I hear frequently that oral sex is safer than vaginal sex. The simple answer to that question is no. Although a pregnancy cannot be caused from oral sex, there are still risks for the transmission of STIs (Sexually Transmitted Infections) and/or HIV. Oral sex is considered a high risk activity when not using a condom or dental dam. People sometimes only think about preventing pregnancy, but not STIs. It is important to remember that STIs can be transmitted to anyone of any sexual orientation. Having safer sex is easy because of barrier methods, such as the dental dam or flavored condom. The dental dam is a thin, square sheet of latex that can be placed over the genital area where the mouth will come into contact. The genital area can be the penis, vagina or anus. Dental dams can be found in different colors and flavors. You can also always create a dental dam from a regular condom by cutting it down the middle.
Another method is the flavored condom. Flavored condoms are meant for oral sex and also come in different colors and flavors. These condoms are not meant for penetration, because it can cause irritation. During oral sex STIs can be spread through skin-to-skin contact and/or the exchange of fluids being released from the vagina, penis, or anus. Barrier methods prevent STIs from being spread to and from the genitals and mouth. Dental dams and flavored condoms can be purchased at your local drug store or you can visit your local Planned Parenthood to see if you qualify for Family PACT to receive them at no cost.