Oral sex is considered safer than sex, sex. While you do have a much lower chance of contracting HIV from oral sex, clinicians find gonorrhea in the throat more than any other place on the body. What? Unprotected oral sex can lead to the contraction of sexually transmitted infections! You do not need to have penetrative sex to reach for a condom. Unlike the legend that pre-ejaculation leads to pregnancy, having unprotected oral sex can lead to STIs such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, herpes (I and II), and the Human papillomavirus better known as HPV. While HIV can be contracted through oral sex it is VERY, VERY, did we say VERY?, rare. Many of these STIs are curable, but herpes, HPV, and HIV have no cure and can only be managed with medication once they have been contracted. The good and the bad news is that most of these STIs are VERY common. The best thing you can do is to know your status, get treatment, and communicate with your partner(s) about how to have the most fun and with least drama in your life :)
Why Do People Avoid Condoms
Two reasons people avoid condoms are 1) they take away pleasure during sex, and 2) they believe having oral sex does not have a high rate of STI contraction. These two reasons are not worth the potential of spreading disease to your sexual partner(s). It has been cited that some misconception about risk can be from the fact there are different risk levels for different sexual acts, so while oral sex is not the riskiest act, the risk still exists and should be taken into account when engaging in this type of sexual activity. Check out this great article about more condom myths from Teen Vogue.
Few advancements have been made in the last few years regarding reason one. However, in 2013 Bill Gates had put a call to action for someone to develop a condom that would better the sexual experience for people using. In addition, holistic sexual education is needed to address point number 2. People need to be educated by communities such as Sex+ that oral sex still can transmit STIs.
Why You Should Practice Safe Oral Sex
Only 31% of people practice safe sex based on statistics from a 2017 survey from YouGov. If you are going to be sexually active in college, you must know about the importance of condoms to protect yourself. There is more to consider than pregnancy when having unprotected sex. For starters, herpes can be passed from mouth to genitals, and HPV can even go as far as to develop into different types of cancer when transmitted via oral sex. When STIs are transmitted from oral sex, they not only can develop in the mouth, but they can infect as deep as the throat in the cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes, and HPV.
Get Educated about Oral Sex Protection
Oral sex protection can include regular condoms or dental dams. You can even cut a regular condom into a dental dam, but protection is necessary for any type of sex being had. Some STIs are asymptomatic, meaning there will not be any indication that you have been infected. This being said, if you continue being sexually active, and do not use a condom, you have the potential to spread an STI through not only penetrative sex but oral sex as well.
Links to Learn about Different Condom Types
Stay Up to Date with Sex+
We will be doing some special articles on fun techniques, great communication tips for in and out of the bedroom, and some pointers on how to looks out for symptoms of STIs so you can have all the knowledge and none of the drama in your sex life :) Make sure to stay up to date for the leading information regarding all things sex with Sex+, a startup working to make at home STI tests that will let everyone test and find out the results in the comfort of their home.