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How to Have Safe Oral Sex

10 of 12 in Series: The Essentials of Safe Sex

Many people have the erroneous notion that oral sex is completely safe because no one ever became pregnant through oral sex. But oral sex isn't entirely safe when it comes to sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). With more people engaging in oral sex, more people are catching STDs through oral sex. It is absolutely essential, if you want a healthy sex life, that you know how to have oral sex safely — for you and your partner.

Simply stated, diseases can be transmitted orally. In fact, doctors are finding cases of genital herpes that were caused by the virus for oral herpes, something that had not been noted before.

One of the factors in the rising number of STDs transmitted through oral sex is unexpected: virgins with STDs. So many teens who consider themselves virgins have had oral sex and may have already gotten an STD. As such, protection is always necessary.

A partner performing fellatio can protect herself or himself by making sure that a condom is placed on her or his partner’s penis. This is a relatively reliable.

For oral sex on a woman, preventing the transmission of disease is much more difficult. Some people recommend using dental dams, which are small squares of latex, or a sheet of plastic wrap held over the woman’s vagina during oral sex. But the odds of keeping the dental dam in place, so no bodily fluids are exchanged during passionate sex, seem pretty remote. And plastic wrap, which is so thin, seems likely to break, although some brands are stronger than others. Very thin underwear (you can even get an edible variety that comes in flavors) can also act as a barrier.

Using either dental dam or plastic wrap may actually be worse than nothing. If you think you’re protected when you’re not, you’re much more likely to do something that you shouldn’t. The only way to make sure that you won’t get a disease when performing cunnilingus is to only do it with a partner who has been tested for STDs and given a negative result.

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