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No Barriers to Oral Loving!
Using Condoms and Dental Dams for Safer Oral Sex

by Tamar Love

We know we're supposed to use a condom for vaginal or anal sex with non-monogamous partners, but is it really necessary to use protection when giving or receiving oral sex? In a word, YES!

Bacterium and viruses that cause a host of nasty diseases -- HPV, HIV and Hepatitis, to name a few -- can easily move from fluid to fluid. When the saliva in your mouth comes in contact with another person's bodily fluids, you are at a great risk of catching a disease, perhaps even a fatal one.

Fortunately, when used correctly, condoms and dental dams are 99% effective at preventing the spread of most sexually transmitted infections. Using a barrier during oral sex can seem like a real pain, but doesn't it pale in comparison to catching something deadly?

Barriers Can Be Sexy!
Believe it or not, it is possible to perform sexy, satisfying oral sex with a condom or dental dam. It's all about attitude and communication.

Look your lover in the eye and tell him or her you're about to give him or her the best oral sex of your partner's life. There's just one catch -- you won't do it unless you can use protection. Remain firm on this point.

While your lover may quibble at first, if you prime him or her with some light stroking, hot kisses and promises of orgasmic delight, he or she will eventually come around. Let's hope so, because if you aren't in a monogamous, STD-free relationship, you have no business coming in contact with any of your partner's fluids!

Condoms & Fellatio
Start by squeezing about a teaspoon of condom-compatible lubricant into a non-lubricated condom. For tips on putting on a condom, please read our education article, A Condom Primer: Everything You Need to Know About Rubbers.

It's important that you only use a condom for protection when performing fellatio -- plastic wrap and latex gloves will break during thrusting, sucking or shafting. Think about it, would you use Saran Wrap as protection during intercourse? We think not!

The big difference between performing fellatio with and without a condom is moisture: When the penis is encased in latex, your mouth's moisture can't get in. That's why you should always add lube to the condom before you put it on. The moisture of the lubricant inside the condom will realistically simulate the feeling of a warm, wet mouth.

Your partner will enjoy the heat from your mouth and the pressure from your tongue, but he won't feel as much sensation as he would when "riding bareback." That's no problem -- play on his other senses. Men are visual creatures, so let him really enjoy the sight of you giving him oral sex. Try one of these tips:

  • Look up at him and make eye contact from time to time.
  • Make "yummy" noises, indicating how much fun you're having.
  • Use your hand to rub the shaft while you apply pressure to the head with your tongue.
  • Use your hands to stimulate other parts of his body, such as his belly, thighs, anus and prostate.
If your partner still balks at using a condom during oral sex, remind him that if he takes a panel of STD tests (including an HIV test) and remains monogamous, condoms will no longer be necessary!

Using a Dental Dam
Named for the protective shield used during dental surgery, a dental dam is a small sheet of latex that acts as a barrier between your mouth and your partner's vagina or anus. Once only made in shades of translucent white or hospital blue, dental dams are now available in different colors, shapes and sizes.

Dental dams are an extremely effective means of preventing infection during oral sex performed on the anus or vagina. While the thought of holding a sheet of latex between you and your partner's private parts may seem a little weird, in reality, dental dams are easy to use and afford a great deal of sensation during cunnilingus or analingus.

Before you use the dam, rinse it off with warm water to remove any "sterile" flavors, and dry it with a soft, clean a towel. Check to be sure the dam is free of holes or breakage by holding it up to the light or running warm water over it.

Finally, remember to use only one side of the dam during love play. If you flip it over and lick the other side, you're defeating the purpose of using the dam! Some people use a felt-tip pen to write "This Side Up" -- or perhaps something a little sexier, like "Lick Here"!

You can buy dental dams in a variety of places: drugstores, dental supply stores and some sex toy stores. If you cannot find a dental dam, you can use a triple-layer of plastic wrap, a latex glove or a non-lubricated condom. Because cunnilingus is not generally as rough as fellatio, these "household remedies" will work in a pinch.

Dental Dams, Cunnilingus & Analingus
There are two schools of thought with regards to using dental dams:

  1. The person giving oral sex holds the dam in place so that the receiver can sit back and enjoy.
  2. The person receiving oral sex holds the dam so that the giver can concentrate on what he or she is doing.
Obviously, only you and your partner can decide what is right for you. However, ownership of the dam may be a moot point, as more manufacturers have added an adhesive strip to the dam, which keeps it in place during oral sex.

Apply some water-based lubricant to the vulva or anus before you begin; this will increase the sensation for your partner. As with fellatio, you won't be able to utilize any natural lubrication, so be sure to add some sort of slipperiness -- the vulva and anus are made of delicate tissue that doesn't stand up well to dry friction.

At first, use the same amount of tongue, lip and mouth pressure you would normally use -- the dental dam doesn't eliminate sensation. Ask your partner to indicate "harder" or "softer," until you have a good sense of what works best. Remember to use your hands and fingers to stroke other parts of your lover's body. Make eye contact, if possible, and let your partner know you love what you are doing to him or her. Your enjoyment of the act will increase your partner's pleasure.

Balms and Oils
Flavored oils or balms can be a nice addition to any oral lovemaking experience, especially when it involves latex. It's important that you only use latex-friendly products with condoms or dental dams. In other words, your slippery stuff should be water based. Read the back of the bottle and make sure the words "water based" are present. Otherwise, your latex barrier will disintegrate on contact.

Latex barriers should be thrown in the trash after each use. Don't flush them down the toilet unless you want clogged plumbing. Also, don't reuse condoms or dental dams. In addition to being really gross, it's unhygienic and increases the chance that your barrier will break, and you'll catch something. Use a fresh condom or dental dam for each oral sex session.

Talk it Out
The key to making protective barriers part of your sex life is good communication. Don't wait until the last minute to pull out the latex --give your partner a little time to adjust to the fact that he or she is going to receive oral sex in a potentially unfamiliar way. If your partner is curious or apprehensive, discuss the benefits of using protection during oral sex. Don't lie about the lack of sensation and moisture, but do play up the sexy elements of the experience. Above all, keep each other focused on the intimacy you are sharing. That's what's really important, isn't it?


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