Oral sex is a type of sexual activity in which sexual stimulation is given or received through the mouth and tongue. The stimulation of a partner’s genitals or anus is involved. Oral sex stimulates and lubricates the vagina, anus, or penis as a precursor to sexual intercourse.
But just because you can’t get pregnant with oral sex, doesn’t mean the risks of STIs (sexually transmitted diseases) are eliminated. Some people believe that oral sex is “safer” than sexual intercourse, and in some ways they are correct. Although oral intercourse cannot cause pregnancy, certain STDs like HIV are extremely unlikely to be transmitted by oral sex. However, the belief that oral sex is “safe” is not only incorrect, but it also exposes people to a variety of sexually and non-sexually transmitted infections that could otherwise be avoided.
Some examples of common STDs that can be transmitted orally are:
- HPV (Human papillomavirus)
Some of these infections can be life-threatening.
Human papillomavirus (HPV), for example, is an STD that has been related to some tumours. In certain patients, an oral HPV infection can induce cell variations that lead to mouth or throat cancer. If an oral infection spreads to the vaginal, penis, or anus, the chance of cervical, vulvar, vaginal, penile, or anal cancer grows.
Oral sex does mean complete immunity from STDs. Whether you’re the receptive partner or the giving partner, it’s critical to find measures to limit your risk.
One way to safely have oral sex is with the help of dental dams.
What Is A Dental Dam?
If you’re not familiar with what is a dental dam and how it works, you’re not alone. Chances are you’ve never even heard of them. Continue reading to see what you’ve been missing out on.
It is a thin, flexible piece of latex that prevents oral sex from involving direct mouth-to-genital or mouth-to-anus contact. This decreases your risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), yet allows you to stimulate your clitoral or anal areas.
Dental dams were originally designed for dentists to isolate and avoid bacterial contamination of parts of the mouth that were being treated. It wasn’t until the 1990s that people began using it for oral sex. Let’s get started with the basics of dental dams so that you can learn more and #BeALittleMore.
What Are Dental Dams Used For?
They’re a reliable source of protection. But there is limited information on how effective dental dams are. They must be used properly and consistently, just like condoms, to provide full protection. When used during oral sex, dental dams can help minimise your chance of contracting sexually transmitted infections. Using a vaginal dental dam can significantly reduce the risk of infections from a wide range of viruses, bacteria and germs such as E. coli, that are known to spread during oral intercourse.
STIs can be passed from one person to another during oral sex. Because there are typically no symptoms, many people are unaware that they have an STI of the throat or mouth. Dental dams can offer a layer of protection during oral sex, especially for those who are dealing with an active STI.
How To Put On A Dental Dam?
Now, you’re clear about what is a dental dam. The next important question is how to use it. If you don’t know how to use a dental dam, don’t worry. Dental dams are simple to use. Still, move slowly and gently apply the dam to avoid any tears or holes. Here’s how to get started:
- Tear the packaging open gently.
- Remove the piece from its protective envelope.
- Place it over your or your partner’s vaginal or anal hole.
- The rectangle or square piece of material should be large enough to completely cover the vaginal or anal area.
- Do not stretch or press the dam too tightly against the skin. Instead, let it stick to the body organically through sweat or static.
- Leave the dam in place until you’re done, then throw it away in the trash can
- Toss it and get a new one if it gets messed up during the act
Here are a few pointers on dental dam uses:
- Discard the dental dam after it’s used once
- Switch to a polyurethane dental dam if you’re allergic to latex
- Use a water-based lubricant
- Check the expiration date and store it in a cool, dry place
One of the reasons that dental dams aren’t as well-known as condoms is that they aren’t sold in every drugstore. In reality, dental dams may be tough to come by in any store.
Start by going to an adult store or ordering them online. They are available in a range of sizes and colours. Some of them are even flavoured.
You can buy ready-to-use dental dams online or in some drug stores, or you can make your own out of an external or internal condom. You can just cut the tip and elastic at the base, then make another cut down the length of the condom and open it up into a square.
Dental Dams: Dos And Don’ts
Contraceptive dental dam usage is quite simple, but here are some dos and don’ts when dealing with them.
|1. Every time you have oral sex, use a fresh latex or polyurethane dental dam.|
2. Check the expiration date on the box.
3. Check for tears and flaws. Wear it before you start oral sex and keep it on until you’re done.
4. To avoid breakage, use a lubricant that is water or silicone-based.
5. Dental dams should be kept in a cool, dry place at all times.
|1. Oil-based materials, such as baby oil, lotion, petroleum jelly, or cooking oil, will cause the dental dam to rupture.|
2. Dental dams should not be flushed down the toilet since they may clog it.
3. A dental dam should not be stretched because this can cause it to tear.
4. DO NOT USE nonoxynol-9 (a spermicide) because it can irritate your skin.
5. A dental dam should never be reused.
While women’s dental dam usage isn’t widespread and wearing a dental dam during oral sex may seem cumbersome or unpleasant at first, it doesn’t have to be so if you make it a fun part of your sexual experience rather than a necessary precaution. If your partner is apprehensive about using a dental dam, think twice about proceeding, especially if you aren’t in a long-term relationship or someone you’ve only met recently. It’s unlikely that the encounter will be worth the risk to your health.
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