Understanding Oral Sex and the Importance of Protection

Understanding Oral Sex and the Importance of Protection

Oral sex is a common sexual activity.  Many people opt for oral sex instead of intercourse because there is no risk of pregnancy.  But still yet, it should be remembered that STDs can still be contracted via oral sex.  And this is why it’s so important to get tested regularly and use protection.

What is oral sex?

Oral sex is a sexual activity that occurs between both heterogeneous and homogeneous sexual partners.  Before oral sex takes place — the same as with intercourse– it’s imperative to make sure both partners are completely comfortable.  And it should also be discussed how one another feels about the possibility of contracting an STD, or more commonly referred to as an STI when talking about oral sex.

What are STIs?

STIs are developed by viruses that live in warm, moist places like the mouth or genital area.  They can easily spread from the genital area to a person’s mouth or vice versa.  Take for example that a male has herpes on his penis.  If his partner was to perform oral sex on him, there is a chance that the person could develop oral herpes.  Even if there is not an active outbreak taking place, there is still the risk of contracting the STI.

Three of the more commonly spread STIs include:

  • Chlamydia
  • Syphilis
  • Gonorrhea

All three of these STIs are spread through bacterial infections and they tend to set up in a person’s mouth or throat.  Worst of all is the fact that HIV can be spread through oral sex.  There is a way to completely avoid contracting an STI, and it comes by not performing or receiving oral sex.  Still yet, for those who want to partake in this sexual activity, there is good news: protection is available, which greatly reduces the odds of giving or receiving an STI.

If you or your partner is having an outbreak of any type of STI symptom, it is important that you not partake in oral sex.  For all other times, it’s still important to use protection.  Here’s a quick look at the various forms of protection for oral sex.

Plastic Wrap

Plastic wrap of any sort, such as saran wrap, can be placed over the genital area and then oral sex can take place.  It’s important to remember though that this type of plastic is easy to rip.  If it does rip, a new piece of plastic needs to be placed over genital area again.

Dental Dams

This type of protection can only be used once, and it sometimes can be difficult to get it to stay in place while performing oral sex.


When performing oral sex on a man, having him wear a condom is a great way to protect against STIs.  Just remember that the condom only covers the penis.  If anal oral sex is being performed, a different type of protection will be needed.


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