel her with your tongue through the barrier. Yes, these are definite drawbacks, but no more so than using a condom – and as already discussed, their drawbacks are more than worth the knowledge that you’re having protected sex.

Getting The Dental Dam Ready To Use

Choose the side that you want to lick and the side that you want pressed up against your partner. Dab some lube on the side that is going on your partner – it will feel MUCH better to her. Also, make sure to keep the same side on her each time, or else you’ve defeated the purpose of using a dental dam. If you can’t remember which side you were licking, discard it and grab another one. An easy way to ensure you don’t get mixed up in the heat of the moment is to take a magic marker prior to your sexual encounter, and write on one side, “Lick here!”

Broaching The Subject

Never used a dental dam? That okay. Most women haven’t either. That doesn’t mean she’ll be adverse to using one though she’ll just need a bit of information is all, so she knows what you’re up to, and why. Learn as much as you can before, so that when you do whip one out, you can easily answer all of her questions and alleviate her fears of the unknown.

Do however make a point of letting your partner know that you plan on using a dental dam, especially if it’s the first time that you’re together intimately. Worst case scenario? You don’t tell her and she stops the whole flow of the moment with a, “What on earth is that?!” or something even more jarring, and you’re left crouched between her legs looking sheepish and trying to explain yourself. Trust me: if you take a bit of time to explain what a dental is, and why you’re using one, you’ll save yourself tons of embarrassment and heartache, and might even earn a few brownie points for ensuring you’re both safe sexually.

How To Use a Dental Dam

Let’s first begin with keeping the slip of latex in place. There are only three ways: you hold it, your partner holds it, or you use something to hold it in place. Of the three, having something else hold it in place is by far the most desirable. In the throes of orgasm she’ll struggle with keeping it in place, and you’ll want the extra hand for other activities as we move through this process.

Therefore, when purchasing dental dams, look for the ones that have an adhesive tip along the top, so that it sticks to wherever you put it in this case, along the top of her Mons Pubis. If the woman you are giving oral sex to is clean shaven however, you can use double sided tape or spirit gum instead, just make sure that you don’t get any near her vulva or vagina.

When first using a dental dam on your partner, try and do what you’d normally do without one. See how she reacts, and if she asks for more or less stimulation. Check her sexual response as well, and if she’s not getting aroused as you’d expect, increase the pressure to her clitoris or add a bit more lube to see if that makes a difference.


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