Safer Oral Sex Tips for Avoiding STIs

Safer Oral Sex Tips for Avoiding STIs

There has been a spotlight on oral sex recently in sexual health media, as many people who enjoy vaginal or anal sex with protection do not think or choose to use any kind of barrier when performing cunnilingus or fellatio on sex partners. The reasons for this are numerous some might think they are less likely to contract STIs through oral intercourse, while others might be averse to the assumed discomfort for the performer of the act or the possibility of decreased pleasure for the recipient. Since oral sex poses real STI risks (including HPV, which can increase the chance of developing throat cancer), it is wise to use some form of protection.

While the idea of the chemical taste of rubber might be unappealing to some, there are condoms and female contraceptive devices designed specifically for oral sex. A flavoured condom can actually make oral sex more pleasurable for the person performing the act, and the edible lubrication helps to prevent gagging.

One of the reasons even condoms are not 100% safe is that they do occasionally break or slip off accidents are less likely if special care is taken, but they can happen. The advantage of using a condom for sexual safety during oral sex is that it can be held in place with one hand to prevent slippage a manoeuvre that could prove difficult when having vaginal or anal sex in one of many adventurous positions.

Besides using a contraceptive device for oral sex, it is also wise to know your own sexual status and that of your partner. A joint visit to a sexual health clinic can be awkward, especially if your relationship is more of a casual fling than a serious commitment, and this is why it is always wise to keep some oral contraceptives handy just in case.

Some might believe that STIs can only be contracted in oral sex by ingesting ejaculate, but if a person has a condition which includes symptoms such as hard to see rashes, contact with exposed skin also presents the possibility of transmission. In addition to using a flavoured condom for oral sex, you can also simulate it using a toy (such as a Fleshlight which is modelled on a real mouth) or a hand and plenty of water based lubricant.

Anastasia Filipenko is a health and wellness psychologist, dermatolist and a freelance writer. She frequently covers beauty and skincare, food trends and nutrition, health and fitness and relationships. When she's not trying out new skincare products, you'll find her taking a cycling class, doing yoga, reading in the park, or trying a new recipe.

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