Oral sex is known by many names like ‘blow jobs’, ‘eating out’, ‘tossing the salad’, or simply ‘oral’. It can be a great way to get the juices flowing or it can simply be a nice gesture to your partner. Whatever the reason, being smart and safer is always the sexy option.
Oral sex is any contact of your mouth on the genitals. This can be mouth on penis, vulva, or anus. Each of these acts has their own technique to help your reduce your risk to STD/STI exposure. Bacteria and viruses thrive in warm wet places like your mouth and genitals. Transmission can go from mouth to genital or genital to mouth, so it is important to keep both of you safe.
It is always a good idea to take an assessment of you and your partner. Before you start, make sure you don’t have any mouth sores. Also, do not brush your teeth immediately before the act. Brushing your teeth can create tiny cuts in your gums and both of these conditions (sores and cut gums) can make you more susceptible to STD/STI transmission. Make sure your partner does not have any sores, discharge, or unusual smells in their genital region too. Those can by indicators of an infection and oral sex should be put on hold until the issue is resolved. But if everything checks out, it is all systems go!
This is the act of stimulating the penis with your mouth. To help reduce your risk of STD/STI transmission, use a male condom. Consider a flavored condom and add a small drop of lube on the inside before putting it on your partner. This can help add sensation to the receiver. If you don’t want to use a condom, consider avoiding the ejaculate. You can do this by having him finish on your body part of choice.
This is the acts of cunnilingus and analingus are stimulating the vulva and anus respectively. To help reduce your risk of STD/STI transmission, use a barrier. A dental dam is the barrier of choice, but if you are without one, odds are you aren’t far away from a DIY one. You can unroll a male condom, cut the tip off, and then cut it up the side. You are left with a flat piece of latex that is perfect for play. No condom? No problem. You can also use plastic wrap, but avoid the microwaveable kind. It has tiny micro holes to release steam and will not create a solid barrier. Also, if you want to add fingers to your oral play, use a finger cot or a glove. And remember, when you finish, do not brush your teeth! If you want that just brushed taste, use mouthwash.
If barriers are not your preferred way of engaging in safer oral sex, consider being monogamous and know your status. This will ensure that you are only engaging with one other person and you are both infection free. Most often, your local health department will offer free testing.
Communication with your partner is very important and can help you decide on what safer oral sex practices you want to engage in. Remember, safer is sexy!
By Megan Stubbs
By Megan Stubbs