Sex Ed
Sex Ed

Is Oral Sex Safe?

by Teela Hudak about a year ago in sexual wellness

What are the risks?

Is Oral Sex Safe?

Is it really necessary to practice safer oral sex? A lot of people would argue that it really ruins the experience. It's also a fairly common perception that there is no need for safer sex methods when engaging in oral sex. Since there is no risk of anyone getting pregnant when having oral sex, most people think that using protection isn't important. There are more reasons than just potential pregnancies for using protection when engaging in oral sex. Unprotected sex of any kind still leaves you open to potential risks.

Unprotected Oral Sex Still Has Risks

Oral sex is still sex that interacts with cum. People may not get pregnant, but they can still contract an STI. There are a number of STIs, like chlamydia, syphilis, herpes, HPV, or gonorrhea, that can infect your mouth and throat. Aside from the symptoms that come along with these infections, if they are left untreated, they can develop into cancer. What's scary about that as well is that people may not even know they have an STI if they haven't gotten tested, and don't experience any symptoms or anything unusual.

The risk of unprotected oral sex is really underestimated and under-appreciated. It's thought to be a really low risk of transmission, but the truth is that we don't actually know for sure. To date, there hasn't been a lot of research conducted on the rates of STI transmission through oral sex.

What we do know is that unprotected sex has contributed to the mutation of certain STIs, like gonorrhea, to become stronger and resistant to antibiotics. Super gonorrhea has developed thanks to unprotected oral sex, and so far we have had limited success curing it. Just another reason to engage in safer sex practices.

Safer Oral Sex Tips

One of the best ways to avoid risks from oral sex is to be prepared, and engage in safer sex practices. There are a number of different kinds of condoms that can be used depending on who is performing oral sex on who. Which ones you choose should depend on your preference and tastes. Remember to ensure you are choosing a barrier specific for oral sex. Using condoms meant for intercourse could have lubes and spermicides that don't belong in the mouth, and they will taste positively awful.

There is also flavored lubes available to assist in safer oral sex. Adding some on top of the barrier will add some taste for the person performing the oral sex. It can also help with lubricating to ensure there is enough moisture for oral to be performed comfortably.

Some lube can also be added underneath the barrier as well. This will give the person receiving, the feeling of moisture that would normally be provided by saliva. It will add more sensation for the person receiving, as well as help the tongue move the barrier across the genitals with ease. If you and your partner do this, ensure you choose a lube that won't cause irritation on the genitals, but also will not destroy the barrier. Oil-based lubes will cause latex barriers to disintegrate. It's better to place a water-based lube underneath a latex barrier.

If you're still not crazy about the idea of using barriers for oral sex, ensure you and your partner are getting tested before engaging in oral sex. If you are in a committed and monogamous relationship, you can choose to have a discussion about fluid bonding with your partner. It is still a good idea to get tested every once in a while, but you and your partner will not have to go as frequently.

Practice Safer Oral Sex for Your Lifestyle

It's important that you take the appropriate steps to protect your health. No one wants to get an STI, or cancer, or die. This doesn't mean that you can't have fun, it just means you need to accept some responsibility for your health, and choose what level of risk you are comfortable with. Once you decide that, you can choose what safer oral sex practices you wish to engage in, if any. Knowledge about STIs can be scary, but it's what you don't know that can hurt you.

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sexual wellness
Teela Hudak
Teela Hudak
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Teela Hudak

Teela is a Vancouver-based Sex Educator & Relationship Expert. Learn more at:

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