The Low Down on Going Down: Safer Oral Sex
April 5, 2012 § 4 Comments
Everyone knows I am strong advocate for both awesome oral sex and safer sex. Much of the world believes oral sex is the safest sex, but the truth is that any oral, vaginal or anal sex leaves us vulnerable to infections.
I had the fortune of meeting Alan, this awesome advocate for oral health screenings. He is also a three-time survivor of oral cancer himself. He told me…
It is my belief is that there is a lot of confusion because of three somewhat contradictory facts.
- The growth in oral cancers is associated with cancers where the HPV-16 virus is evident. If caught early this cancer is highly treatable with minimal loss in speaking and swallowing abilities.
- People who have had 6 or more sexual partners (different studies talk about oral and vaginal sex partners) are 9 times more likely to get oral cancer.
- There is no link between HPV presence in the mouth and the development of a tumor within any reasonable length of time. HPV is not a pre-cancerous signal that says medical professionals have to watch the person real closely.
What does that leave you with? Well safe sex sounds nice for oral sex (condoms and dental dams/saran wrap, but as you know while many people may practice safe sex for vaginal or anal sex, they are much less likely to do so for oral.
This left me with a ridiculously simple recommendation. See your dentist and get oral cancer exams during normal check-ups even if you don’t smoke/chew tobacco, practice good dental hygiene (brushing and flossing) to make it more difficult for the virus to attach itself to the gums, if you use mouthwash, avoid alcohol based mouthwashes, and know the symptoms and if they persist see a medical professionals.
Much thanks Alan for all the light you shine on this issue. It helps everyone know know to make more informed decisions and to better care for themselves.
And know how to use barriers. It’s easier than you might think! For example, here is a dental damn. They are so thin and sultry feeling. You hardly know it’s there and it’s an easy way to protect your mouth and their vulva and anus. And check out this super cool Dental Dam Harness! It makes safer sex a little more kinky! (If you don;t have a dental dam handy, Suran Wrap is a perfectly good oral barrier. Just not as sexy to me.)
Get some of these super sexy latex gloves. Slather them with silicone lube and everyone will line up for your touch! (You think I’m kidding?)
And these flavored condoms are surprisingly tasty! Put a drop of lube inside the condom before you slide it down his shaft, this way he will feel wetness with the warmth of your mouth. Yum.
Ask your dentist for an oral cancer screening the next time you see them.
Illustration by Stu Helm.