Some love giving it. Some would rather receive it. Some are not into it either way. While some may consider oral sex safer than intercourse, it is not considered 100% safe by the experts.
What Is Oral Sex?
Oral sex is defined by mouth to genitalia contact. Most people are familiar with the term fellatio, stimulation of the male genitals and cunnilingus or stimulation of the female genitals, however, oral sex can include anilingus, or oral to anal contact also called ‘rimming’. Many commonly known STDs or STI’s can be transmitted via any of these types of oral sex. Whether on the receiving or giving end, there are ways to make the practice safer and more fun.
Is It Safe?
Oral sex is on the rise, and even those who consider themselves virgins may be unknowingly putting themselves at risk for a long list of STDs . The most common of those being Gonorrhea, Herpes, Hepatitis B, HIV, Syphilis, Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) and Chlamydia which may be spread through giving or receiving oral sex.
According to a recent article from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC):
- The risk of HIV transmission through oral sex is much less than that from anal or vaginal sex—but it is not zero
- Performing oral sex on an HIV-infected man, with ejaculation, is the riskiest oral sex activity.
- Factors that may increase the risk of HIV transmission through oral sex are oral ulcers, bleeding gums, genital sores, and the presence of other sexually transmitted infections.
Does HPV Really Cause Cancer?
HPV or Human Papilloma Virus is a commonly transmitted STD, now believed to cause oral and throat cancer. While there may be other causes, the revelation these cancers are linked to the virus was highly publicized when actor Michael Douglas revealed in an interview that not only did he have throat cancer, his doctors’ believed it developed because he contracted HPV from performing cunnilingus. In his words…
"No. Because, without wanting to get too specific, this particular cancer is caused by HPV (Human Papilloma Virus), which actually comes about from cunnilingus," Douglas said. When the reporter questioned him unsure of what he had heard, Douglas elaborated, “…yeah, it's a sexually transmitted disease that causes cancer."
How to Make Oral Sex Safer
Ok, Michael, we find that information specific enough. We all learned something that day in 2013. But what to do if we still wish to practice oral sex? The only way to be sure if you are completely safe is not to have any sexual contact. Uh, right? That said, let’s be more realistic than that. Oral sex is only considered safe if you and your partner are in a 100%-committed, monogamous relationship and both of you have been tested for all STDs. If this is not you, we have a few suggestions to make it safer and more fun for you and your partner.
According to the University of Georgia’s Health Center…
When practicing safer oral sex, use the barrier method: “For oral sex on a woman, the use of latex barrier or plastic wrap can serve as a barrier to prevent the transmission of HIV and other STIs…For oral sex on a man, using a flavored latex condom can reduce STI transmission. Some people complain that condoms have a rubbery taste and lessen the sensation on the penis.”
Try this tip: Using a small amount of Wet® Light® Personal Lubricant inside the condom may increase sensation and adding some to the outside will make it more palatable for the giver. It has a pleasantly sweet taste. An added benefit to note: when used properly, lubricants can also reduce the risk of condom breakage. (Note: For oral-anal contact, a latex barrier is strongly recommended to reduce the risk of STI transmission.)
You can read more about oral sex from the University of Georgia http://www.uhs.uga.edu/sexualhealth/oral_sex.html
How to Make Oral Sex More Fun
Whether on the giving or receiving end, it is a skill that can be learned; the good news is with practice we can all get better and better at it. If you are on the giving end, moaning or erotic talk can enhance both your pleasure. If on the receiving end, remember to relax. Once you practice oral sex with a barrier, it will become second nature. You can try alternating licking and sucking with applying gentle pressure over the barrier with a favorite vibrator for a whole new sensation.
For those who wish to perform oral sex for their partners but are more worried about possible odors that arise, we have a suggestion for both of you. Add more fruit to your diet. It has been shown that eating strawberries, pineapples, and honeydew melons while limiting the intake of red meat and dairy will increase the pleasure and overall taste and scent of both sexes.
So just relax, be safer, and enjoy the give and take.
Lori S. Choi, Blogger for Wet Personal Lubricants