There is plenty of confusion and conflicting information about STIs and oral sex for young people. Here are some basic facts:
- You can get certain STIs by performing oral sex on any person, male or female.
- Some STIs that are present as sores or lesions on the skin, such as herpes, HPV and syphilis, may be transmitted to you by having oral contact with the infected areas. Other STDs that are transmitted by fluids or infected mucous membranes in the penis, such as gonorrhea, hepatitis B, and syphilis, can also infect you orally.
- If you're giving oral sex to a male, ejaculation increases the risk of transmission but ingesting his ejaculate or spitting it out makes very little difference.
- If giving oral sex to a woman, 'dental dams' are avaliable. These are thin sheets of latex which prevent exposure to bodiliy fluids. These are best used with water-based lubricants to minimise the impact on your partner's pleasure, but oil- and silicone-based lubricants should never be used with dental dams or with condoms.
- Despite what any guy tells you, they can feel and enjoy oral sex with a condom. In any case, a little less pleasure is a reasonable sacrifice for your peace of mind and sexual health.
- Open sores and noticable cuts in the mouth make it much more likely that you'll contract, or indeed transmit, an STI to your partner but they are not required! Mouths are full of tiny abrasions that an STI can enter.
Hopefully, this article makes it clear that contracting or transmitting STIs is still entirely possible through oral sex. If having casual sex with people you don't know, or sex with an untested new partner, please use adequate protection. Got more questions? Ask them here!